by Brandee Eubank December 01, 2021
Welcome to another roundup of the month's top articles on vaping and tobacco harm reduction. As usual, there are a lot of interesting and informative articles to satisfy your craving for news and updates. Each article is linked so that you can read it in full. Brief excerpts are included for your browsing convenience and the articles are listed in order from most recent to oldest. Enjoy!
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has, for the first time, included vaping products (also known as electronic cigarettes) as a recommended stop smoking aid in its newly released tobacco guidelines. Dr Kathryn Scott, Chief Executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “We are delighted to see that vaping products have been included in the NICE tobacco guidelines.
UK E-Cig Summit Highlights U.S. Failure Fighting Tobacco Use, Michael Graham and Chris Woodward, Inside Sources
A virtual summit in the UK next week aims to set the record straight: If you think smoking is bad, you’re right. But if you think attacking alternatives like e-cigarettes will make things better, you’re really wrong.
Justice Kavanaugh Asks FDA to Respond to Breeze Smoke Emergency Stay Application, Jonathan H. Adler, Reason
There is little question that this case presents the sort of administrative law question the justices would usually prefer to consider in the regular order, after multiple courts of appeals have fully considered the underlying merits and, only then, after full argument and briefing. The problem here, however, is that for many ENDS manufacturers, FDA denial of their applications amounts to a death sentence, as without such approval they cannot continue to sell their products. Further, as noted above, the circuit courts are already split on the egregiousness of the FDA's behavior.
‘Build Back Deader’ with Democrats’ vape tax, Adam Sullivan, The Gazette
Tucked inside Build Back Better is a measure to impose a double-digit federal tax on non-combustible nicotine such as e-cigarettes and pouches. Vaping advocates say the price of a small bottle of high-strength e-cigarette liquid, for example, would more than double from about $17 to about $37. That is a staggering price hike and it undoubtedly will push some people who transitioned from cigarettes to vapes to switch back, and deter others from switching in the first place. People will die because of it.
China's Tobacco Monopoly Will Control the Vaping Industry, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360
China banned online sales of vaping products in 2019, and regulation by the STMA will likely bring more restrictions. The regulatory agency strictly controls which products can compete in the Chinese tobacco marketplace, and the new rules will allow the STMA to micromanage vaping manufacturers the same way. What has been announced is essentially the Chinese equivalent of FDA’s Deeming Rule: it sets the stage for the detailed regulations that will follow.
Flavored Tobacco Products, Not Bans, Vital Tool to Help Smokers Quit, Markus Lindblad, Inside Sources
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently made headlines with its marketing approval of four flavored oral tobacco products manufactured by Verve. While those products had been discontinued before the announcement, the FDA’s decision reaffirmed that flavored tobacco and nicotine products can help people transition away from using more harmful products like combustible cigarettes. It will hopefully discourage policymakers from pursuing flavor bans for tobacco harm reduction products that provide smokers with alternatives that can help them quit smoking for good.
Netherlands’ Protests Highlighting The Importance of Vape Flavours, Diane Caruana, Vaping Post
Earlier this year, a public consultation about the proposal to ban flavours was meant to close on the 19th of January, but had been extended to the 2nd of February. A statement published on the Netherlands’ Government website, had revealed that the consultation was extended “due to popular demand.” In line with this, a press release by the WVA had highlighted that the country had witnessed the largest number of responses ever collected in a public consultation on health matters.
Denver’s ban on flavored tobacco advances with new 2023 implementation date, Hannah Metzger. Denver Gazette
“We all agree that kids should not use tobacco and we all agree that smoking is bad and kills people. However, this is not a good policy,” Black said. “It will not prevent people from smoking and it will not prevent kids from getting vaping products. People can get them online, from neighboring cities and non-flavored products are still available in Denver.”
Nicotine tax raises price to quit smoking, Amanda Wheeler, Arizona Capitol Times
Tobacco’s biggest critics report that 15% of Arizonans smoke and 28.7% of Arizona cancer deaths are attributable to smoking. Curbing access to vaping products by increasing taxes only makes these numbers more painful.
Vaping products a smoking cessation tool...but? Jamaica Observer
Vaping products and other non-combustibles (smoking alternatives that do not burn tobacco) are considered reduced-risk when compared to the traditional combustible cigarette. It is now widely acknowledged that the cause of most of the serious health risks associated with conventional cigarettes is the toxicants in the smoke produced when tobacco is burned – and not the nicotine. However, because nicotine is so closely associated with smoking, many may think it is responsible for the harmful effects of smoking. This is not entirely so. At typical recreational doses it is usually safe for healthy adults.
