D.C.’s proposed ban on flavored e-cigarettes has quietly transformed into an all-out prohibition on all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes. Despite the dramatic shift in policy, the City Council apparently believes no further public engagement is necessary because it held a hearing on a different flavor prohibition back in January 2020. A lot changes in 15 months. Obviously, there’s been a global pandemic since that hearing, plus there are new city council members and the country is more focused on issues like overcriminalization that harshly impacts (...)
As we get closer to the UK’s stated ambition to be ‘smoke free’ by 2030 and subsequently the EU’s recently announced 2040 ‘Beating Cancer’ Plan, which includes the objective of a ‘tobacco free generation’, nicotine industry participants, governments and regulators need to reflect on the technology and policies that will help achieve these goals. GFN is also ahead of the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) COP 9 meeting in November which will give direction on the WHO’s influential global tobacco control policy recommendations for coming years. The WHO’s stance towards THR is regarded by (...)
Tobacco use and the percentage of adult cigarette smokers increased in several parts of the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, reversing a 20-year trend which saw smoking decline by 16 percent since 1999. About one-quarter of current smokers said they smoked more frequently during the pandemic and 10 percent of people who had quit, restarted some form of tobacco use.
Asia Pacific’s leading Tobacco Harm Reduction consumer advocacy group has lashed out at the Australian Federal Government for making it increasingly harder for Australia’s 2.3 million daily smokers to quit cigarettes. “Australia is miles behind many others in the Asia Pacific region, and the UK, when it comes to acknowledging vaping’s key role in beating tobacco. Australia is sadly kowtowing to the World Health Organisation, rather than accepting compelling international evidence,” says Nancy Loucas, Coordinator for the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA). It is illegal to sell liquid nicotine in Australia. Its states and territories (...)
UK health minister Jo Churchill’s promise of an evidence-based snus ban review marks a significant turning point in acknowledging the questionable science behind the impact assessment used by the EU to justify the ban. The statement was hailed as a victory by tobacco harm reduction advocates who have lobbied hard for the UK to abandon the current ban on snus post-Brexit.
In Florida, the state legislature passed a bill banning e-cigarette flavors. The bill would have killed the state’s vape shops and denied smokers the most popular alternative to cigarettes. Gov. Ron DeSantis, however, listened to Florida vapers and public health experts and vetoed the bill. “While originally conceived as a bill to raise the legal age to buy tobacco to 21 (which is superfluous given this is already mandated by federal law), SB 810 effectively bans tobacco-free vaping flavors used by hundreds of thousands of Floridians as a reduced-risk alternative to cigarettes, which are more dangerous,” Gov. DeSantis said in his veto message.
Misconceptions about vaping are incredibly common, particularly among the people who vaping would benefit most. For adult smokers, switching from cigarettes to vape products can save their life. In fact, if a majority of American smokers made the switch to vaping, 6.6 million lives would be saved. In the interests of public health, it is critical that myths about vaping are debunked so people can better understand these products. This fact check confronts several of the most widely-spread misconceptions about vaping.
Two startling statistics emerge from a recent survey of smokers in Europe conducted by ETHRA (European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates): nearly one in three (31%) of current smokers would be interested in trying snus if it became legal, but less than 3% are actually snus users. Given the almost incontrovertible evidence from Sweden – the only EU country where snus is legal, for idiosyncratic historical reasons – of the oral format’s success in reducing tobacco-related disease, this huge potential demand seems to represent a huge public health opportunity. If snus became legal EU-wide, then even if only a relatively small fraction of that 31% gave up combustibles in its favour, that would represent (...)
Eight Estonian MP’s submitted a new bill, modifying the Tobacco Act to the Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu). The proposed amendments seek to clarify regulations regarding alternative nicotine products. The aim is to reduce smoking rates in Estonia, improve the safety and accessibility of less harmful nicotine products for smokers. Estonia ranks third in Europe in terms of smoking deaths. One of the bill’s initiators, MP Tarmo Kruusimäe expressed particular concern that the majority of previous amendments to the Tobacco Act, have not only led to an increase of smoking and increased health risks, but unintentionally created a burgeoning black market.
A recent Lancet study said smoking rates among 13-15-year-olds have remain unchanged in 40% of the surveyed countries between 1999 and 2018. However, these said “smoking rates” inaccurately include the use of safer alternatives such as smokeless tobacco products and e-cigarettes, which should not be considered as smoking. The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health journal study, found differing rates of tobacco use across 140 countries. Lead Study author Professor Bo Xi, said there are “still large numbers of young people smoking” despite the decreasing smoking rates in the majority of countries. However to the shock of tobacco harm reduction experts, among these alleged high numbers of smokers, the Professor inaccurately included users of (...)
