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- ALL AUTHORS - - Nicotine Science and Policy

Remembering the Oft Forgotten

Significant progress has been made in reducing smoking prevalence within the United Kingdom but the benefits have not fallen fairly across all groups. Smoking rates amongst those with personal incomes under £10,000 per annum is more than double of those with incomes over £40,000. However, there are other groups with rates higher still, for example people experiencing mental ill health have a smoking prevalence rate double the population average. Amongst those who are homeless or rough sleeping we see even higher rates, in many instances services report that all their clients smoke.

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Gillian Golden, from the Irish Vape Vendors Association, on why you should attend the GFN Dialogue in Dublin

We already know the benefits to a smoker when they leave smoking behind; vapers are keen to tell us the benefits they accrue. Empowering smokers to transition to these safer products is a huge source of pride for those of us who work in the independent vape industry.

A myriad of studies, evidence reviews and now, replications of previous flawed research, all reinforce that vaping is far safer compared to smoking. The research by institutions such as the Royal College of Physicians, London, Public Health England, St Andrews University in Scotland, Cancer Research UK and many others continue to inform just how much safer. Long term studies by Professor Riccardo Polosa’s team at the University of Catania in Italy even found that smokers with asthma and COPD can reverse the harms caused by their smoking once they switch to vaping. This is all very good news.

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Banning e-cigarettes is no solution to the huge health burden of tobacco use in India

Scientists appeal for conducting India centric research before deciding on any hasty move

India has the second largest cigarette smoking population in the world. Added to which is a large population consuming tobacco in other forms such as the local non-cigarette alternatives including bidi, hukkah and chilam, and tobacco/Areca nut based chewing products. These products have been proven to be major causes of oral, oropharyngeal and lung cancers, as well as other health issues. For an overview of tobacco use in India see here.

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GFN taking the debate on vaping on the road

In March the GFN team organised a series of three dialogues in the UK to explore ‘How safe is vaping? Media coverage, dilemmas and solutions in work and social spaces’ These, each hosted by local partners, took place in Leicester, Liverpool and Glasgow.

The format was for a panel of leading thinkers and advocates to give short introductions, followed by a discussion involving the audience. Each event was designed to last for about 2 hours.

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GFN UK Dialogues 2017

Paddy Costall | 6 March 2017

As one of the organisers of the Global Forum on Nicotine, it is easy to get caught up in the debates that take place around international issues, which arise from FCTC COP meetings, or the responses and campaigning relating to the TPD, the FDA Deeming Regulations, or TGA position on nicotine in Australia. What can get forgotten in all of this is the daily impact of laws and regulations on the lives of nicotine consumers.

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Application to legalise low strength nicotine for vaping in Australia rejected. Now our real battle begins!

Attila Danko | 6 February 2017

The New Nicotine Alliance, Australia, (NNA AU) last year submitted an application to Australia’s medicines and poisons regulatory authority, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), to legalise vaping with nicotine as a consumer product. The application was to exempt from Schedule 7 nicotine at concentrations of 3.6 per cent or less for self-administration with an electronic nicotine delivery system ('personal vaporiser' or 'electronic cigarette') for the purpose of tobacco harm reduction. On February 2nd this application was totally rejected in the TGA’s interim decision. Interim decisions are rarely reversed at the final decision.

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Momentum building to legalise nicotine for vaping in Australia.

Attila Danko | 16 February 2017

I wrote earlier this month about the TGA’s rejection of our application to legalise low-strength nicotine for vaping. Since then we have taken our campaign forwards. 

A team of three consumer vaping advocates from the NNA AU, myself, Donna Darvill and Andrew Thompson, along with two specialists in harm reduction, Dr Colin Mendelsohn and Dr Alex Wodak, spent a day in Parliament House Canberra.   We had multiple meetings with Members of Parliament, Senators and staffers from across the political spectrum.

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What is vaping?

Clive Bates | 29 December 2016

Sometimes we find ourselves talking at cross-purposes about vaping. Why? Consider three perspectives.

First, a health professional asks: “how should vaping be understood and used (or not) to reduce the adverse health effects of smoking?”

