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June 01, 2020
Another month, another fantastic line-up of vaping and tobacco harm reduction related articles. While most of the round-up is from May, we couldn’t resist starting off the reading list with an article published on June 1st from the EH News Bureau. The article sums up sentiments around the WHO’s anti-vaping agenda and its very real consequences. In more must-read content, see Jim McDonald’s article A Look Back at CDC’s Award-Nominated “EVALI” Response, complete with timeline. Jim examines the absurdity of nominating Dr. Peter Briss and the CDC Lung Injury Response team for a Service to America medal after their disastrous handling of the so-called EVALI crisis.
As always, we hope that you enjoy browsing the articles. Share your favourites and help to promote evidence-based reporting.
WHO would miss key international objectives for reducing cancer, heart, lung disease caused by tobacco: Experts, EH News Bureau
“Experts say they are exasperated by the WHO’s dogmatic hostility towards new technology and fear the UN health agency will squander the opportunity to avoid millions of premature deaths that will be caused by smoking.”
New Study Underscores How Heated Tobacco Products Are Disrupting the Cigarette Industry, ACN Newswire
"We have seen the most rapid decline in cigarette sales ever witnessed in a major market. A third of the cigarette market was gone in a remarkably short period of time, and this was accomplished with a non-coercive measure. People who smoke cigarettes were simply provided with a viable alternative."
No association between moist oral snuff (snus) use and oral cancer: pooled analysis of nine prospective observational studies, Marzieh Araghi et al, Scandanavian Journal of Public Health
“Conclusions: Swedish snus use does not appear to be implicated in the development of oral cancer in men.”
NNA Webinar, Dave Cross, Planet of the Vapes
“The New Nicotine Alliance (NNA), Britain’s foremost charity working to improve the understanding of nicotine and tobacco harm reduction, is inviting people to an online webinar discussion with Clive Bates, Director of Counterfactual Consulting and former Director of Action on Smoking and Health.”
NNA Webinar Registration
All Hands on Deck: Tomorrow is World Vape Day! Jim McDonald, Vaping 360
“Saturday, May 30 is World Vape Day. It’s a day of recognition for the technology that has helped millions of people stay off combustible tobacco, and a celebration of the people who fight for smokers to have access to these livesaving products. It’s also intended to raise awareness about the relative safety of vaping, and convince smokers to try tobacco harm reduction (THR) with a vape.”
How the tobacco ban is affecting recovering drug addicts such as myself, Anonymous Recovering Addict
“Cigarettes and tobacco are the things we struggle to let go of because of our struggle with hard street drugs. It's one of those things that keep us calm. Mr President, the ban has not stopped us from getting tobacco products. We are finding them; we are street-wise.”
World Vape Day
“For many years, May 30th has been recognized as National Vape Day in several countries (first Spain, then joined by many Latin American countries). This year, THR organisations across the world have joined together to proclaim May 30th as World Vape Day.”
Latest PATH Findings: E-Cigarette Use Increasing, But Less Likely To Lead To Long-Term Habit, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
“The most surprising finding was that while we know cigarette smoking is persistent, and we see use of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, increasing, especially among young people, what we are not seeing is that e-cigarette use is anywhere near as persistent as cigarette smoking,” says Andrew Hyland, PhD, Chair of Health Behavior at Roswell Park and scientific lead on the PATH Study.
How South Africa’s Coronavirus Tobacco Prohibition Backfired, Alex Norcia, Filter
“There is no study that if you ban legal cigarettes, habitual smokers are just going to stop smoking,” said Tony Leon, South Africa’s former leader of the opposition from 1999 to 2007 and now the executive chairman of the communications firm Resolve. “There are 11 million smokers in this country. This ban has not turned them into 11 million nonsmokers.”
#TobaccoExposed: WHO violates the Framework Convention on Tobacco, Phillippe Poirson, Vapolitics
“In the sensationalist vein, the new anti-vape charge of the WHO management takes emotional hostage through photo-montages of young children , to claim that vaping leads to smoking. It is simply lying.” (Google translation from French.)
Michigan Appeals Court Leaves Whitmer’s Flavor Ban on Hold, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360
“For the fourth time, a court has ruled against Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in her attempt to impose an emergency ban on flavored vaping products. Michigan vaping businesses will continue to sell flavored e-liquid until a final decision is made in the lawsuit brought against the governor by vaping businesses.”
New Report Exposes Onerous Overregulation From the Administrative State, Tristan Justice, The Federalist
“Overregulation could very soon force these life-saving tools innovated to combat the greatest cause of preventable death in the United States back onto the black market, given they are relatively easy to manufacture at home, raising concerns of another outbreak of contaminated cartridges as were found in illegal THC pods last fall.”
