Top Vape Articles for March 2020

March 30, 2020

Keenan Constance photo of woman reading newspaper, on Unsplash

We've rounded up some of the most interesting vape articles from March for quick reference. As always, we include a link to the article as well as an excerpt from the piece just below the link for easy browsing. Sally Satel's article, The E-Cigarette Revolution That Wasn't, is a particularly good read as is Jacob Sullum's The CDC's Shift From Vaping to COVID-19 Highlights the Crucial Differences Between Real and Metaphorical Epidemics if you're looking for recommendations. And if you haven't already, you'll of course want to read Public Health England's False fears preventing smokers from using e-cigarettes to quit.

Anti-Vaping Group Suspends Plan to Pay For ‘Mom Tweets’, Michael Graham, Inside Sources

“Confirm that you have never recommended e-cigarettes as a means to quit smoking.” This is an odd request for a group that purportedly wants to reduce the number of smokers, given the studies showing vaping is one of the most successful smoking cessation options.”

CDC priorities left government unprepared for COVID-19, Michelle Minton, Sentinel & Enterprise

“Collectively, they spent billions on anti-vaping advertisements, biased research and lobbying, wasted countless hours of congressional hearing time, and squandering public trust. Had they remained focused on infectious disease, might have been prepared to fight real epidemics, like the COVID-19.”

Media is Woefully Irresponsible on Supposed Link Between Vaping & COVID-19, Elizabeth Sheld, Real Clear Policy

“The COVID-19 pandemic has provided the media another opportunity to foment vaping-related panic. Little is known as to why some victims of this new virus are more afflicted than others. Such ambiguity presents an opportunity for the media to pick up where they left off only months ago when they were ginning up anti-vaping hysteria via a different culprit: illegal, counterfeit THC cartridges.”

Vaping Use Associated with Greater Short-Term Cessation than Counseling, Kevin Kunzmann, MD Mag

“A combination of electronic cigarettes with nicotine and counseling delivered a two-fold greater success rate of smoking cessation than lone smoking cessation counseling, according to new findings from a multi-site trial in Canada.” 

Nigeria is Crying Out for Vapes That Smokers Can Afford, Uche Olatunji, Filter Magazine

“If more smokers are to be encouraged to take up e-cigarettes and other less harmful products, it is necessary not only to proliferate accurate information on these devices, but to ensure that they are easily accessible across the country. Besides a lack of information, there is one major barrier to smokers switching to e-cigarettes in Nigeria: price.”

Many Tokyo bars seek to blow holes in new anti-smoking law, Sokichi Kuroda, The Asihi Shimbun

“According to the Finance Ministry’s Kanto Local Finance Bureau, about 240 places were permitted to sell cigarettes on a consignment basis in Tokyo in fiscal 2018. The number for fiscal 2019 ending in March reached some 1,200 by mid-March.”

Why States Should Scrap Their Online E-cigarette Bans During Coronavirus Pandemic, Guy Bentley, Reason 

“Scrapping online sales bans would help keep vape shops in business and prevent unnecessary trips outside of the home, assisting with social distancing and preventing former smokers who use e-cigarettes from relapsing back to smoking.”

Smoking, vaping and hospitalization for COVID-19, Konstantinos Farsalinos, Anastasis Barbouni, Raymond Niaura

Abstract: The study presents an analysis of the current smoking prevalence among hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in China, compared to the population smoking prevalence in China (52.1% in males and 2.7% in females). Through a systematic research of the literature (PubMed) we identified 7 studies examining the clinical characteristics of a total of 2352 hospitalized COVID-19 patients that presented data on the smoking status.

Local manufacturer answering the call for help with shortage of hand sanitizer amid Coronavirus pandemic, Pamela Vanmeer, Kawartha 411

“DVine Labs in Lindsay is usually pumping out premium e-liquids and solutions for vapes. Over the last few weeks though they have answered the call to help our local medical community as supplies like gloves, face masks and hand sanitizer has dried up.”

Rhode Island Becomes the 3rd State to Ban Vape Flavors, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360

“Rhode Island became the third U.S. state to ban sales of flavored vaping products this week, after Governor Gina Raimondo used the Department of Health to bypass the state legislature and create a permanent rule. The new rule takes effect immediately, and prohibits the sale of any vapor product (including bottled e-liquid) in a flavor other than tobacco.”

Mohawk communities close tobacco shops to limit visits by non-residents amid COVID-19 pandemic, Jessica Deer, CBC

The people coming to the cigarette stores are nothing new, but this whole situation just makes it surreal," he said. "We're trying to lock ourselves down so that people don't get sick and people are wandering around trying to get cigarettes," he said.