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Why Academics Should Resist Pressure to Disengage with the Tobacco Industry

Neil McKeganey, Christopher Russell | 27 September 2016

In the past few days, several pro-tobacco harm reduction academics and scientists who are registered to attend the Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum (GTNF) in Brussels, Belgium this week (27-29 September), received a letter signed by two major anti-smoking organisations – the European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP) and the U.S.-based Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK). This letter expressed to the recipients, including one of the authors of this blog (CR), the signatories’ ‘strong concern over the participation of renowned academics’ at a conference that is largely funded by the tobacco industry.

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The Enjoyment of Smoking

Neil McKeganey | 6 September 2016

When it comes to policies aimed at reducing the harm of smoking there is a truth that daren’t be spoken, namely that many smokers actually enjoy smoking. In the current climate of tobacco control policies aiming for a tobacco free world, the realization that many people want to continue to engage in a behaviour that they know to be harmful is hard to acknowledge.

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Confusing smoke signals from Turkey

Nicotine Science & Policy | 17 August 2016

Turkey has for many years implemented stringent efforts to reduce smoking rates. Smoke-free policies, a two hundred per cent price increase on cigarettes and comprehensive stop-smoking services have all been introduced in the last decade; all significant actions from a country known for the saying ”Smoking like a Turk”.

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Important consultations on nicotine and e-cigarettes in Australia and New Zealand

Nicotine Science & Policy | updated 31 August 2016

Both Australia and New Zealand have legislation that was introduced before the introduction of e-cigarettes and which effectively makes possession of nicotine (Australia) or nicotine-containing e-cigarettes (NZ) illegal. In Australia there is a proposal to amend the scheduling of nicotine to make sale, possession and use of nicotine legal; in New Zealand the Ministry of Health proposes making nicotine e-cigarettes legal consumer products. Comments on both proposals are invited.

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TPD implementation in Poland – the end of vaping as we know it?

NSP Correspondent - Mirosław Dworniczak | 20 July 2016

On July 8th the Polish Parliament passed an act transposing the EU Tobacco Product Directive (TPD) into national law, some weeks after the mandated date of May 20th. This marks the end of a legislative process that started two years ago.

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Why you/doctors/vapers should join IDHDP

Chris Ford | 15 July 2016

Dr Chris Ford, the Clinical Director of International Doctors for Healthier Drug Policies, recently attended the Global Forum on Nicotine. Here are some thoughts from her and her colleagues afterwards.

The dogma that has pervaded global drug policy over the last fifty years is hard to comprehend. People have been using substances to alter the way they feel for thousands of years and there is no indication that this will ever stop. Like we do for all other potentially hazardous activities, provision of information and tools to reduce potential harms would be the action of a responsible and caring society.

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Evidence, Accountability, and Transparency: impressions from the Third Global Forum on Nicotine Conference in Warsaw 16th - 18th June 2016

Harry Sharpio | 13 July 2016

Having spent over 35 years working in the field of illegal drugs, this was my first foray into the world of tobacco or more specifically the current worldwide controversy over e-cigarettes. What I learnt from my two days at the conference was both fascinating and appalling.

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Glycerine in e-liquid

NSP Correspondent - Mirosław Dworniczak | 01 June 2016

Glycerine (glycerol, 1,2,3-propanetriol) is one of the main ingredients of e-cigarette liquid. Most people are familiar with glycerine, as it is widely used in food and pharmaceuticals. It acts as a solvent, humectant and sometimes as a sweetener. Here is a chemical model of glycerine.

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New Study on Asthma and Vaping: Long-term benefits

"Persisting long term benefits of smoking abstinence and reduction in asthmatic smokers who have switched to electronic cigarettes" - is the title of a study conducted by the research group led by Prof Riccardo Polosa at the University of Catania, and recently published in Discovery Medicine.

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The Pleasure of E-cigarettes

Neil McKeganey, Christopher Russell | 28 April 2016

The publication by the Royal College of Physicians of a report “Nicotine without Smoke: Tobacco Harm Reduction” approbating the use of e-cigarettes as a route out of smoking conventional cigarettes affirms a finding that has been highlighted by researchers for a number of years now. This report is welcome nevertheless as an objective contribution to a debate that has become increasingly personalised and divisive with tobacco control advocates repeatedly advising that e-cigarettes should be regulated as least as tightly as conventional cigarettes.