Commentary: E-cig panic made things worse, Michael Siegel, The Times and Democrat
“What the CDC failed to tell the public until nearly the end of the outbreak, and what many state health departments have still not publicly revealed, is that the lung illness outbreak was not caused by electronic cigarettes at all.”
Report submitted to Health Canada in May of 2019, Thomas Kirsop, ShopTalk
“The public health risks of vaping in comparison to smoking are often not communicated as effectively due to the primary focus continually being redirected to the potential (and in some cases, theoretical) absolute risks of vaping; particularly with regards to youth. However, this does not mean that we are bereft of information on both the absolute, and the comparative risks of vaping.”
Vape-friendly Aussie quit guidelines receive WHO award, Australia Tobacco Harm Association
“The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has been named as a recipient of the WHO World No Tobacco Day awards for the latest update of its smoking cessation guidelines.The new guidelines acknowledge a role for vaping in helping smokers quit based on a rigorous review of the scientific evidence.”
The Technopolitics of Nicotine Replacement from Nicorette® Gum to E-Cigarettes, Mark Elam
University of Gothenburg and the IT University of Copenhagen
“However, if after 2000 we have witnessed a gradual shift towards post-therapeutic innovations in nicotine replacement, then the e-cigarette has mainly been responsible for this trend.”
Accelerating an end to smoking: a call to action on the eve of the FCTC’s COP9, Derek Yacht
Promote multi-sectoral engagement: develop an agenda for tobacco and related nicotine delivery companies Governments play a key role in tobacco control – but they cannot end smoking alone. In considering how to combat the damage brought by the tobacco industry, we may benefit from the lessons of other industries that have negative impacts on health or the environment.
Watch Panel Discussion: Vaping, Tobacco Harm Reduction and the Coronavirus Pandemic, Guy Bentley, Reason Foundation
The panel features discussion with Guy Bentley, Sally Satel, Michelle Minton, and Tim Andrews
PuffPacket: A Tobacco Harm Reduction Gadget, Despite Inventors’ Intent, Helen Redmond, Filter
“If vapers want to use PuffPacket to taper off nicotine that is fine, and it’s also fine if they don’t. Such devices have the potential to help vapers maintain an adequate nicotine dose and not return to smoking. That is tobacco harm reduction—no matter the intentions of PuffPacket’s inventors.”
Why Policymakers Are Wrong to Use the Coronavirus Crisis to Ban Vaping, Jacob James Rich, The National Interest
With the U.S. devastated by more than 80,000 coronavirus deaths as of May 11, tobacco controllers are making sure not to let a crisis go to waste. Despite absolutely no scientific evidence suggesting that e-cigarettes increase one’s susceptibility of contracting coronavirus, government officials in states like New York have used the pandemic to justify banning all flavored vaping products.
Smoke, not nicotine, causes death – expert, The Manila Times
“Our bodies are simply not designed to inhale smoke. We see similar disease patterns in those who cook food over open fires with poor ventilation and in firefighters exposed long-term to smoke inhalation,” said Sweanor. He said it was the tar from combustion, and not nicotine, that contained carcinogens and toxicants.
Rona Ambrose, Canada's former health minister, joins e-cigarette company Juul's board of directors, Sarah Rieger, CBC News
"Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the world, and supporting the potential of harm reduction for adult smokers is an important goal for individuals and health systems," Ambrose said in an emailed statement.
Why Vaping, Chronic Pain Patient, and Harm Reduction Advocates Need to Join Hands, Daniel Garrett, Tennessee Harm Reduction
“Why haven’t we begun associating harm reduction with vaping or chronic pain patient advocacy on a widespread scale yet? Some of us have, but the vast majority of us haven’t.”
State spending on traditional smoking cures for medical card holders shoots up, Ferghal Blaney, Irish Times
“If the HSE moved to endorse vaping as a means of quitting smoking they would save millions of euro, increase the effectiveness of their programs, help more people quit smoking, and move the country closer to being ‘tobacco free’ by 2025 , all of which would seem to be things we should be supporting.”
Smoke and mirrors: 4 minutes – that's how long it took to find banned cigarettes during lockdown, Alex Mitchley and Murray Williams, SA News 24
Across South Africa in general, cigarettes were four times easier to access than alcohol – the sale of which is also banned, the data showed. "One in five people in South Africa currently smoke, and approximately one in ten smokers were able to access cigarettes during lockdown. The continued access to cigarettes in informal settlements could imply informal trade," the HSRC said.
California the Latest to Propose Higher Vapor Taxes, Ulrik Boesen, Tax Foundation
Nicotine is the addictive substance in the products, but not the main harmful ingredient. In other words, the governor’s proposal does not target the harmful behavior.