Coronavirus Has Closed Vape Shops But Left Cigarettes Readily Available, Alex Norcia, Vice

Vapes are essentially "in the same category as nicotine replacement products," like patches or gum, said Michael Siegel, a professor of community health sciences at Boston University and a longtime tobacco control expert. "It would make sense to treat them in a similar way to pharmacies."

Coronavirus and Vaping: Fear, Confusion, Disinformation and Lies, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360

“Glantz’ specialty is assuming that known or suspected effects of smoking apply equally to vaping—or, at least, that his audience will accept that they do. In fact, those connections are tenuous at best, and based largely on mouse studies that can’t be assumed to apply to humans.”

The E-Cigarette Revolution That Wasn't, Sally Satel, National Affairs

"Tobacco controllers, like tobacco companies before them, obscured, rather than advanced, health literacy. In the more-immediate policy sphere, bans on flavors and restricted access to e-cigarettes will cause many to revert to smoking or to patronize illicit markets. With policymakers and politicians so woefully misinformed about the virtues and realistic risks of vaping, it is no surprise if they fail to appreciate the magnitude of the dangers that their restrictive policies pose."


“The spread of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic provides fertile ground for spreading misinformation on vaping. Vapers must be equipped with solid information and data to counter argue.”

States must scrap online e-cigarette bans during coronavirus pandemic, Guy Bentley, Washington Examiner

“But amid the outbreak of a highly contagious respiratory disease, online bans are even more counterproductive. Although the evidence is not clear on whether smoking raises the risk of the coronavirus, it's a good idea for smokers who can't quit or vapers who may relapse to have access to a dramatically safer product.

Can We Trust Scott Gottlieb After He Caused a Moral Panic About Vaping? Tristan Justice, The Federalist

“Gottlieb coordinated a mass panic over vaping and never led an active effort against an infectious disease outbreak. The idea that he is now supposed to be taken seriously in the midst of a global pandemic over the Wuhan virus credits him with a level of expertise he has not earned, and ignores the many exaggerations and untruths he advanced on the vaping issue.”

Amid Coronavirus, What Are the Risks to Vapers? Sally Satel, The Dispatch

"Dubious advice to vapers in the midst of the pandemic is, lamentably, consistent with a well-established pattern of misinformation regarding the subject of e-cigarettes and vaping." 

A Scientist Persuaded Italy to Exempt Vape Shops From COVID-19 Lockdown, Helen Redmond, Filter

“To stem the spread, the government adopted some of the most stringent measures in the world, banning all public gatherings, closing schools and shutting down most commercial businesses, including bars and restaurants. Vape shops were originally included but are now exempt.”

There Are Anti-Vaping P.S.A.s on YouTube. There’s a Lot More Vaping. Alex Norcia, The New York Times Magazine

“The two young men can’t contain their laughter. What they’re joyfully scrutinizing is a public-service announcement by Truth, an anti-nicotine initiative known for making didactic pleas aimed at teenagers.”

The CDC's Shift From Vaping to COVID-19 Highlights the Crucial Differences Between Real and Metaphorical Epidemics, Jacob Sullum, Reason

The CDC's switch from vaping to COVID-19 highlights the moral and practical differences between actual epidemics and metaphorical epidemics of risky behavior, both of which fall under the all-encompassing umbrella of "public health."

Reading, writing, arithmetic, and vaping, Hans Madsen, The Messenger

“We have in the past year confiscated several vaping devices,” Wood said.  “We have seen a decline, though.” Jesse Ulrich, superintendent of the Fort Dodge Community School District, said it’s seen in Fort Dodge as well. He said that it’s part of students testing boundaries.

During a Coronavirus Pandemic, AAAS Tries to Create Scares About Thirdhand Vaping, Hank Campbell, Science 2.0

“But third-hand smoke lacks even the logical foundation - it's still smoke - that made secondhand smoke worth studying, yet found no deaths.(2) Which means it is simply ridiculous belief in particulate homeopathy.”

Scientists Say Another Panic Fueling Vaping Study Needs to be Retracted, Alex Norcia, Vice

"The authors of this paper tried some statistical voodoo to separate out the effect of vaping itself from what vaping tells us about the person, but they were found to have rigged the calculation to show vaping was the reason for the smoking," Bates said. 

Vape taxes may boost cigarette sales, study finds, Shaunice Ajiwe, The Temple News

“As local and state governments across the United States move to tax or discourage vaping, recently released research co-authored by Catherine Maclean, a Temple University economics professor, suggests that raising taxes on e-cigarettes may lead people to buy more cigarettes.”

