Top Vape-Related Articles from December 2020

January 01, 2021

People on bench, graphic by B Eubank

We’ve got one more round-up of the top news in vaping and tobacco harm reduction before we leave 2020 in the rear view. December was an eventful month for vaping, with serious moves to limit the appeal and accessibility of vapour products in countries around the world and particularly North America. Read all about the issues and get involved where you can. 

Happy new year, everyone! Take care, stay informed, and stay safe. 


When There Wasn't Enough Hand Sanitizer, Distilleries Stepped Up. Now They're Facing $14,060 FDA Fees. Jacob Grier, Reason

“Producing sanitizer is viewed as a point of pride in the distilling business, a way that they were able to help their communities in a fearful time of crisis. Now, however, that good deed is being punished with unanticipated fees by the FDA.”


Vaping is safer than smoking but needs to be regulated, Alex Wodak, The Sydney Morning Herald

“Enabling the continued enjoyment of nicotine while minimising the adverse health consequences of smoking, the conventional way of ingesting nicotine, means that vaping is a form of drug harm reduction. At a fraction of the price as cigarettes, and with more options for vapers to choose their nicotine level, flavour and vape device, it is the common sense solution for smokers to quit cigarettes and move to a less harmful alternative.”


How a bungled vaping bill got Hollie Hughes off cigarettes, Rachel Clun, The Sydney Morning Herald

"I had zero intention of quitting," she says, adding her sense of smell has improved and she has no cravings. "I have zero want, need, desire for a cigarette at all, in fact the thought of one makes me feel quite ill."


Filipinos warming up to better alternatives to cigarettes, Business Inquirer

“We all know that the combustion in cigarettes is what is harmful to the health of smokers. To help the 16 million Filipino smokers quit smoking or switch to better alternatives, the regulation of e-cigarettes and other smoke-free alternatives should not be more restrictive than that of combustible cigarettes. We call on the government to follow the lead of other countries that have looked at the evidence for e-cigarettes with an open mind and made decisions that are helping reduce smoking,” Dator said.

This California City Will Let the Neighbors Sue You for Vaping on Your Own Balcony, Christian Britschgi, Reason

“On January 1, the small Bay Area city's ban on smoking in multi-unit properties takes effect. Once it does, anyone living on a property with two or more units—which would include apartment buildings, duplexes, mobile home parks, and residential care facilities—won't be allowed to smoke or vape inside their residence.”


Snus can save the lives of Swedish women. The debaters: Tobacco policy must be based on scientific facts, Aftonbladet (article translated to English from original) 

“It is not possible to get around the fact that Swedish men's tobacco consumption differs from the rest of Europe, while Swedish women's consumption patterns over time are more similar to those in the EU. In plain text: Swedish men use snus while women smoke.”

Trump Signs Budget Bill with Vape Mail Ban Included, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360

“Along with welcome coronavirus economic relief, the 2021 omnibus spending bill that Congress must pass today contains an unwelcome holiday gift for vapers: serious restrictions on vape product shipping that will change the retail vape market for the worse.”

Cochrane Review says nicotine vaping helps smokers stop smoking, New Straits Times

The updated Cochrane Review on Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation, looked at 50 studies that took place in USA, the UK, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Greece, Belgium, Canada, Poland, South Korea, South Africa, Switzerland and Turkey. The review found that e-cigarettes, more commonly known as vape, could be the answer many smokers are looking for.”

Vaping lobby group says feds making it harder for Canadians to quit smoking, Stephen Dafoe, Morinville News

The feds are following a move by Nova Scotia, who in April of this year, instituted a 20mg/mL nicotine cap as well as a flavour ban. VITA says that change in the rules saw a 25 per cent increase in legal cigarette sales increase, an increase four times higher than surrounding provinces. The regulations also resulted in half of the province’s specialty vape shops closing their doors.”

Tainted vapes recalled as Oregon regulators plan wider ban, David Downs, Leafly

Oregon cannabis consumers would be wise to avoid legal vapes labeled with vague ingredients like “natural flavor,” at least until April. That “natural flavor” can actually be a skin moisturizer ingredient derived from shark liver oil—a substance called squalane, or squalene. Burning it could give you a lung injury.


Tobacco Control and “Right of Pleasure”: a perspective, Catania Conversation with Axel Klein

“And yet, anger about historic harms should not be the basis for health policy. Making substances that are hugely popular and that give people great pleasure should not be made illegal. We are have learnt to our terrible cost from the disaster of the war on drugs what the consequences of illegality are – the drugs become more dangerous, the drug dealers grow into an industry and the law enforcement apparatus becomes systematically corrupted. Just as we slowly drag ourselves to normalising cannabis – with the political establishment and all the professional beneficiaries of prohibition kicking and screaming in protest – there are zealots shouting for a ban on tobacco.”

