Top Vape Articles and News from September 2020

October 02, 2020

Sara Kurfess photograph of library, from Unsplash

Back by popular demand, we’ve rounded up some of September’s best articles and opinion pieces on vaping and tobacco harm reduction. This is by no means a complete round-up, the news cycle was quite busy in September, but we’ve done our best to pull a wide variety of interesting and important pieces. Of note, two articles include a call to action and we have highlighted them for quick reference. 

Federal Appeals Court Hears Deeming Rule Challenge, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360

A recent rulemaking policy change by the Trump administration may have been partially prompted by concern over a vaping industry lawsuit challenging the FDA Deeming Rule. That lawsuit is currently being appealed on the grounds that the old rulemaking procedure is unconstitutional. If the vaping industry plaintiffs are successful, the case could open the floodgates for challenges to other rules issued by federal agencies.

European Commission SCHEER scientific opinion on e-cigarettes - a guide for policymakers, Clive Bates, The Counterfactual

Having been a civil servant from 2003 to 2012, I’ve seen quite a lot of scientific assessment designed to inform policymaking. But I have rarely seen anything quite as misjudged, poorly executed and unhelpful as this – it simply does not shine any useful light on the actual scientific issues policymakers have to address.

Pot experimentation more likely than tobacco, study of Canadian students finds, Kevin Connor, Toronto Sun

Canadian high school students are more likely to light up a joint than smoke a cigarette, a Public Health Agency study says. The study found 17% of high schoolers had tried marijuana compared to only 2% who smoked cigarettes on a daily basis, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.

Patterns of e-cigarette use and subsequent cigarette smoking cessation over two years (2013/2014 to 2015/2016) in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, Allison Glasser et al, PubMed

Smoking cessation was more likely among frequent e-cigarette users, users of e-cigarettes in last quit attempt, and users of flavored and rechargeable devices. Less frequent, unstable, past or never e-cigarette users were less likely to quit smoking.

A vaping flavour ban sets back public health, David Clement, Michael Landl and Yael Ossowski, The Parliament Magazine

Despite vaping’s efficacy as a harm reduction tool, it has become a target for politicians and activists, with new regulations, restrictions and bans popping up around the world. Right now the prime target for legislators is flavoured vaping products.

GNWT seeks feedback on sale of vaping products with online survey, Craig Gilbert, YellowKnifer, NNSL Media

The Department of Health and Social Services is asking NWT residents for input on the development of new regulations under the Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act, which came into effect at the end of March, respecting the sale of flavoured vapour products.

Australia Proposes a Vape Prescription Plan… Seriously, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360

Australia is tentatively planning to make nicotine-containing vaping products available with a prescription at pharmacies beginning next June. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced the plan today, but will accept public comment on the process until Nov. 6, and issue a final rule by the end of the year. … Vaping advocates have a short three months to stop Greg Hunt’s import ban, and barely more than a month to flood the TGA with comments on its proposed nicotine plan.

Vaping helps people quit but government doesn’t care, Vikki Campion, The Daily Telegraph

“It should be outside the remit of government to decide people’s access to nicotine on the basis they deem it immoral.”

Time ripe for inclusion of harm reduction in tobacco control policy, Shahina Maqbool, The News International

Islamabad : With the draft National Tobacco Control Policy in the process of being finalized, the time is just right for Pakistan to incorporate the concept of harm reduction as a key component of the policy, thereby enabling smokers to quit or to switch over to alternatives that are proven to be less damaging than combustible cigarettes.

Reversing Fortunes in Tobacco Harm Reduction, Brandee Eubank, Controversial by Default

There are credible rumblings that the federal government will be revisiting the regulation of nicotine vaping in Canada. If sources are correct, we can expect a release in the Gazette in October following the resumption of parliament with a second release closer to year end.

Anti-tobacco Crusader Stanton Glantz Retires Suddenly, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360

Glantz’ hatred of the tobacco industry led him to produce research on secondhand smoke that was later shown to be overstated and probably deceptive. But smoking bans were passed across the country based on Glantz’ and others’ assertions that secondhand smoke kills.

Rutgers-Led National Survey Uncovers Doctors' Misconceptions About Nicotine Risks, Modesta (Maud) Alobawone, Rutgers Today

Most physicians mistakenly believe that nicotine leads to cancer, and heart and respiratory diseases, according to a Rutgers-led national survey, even though it is the toxic substances in cigarette smoke and not the nicotine that causes the primary health risk. 