The project, which has received a £1.7 million grant from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), is led by Dr Sharon Cox (UCL Behavioural Science & Health) and Professor Lynne Dawkins of LSBU, and is supported by seven other academic partners: King’s College London, Queen Mary University of London, the University of East Anglia, the University of York, Cardiff University, the University of Stirling and the University of Edinburgh. About 70% of people who are homeless smoke tobacco – far higher than the UK average of 14.1%. E-cigarettes are the most popular method used in a smoking quit attempt, with some studies suggesting they are more helpful than nicotine gum or patches and much less harmful than smoking tobacco. For people on low or no income, however (...)
At the Global Forum on Nicotine (GFN), hosted in Liverpool, experts called for the public health and tobacco control fields to unite around a common goal: ending smoking. Over the two days, 30 speakers—eminent in harm reduction, law, science, the stock market, consumer advocacy and other areas—reiterated to hundreds of international delegates that lifesaving technology like vapes and heat-not-burn products (HTPs) should be embraced to empower people to stop their combustible cigarette use. A hesitant sense of optimism pervaded the conference, as tobacco harm reductionists acknowledged that (...)
According to a 2014 Report of the Surgeon General, continued smoking after a lung cancer diagnosis is associated with an approximate 50% median increase in mortality. Dr. Conor Steuer, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues performed prospective assessments evaluating the patterns of tobacco use and cessation and the effects on outcomes. The first comprehensive, prospective study of smoking habits in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) revealed that there was a high rate of smoking reduction and cessation following study entry. The researchers found that of those surveyed, 90% reported a current or previous history of cigarette smoking, but (...)
We are in the middle of another battle in access to harm reduction products. But, unlike drivers and passengers wearing seat belts, cigarette smokers are met with adversity, hostility and outright prohibitions by federal agencies and lawmakers. E-cigarettes, the most popular form of tobacco harm reduction, have helped millions of American adults quit smoking. Numerous studies have shown that e-cigarettes are up to 95 percent less harmful than combustible cigarettes. Yet, despite this, there are national campaigns to stop the use of e-cigarettes and four states have banned the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.
People smoke to obtain nicotine, a comparatively low-risk substance, but are harmed by thousands of toxins released when tobacco burns. GFN director Professor Gerry Stimson, emeritus professor at Imperial College London, said, “Up to 98 million consumers worldwide have already made the switch to safer nicotine products. In England, health authorities support vaping to quit smoking and vapes are now the most popular quit aid. Tobacco-related mortality in Sweden, where snus has almost replaced smoking, is the lowest in Europe. And in Japan, cigarette sales have dropped by a third since heated tobacco products came to market. Manufacturers must now ensure safer alternatives are affordable to people in LMIC, not just consumers in high income nations.” Professor Stimson continued (...)
According to a new study from the UBC Sauder School of Business, they can all help people quit—but how much they help, and who pays the price, varies significantly. The researchers also found that tax hikes can disproportionately favour bigger brands, while tightened restrictions can hurt them. For the study, titled (...)
People smoke to obtain nicotine, a comparatively low risk substance, but are harmed by thousands of toxins released when tobacco burns. Experts at the Global Forum on Nicotine will discuss an approach called tobacco harm reduction; people who cannot quit nicotine are encouraged to switch from dangerous combustible or oral products to safer nicotine products including vapes (e-cigarettes), pasteurized snus, non-tobacco nicotine pouches and heated tobacco products. Compared to continued smoking, all are significantly less harmful to health. Despite an estimated 98 million adult smokers having already switched to safer nicotine products worldwide, public health and tobacco control remains deeply divided on the role of tobacco harm reduction. The Global Forum on Nicotine gives (...)
Since the global outbreak of Covid-19, we have heard a great deal from politicians about “following the science” – a sound principle those same politicians often seem to have trouble sticking to (...) At the very beginning of the Covid scare, even before the term “lockdown” had entered common usage, there were reports from China that smokers were somehow at less risk from the new disease than others. It sounded counterintuitive. Smoking is well known to damage the respiratory system, so surely it would render a person more susceptible to a respiratory illness, not less?
Since the start of the pandemic, the world has lost an estimated 3.75 million people to COVID-19; a devastating figure that remains under half the annual death toll from smoking. Every day, 1.1 billion smokers still light up around the world, a figure that has stalled for over 20 years despite decades of tobacco control efforts. Eighty per cent of the world’s smokers live in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), least able to cope with the disease burden of smoking, and in higher income countries, smoking is a major cause of health inequalities. People smoke to obtain nicotine, a comparatively low risk substance, but are harmed by thousands of toxins released when tobacco burns. Experts at the Global Forum on Nicotine (...)
The study titled, Combustible and electronic cigarette exposures increase ace2 activity and SARS-CoV-2 spike binding, tested the hypothesis that the use of combustible tobacco and non-combustible nicotine products, could affect ACE2 activity and subsequent SARS-CoV-2 infection. The research team found that sACE2 activity was significantly higher in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from both smokers and vapers compared to non-smokers of the same age. Exposure to cigarette smoke led to increased (...)