The Dangers of Misinformation on Vaping, Martin Cullip, Townhall
There are a large number of organizations so opposed to tobacco harm reduction – the substitution of safer nicotine products instead of smoking – that they are desperate to find harm in e-cigarettes. For many, without the harm of combustible cigarettes their careers are threatened. If vaping replaced smoking and did their job of reducing smoking with little or no cost to the taxpayer, they would receive no grants and have nothing to do.
On Friday, the State Council announced a decision to amend its tobacco monopoly law. According to the amendment, new types of tobacco products like e-cigarettes will be managed referring to the regulations on cigarettes. It should be a signal that e-cigarettes, which have stood in a grey area of government regulation for a long time, are finally moved under supervision in China.
How vaping helped one ‘hideously addicted’ doctor quit smoking, Jill Margo, Financial Review
Dr Murphy appears, with others, in a new book Stop Smoking, Start Vaping, the healthy truth about vaping, slated for release on Monday. Written by vaping expert Dr Colin Mendelsohn, it outlines the controversy and the scientific evidence for vaping and provides practical steps to help adult smokers switch. Dr Mendelsohn says tobacco harm reduction with safer nicotine products is an additional, evidence-based tool for helping smokers quit, but many doctors remain misinformed about it and about the safety of nicotine.
Effect of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems on Cigarette Abstinence in Smokers with no Plans to Quit: Exploratory Analysis of a Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial, Jonathan Foulds, Ph.D, Caroline O Cobb, Ph.D, et al., Oxford Academic
Conclusions: When smokers seeking to reduce smoking tried ENDS, few quit smoking in the short term. However, if smokers continued to use an ENDS with cigarette-like nicotine delivery, a greater proportion completely switched to ENDS, as compared with placebo or a cigarette substitute.
First man charged over nicotine vape sales, AAP Newswire, Riverine Herald
A man who was allegedly selling e-cigarette vapes containing nicotine in south west NSW has been charged under new laws that took effect at the start of October. Police began investigating last month and on Thursday morning searched a Griffith service station, accompanied by NSW Health compliance officers.
Webinar Discusses Youth Access to E-Cigarettes in Canada, Diane Caruana, Vaping Post
The Canadian Tobacco and Vaping Survey, 2020, found that youth vaping has already declined since 2019, and youth daily vaping is at 4.7%, therefore the proposed flavour ban is unnecessary. Moreover, a recent Canadian Tobacco and Nicotine Survey has indicated that between 2019 and 2020, there was a 40% drop in smoking rates in this specific age group, from 13.3% to 8%. This figure is encouraging for Health Canada’s no smoking target (5% by 2035) and this 5% target rate has already been achieved among those aged 15-19.
Sin taxes on smoking and sugar harm the people they’re supposed to help, Christopher Snowdon, City AM
As the scope and size of paternalistic taxation grows, sin taxes look less like a minor inconvenience designed to poke people in the right direction and more like the bullying of a disenfranchised minority.
Flavour ban would push some vape users to return to regular cigarettes: study, Len Gillis, Sudbury.com
“Our findings raise the possibility that banning some flavoured vaping products may dissuade some adult smokers from vaping, with the possibility that they would return to smoking cigarettes, which are clearly much more harmful than vaping products, given that we know that at least half of regular smokers die of a smoking-caused disease,” said ITC research assistant professor Shannon Gravely, who was lead author of the study.
Opinion: The WHO's tobacco policy echo chamber, Jason Reed, Financial Post
As is now typical of the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), key parties were excluded from these vital conversations. The media was shut out, as was law enforcement. Countless organizations and individuals with potential insight into the issue, such as scientists, were excluded because of alleged distant connections to tobacco interests. Perhaps most importantly of all, consumers had no voice at either COP9 or MOP2.
Govt to table bill on regulating tobacco, vape next year, FMT Reporters, Free Malaysia Today
The health ministry has confirmed that a bill on the regulation of tobacco, e-cigarettes, vape and shisha will be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat next year. It could be tabled in the first term at the latest. The ministry confirmed this in a written reply to Shahrudidn Md Salleh (Pejuang-Sri Gading), who asked about the status of the bill that was supposed to be tabled last year.
Elizabeth Warren, CBS, North Carolina Ramp Up Focus on Synthetic Nicotine, Alex Norcia, Filter
Synthetic nicotine has been on the radar of state-level and federal lawmakers in the past, but never with the mainstream traction it’s received in the past few weeks. Despite decreasing youth vaping rates, it has quickly morphed into the next target for policymakers.
