Nicotine Science and Policy

By Harry Shapiro Aug. 31, 2023

Harry’s blog 120: Bent as a boomerang: vaping politics in Australia.

Dr Colin Mendelsohn is a well-respected tobacco harm reduction expert who wrote an article for the Australian website Education HQ advising schools on strategies to deal with vaping among students. The article was posted then withdrawn. Dr Mendelsohn received an email from the editor saying: “Unfortunately my managing editor has decided we need to unpublish your article for now, I'm terribly sorry. He is working through a concern that's been raised around your relationship with the vape and tobacco industry.”

Recent GFN-TV Interviews

September 27, 2023 by bbc.com

Vapes '95% safer' than cigarettes messaging backfired

The message that vaping is 95% safer than smoking has backfired, encouraging some children to vape, says a top health expert. Dr Mike McKean treats children with lung conditions and is vice-president for policy at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. He says the 2015 public messaging should have been clearer - vapes are only for adults addicted to cigarettes. Evidence on the possible health risks of vaping is still being gathered.


14.50% of the adult population are current smokers. There are approximately 8.0 million current smokers in United Kingdom.
SOURCE: GSTHR

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September 27, 2023 by nature.com

Smoking, tobacco dependence, and neurometabolites in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex

Cigarette smoking has a major impact on global health and morbidity, and positron emission tomographic research has provided evidence for reduced inflammation in the human brain associated with cigarette smoking. Given the consequences of inflammatory dysfunction for health, the question of whether cigarette smoking affects neuroinflammation warrants further investigation. The goal of this project therefore was to validate and extend evidence of hypoinflammation related to smoking, and to examine the potential contribution of inflammation to clinical features of smoking. [...]



September 27, 2023 by reason.org

Debunking the myth that vaping causes popcorn lung

Popcorn lung, formally known as bronchiolitis obliterans, is a disease that causes an irreversible narrowing of lung airways. This rare condition initially gained media attention in the early 2000s due to a cluster of cases among microwave popcorn plant workers. In recent years, news media have frequently purported a link between the disease and vaping nicotine. But is there really a connection between popcorn lung and vaping?



September 26, 2023 by qeios.com

[Commentary] The WHO strategies to reduce tobacco-related deaths are insufficient

The World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) aims to combat global tobacco-related deaths. While it has reduced smoking in some regions, its overall effectiveness is debated, especially regarding alternative nicotine products like e-cigarettes and Swedish snus. Although the WHO views these as threats, evidence suggests they could aid harm reduction. With differing smoking trends in various countries and emerging evidence supporting alternatives, the upcoming 10th Conference of the Parties (COP10) in Panama represents a crucial juncture to reassess and potentially redefine global tobacco control strategies.


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September 26, 2023 by regulatorwatch.com

Grave Silence | Pressuring FDA to Ignore ‘Relative Risk’ | RegWatch

Now, at the moment when the FDA is finally preparing to tell the public the truth about nicotine vaping products, the American Lung Association is demanding the FDA to strike all mentions of ‘relative risk’ from its new 5-Year Strategic Plan and to abandon “the failed and flawed notions that adult smokers should switch to e-cigarettes.” Joining us today to talk through FDA’s track record on vaping misinformation and the ALA’s shocking demand is Guy Bentley the director of consumer freedom at Reason Foundation and author at Reason Magazine.


12.40% of the adult population are current smokers. There are approximately 33.0 million current smokers in United States.
SOURCE: GSTHR


September 26, 2023 by gfn.tv

FRENCH DISPOSABLE VAPE BAN ON HORIZON

The French government have announced plans to ban disposable vapes, with the Prime Minister citing the 'gateway effect' of vapes leading young people to smoke. In this episode, Will Godfrey debunks outdated notions around the gateway effect, and the reaction of THR experts to this ban.


