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The latest from the Raupo podcast. Michael McGrady and Marewa Glover

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The Connecticut General Assembly will consider a bill that would ban the sale of flavored tobacco and e-cigarette products in an attempt to reduce addiction, which disproportionately affects young adults and people of color.

The ban would target vape products with fruity flavors that are popular with young people. The bill would also prevent the sale of menthol flavored products. The tobacco industry has historically targeted the marketing of menthol products to African Americans, who have the highest use of menthol cigarettes out of any racial group.

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A majority of Malaysians, representing 80%, want the government to take more action to regulate the vaping industry of Malaysia.

A poll titled Malaysian Insights & Perspectives on Vape commissioned by the Malaysian Vape Industry Advocacy (MVIA) [...] showed that 76% of respondents agree that the Malaysian economy would benefit from regulations of vaping products.

Malaysian Vape Industry Advocacy president Rizani Zakaria said the opinion poll shows most Malaysians want regulations of vape products.

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It is common for people to develop addictions to alcohol, nicotine, and drugs. However, there are many ways to quit taking these substances.

Some people may attempt to gradually taper off using them, which may be more effective and less dangerous for certain substances.

Although there may be risks to quitting cold turkey, there could also be some benefits in using this method, which depend on the substance or practice.

In this article, we explore the cold turkey approach regarding smoking, drinking alcohol, and more. We also look at other ways to quit substance misuse.

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New York state leaders announced an agreement on legislation that would legalize marijuana across the state -- a move they say would create jobs and bring in millions in tax dollars.

 
The bill would expand New York's existing medical marijuana programs and establish the Office of Cannabis Management "to implement a comprehensive regulatory framework that would cover medical, adult-use and cannabinoid hemp," Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office said in a statement Sunday morning.
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On March 23, Cambodia issued a ban on heated tobacco products (HTPs). The move [...] was announced by the National Authority of Combating Drugs.

Confusingly, the directive also prohibits electronic nicotine delivery systems like vaping products—while making the unfounded assertions that these device don’t help people to stop smoking and are not safer than conventional cigarettes. This comes despite the fact that consumption and sales of shisha and e-cigarettes have already been prohibited since 2014. Some local reports suggest that vapes remain available and that the ban has so far been widely ignored.

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In this special series of RegWatch, we explore how Bloomberg uses his power and money to backstop a tangled web of philanthropic organizations who cajole, strong-arm or buy-off governments of low and middle-income countries so that they would implement harsh restrictions, taxes, and even bans on low-risk nicotine products, such as vaping.

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With Cancer being responsible for 20% of all deaths in Europe, earlier this year on February 4th, the European Commission (EC) announced Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. [...] “Tobacco use, in particular cigarette smoking, is the main risk factor for cancer death in Europe. Various measures to fight against smoking appear heterogeneous and inconsistently implemented. Overall, the WHO Europe region is the global area with the highest tobacco consumption, with major discrepancies between Member States, as the proportion of smokers varies by a factor of up to 5 from one country to another,” read an excerpt from the document.

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This study aimed to document changes in puffing topography and, the effects of device type and nicotine concentration on puffing topography, subjective effects and smoking behaviour over two weeks of e-cigarette (EC) use. [...] Two weeks post-baseline, puff duration and IPI significantly increased whilst puff number decreased. Cigalikes were associated with greater puff number and shorter IPI compared to Tanks; there was no difference between Tank18 and Tank6. CPD, CO and cigarette dependence reduced significantly from baseline to week1 but did not differ between conditions.

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Quitting smoking is a positive step for so many reasons like your health and your bank balance.

And as any smoker knows, smoking can cause conflict within families, friendship groups and among couples so quitting can also have a really positive impact on the people in our lives. When you quit, you’re protecting your family from second hand smoke.

A smoker only inhales about 15% of the smoke from a cigarette – the other 85% is absorbed into the atmosphere or inhaled by others.

[...] People who breathe in secondhand smoke are at increased risk of smoking-related diseases.

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A year after COVID-19 upended life for millions of Americans, there are troubling signs that the coronavirus may have also slowed progress against another deadly health threat: smoking.

Fewer smokers called quit-smoking hotlines last year and some smoked more, contributing to an unusual bump in cigarette sales — all in the middle of the stress, anxiety and uncertainty from the pandemic.