Canadian vapers call on federal government to ditch flavour ban, Rights 4 Vapers, Cision Newswire
"The science is clear. Vapour products are less harmful than cigarettes. This is an inconvenient truth for those in 'tobacco' control. It is a fact for those who believe in harm reduction," said Maria Papaioannoy, spokesperson for Rights4Vapers. "Over one million Canadians vape and almost five million more smoke. Are we really going to ignore them and cling to old-fashioned notions of harm reduction where you either quit or die?"
Vaping in the Shadow Docket, Jonathan H. Adler, Reason
While it is possible that there are substantive differences between the relevant product applications, the FDA did not engage in the sort of review expected of a regulatory agency. (Indeed, the Sixth Circuit faulted the FDA, but just did not find the deficiencies to be great enough to justify a stay.) Thus, Breeze Smoke is able to argue, with some justification, that whether individual e-cigarette manufacturers were able to obtain a stay of their FDA denials was a function of which circuit they filed in. (Another manufacturer obtained a stay in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, while a similar stay application was also denied by the Ninth Circuit.) Further, as I noted here, the FDA has also rescinded its rejection of applications from some other manufacturers, magnifying the inconsistent treatment manufacturers are receiving.
Breeze Smoke Asks Supreme Court to Stay FDA Denial Order, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360
Breeze Smoke is requesting the Supreme Court put the FDA’s MDO on hold until it can undergo full review by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Whether the high court grants a stay or denies the motion, the full review of Breeze Smoke’s MDO by the circuit court will proceed. A stay would prevent the FDA from enforcing its MDO while the review is in progress.
Bans on flavored e-cigarettes could see some vapers return to smoking cigarettes, University of Waterloo, Medical Xpress
Most adult vapers of non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes overwhelmingly oppose flavor restrictions, according to a recent study. The study, conducted by the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project at the University of Waterloo, examined whether regular vapers from Canada, England and the United States who only use non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes, would support or oppose a ban on all non-tobacco flavors and how they would potentially respond to such a policy.
In Ocean City vaping arrest, trial begins with contradicting testimony, Rose Velazquez, Salisbury Daily Times
Footage of Griffin’s arrest showed an officer using a Taser on him after he was approached over an allegation he was vaping in violation of a town ordinance that prohibits smoking on the Boardwalk. Another video circulating social media showed the June 12, 2021, arrest of 19-year-old Brian Anderson of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Multiple officers could be seen restraining Anderson on his stomach while one officer used his knee to repeatedly strike Anderson’s torso and another officer ordered him to give them his hands.
Does Vaping Cause Bone Damage? Yes And No, A Confusing Study Claims, Cameron English, American Council on Science and Health
A new study finds that if you vape and then quit, you're more likely to suffer a fracture than if you currently vape. The authors say their results suggest that e-cigarettes pose a risk to bone health. What sense does that make? Very little. Let's take a closer look at the paper.
The challenges of tobacco regulation in India, Dr. Kiran Melkote, Economic Times
When vaping and electronic systems came along as a low-risk alternative for tobacco users, our government chose to ban them. This makes one wonder if it was to safeguard its industry interests against a potential competitor. This conflict of interest seemed obvious to everyone except the World Health Organisation (WHO) which presented an award to our country for the vape ban. This was like giving an award to a drug dealer for eliminating his rivals and establishing a monopoly!
Reward smokers who want to quit, not punish them with taxes, Adam Hoffer and Carmelo Ferlito, Free Malaysia Today
Because most smokers continue smoking through higher taxes, the result is that many poor households that smoke are made poorer. And higher tax-induced prices incentivise illicit activities that bring a myriad of negative consequences, including increased inequality and increased crime. A better public policy is to provide rewards and support to smokers who want to quit smoking. Strong empirical evidence shows that smokers are more likely to quit smoking when they use nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) such as nicotine gums and patches.
Tax Buried in the "Build Back Better" Bill Is Likely to Increase Smoking Rates, Jonathan H. Adler, Reason
One of the provisions of the "Build Back Better" bill imposes a tax on non-combustible nicotine products (e.g. pouches and e-cigarettes). As Kenneth Warner, Dean emeritus of the University of Michigan's School of Public Health, explains in a Washington Post op-ed, this is bad for public health because it will lead to more smoking.
Push to ban flavored tobacco products undermines public health, Steve Pociask, The Maine Wire
According to a 2018 study, adults in the U.S. who have completely switched from smoking cigarettes to using e-cigarettes are increasingly likely to have initiated e-cigarette use with non-tobacco flavors. “Restricting access to…e-cigarette flavors may discourage smokers from attempting to switch to e-cigarettes,” the authors conclude. In making its decision on whether to move forward with the flavors ban, the City Council should heed this evidence, which was ignored during the Safety Committee’s deliberations. Lives are at stake.