34.60% of the adult population are current smokers. There are approximately 18.3 million current smokers in France.
SOURCE: GSTHR

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September 25, 2023 by filtermag.org

Dose Makes the Poison: The “Chemicals” Smear Against Vaping

In 1997, a shocking headline in the Washington Post proclaimed, “DIHYDROGEN MONOXIDE: UNRECOGNIZED KILLER.” The article correctly noted that “DHMO” is “implicated” in thousands of deaths, “can cause severe burns” in gas form, and “has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.” For people dependent on DHMO, “complete withdrawal means certain death,” it continued. “Yet the presence of the chemical has been confirmed in every river, stream, lake and reservoir in America.”



September 25, 2023 by who.int

Namibia strengthens tobacco control

The Ministry of Health and Social Services with support from WHO  conducted a five-day tobacco training workshop to strengthen tobacco control measures in the country. Namibia ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in November 2005. [...] the Namibian government banned all tobacco product advertisements in the electronic and print media, billboards and promotion well before the Tobacco Products Control Act of 2010 was signed into law.


17.30% of the adult population are current smokers. There are approximately 263,740 current smokers in Namibia 28.30% of men are current smokers but only 6.30% of women.
SOURCE: GSTHR

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September 25, 2023 by colinmendelsohn.com.au

Switching from smoking to vaping dramatically reduces cancer risk

Cigarette smoke is deadly and contains at least 69 known carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals), many in high doses. [...] Most carcinogens are broken down to other chemicals in the body, known as 'biomarkers'. The dose or level of a biomarker is what determines its cancer risk. This is the key principle of  'the dose makes the poison'. By comparing the levels of cancer biomarkers from smoking and vaping we can compare the cancer risk from smoking versus vaping.


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September 22, 2023 by cnn.com

FDA must do more to penalize retailers that illegally sell tobacco to kids, government review finds

The US Food and Drug Administration needs to take a stronger stance against retailers that illegally sell tobacco products to children, according to a new report from the US Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General (OIG). In a report published Thursday, the OIG says that the FDA didn’t scrutinize repeat violators enough, and in some states, the agency may have been disproportionately focused on sellers in disadvantaged neighborhoods. The report also suggested that the FDA needs to do a better job overseeing online retailers and should work with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to help crack down on online sales to kids.


12.40% of the adult population are current smokers. There are approximately 33.0 million current smokers in United States.
SOURCE: GSTHR


Blogs

Harry’s blog 120: Bent as a boomerang: vaping politics in Australia.

Dr Colin Mendelsohn is a well-respected tobacco harm reduction expert who wrote an article for the Australian website Education HQ advising schools on strategies to deal with vaping among students. The article was posted then withdrawn. Dr Mendelsohn received an email from the editor saying: “Unfortunately my managing editor has decided we need to unpublish your article for now, I'm terribly sorry. He is working through a concern that's been raised around your relationship with the vape and tobacco industry.”

Harry’s Blog 119: Who cares about tobacco control?

Negotiating international framework conventions demanding multi-national agreements is always going to be a challenge. And the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) was no exception. Delegates went into bat armed with all their vested interests, anxious not to displease their political bosses back home. In fact, the most active participants in the smoke-free rooms were the American anti-smoking NGOs, who saw a golden opportunity to influence the global anti-smoking legislative landscape in the face of health-based delegates with no experience of drafting international agreements. Incidentally, neither did the WHO, as this was the world’s first health-focused framework convention.

Harry’s Blog 118: Thirteen ways of looking at a blackbird

But public health communicators have a moral duty simply to present the evidence.

The title of this blog is the title of a famous poem by the American poet, Wallace Stevens. It has been quoted since to symbolise that there are many different perspectives on any number of societal issues – anything from the Trump indictment and conflicts in the Middle East to arguments about nuclear power and re-wilding. So there can be any number of ‘truths’, but when it comes to providing accurate public health information, this must be founded on evidence – not convenient versions of the ‘truth’ to align with moral preferences or vested interests.