The Australian Approach to Tobacco Harm Reduction Is Even More Misguided Than the US Approach, Alex Wodak and Colin P. Mendolsohn
“The recent US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance for industry, “Enforcement Priorities for Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) and Other Deemed Products,” is based on a ﬂawed risk analysis. The guidance emphasizes the small risks to youths while underestimating the huge beneﬁts of tobacco harm–reduction for adult smokers.The net public health impact will most likely be negative.”
A Look Back at CDC’s Award-Nominated “EVALI” Response, Jim McDonald, Vaping 360
“You might think the CDC team that investigated the outbreak of lung injuries would be hiding in a cave somewhere, avoiding recognition, hanging their heads in shame. Not only did they spend months shamelessly misleading the public about the cause of “EVALI,” they also took almost that long to “discover” what just about everyone else already knew.”
Prevalence of Current Smoking and Association with Adverse Outcome in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Konstantinos Farsalinos, Konstantinos Poulas, Ricardo Polosa, et al
“The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence and effects of current smoking on adverse outcomes among hospitalized COVID-19 patients.”
Tobacco smoking and the risk of Parkinson disease, Benjamin Mappin-Kasirer, MSc, Hongchao Pan, DPhil, et al, American Academy of Neurology
“Incontrasttoprevioussuggestions,thepresentreportdemonstratesacausallyprotectiveeﬀect of current smoking on the risk of PD, which may provide insights into the etiology of PD.”
Mzansi Turns To Making Homemade Cigarettes From Tea. Here Is How. (written by “Observer” for iHarare)
“Over 300,000 people from across the country have signed a petition on Change.org, with petition creator Bev Maclean saying that smokers were only given one days’ notice, “which is really unfair and spiteful”. The lack of nicotine has forced South Africans to turn to homemade cigarettes using tea.”
We Gotta Start Associating Harm Reduction With Tobacco and Vaping More, Daniel Garrett, Tennessee Harm Reduction
With such barriers in mind, it’s absolutely essential that we actively start involving tobacco and vaping in general harm reduction messaging. And, I’d go as far to say that harm reductionists, as individuals, should strive to associate entry-level harm reduction applications — or low-hanging fruit on the proverbial harm reduction tree, in other words — like switching to vaping from smoking or making sure to pace alcohol consumption and drink water in between every alcoholic drink, for example, with the phrase “harm reduction.”
Anti-Smoking Expert All Wet (Feb. 25, 1998), Warren Hinckle, Anderson Valley Advertiser
What do you do when you have to say, “I’m sorry”? If you’re the professor who holds the anti-smoking chairmanship at the University of California, San Francisco, you say it in small print, duck under your academic propeller beanie, and hope no one notices.
Nicotine Policy Should Not Be Exempt from Science, Jeff Stier, Pundicity
While much is unknown about Covid-19, there seems to be one point that most scientist and policy-makers seem to agree upon, at least in principle. Policy should be confined to the evidence. There's no reason policy related to nicotine products should be any different.
On Conservatism, Government Accountability and Viral Policing Videos (Part II), Arthur Rizer and Jonathan Haggerty, R Street
“Puzzlingly enough, those on the left quickest to decry police violence are usually the ones behind the nationwide push to ban all kinds of tobacco products.
It’s the opinion of these authors that such policies cultivate these encounters. Bans on products with strong demand and few substitutes tend to only mildly reduce consumption, if at all, and encourage underground sales.”
Nicotine and Covid-19: the world needs Sweden’s help, Mark Oates, Snusforumet
With such a large sample size of non-smoking nicotine users, Sweden is in a unique position to add to the growing body of research regarding nicotine and its potential effects on the coronavirus.
Pro-pot, Nathan Fletcher goes after vaping, Ken Leighton, San Diego Reader
“They are trying to force people to stop vaping, but this will not do it.”
We cannot talk about the correlation between smoking and COVID-19. Li Volti: “We only create confusion”, CoEHAR
“A recent study by Prof. Brake SJ studied the correlation between smoking and the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 and its implications to COVID-19. The author’s hypothesis suggests an increased risk of COVID-19 for smokers. But it is not so.
This is demonstrated with a new publication by researchers at CoEHAR.”
In light of COVID-19, what does banning flavored vaping achieve? Yaël Ossowski, Newsday
“At a time when New York’s hospitals are overburdened with coronavirus patients, is this really the time for a ban that effectively creates a novel black market for unregulated flavored vaping products?”
Deadly agency nominated for award, Christopher Snowdon, Velvet Glove, Iron Fist
The CDC's misinformation last autumn almost certainly killed people. The idea that anyone at the agency be rewarded for their response is a sick joke.
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