Finance Minister Liberman signs order taxing electronic cigarettes, Arutz Sheva Staff, Arutz Sheva
Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) on Sunday evening signed an order placing a purchase tax on e-cigarette fluid and electronic cigarettes which cannot be refilled (disposable). The tax is equal in amount to that placed on other tobacco products.
Welcome to Ocean City. Unless you’re a Black teenager caught vaping. Editorial Board, Washington Post
Ocean City, Md., is a beach community of roughly 7,000 residents whose summer population swells with sun-and-surf seekers. Town officials say it welcomes nearly 8 million visitors every year, but here’s the thing: A pair of incidents last summer suggests it doesn’t really welcome all of them, particularly Black teenagers who might be caught vaping on the boardwalk.
Pelosi's office defends vape tax, says practice not 'essential need for working families', Samuel Dorman, Fox Business
"Speaker Pelosi is wrong on the math, wrong on the science, and apparently has not even read the government’s own estimates of the public health disaster this vape tax will cause," said President Amanda Wheeler. Wheeler also pointed to National Institutes of Health-funded research, which estimated the tax would result in "approximately a half million extra teenage smokers overall."
Debate: Are e-cigarettes beneficial to public health? | Pro/Con, Jonathan Foulds and Brian P. Jenssen, Philadelphia Enquirer
The proportion of high school students who say they have used an e-cig (even just once) in the previous 30 days has fallen to 11%. That’s a 60% drop since 2019.
Meanwhile, cigarette smoking by high school students has been steadily decreasing (e.g., only 4.6% in 2020), suggesting that e-cigs are not acting as a gateway to smoking for teenagers — instead, they are replacing smoking. If e-cigs cause more kids to start smoking, we would have seen an increase in smoking in the years since e-cigs emerged; in reality, the opposite has happened.
Quebec High School Students Strip-Searched for Vapes, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360
“It felt like being a prisoner,” 9th grade student Andrew Forgione told CBC News. “That shouldn’t be happening at a school. It’s traumatizing for a victim. It isn’t normal. You’re cornered in a room, you have no phone, you can’t call your parents or anything. You feel forced.”
Prevalence and characteristics of ever regular use of non-combustible nicotine for 1 year or more: a population survey in England, Sharon Cox, Jamie Brown et al., NCBI
To conclude, regular NNP use of 1 year or more is associated with current smoking or ex-smoking and we report little use amongst never-smokers, this is an important finding as with the rise of NNP there has been concerns raised regarding use by never-smokers. If never-smokers are using these products, then it does not appear to be habit forming. It therefore remains the case that non-combustible nicotine research should focus on how best to help people who smoke to quit. However, e-cigarette use was also independently associated with more advantaged occupational grades and given the large burden of smoking on health inequalities how best to support smokers from less advantaged positions to switch to safer forms of nicotine and stay switched remains an important focus for future work.
Tobacco use is declining but success is ‘fragile’, Harriet Barber, The Telegraph
Of all the regions, the steepest decline in usage has been seen in the Americas region, where the rate has dropped from 21 per cent in 2010 to 16 per cent in 2020. The lowest rate of tobacco use is in the African region, which sat at 10 per cent in 2020.
Israel Proposes World's Highest Vape Tax, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360
Like the “tax parity” language currently part of the U.S. Build Back Better Act, the tax proposal in Israel is an attempt to tax vaping products at the same rate as cigarettes. The effect—making low-risk nicotine products as expensive as deadly ones—is the opposite of what rational public policy should do.
A Montreal mother is outraged that her teenaged had to lower his pants at his school last week during a search for vaping products -- a search that one constitutional rights lawyer said went too far. Andrew Forgione, a Grade 9 student at LaSalle Community Comprehensive High School, called it a traumatizing experience when he and three other students were implicated in the search, during which he had to lower his pants but not his underwear. All four students are between the ages of 13 and 16.
For Smokers, A New Tax On Nicotine is Raising The Price On Quitting, Amanda Wheeler, Arizona Daily Independent
It’s bad enough that this regressive tax will fall disproportionately on Americans whose income falls under the administration’s definition of “the rich.” But just a few weeks after the tax was announced, the Food and Drug Administration, for the first time, authorized the sale of an e-cigarette because they found the “potential benefit to smokers who switch completely or significantly reduce their cigarette use…” So why is Congress trying to punish millions of Americans who use vaping as a way to quit cigarettes?
The Folly of the ‘Build Back Better’ Plan’s Nicotine Tax, Mazen Saleh and Pritika C. Kumar, Capital Matters
The BBB plan’s proposed nicotine tax, by contrast, does not discriminate between harmful and reduced-risk products. And as a result, it flies in the face of the FDA’s previous findings. On the one hand, the government recognizes that an ENDS product is “appropriate for the protection of public health,” but on the other, lawmakers seek to tax that same product, raising its price and decreasing its use.
