How does UK and US drug policy compare? This week’s episode features Ethan Nadelmann, founder of Drug Policy Alliance, the largest harm reduction organisation in the world, working to end the War on Drugs and implement sensible drug policies around the world.
Smoking is a dangerous lifestyle choice that raises the risk of premature death or substantial morbidities in smokers, such as cancer and coronary heart disease, as well as poor health outcomes for smokers’ unborn offspring. Passive smoking has serious health repercussions for both toddlers and adults. Quitting smoking is one of the most effective and efficient healthcare therapies available due to this condition. Within a year of quitting the smoking, a former smoker’s risk of heart disease drops to half that of a current smoker.
E-CIGARETTE and vaping-associated lung injury (EVALI), is a term that is coming up more often.
As a disease, EVALI is usually hard to diagnose because its symptoms can be similar to other respiratory diseases, including shortness of breath, fever and chills, cough, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, rapid heart rate and chest pain.
Typically, doctors will evaluate the patient's history of e-cigarette use or vaping, and take a scan to see if there are hazy spots on the lungs, which indicate tissue damage.
However, long-time medical practitioner Dr Kumar Subaramaniam finds the increased usage of the term EVALI worrisome, as it is often discussed in the wrong context.
I will outline here, as I have done in Parliament, that one easy win in the battle to keep the UK healthier, is a re-doubling of Government efforts to reduce the number of smokers. Cigarettes remain the largest cause of preventable deaths in the UK. Whilst it may have fallen down the list of government priorities, we have set ourselves an ambitious target of being a smoke-free nation by 2030. Sajid Javid, as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, seems to be focused on finding out what will work to help smokers to switch, and ideally quit.
While the rate of adult cigarette smokers in the U.S. has dropped over the last several years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2019 that more than 34.1 million Americans were smokers.
Quitting can be tough, but a new cigarette is soon to hit the market with FDA approval to help people smoke less.
“This is really the first tobacco product that’s intentionally designed to address the problem of nicotine addiction,” Mike Zercher, 22nd Century Group president and COO, said.
Anti-smoking advocates are arguing against a proposal that would reduce Indiana’s new tax on electronic cigarettes before it even takes effect.
The proposal approved by the Republican-dominated state Senate last month would cut the 25% tax charged on cartridges such as Juul devices to 15%.
The Legislature approved the higher rate last year to start July 2022.
Health groups urged a House committee on Thursday to keep the 25% rate, saying they believed vaping devices should face taxes similar to cigarettes to discourage young people from using them.
On February 15, the Senate narrowly confirmed Dr. Robert Califf as the next commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In a bipartisan nail-biter, six Republicans supported him and four Democrats opposed him. Bernie Sanders, an independent, also voted against him, and another senator withheld his vote.
Califf—a cardiologist who has served as the deputy commissioner of the FDA’s Office of Medical Products and Tobacco, as President Barack Obama’s FDA commissioner, and as the head of medical strategy at Alphabet, Google’s parent company—takes over the position from Janet Woodcock, [...]
With the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act going into force, New Zealand’s general retailers including service stations, supermarkets and convenience stores, are only allowed to to sell three vape flavours: menthol, mint, and tobacco.
“It’s crazy that Kiwis desperate to quit cigarettes can walk into a service station and buy any cigarette brand under the sun. They can’t, however, access the most popular vapes flavours. It makes no sense when vaping has been proven to be 95% less harmful than smoking,” said Jonathan Devery, co-owner of the largest Kiwi-owned vape companies, Alt New Zealand and VAPO.
Some readers, including colleagues in the medical community, have been asking us to explain why we support the vape bill, which was recently approved by the congressional bicameral committee, and will soon be transmitted to the President for his final approval.
Our short answer is, “Because we would like to put our smokers back into the health equation.”
We confess that in our clinic, we used to have a condemning, somewhat discriminatory attitude toward our recalcitrant smokers. We gave them six months to quit smoking completely, either cold turkey or through other known interventions. [...]
Voters have agreed to limit advertising for tobacco products that may be seen by young people in Switzerland.
On Sunday 56.6% of voters supported the “Yes to the protection of children against tobacco advertising” people’s initiative. A majority of the country’s 26 cantons also backed the proposal, allowing it to pass.
People living in French- and Italian-speaking cantons and urban areas supported the call for tighter advertising restrictions. A number of German-speaking cantons from central and eastern Switzerland were against the initiative.