“It’s hard for folks to quit using tobacco in the best of times, so what happens when life is suddenly turned upside down?” said Jen Cash, who oversees Minnesota’s anti-tobacco programs.

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A New Jersey school district has joined a nationwide class-action lawsuit against e-cigarette maker Juul, alleging that company minimized the health risk of its products in marketing campaigns to minors, which led to widespread vaping in the district’s six buildings.

 

The Freehold Regional High School District filed the suit in federal court Monday, joining about 130 others across the country in suing the Northern California-based company and Altria, a tobacco-maker with a major stake in Juul.

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“Health warnings on combustible cigarette packs should not be the same as those on the packaging of e-cigarettes and HTPs (heated tobacco products). This is because e-cigarettes and HTPs have been shown to be 90- to 95-percent less harmful than combustible cigarettes,” said Pangestu [...]

The measures stated in Republic Acts 11346 and 11467 mandate that the Department of Health issues health warning templates for HTPs and vaping products. In line with arguments by other public health experts, Pangestu said that the health warnings should be “proportionate to the risk of smoke-free products.”

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In Malaysia, the government has taken steps to tighten controls on smoking in public, restricting smoking in most public spaces, including restaurants and bars, outdoors or in.

While the new policy aimed to reduce non-smokers’ exposure to tobacco smoke, there was very little discussion or debate about addressing the health of current smokers. 

A ban on smoking in restaurants and bars, on top of existing restrictions in shopping centres, cinemas and other public spaces, may be supported by many and reduces the potential harm to bystanders such as non-smokers and youth. But what about reducing the harm to current smokers? 

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In 10 to 20 years there could be no smokers left in many markets, according to analysts at Jefferies. Governments and tobacco companies are on the same side in this shift, as more countries adopt smokefree targets and companies push smokers over to reduced-risk products such as vaping and oral nicotine.

 
 

“With regulators and tobacco ambitions increasingly aligned, in many countries, no smokers within a generation could become a reality,” analyst Owen Bennett wrote in a note on Friday. “If smokefree is to happen, this is only achieved with the support of RRP.”

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requesting information from four e-cigarette companies about their use of social media and influencer marketing.

Responses will help the FDA learn who is exposed to the companies’ marketing and aid the FDA as it evaluates marketing plans in premarket tobacco product application (PMTA) reviews, conducts social media surveillance and considers strategies for reducing youth exposure to digital marketing of tobacco products.

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New drugs that are getting increasingly popular among youth, especially girls, are as damaging as cigarettes and government need to utilize all its resources to ban such products that are openly available in the market. The views were expressed at a meeting of a delegation of anti-tobacco activists with Chairperson National Commission for Child Rights Afshan Tehseen Bajwa on Wednesday. [...] They said that the use of nicotine pouches continues to increase in the younger generation which dangerous for their health. They warned that younger generation, especially girls, are being pushed towards using a new brand using nicotine pouches.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a dramatic increase in counterfeit products and fraudulent retail transactions across the globe. In business-to-business markets, employers are getting scammed by fraudsters who successfully peddle counterfeit PPE equipment and face masks. Entire hospitals and medical facilities were duped into purchasing sub-par PPE, among other similar scenarios that impact consumers of all types. 

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Research by the University of Bristol has found that the association between smoking and e-cigarette use could be explained by a broader genetic susceptibility to risk-taking.

The findings imply that the genetic influences associated with people taking up smoking also influence people being e-cigarette users; these were also found to be associated with risk-taking behaviours more generally, such as externalising disorders in childhood. Dr Jasmine Khouja [...] said: “There is concern that young people who are non-smokers might be more likely to become a cigarette smoker if they have access to e-cigarettes.

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In September 2019, Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire philanthropist, and Matthew Myers, president of the nonprofit Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, unveiled a $160 million, three-year campaign to end what they described as an epidemic of e-cigarette use among kids.

In a New York Times op-ed, Bloomberg and Myers attacked Big Tobacco for putting young people in serious danger by hooking them on addictive e-cigarettes, which are sold in kid-friendly flavors like cotton candy and gummy bear.

Backed by a coalition of influential nonprofits, [...] they called for a national ban on flavored e-cigarettes.