Study challenges concern of e-cigarette use in high school students, Anna Kim, The Brown Daily Herald
In a scenario in which e-cigarettes would have never been made available, “what we see is that youth smoking rates would not have been declining as quickly” as they have with the introduction of e-cigarettes, Sokol said. “I don’t think it’s worth the concern over youth smoking initiation potentially mitigating the public health benefits of e-cigarettes as a cessation aid,” she added. This concern is “overblown.”
Philly rolls back smoking ban at inpatient drug treatment centers, Nina Feldman, WHYY PBS
Of the 112 respondents, just over half said they had left treatment early, against medical advice. Among that group, 85% said the smoking policy was part of the reason they left. Of those considering going to treatment in the coming months, more than half said the smoking policy might or would influence their decision to go into treatment in the next three months.
The obscure UN conflab that seeks to cut off the world from vaping and harm reduction, Yaël Ossowski, The Parliament Magazine
The Filipino delegation, in their video statement to open the conference, said that it was important to recognise vaping devices and “products that deliver a similar satisfaction but with far less harm”. The recognition of this fact — and the potential to save millions of smokers’ lives — by the delegations at the FCTC’s COP9 is realistically the most pressing issue that should be addressed. It is one that millions of vapers, who have added years to their life by switching away from tobacco, should have represented in an international body.
Whether delegations will understand this key point, and whether they will embrace science over prohibitionist ideology, however, remains to be seen.
Biden Announces Nomination of Califf as FDA Commissioner, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360
Califf has strong—and mostly negative—opinions about vaping, and as commissioner would probably support the agency’s current intention to shadow ban flavors by demanding a higher standard of evidence for products that aren’t tobacco-flavored. In the past he has supported making e-cigarettes available only by prescription.
Women’s Voices Among Those Absent at the Global Tobacco Control COP, Helen Redmond, Filter
Of 8 million annual smoking-related deaths worldwide, 1.5 million are women. Yet current strategies specifically to help women who smoke are woefully inadequate. More countries have achieved significant decreases in smoking among men than among women, and most are seeing only a minimal decrease—or even an increase—in women’s smoking.
The WHO Can’t Afford to Get Wrong Again – Yet It Is! Diane Caruana, Vaping Post
Loucas rightly highlighted that COP9 delegates should be open to hearing all the evidence about anything related to tobacco harm reduction, but sadly, the opposite is true. “COP 9 delegates should be open to everything that has the evidence showing reduced harm, and can reduce, and ultimately prevent, eight million annual smoking-related deaths worldwide. Yet they close their minds to vaping as the best emerging tobacco harm reduction solution.”
E-Cigarettes Could Be the New Nicotine Patch, Grace Browne, Wired
Although a contentious issue, the research does suggest that e-cigarettes are an effective tool to quit smoking. A randomized trial in The New England Journal of Medicine found that e-cigarettes do help people quit, and were more effective than traditional smoking cessation aids, such as patches and gum. The latest Cochrane review concluded that nicotine e-cigarettes probably do help people to stop smoking for at least six months, and they probably work better than nicotine replacement therapy and nicotine-free e-cigarettes.
Nicotine Tax: Will it Be in the Final Build Back Better Bill? Jim McDonald, Vaping 360
It’s important for every vaper to contact their elected officials to express opposition to the proposed Build Back Better Act nicotine tax—but emails from residents of Arizona, Nevada and West Virginia are especially crucial at this moment.
Biden’s Vaping Tax Sparks Concerns People Will Go Back to Cigarettes, Jennifer Maloney and Richard Rubin, Wall Street Journal
House Democrats are poised to vote on imposing a new federal excise tax on e-cigarettes—but without a tax increase on traditional cigarettes—leading some public-health experts to warn that the provision could push vapers back to cigarette smoking. The provision is part of the latest version of the party’s social-spending and climate bill that could pass as soon as next week. It faces an uncertain path ahead given opposition in the Senate.
PH commits to science in solving smoking problem, Manila Bulletin
Locsin stressed that the Philippines’ position is for regulation and taxation, noting that a total ban is not under consideration due to the unwanted consequences that it poses. “No extinction by extreme taxation. Bans would only drive operators underground and substitute smuggling. That would further enrich countries that have made tobacco a state monopoly. Why would we allow that?” he said. Locsin said the Philippines is looking forward to a face-to-face meeting at COP 10 to tackle treaty instruments and technicalities. He also reiterated the importance of inclusivity in the discussions.