Canada Will Limit E-liquid Nicotine Strength to 20 mg/ml, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360

Discussing the economic effects the rule will have on the industry, Health Canada notes that companies that also sell cigarettes will recoup part of their losses when some smokers switch back to cigarettes—or never try vaping.

“Total profit loss to vaping industry members who are also manufacturers of tobacco products,” the agency writes, “may be mitigated by substitution of tobacco purchases from dual users who would go back to smoking and adult smokers who would continue to smoke instead of switching to vaping products at 20 mg/mL nicotine or below.” 


Canada Proposes Making Quitting Smoking Harder for Adults, Vaping Industry Trade Association

"Considering the disparity of harm between vaping and smoking, we don't understand why the federal government would be using Health Canada resources during a global pandemic to explore making it harder for adult smokers to switch to a reduced risk product," said Daniel David, VITA President.


Canada Gazette, Part 1, Volume 154, Number 51: Concentration of Nicotine in Vaping Products Regulations

Description: The proposed Concentration of Nicotine in Vaping Products Regulations (proposed Regulations) would establish a maximum nicotine concentration of 20 mg/mL for vaping products manufactured or imported for sale in Canada and prohibit the packaging and sale of vaping products if the nicotine concentration displayed on the package exceeds that value. The proposed Regulations would also amend the Vaping Products Labelling and Packaging Regulations (VPLPR) to align with this limit for products intended for the domestic market, while continuing to prohibit a nicotine concentration of 66 mg/mL or more in vaping products intended for export.

Congress replaces war on marijuana with a war on nicotine, Guy Bentley, The Washington Examiner

“On the House floor, numerous congressmen and women gave impassioned speeches as members urged their colleagues to vote for the bill in the name of racial justice, personal choice, public health, scientific research, and protecting youth from unregulated black markets. Ironically, these are the exact arguments that Congress is ignoring in their pursuit of flavored tobacco prohibitions.”


High School Seniors Vaping Less While Smoking, Drinking, Getting Drunk More, Brad Rodu, Tobacco Truth

“Prior to this year, the rate of current smoking (i.e., past 30 days) had been on a precipitous decline.  Smoking rates fell by half from 2015 to 2019, from 11.4% to 5.7%.  Unfortunately, smoking rose to 7.5% in 2020.  At the same time, general vaping declined from 31% to 28%, and nicotine vaping also dropped.”


Denmark Will Ban Flavors and Impose a Huge E-liquid Tax, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360

“Denmark is following through on its promise to prohibit flavored vaping products beginning next year. The Danish Parliament approved the Danish Health Authority’s “Tobacco Action Plan” on Dec. 15, and the new restrictions will begin to go into effect on April 1, 2021.

The new rules prohibit the manufacture of e-liquids in flavors other than tobacco and menthol after April 1, 2021—but they may be sold for one year, until April 1, 2022.”

Documentary Exposes Global Nicotine Misinformation Campaign, Michelle Minton, CEI

“If, as with other substances, we can destigmatize nicotine, society may stop approaching nicotine use and users from a place of fear and control and instead make such decisions based on compassion and respect for individuals’ right to make their own, informed health choices.”

Action Needed NOW to Stop Online Sales Restrictions, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360

“The House of Representatives is finally taking action on S 1253—the “Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act.” But instead of voting on the standalone bill, Democratic House members are attempting to insert the language into the omnibus spending bill, which guarantees it will pass next week. The spending bill, which keeps the government running, will not be opposed by either party or vetoed by President Trump. That’s why it’s crucial that vapers and vaping businesses contact their representatives immediately to demand that the language from S 1253 not be included in the must-pass spending bill.”

Vaping bans a smokescreen for elitist agenda, Michael Graham, Boston Herald

“San Francisco’s proposed ban on vaping — inside your own apartment — is so anti-science, so counter to public health and so God awful stupid that I’m stunned Massachusetts didn’t do it first.”

Tobacco Harm Reduction Expert Points Out CDC’s “Nicotine Brain Fallacy”, Diane Caruana, The Vaping Post

“This nonsense is an affront to 34 million adult current smokers and 55 million former smokers in the U.S., virtually all of whom started when they were teenagers. There is no evidence that their brain development was harmed, a fact that was specifically acknowledged by a prestigious nicotine researcher Dr. Neal Benowitz at an international tobacco meeting this week.”

Fire Incidents in a Mental Health Setting: Effects of Implementing Smokefree Polices and Permitting the Use of Different Types of E-Cigarettes, Debbie Robson, Gilda Spaducci, et al, MPDI

“Implementation of smokefree policies in mental health care settings that support use of all types of e-cigarettes may reduce fire risks, though measures to minimise effects of e-cigarette vapour on smoke detector systems may be needed to reduce false alarm incidents.”

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