Best Vape-Related Articles from November 2020

December 02, 2020

Woman reading newspaper, a Keenan Constance photograph from Unsplash

Another month, another round-up of the most interesting articles and updates from the world of vape and tobacco harm reduction. Articles are listed from newest to oldest, with a short excerpt from each for easy browsing. 

Why are Asian countries outperforming the Western world in controlling COVID-19 pandemic? Giovanni Landoni, Nicolo Maimeri, et al., Taylor & Francis Online

Fourthly, the high prevalence of active smokers amongst the male population in Asia might have played a role in reducing COVID-19 cases[10]. In fact, a counterintuitive negative correlation between active smoking and a progression to a more severe COVID-19 clinical picture has been previously reported [11,12]. Although the mechanisms behind this phenomenon have yet to be fully understood, it is not implausible that active smoking may have contributed to reducing SARS-CoV-2 mortality in Asia.

What Ever Happened to the Vaping Lung Disease? Ed Cara, Gizmodo

In addition to the illness caused by these tainted products, the resulting public health response has in many ways deepened the divide between vaping consumers, manufacturers, and some public health agencies and experts. This divide is evident even in attempts to name what exactly happened to victims.


It’s time to make room for vaping in the harm reduction tent, Maria Papaioannoy, The Hamilton Spectator

It’s time to see tobacco harm in the same way as other harm reduction initiatives - as an opportunity to save lives. It’s time that the public empathize with adult smokers who are desperately trying to quit. Harm reduction is based on values in which all Canadians believe: respect, dignity, and above all, compassion.


Report: Vaping is a gateway out of smoking, Linda Kumar, Malay Mail

In Malaysia, the number of smokers has dropped by 1.5 percentage points in 2019 according to the Ministry of Health’s National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019. While it is unclear if this can be attributed to a switch to vaping, the same report shows five per cent of Malaysians use vaping products. The effectiveness of vaping as a smoking cessation tool seems to be encouraging and efforts to frame vaping as a gateway to smoking do not seem to stand up to close scrutiny.


City council passes ban on flavored tobacco in Missoula, Spencer Schacht, ABC Fox Montana

“I am very pro-choice about what happens to my body and what goes into it and I don’t feel that I am in a position to dictate how one should cope in this world. So I will not be supporting this ordinance,” council member Heather Harp said. 

Twenty‐Four‐Hour Cardiovascular Effects of Electronic Cigarettes Compared With Cigarette Smoking in Dual Users, Neal L. Benowitz, Gideon St. Helen, et al., JAHA

CS and EC had similar 24‐hour patterns of hemodynamic effects compared with no tobacco product, with a higher average heart rate with CS versus EC, and similar effects on biomarkers of inflammation. EC may pose some cardiovascular risk, particularly to smokers with underlying cardiovascular disease, but may also provide a harm reduction opportunity for smokers willing to switch entirely to EC.

Aerial transmission of SARS-CoV-2 virus (and pathogens in general) through environmental e-cigarette aerosol, Roberto A. Sussman and Eliana Golberstein, medRxiv

We examine the plausibility, scope and risks of aerial transmission of pathogens (including the SARS−CoV−2 virus) through respiratory droplets carried by exhaled e−cigarette aerosol (ECA).

Pod e-cigarettes less harmful than regular cigarettes, new study finds, Brown University Research News, EurekAlert

By the end of the study, participants who switched to e-cigarettes exhibited significantly lower levels of the potent pulmonary carcinogen NNAL compared to those who continued to smoke combustible cigarettes exclusively. The e-cigarette users also had significantly reduced carbon monoxide (CO) levels and reported fewer respiratory symptoms. These benefits -- reduced NNAL, reduced CO and respiratory symptom improvements -- were especially pronounced among participants who switched completely to e-cigarettes.

International consumer groups express concerns over foreign grant influence on FDA regulations, Manila Bulletin

Over 35 national consumer organizations under the International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations (INNCO) sounded the alarm over foreign grants on local health regulators that may adversely affect efforts to reduce the harm caused by combustible cigarettes in low and middle-income countries including the Philippines.