COVID-19 and Tobacco Harm Reduction: What’s the Relationship, Michael McGrady, Filter

Marewa Glover, a behavioral scientist and director of the New Zealand-based Centre of Research Excellence: Indigenous Sovereignty and Smoking, believes such messaging to be harmful.“This is typical tobacco control exploiting what is a tragic unexpected outbreak,” she told Filter.

The CDC’s coronavirus failure was predicted by its VAPI response, Bruce Barcott, Leafly

“During that VAPI crisis, as we’re seeing now with COVID-19, top federal officials refused to consider any information that originated outside the borders of the United States.”

Flavored Tobacco Ban Is a Pandora’s Box, Michael McGrady, Inside Sources

"Members of the Congressional Black Caucus voiced concern over how the bill would affect over-policed communities of color and could further embolden the failed war on drugs. Similar sentiments were expressed for mental health patients, veterans, the elderly and LGBTQ communities."

Engage with smokers, urges anti-smoking expert, Sachi Satapathy, Asia Times

“In public health, we have a tendency to treat all smokers alike. Every smoker is an individual with their own needs and preferences. Every smoker that I have come across in both my professional and personal life has tried to quit, but as we all know, it’s not easy.” 

Smoking, vaping and the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic: rumor vs evidence, Dr. Farsalinos, E-cigarette research

“I wonder, what is the reason for considering valid and reporting statements made by people who have zero background on public health issues?”

Vaping groups: Retracted study on e-cigs validates concerns, Business Mirror

“We believe that any study should be based on sound methodologies, validated equipment and internationally recognized practices. We are concerned by the growing number of studies that, like the Bhatta-Glantz study, do not meet these criteria, and whose communications may mislead smokers, vapers and the public in general.”

Are E-Cigarette Regulations Jeopardizing the Public Health? A Review of the Evidence and Policy Missteps, The American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research

“Overzealous or poorly designed restrictions on vaping, combined with misleading information about e-cigarettes’ true health risks, are deterring smokers from pursuing a potentially life-saving alternative. This report debunks common misunderstandings about e-cigarettes and highlights e-cigarettes’ untapped potential to mitigate the harm done by combustible tobacco products.”

Anti-smoking group calls Quit Group spending 'deplorable waste', The Morning Report, RNZ (Audio)

“Yesterday RNZ revealed that five years after Quit Group ceased to function, it continues to pay board members tens of thousands of dollar a year from funds that were not invested in smokefree services.”

Foundation for a Smoke-Free World - the mob behaviour of tobacco control, Clive Bates, the Counterfactual

“The bloodlust of the critics of the Foundation on display here is vile – an unethical and mindless reflex response to innovation.  The tobacco warriors are now explicitly defining their mission as a war on Big Tobacco, and not a war on disease.”

Vaping is a gateway OUT OF smoking for young people, Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association

VAPING is likely to be diverting young people from smoking, rather than being a gateway to the deadly habit, according to new research. There is also scant evidence of a so-called “youth vaping epidemic”. 

False fears preventing smokers from using e-cigarettes to quit, Public Health England

“Public Health England’s (PHE) sixth independent e-cigarette report, commissioned from researchers at King’s College London, is published today (Wednesday 4 March 2020) alongside new PHE advice on vaping in NHS mental health trusts.”

Summary of results for the Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey 2018-19

The 2018-19 Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey (CSTADS), previously called the Youth Smoking Survey (YSS), is the tenth cycle of data collection on student tobacco, alcohol, and drug use.

New Jersey cig tax hike could cost the state $47 million | Opinion, Michael Lafaive Todd Nesbit

“One estimate suggests the state could reap $218 million more revenue from the tax hike. We do not agree with that assessment, given the rampant smuggling that is likely to occur. We expect the tax increase to cost the state a net $47 million, a 7% decline in revenue, as legal paid sales plummet in favor of other options, such as buying smuggled smokes.”

Annual Report of MultiAgency  Illegal Tobacco Task Force, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

“While these efforts have shown tangible results in the form of increased tobacco excise tax collections in the segment of the market on which the Task Force has focused its efforts (so called “other tobacco products” or “OTP”), 8 they have also exposed limitations in the Commonwealth’s regulatory regime as it relates to OTP and electronic nicotine delivery systems commonly known as “vape” or “vapor products,” as well as the need for a dedicated storage facility to allow for increased investigations and seizures.”

We hope that you enjoy the articles and pass along ones that particularly interest you. If we've missed any articles from March that you feel should have been highlighted, by all means let us know. 

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