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.
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.
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.
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.
Jim McManus | 26 January 2016
This morning saw a further paper , this time a longitudinal study, looking at young people in Hawai http://m.tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/early/2016/01/05/tobaccocontrol-2015-052705.
The paper concludes that "adolescents who use e-cigarettes are more likely to start smoking cigarettes. This result together with other findings suggests that policies restricting adolescents’ access to e-cigarettes may have a rationale from a public health standpoint. " Except, unfortunately, its methods don't justify those conclusions.
NSP Correspondent - Paul Barnes | 18 January 2016
The UK’s Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has released a public assessment report (PAR) on what could be the very first medically approved e-cigarette – e-Voke –which was developed by British American Tobacco. Medicines approval means that the product can be prescribed by medical practitioners, and ensures that the medicinal device meets applicable standards of safety, quality and efficacy. Coupled with the press releases surrounding the landmark report from Public Health England, the media and policy makers are keeping a very close eye on this.
Scott D. Ballin | 27 October 2015
With an estimated one billion smokers in the world and with over 5 million people dying each year from the deadly cigarette, isn’t it time for all stakeholders to reevaluate the strategies that are being used? Isn’t time to take advantage of and incorporate harm reduction as an appropriate global strategy for reducing disease and death caused by cigarette smoking?
Christopher Russell | 4 October 2015
The finding of a recent survey commissioned by the UK charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)  that the proportion of 11-18 year olds in the UK who have tried using an electronic cigarette at least once rose from 5% in 2013 to 13% in 2015 will almost certainly lead to calls for greater restrictions to be placed on the ability of manufacturers and vendors to advertise nicotine vapour products. Perhaps there will even be calls, in time, for nicotine vapour products to be sold only in plain packaging as now occurs with all tobacco products in Australia. But are greater restrictions on the advertising of electronic cigarettes consistent with the priority public health goal of reducing tobacco-related disease?
Neil McKeganey | 9 September 2015
Tobacco control researchers are nothing if not inconsistent. Take, for example, the recent case of Professor David Nutt who convened a group of experts to assess the relative harm of different nicotine delivery products (Nutt et al 2015). The paper Nutt and colleagues published on the basis of their assessment formed part of Public Health England’s recent conclusion that electronic cigarettes were 95% less harmful than combustible tobacco.
Ian Dunt | 26 August 2015
If Public Health England's report on vaping shows anything, it's that those who oppose it are a threat to public health. The report found that "e-cigarette use is around 95% less harmful to health than smoking". They pose "no risk of nicotine poisoning to user". Most of the chemicals causing smoking-related disease are absent and "the chemicals present pose limited danger".