Twenty‐Four‐Hour Cardiovascular Effects of Electronic Cigarettes Compared With Cigarette Smoking in Dual Users, Neal L. Benowitz, Gideon St. Helen, et al., Journal of the American Heart Association

CS and EC had similar 24‐hour patterns of hemodynamic effects compared with no tobacco product, with a higher average heart rate with CS versus EC, and similar effects on biomarkers of inflammation. EC may pose some cardiovascular risk, particularly to smokers with underlying cardiovascular disease, but may also provide a harm reduction opportunity for smokers willing to switch entirely to EC.

Cigarette Smoke Preparations, Not Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) Preparations, Induce Features of Lung Disease in a 3D Lung Repeat-Dose Model, Rachael E. Rayner, Patruda Makena, et al., PubMed

In conclusion, primary NHBE cultures in a repeat-dose exposure system represent a good model to assess the features of lung disease. This study also reveals that cigarette and ENDS preparations differentially elicit several key endpoints, some of which are potential biomarkers for lung cancer or COPD.


Scientists conduct randomized trial to assess e-cigarette versus traditional cigarette use, Emily Henderson, News Medical Life Sciences

"What was most surprising was the magnitude of change experienced by those in the e-cigarette group," Dr. Nollen said. "They reduced their NNAL by 64%, carbon monoxide by 47% and respiratory symptoms by 37% compared to those in the control group who continued to smoke cigarettes as usual."

Media asked to be ally in tobacco harm reduction, Duncan Mlanjira, Nyasa Times

“Tobacco harm reduction can be best achieved if misinformation and disinformation campaigns are demolished by getting this THR sensitization as widely shared as possible,” said Jena Fetalino.


San Francisco Considers Ban on Smoking and Vaping in Private Apartments, Michael McGrady, Inside Sources

David Sweanor, adjunct professor of law at the University of Ottawa, in Canada, told Inside Sources that the ban is a problematic attempt to regulate personal behaviors.“This is distressingly illiberal, particularly for a city that has been known for taking relatively enlightened approaches to public health issues,” he said. “This is a place that has worked to make viable low risk, non-combustible alternatives to cigarettes illegal, and is now looking to punish people for engaging in the behavior such policies force upon them.” 


Experimenting first with e-cigarettes versus first with cigarettes and transition to daily cigarette use among adolescents: the crucial effect of age at first experiment, Stephane Legleye, Henri-Jean Aubin, et al., PubMed

Conclusions: Experimenting with e-cigarettes first (as opposed to tobacco first) appears to be associated with a reduction in the risk of daily tobacco smoking among French adolescent at ages 17-18.5, but this risk varies negatively with age at experimentation, and early e-cigarette experimenters are at higher risk.


PayPal Problems Proliferate, Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes

Vape companies have experienced issues with PayPal in the past, not least a problem that funds in accounts would be frozen for a considerable length of time – causing serious concerns for businesses impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. Now an increasing number of reports are cropping up of companies across Europe and beyond being blocked from using PayPal.


Anchorage Passes a 55% Tax on Vaping Products, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360

The ordinance adds vaping products (including devices and e-liquid) to the municipality’s existing “other tobacco products” tax, which is currently set at 55 percent of wholesale cost. The Assembly amended the law to exclude devices used for cannabis vaping, according to Alaska Public Media. 


Vape Bans in the United States and Around the World, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360

It’s difficult to track all the changes in vaping laws. What we have attempted here is a rundown on the countries that have bans or serious restrictions on vaping or vapor products. 



Vaping has revealed effective where official therapies failed. What is the secret of its success? A study by researchers Di Piazza, Caponnetto, Askin, Christos, Maglia, Gautam, Roche and Polosa tries to explain the reasons behind its success.


Only 9 users of safer nicotine products for every 100 smokers - report, Oliver Mathenge, The Star, Kenya

Experts are calling for the scaling up of Tobacco Harm Reduction, which enables smokers to switch to safer alternative nicotine products that do not produce the smoke that causes death and disease. 


Vaping Law The Most Damaging Public Health Policy In A Generation, Scoop NZ

“Labour’s decision to regulate vaping in the same way as cigarettes is the most damaging public health policy in a generation”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.