Harm Reduction is a strategy that is neither new nor unknown – on the contrary, it is a widespread and routine phenomenon that we see everywhere but often fail to recognize as Harm Reduction. Using a Helmet or a Seatbelt is Harm Reduction. Using low calorie sweeteners is Harm Reduction. Using an N-95 mask is Harm Reduction. The examples are endless. Harm Reduction is a pragmatic recognition that everything under the sun (including the sun itself) are capable of causing harm and life involves a series of choices to mitigate these risks. [...]
In this episode of RegWatch, hear Dr. Farsalinos discuss his multidimensional review of the use of flavours in nicotine vapes and learn what he recommends regulators should do instead of banning flavours.
The World Health Organization (WHO) Tuesday launched a ‘Quit Tobacco App’ to help people kick the cigarette butt and give up tobacco in all forms, including smokeless and other newer products.
“Tobacco is deadly in every form. Innovative approaches such as this app are much needed to support people who give up tobacco, which they may be aware is harmful but are unable to quit for various reasons,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region, while launching the app.
The majority of Malaysians believe that the recently announced policy of prohibiting the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products, including vape, to those born after 2005 would fail.
According to a dipstick survey by the Retail and Trade Brand Advocacy Malaysia Chapter (RTBA Malaysia), 85 per cent of those surveyed said the ban would not work and would create a black market for cigarettes and vape.
Respondents to the survey also said that the ban would be difficult to enforce and ultimately impact Malaysia's legal and local businesses.
Tobacco giant Altria, which owns the maker of Marlboro cigarettes and a stake in vaping company Juul Labs, has for years quietly funded substance-use-prevention training for middle and high school students, despite ample research suggesting that industry-sponsored school programs do not discourage teenagers from smoking—and may in fact do the opposite. [...] a spokesperson for Altria wrote that the company does so “to help address a core business concern: underage tobacco use. In addition to the actions we’ve taken to market responsibly and limit underage access to tobacco products, we support a range of evidence-based positive youth development programs.”
Tens of thousands of nicotine vapes illegally being sold to children have been seized by state health authorities over the past 18 months as doctors raise concerns about rising uptake among school students.
Between July 2020 and December 2021, NSW Health seized more than 100,000 illegal vaping products, with a street value of more than $2 million. Since October, it has been illegal to sell e-cigarettes, commonly known as vapes, or e-liquids containing nicotine to a person without a doctor’s prescription.
A flavour ban on e-cigarettes could damage tobacco harm reduction and consumer choice, the Oireachtas health committee was told today.
Declan Connolly of the Irish Vape Vendors Association (UVVA) said e-liquid flavours are of” vital importance to vapers.”
" IVVA is deeply concerned by the negative effects a flavour ban could have on tobacco harm reduction and consumer choice. A survey carried out by the Independent European Vape Alliance (IEVA) in 2020 found that to nearly 65pc of vapers vaped fruit or sweet e-liquids on a daily basis.
It’s common sense: When you tax a product, people buy less of it. So, when you heavily tax a potentially life-saving product such as e-cigarettes and vapes, fewer people use it, meaning, sadly, that more people continue to smoke cigarettes and die prematurely as a consequence. Traditionally, such “sin taxes” are levied on harmful goods such as old-fashioned cigarettes in an effort to discourage their use. But as part of a broader, misguided war on vaping, some states have recently started applying heavy taxes on e-cigarettes, as well. A 2019 study from the National Bureau of Economic Research looked into these taxes and found troubling consequences.
New analysis of national data has found that the number of smokers living in poverty is over 100,000 in the East of England.
The data, published by charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), shows that in the East of England 26% of households containing smokers live in poverty once spending on smoking is accounted for. In England as a whole the figure is 31%.
According to the Stop Smoking team at OneLife Suffolk, on average most people who quit smoking save around £250 per month.
While vaping isn’t an illegal action in the UK, including behind the wheel of a car, drivers who are distracted by smoke released by e-cigarettes may be prosecuted for lacking in caution whilst driving. Vapes can produce thick clouds if the user chooses, which may produce visual impairment for a driver if, for example, the windows in the car are closed. [...] GoSmokeFree.co.uk surveyed 800 people across the UK to determine their opinions on vaping and driving. Reassuringly and interestingly, 9 in 10 (89%) people who vape said they don’t vape and drive, which drastically reduces the number of distracted drivers on the road in the UK. [..]