UK Will Send a Powerful Message by Allowing NHS to Prescribe Vapes, Helen Redmond, Filter
Crucially, this is not a restrictive, prescription-only model like Australia’s: Vapes, including flavors, will still remain fully available for Brits without prescriptions to buy. “While there is good evidence that e-cigarettes available as consumer products can help smokers to quit, we also know that up to one in three smokers in the UK has not tried these devices,” Dr. Linda Bauld of the University of Edinburgh, told the Guardian.
Careless Laws and Rules Push Vaping Toward a Black Market Future, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360
With FDA’s current regulatory decisions forcing closures of legal vape shops and manufacturers, and the ban on U.S. Mail delivery of all vapes drastically impeding legal online sales, illegal markets will expand to capture nicotine product demand among adults too. Congressional passage of a huge nicotine tax (currently included in the Build Back Better bill that will be voted on soon) would virtually destroy the open-system market, pushing many legal sellers to break the law.
The Bloomberg Health Organisation, Christopher Snowdon, Velvet Glove, Iron Fist
There are many occasions that the media has turned a blind eye to pro-vaping reports such as the peer-reviewed publication from 15 past-Presidents of the world’s top professional society in the field of tobacco control, the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT). It is by far the most important publication in the field of tobacco harm reduction since the 2015 report from the UK’s Royal College of Physicians. Yet not one major media outlet has covered it. A more responsible media should investigate evidence fully, consult independent experts who favour tobacco harm reduction (not just opponents), and give equal air to research findings and claims from academic researchers, vape firms, the tobacco industry, and all Bloomberg grantees including the WHO.
The WHO tobacco control treaty meetings are closed bubbles of cultivated groupthink - a comparison with the UN climate change treaty, Clive Bates, The Counterfactual
At the start of COP-9, the head of the FCTC convention secretariat proudly drew a comparison with the other COP, the one going on in Glasgow dealing with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). Perhaps she hoping some of the interest in UNFCCC COP-26 would rub off on the altogether more tawdry FCTC COP-9. But the tobacco COP takes an aggressive exclusionary and insular approach to stakeholders that would never be tolerated in the climate COP. This post compares the two COPs.
Krishnamoorthi Investigates Synthetic Nicotine, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360
As we have explained, synthetic nicotine is about to become a major issue for anti-vaping groups. Soon after the FDA began issuing Marketing Denial Orders (MDOs) in late August to manufacturers of flavored vaping products, TFK and six allied organizations sent a letter to FDA Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock demanding that the agency regulate synthetic nicotine as a drug.
A person familiar with the company’s meeting said Philip Morris told the FDA that Iqos is unique, both in its design and ability to convert smokers. Additionally, the company is arguing that the U.S. International Trade Commission overstepped its bounds, given that the FDA is in charge of regulating which tobacco products and alternatives can be sold, this person said.
WHO’s Global Tobacco Meet Needs A Reset, Samrat Chowdhery, India Ahead
These decisions will further limit access to less harmful ways of nicotine intake, which indirectly helps to perpetuate tobacco-related deaths and disease by removing safer choices and disallowing users to reduce harm. While preventing teen uptake, which underpins these policy initiatives, is an important issue, it needs to be balanced with doing more to prevent the massive tobacco deaths among adults. Both constituents are worth protecting, a goal best achieved through careful policymaking than through bans or sanctions affecting one group in favour of another.
The secret tobacco conference starts today, Christopher Snowdon, Velvet Glove, Iron Fist
The WHO's secretive international tobacco conference COP9 starts today, online only and with the public barred from watching, let alone participating. COPWATCH will be doing its utmost to find out what's going on. Keep an eye on it. In the meantime, I'd like to share an excellent article I recently came across in the Fordham International Law Journal called Administering the Mark of Cain: Secrecy and Exclusion in the FCTC Implementation Process. The author, Gregory F. Jacob, looks at the issue from the perspective of democratic accountability and fair representation. I recommend reading the whole thing, but here are some of the more important passages.
Secretive WHO is ignoring the science on vaping - COMMENT, Mark Oates, Express UK
By ignoring all scientific evidence from success stories like the UK, banning input from consumers and the media and refusing to even consider reviewing its position on vaping, WHO is doing exactly the opposite of what it was designed to. It has a duty to listen to member states and consider their data and results, rather than put fingers in ears and exert pressure on them to do things based on ill-informed, ignorant and inflexible points of view that make no sense.
No ministers from Westminster will be present at COP9, but Britain’s 3.6million vapers should be watching with interest.