COPD Patients Who Switch From Smoking to Vaping See Long-Term Benefits, Helen Redmond, Filter

Researchers at the Center of Excellence for the Acceleration of Harm Reduction (CoEHAR*) in Catania, Italy have just published a groundbreaking study. It shows that smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who switched to vaping reduced their yearly flare-ups by about 50 percent, significantly improved their cardio-respiratory health, and increased both their ability to exercise and their quality of life.


Demystifying Nicotine: Unethical to Deprive People of Less Harmful Alternatives says health activist, South Africa Today

“We educated people on responsible sexual behaviour and promoted treatment to reduce harm. If we did not, we would have had millions of preventable deaths in our society,” he explained. “It is the same with tobacco harm reduction – quit smoking, but if you can’t, then change to a less harmful alternative.”


Randomized Trials of e-Cigarettes for Smoking Cessation, N.A. Rigotti, JAMA

Few topics in public health and medicine are as contentious as electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), a diverse and rapidly evolving array of products that appeared on the consumer market a decade ago. e-Cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a solution, typically containing nicotine and other chemicals including flavorings, to produce an aerosol that users inhale or “vape.”1 e-Cigarettes do not burn tobacco to generate smoke, and it is the many chemicals in tobacco smoke—not the nicotine—that are responsible for the global burden of tobacco-related disease that accounts for an estimated 6 million deaths worldwide and nearly half a million deaths in the US each year.

Claim that vaping lacks evidence for quitting is misleading and wrong, Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association

IN A SUBMISSION to the Senate Inquiry into Tobacco Harm Reduction, Professor Emily Banks claims that there is insufficient evidence that e-cigarettes are an effective aid for quitting smoking. ATHRA believes her claim is misleading and incorrect for two major reasons.

More than 70 e-cigarettes and thousands of their components seized during police raid at Bangkok house yesterday, Nop Meechukhun, Pattaya News

More than 70 e-cigarettes and a thousand of their components were confiscated during a police raid at the house of an alleged dealer, Chalitpon Saardrup, in the Nong Khaem district of Bangkok yesterday, November 8.

Attitudes towards the New Zealand Government's Smokefree 2025 goal associated with smoking and vaping in university students aged 18 to 24 years: results of a 2018 national cross-sectional survey, Wamamili B, Wallace-Bell M, Richardson A, Grace RC, Coope P., BMJ Open

Conclusions: The results suggest strong overall support for the Smokefree goal and belief that it can be achieved and that e-cigarettes/vaping can help achieve it. Smoking and vaping were associated with high awareness of the Smokefree goal, but lower support and optimism that it can be achieved.


Report urges need for tobacco harm reduction products, Malawi 24

Speaking with reporters, Project Manager for Tobacco Harm Reduction Chimwemwe Ngoma said the tobacco harm reduction products are not yet flooding at the market, a situation which is risking lives of the people who smoke tobacco traditionally due to lack of knowledge of the new alternatives.

Tobacco harm reduction merits place as human rights issue: report, Correspondent for The News PK

The report’s central theme is the universal right to health, including for those who—for whatever reason—continue to engage in risky behaviours. “Harm reduction does not focus on eradication of products or behaviours. The humane response is to reduce the risks, thereby enabling people to survive and live better—in this case through access to SNPs,” the report states. According to the report, the global prevalence of SNPs stands at 98m, of whom 68m are vapers. There are only nine users of SNP for every 100 smokers.

The Birth of Harm Reduction Informs the World’s Need for Safer Nicotine, Gerry Stimson, Filter

Will the WHO eventually see tobacco harm reduction as an individual and public health issue, as well as a right-to-health issue? It was reluctant to do so for both HIV/AIDS prevention and the right to health for people who use drugs, but it adopted harm reduction in the end. 

The Irreconcilable Conflict Principle, Clive Bates, Tobacco Report

If your iron rule is that nothing good ever comes from tobacco companies, then you are motivated to develop science demonstrating conflicts with public health. So, we see more scientists claiming that there is no difference in risk between smoking and vaping or that the data are so uncertain that nothing is or can be known about relative risk. Both are plainly wrong. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) show vaping is more effective for smoking cessation than nicotine-replacement therapy. After years of lamenting the paucity of vaping RCTs, tobacco control activists have pivoted to express doubts about their validity or redefined quitting smoking to mean quitting nicotine.

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