Loveland council expresses discomfort over proposed vaping flavor ban, Max Levy, Loveland Reporter-Herald

“I’ve gone back and forth I can’t tell you how many times,” Wright said. “I do want to keep it out of the hands of kids, but … like Art says, prohibition has never worked.”

Flavour Bans Vetoed in Florida, Passed in Chicago, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360 

In one case, people who vape and smoke were well-served by the clear-headed decision of a political leader. In the other, those groups were let down yet again by a political body known for its shady backroom deals.

Harry’s Blog 104: Baptists and Bootleggers, Harry Shapiro, Nicotine Science and Policy

In the apparent absence of any heavyweight champions of THR with their faces in high places, serious collective pressure needs to be applied by the thousands of individual health professionals having to treat the fall-out from smoking-related disease. Sadly, the prospects for that are not promising.

Op-Ed: The war on tobacco is just making criminals rich, Paul Wallis, Digital Journal

The original Prohibition on liquor didn’t work. The War on Drugs was lost. The prohibition by pricing of tobacco has handed billions of dollars to organized crime.

Vaping restrictions: is priority to the young justified? Monica Magalhaes, PhD, Sci-Hub

This paper surveys the main bioethical arguments for prioritizing giving health benefits to the young, and finds that none can justify prioritizing dependence prevention over harm reduction: any reasons for prioritizing the current cohort of young people at risk from vaping equally apply to current adult smokers, who are overwhelmingly likely to have become nicotine-dependent in their own youth. 

Bad Data and Bad Conclusions Will Lead to Bad Policy – Implausible Claims that Vaping Increases COVID-19 Risk for Youth and Young Adults, Joe G. Gitchell et al, Qeios

In this brief peer review, we argue that the data reported by Gaiha et al ( regarding associations between vaping and COVID-19 testing are so suspect that any conclusions drawn from it cannot be relied upon. We discuss six main areas of concern and conclude that the paper should be retracted.

Does e-cigarette experimentation increase the transition to daily smoking among young ever-smokers in France? Sandra Chyderiotis et al, NIH

Our results found no evidence of an increased risk of transitioning to daily smoking at 17 among ever-smokers who also experimented with e-cigarettes.

E-cigarette use and COVID-19 in youth and young adults: serious questions about data reliability and call for retraction, Konstantinos Farsalinos and Raymond Niaura, Qeios

In a recent study, Gaiha et al. examined the association between e-cigarette use and COVID-19 in an online cross-sectional study of people aged 13-24 years conducted from May 6 to May 14, 2020. We have noticed serious issues in population weighting, response bias and biological implausibility. The suggested conclusions and interpretation of the study findings cannot be considered reliable. These issues raise the question of retracting the study. 

Teen Vaping Declined 29% in 2020, CDC Survey Shows, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360

New survey results released by the CDC show a 29 percent drop in teenage vaping from 2019 to 2020, bringing it to levels last seen before 2018. Of course, the CDC and FDA have chosen another way to present the results.

Majority of Surveyed Doctors Misattribute Tobacco Harms to Nicotine, Staff Filter, Filter

Misperceptions go beyond doctors. Other medical professionals have been shown to misunderstand nicotine. A 2007 study found that 60 percent of surveyed nurses falsely believed it to be a carcinogen. And in the general population, marginalized groups, including people of color, are more likely to miss the critical piece of harm reduction information that nicotine is not a cause of cancer, according to a 2017 study.

The Double Standards of Cannabis and Nicotine, Michelle Minton, Competitive Enterprise Institute

Nicotine vapor products or “e-cigarettes” are not only a source of pleasure, but also a critical tool that has helped millions of adults kick their deadly smoking habit. Yet, at the same time that public and political support for legalizing recreational cannabis has soared, so also have calls to virtually eliminate or prohibit legal access to potentially life-saving nicotine vapor products.

Italy: Annual Report of Italian Customs and Monopoly reveals a drastic drop in cigarette sales, CoEHAR

Campaigns to sensitize consumers on the harmful effects of smoking have been in place for decades, but never had such significant effects on the decline in the consumption of conventional cigarettes – explains Prof. Riccardo Polosa, founder of CoHEAR, the Center of Excellence for Harm Reduction at the University of Catania – this is mostly due to the sharp increase in the use of products that dispense nicotine without combustion, which are less harmful than traditional cigarettes. A result that must drive institutions to pay attention to the revolution already underway” concluded Prof. Polosa.

As always, if we've missed any important work that you feel should have been included but wasn't, feel free to email us at saddlehorseblues @ 

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