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Carbonyls – friend or foe?

NSP Correspondent - Mirosław Dworniczak | 18 April 2016

Quite frequently the media try to „enlighten” people using information extracted from various scientific publications about chemicals found in the vapour from e-cigarettes. Some of these chemicals belong to the class of volatile organic compounds which are contained in the carbonyl group. Let me shed some light on this subject.

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Propylene glycol classified as toxic? There's no scientific proof for that!

NSP Correspondent - Mirosław Dworniczak | 21 March 2016

Something really awful is happening now. In October 2015 German Federal Office for Chemicals, a part of Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health submitted a proposal to the European Chemicals Agency for a new toxicological classification of propylene glycol. 

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E-cigarette coils from a chemist's point of view

NSP Correspondent - Mirosław Dworniczak | 7 March 2016

When vapers discuss safety issues, they usually take into account the components of e-liquid and the composition of the aerosol inhaled. Of course this is the most important subject, but we should also be aware of metals of which the coils are made.


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Tobacco Industry Funded E-Cigarette Research and the Rise of Academic McCarthyism

Neil McKeganey, Christopher Russell | 27 February 2016

In a commentary piece published in the journal Addiction, Professor Jim McCambridge from the University of York sets out why, in his view, academic journals should not publish any e-cigarette research funded by the tobacco industry. The basis for McCambridge’s view is, not as it turns out, evidence of current misconduct on the part of the tobacco industry with regard to the research which it funds on e-cigarette, but evidence of decades old misconduct revealed in analysis of internal tobacco industry documents analysed as part of the Legacy Foundation (now Truth Initiative).

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Dissecting the Oral Oncology Cell Study

NSP Correspondent - Paul Barnes | 25 February 2016

A study in Oral Oncology, performed by researchers from the U.S Department of Veteran Affairs investigated the potential effects of e-cigarette vapour on human epithelial cells, prompted widespread media coverage both on the on-line sites, and in print from The Mirror, Daily Mail , The Telegraph, The Independent and The Guardian that did not present all the relevant facts from the study itself. The claims derived from the study, as referenced in the media coverage based on the press release state that the researchers concluded - "Based on the evidence to date," she says, "I believe they are no better than smoking regular cigarettes." - a startling claim that isn't substantiated by the study itself.

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Regulatory framework for electronic cigarettes in Belgium: Vapers and Tobacco Harm Reduction activists between hope and despair

Frank Baeyens | 18 February 2016

Federal Minister of Health Maggie De Block recently (Jan 26th 2016) announced the completion of the highly anticipated royal decree regulating electronic cigarettes in Belgium. While the royal decree has not been signed and published yet, media reports allow for a preliminary and hence somewhat cautious review and evaluation of its main features.

The estimated 160,000 Belgian vapers in Belgium as of 2015, and the 1.65 million current smokers, some of whom might consider trying out e-cigs for tobacco harm reduction (THR) have good reasons to rejoice, but also to be angry.

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Sweden banning tobacco harm reduction due to senseless implementation of the EU Tobacco Products Directive – snus and e-cigarettes at risk

Atakan Befrits | 16 February 2016

Important update: Swedish Court rules that vaping products are not medicines products.

The Swedish government proposes new tobacco legislation, which includes a number of very widely recognized and important proposals to reduce smoking. The government deserves praise for work on this issue. However there are two proposals that will have a negative impact on tobacco harm reduction in Sweden – the first is to raise the warning levels on snus, and the second is a possible de facto ban on nicotine e-cigarettes and fluids, reached outside the scope of the TPD.

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Situation of vapers in Poland on the threshold of the implementation of the EU Tobacco Products Directive

NSP Correspondent - Mirosław Dworniczak | 8 February 2016

Smoking was very popular in Poland during the communist era – almost 50% of adults were smokers. In recent years the number of smokers has constantly declined – recent estimates show that the number is now around 25%. One can expect a further fall of this number, provided the new government does not throw the baby out with the bathwater, which unfortunately is highly likely.

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Nicotine Science and Policy posts news items on a wide range of issues related to the use of nicotine and posting of a news item does not imply endorsement of the views expressed in any item.