It's time to end smoking for good in the UK - with a vaping revolution, Mark Pawsey, Express UK
The UK should be proud of its position as a world leader in the fight against smoking and in embracing every available tool in respect of tobacco harm reduction. Since 2012, with the advent and adoption by Public Health England of vaping, smoking rates have dropped. Elsewhere in the world, similar results have been seen in New Zealand, who’s own health bodies recommend vaping as an effective tool for quitting cigarettes. Contrast this with countries within the EU, which exhibit a more sceptical view on vaping, where we continue to see high smoking rates. India, recently praised by the WHO for banning vaping, has a million smoking deaths per year.
COP9: the Secret Tobacco Control Meeting You Can't Attend, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360
The conference can’t be seen online, and there will be little detailed coverage in the press, because the FCTC doesn’t share the process with the public or news media. The policies and laws the Parties decide on affect more than a billion nicotine users, but they are excluded from participation entirely.
Costa Rica Approves Ban on Vaping in Public Places, Diane Caruana, The Vaping Post
“It is completely in line with the health alert we already issued regarding the use of vaping devices, where we have even been very clear that there is no study that can show e-cigarettes are a smoking cessation therapy. On the contrary, we have to dis-incentivize the use of cigarettes and the use of vaporizers,” added Salas inaccurately.
FCTC COP9: Liberate the vape! Ivo Vegtor, Daily Friend
Next week, the unelected rule-makers whose whims will become law for over a billion smokers around the world, gather in their secret conclave. They should resolve that national health authorities, instead of restricting vaping, should regulate it like coffee. They should resolve that vaping should be actively promoted to smokers as an effective and pleasant means to cut down or quit smoking.
In unusual move, tobacco-maker requests higher tax on cigarettes, The Japan Times
The unusual move by a tobacco-maker comes as Japan is slated to raise its tobacco tax only for heat-not-burn tobacco products in October 2022, which is expected to make some of such products more expensive than cigarettes. British American Tobacco Japan is concerned that this would work negatively for its strategy of shifting its focus from cigarettes to heat-not-burn products.
Quincy Sen. Keenan: Don't let flavored tobacco ban go up in smoke, Chris Lisinski, The Patriot Ledger
One pair of bills would rewrite the flavor ban to limit it to electronic nicotine systems, often known as e-cigarettes or vaping products, rather than all tobacco products. Its backers aim to undo the prohibition of menthol cigarettes. Jon Shaer, executive director of the New England Convenience Store & Energy Marketers Association, told lawmakers that the effort to rein in menthols "has failed in whatever goals it had intended for the products."
Taipei set to ban sale of vaping and heated tobacco products, Huang Tzu-Ti, Taiwan News
A ban on electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) passed the third reading at the Taipei City Council on Wednesday (Nov. 3), positioning the capital to become the first city in Taiwan to outlaw novel tobacco products. The city ordinance stipulates that the manufacture, import, sale, supply, display, or advertising of the products is illegal, while their use is banned within 50 meters of school campuses. The regulation is pending Cabinet approval, wrote CNA.
Urgent! Tell Congress to Kill the Outrageous Nicotine Tax, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360
The proposed tax, which would astronomically increase the cost of low-risk nicotine products like vapes, was added back to the bill today by House Democrats. Advocacy groups like CASAA and the American Vaping Association are urging vapers to take immediate action by calling and emailing their members of Congress today.
Allow Tobacco Harm Reduction for Australians! Andrew Thompson, The THR Blog
The current situation created by legacy laws leaves many Australians who vape (use electronic cigarettes) with nicotine, face the threat of huge fines or jail merely for giving up smoking the “wrong way”. It also stymies the option to use products like Swedish snus, and makes heated tobacco products unavailable for retail sale.
Massachusetts was the first state in the nation to ban the sale of menthol products and flavored tobacco. This session lawmakers are fighting to repeal that decision.
State Senator Ryan Fattman wants to see the state remove it’s ban on menthol products and flavored tobacco so that stores can sell them once again. Over the last year, Massachusetts has seen a 24 percent drop in tobacco sales which means less revenue for the state and for convenience store owners.
Democrats Seek to Build Back Better…on the Backs of Vapers? Christian Josi, PM Media
The vape community on social media — and they are legion — are right now bombarding the Progressive Caucus demanding answers for how poor and minority consumers in those districts are supposed to shoulder this $50 billion monstrosity. The only alternative for most of those folks is returning to the soon-to-be much-cheaper cigarettes. Not a single member of that caucus, though famously also online, has had a syllable to say about it.
HOUSE DEMOCRATS BACK OFF TARGETING BILLIONAIRE TAX SCHEMES AND SWAP IN NEW NICOTINE LEVY, Sarah Sirota and Ryan Grim, The Intercept
The updated legislation made up the revenue lost by going light on those billionaires by expanding tobacco taxes to additional nicotine products, replacing a tax that was highly progressive with one that is highly regressive.
Can We Please Have A Debate About Policy Issues? Fred Roeder Consumer Choice Center
Have you ever attempted to argue with a conspiracy theorist? They don’t all wear tinfoil hats and argue about vaccines or government plots. Some earn paychecks from respectable media outlets. Others are funded by billionaire philanthropists to sow doubt and spin narratives.
The smokers’ death tolls justify your actions, you say. But you do nothing for smokers. Most of them are now within the most precarious and stigmatized populations, and you just don’t care. I agree that the one-size-fits-all “quit or die” vision had some success in developed countries but the number of smokers worldwide has been stable for the last 20 years. It is time to do more. But if you keep doing more of the same thing, you will just get more of the same result. I feel sorrowful that you refuse any innovation just because your spiritual adviser tells you to do so.
FDA Memos Reveal Its “Fatal Flaw” Rejection Plan for Flavored Vapes, Alex Norcia, Filter
Documents obtained by Filter shed new light on how this murky process has looked from the heavily criticized agency’s perspective. For the first time, they also give an indication, from the agency itself, of something else the vaping community has long inferred: that the FDA—despite some protestations to the contrary—has taken a systemically different approach to PMTA applications for the flavored products on which so many former smokers depend.
Oireachtas committee warns against banning e-cigarettes, Niamh Griffin, Irish Examiner
More than one-third of smokers who try to quit using cigarettes opt for e-cigarettes, according to a member of the Department of Health's Tobacco & Alcohol Control unit. The comment was made as part of a discussion on the new Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill, which proposes new retail licensing laws.
What The Democrat Vape Tax Increase Will Actually Mean For Vapers, Tim Andrews, Americans for Tax Reform
Despite this tax not being in the Build Back Better framework at present, it is absolutely vital that vapers continue to let Congress know that under no circumstances should this deadly new tax be brought back to pay for SALT deduction tax cuts for the ultra rich.
The FDA’s Vape Fiasco Will Perpetuate Smoking Deaths, Helen Redmond, Filter
It is striking how rarely in debates around vaping the FDA even mentions the people who die of smoking-related diseases. It’s as if all those lives just disappeared and don’t matter. Media coverage reinforces the FDA’s adult-smoker blindspot. Coverage of the topic presents it as a business story or a political drama, with hot takes on “Big Vape,” Big Tobacco and of course, panic about The Children.
“As long as people are fundamentally misinformed and miseducated about the realities of nicotine, there’s no real way for the harm reduction movement to move all that much further.”
Named by Kenya’s Ministry of Health as the country’s top cause of preventable deaths in 2017, smoking is causing over 8,000 deaths a year, with 18,000 children and 2.1m adults using tobacco every day, generating healthcare and economic costs of almost Sh3bn a year, according to the atlas. Yet Kenya has banned the safer alternatives that most smokers in developed countries have now moved to.
“It’s alarming to know that there are organizations with vested interest throwing their weight on the World Health Organization (WHO) to shape the policies that will be adopted by its member countries,” said Leonardo Montemayor, former agriculture secretary and now board chairman of the Federation of Free Farmers (FFF).
Clouded in Confusion, Timothy S. Donahue, Tobacco Reporter
The FDA’s rationale for banning flavored products is its desire to address what the agency has long described as an “epidemic” of youth vaping. However, recent evidence seems to show that the overall youth use of e-cigarettes in the U.S. is declining. According to the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that youth use of e-cigarettes fell sharply in 2021. It’s the second consecutive year of major declines. Many in the industry say the FDA’s negligence in the PMTA review process and its single-minded focus in preventing youth uptake is going to create additional issues, further clouding the vapor industry’s outlook.
Good COP Distracts From Bad COP – Concerns Grow, sCOPe Press Release, Scoop NZ
A major UN climate change conference may overshadow an equally important World Health Organization conference where decision-makers are likely to ignore scientific evidence, consigning millions of tobacco smokers to an early death, says the organiser of sCOPe - a virtual broadcasting event. sCOPe will be simulcast on Facebook and YouTube from 8 to 12 November. It will focus on COP9, the 9th Conference of Parties for the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) to be held from 8 November.
Malaysia's Proposed Vape Tax Would Strengthen the Black Market, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360
The excitement of last week’s news that Malaysia intends to legalize nicotine vaping has been dampened by details of the finance ministry’s plan. The government is proposing a tax rate so high it would have significant unintended consequences.
by Shane Eubank January 01, 2022
by Brandee Eubank October 31, 2021