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Tobacco harm reduction (THR) represents one of the most promising public health policies with continued product innovations crucial to making THR a reality. Tobacco-free nicotine pouches (TFNPs) are a recent THR product innovation available in a growing number of countries as a potentially less harmful alternative to traditional tobacco products. In this study, we compared the in vitro biological activity of two commercially available TFNPs, one snus product, and combustible cigarette smoke in three in vitro toxicological assays (neutral red uptake [NRU], in vitro micronucleus [IVM], and Ames test). [...]

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Under strict new regulation, the prices of electronic cigarettes in China have increased. Recently, Beijing Business Today journalists found that many brands of electronic cigarettes and vaporizers with fruit flavors have seen prices increase by up to 20-30 yuan ($3.14-$4.72).

The electronic cigarette industry previously flourished in China, especially starting from the first half of 2018, then developing exponentially in 2019. It was initially promoted as beneficial to helping people quit smoking, less harmful to the body, and good for health. But the products have later changed towards appeals such as fashion, novelty and flavors.

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Harm reduction is not just an idea that exists but a strategy that has been established. How can one minimise the harm when there are various sorts of behaviours and all have different addictions? Through extremely specific standards and concepts aimed at individuals and groups, the goal of this method is to lessen the negative consequences of specific behaviours. Science and industry must innovate to modify people's behaviour patterns and provide them with the benefits of harm reduction. Our society requires immediate attention for damage reduction and have a sociopolitical and economic impact. Today, alcohol ranks first in the world, followed by smoking. [...]

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In their criticism of the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency's decision to support the process to develop medicinal licensing of e-cigarettes, Sarah Brown and colleagues overlook a wealth of evidence suggesting that use of these devices is substantially less harmful than smoking, as well as a Cochrane review and actual use data showing that, by providing an alternative source of nicotine, e-cigarettes can be an effective aid to support people to quit smoking.

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Shortly after finishing her lunch at a Malaysian food court, Emily Lee, a 21-year-old university student, stepped outside, pulled out a cigarette and lit it up. “I usually smoke one pack per day,” she said. “I almost always smoke right after a meal.”

Lee said she started smoking when she was 17, a year below the legal age to smoke in Malaysia. “I had a bunch of friends who were smoking, so I started and quickly got addicted to the nicotine.”

Government statistics show that 1 in 5 Malaysians 15 years of age and older smoke, including about 40% of the men. There are more than 27,000 smoking-related deaths in the country annually.

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A New Brunswick judge has reserved his decision on a motion to suspend the province’s ban on flavoured e-cigarettes.


Judge Terrance Morrison of the Court of Queen’s Bench heard arguments in a Burton, N.B., courtroom Tuesday and will deliver his decision on Thursday.

The province has banned e-cigarette flavours, except for tobacco flavour, since last September, but some store owners want to be able to resume sales pending their full court challenge.

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As an international network of historians and social scientists who study approaches to the management of drugs across time and place, we have noticed the effort to redefine addiction as a chronic, relapsing brain disease (CRBD). The CRBD model is promoted as a route to destigmatize addiction and to empower individuals to access treatment that works within that model’s terms. CRBD usefully recognizes that brain-based neural adaptations place individual brains in chronic states of readiness to relapse. [...]

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A leading health professional has warned of the potentially fatal effects of vaping, with primary school children picking up the addiction.

It comes after some Victorian schools have installed sensors to stop students from smoking e-cigarettes.

Paediatrician at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Doctor Anthea Rhodes, told 3AW on Monday vaping is a growing problem among kids. “We saw it really starting to kick off just before Covid and the pandemic,” Dr Rhodes said.

“Now that school’s back and the community’s opened, we’ve really seen vaping unfortunately take off, with children as young as primary school age vaping at school and presumably potentially at home.”

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The city of Houston outlawed vaping in public spaces Wednesday, amending its smoking ordinance to include electronic cigarettes.

City Council unanimously approved the change, proposed last year by the Houston Health Department in response to a growing scientific consensus on the dangers of vaping. The amendment adds all types of e-cigarette devices — vape pens, electronic pipes and hookahs, among others — to the smoking ban, which bars cigarettes from enclosed public places and seating areas and within 25 feet of any building. It does not affect hookah bars or other private areas where smoking is permitted.

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A new study led by public health researchers at Georgia State has found that mental health status significantly affects whether adolescents who use e-cigarettes will begin using cannabis. However, the study also shows that adolescents’ risk for cannabis use differs based on the type of mental health problems they experience.

“We know from existing literature that e-cigarette use is associated with subsequent cannabis use, particularly in youth and young adults. We also know that some population subgroups, such as certain minority populations and those with mental health problems, are more likely to use tobacco products,” said Jidong Huang, [...]

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A group of Mexican lawmakers want to close legal loopholes they say make e-cigarettes easily available to teenagers.

The way the laws are written, it’s illegal to import this product to Mexico, but it’s not unlawful to sell it or manufacture alternative methods of nicotine delivery, lawmakers from the MORENA Party said.

“The consumption of tobacco products is down, but the development of nicotine delivery technology is strongly positioned in our society. We must update our legal framework to include newly commercialized products,” Sen. Eduardo Perez Astorga said in a publicly broadcast forum earlier this month.

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Importing and selling e-cigarettes will remain illegal – despite their pervasive use – after the health ministry yesterday advised against lifting the ban.

The continued ban on all types of electronic cigarettes used for vaping will “help protect non-smokers from health hazards,” Health Ministry Perm-Sec Kiattipoom Wongrachit said yesterday at a meeting of the government’s tobacco board.

 

Kiattipoom added that it was necessary to deter young smokers.

“The ban on the sale of e-cigarettes is an important measure to protect children from victimization,” he said.

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Houston City Council on Wednesday unanimously outlawed vaping, but what does that mean for those Houstonians who choose to use electronic cigarettes? Houston currently bans tobacco smoking in enclosed public places and seating areas and within 25 feet of any building entrance. Smoking in covered bus stops and light rail stops also is prohibited. As of Wednesday, the smoking ban now includes electronic cigarettes.

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City Council on Wednesday will consider a proposal to bar the use of e-cigarettes and any kind of vaping in public spaces under Houston’s smoking ordinance.

The move would update the city’s rules for public smoking, which were written before electronic cigarettes existed, Health Department spokesman Porfirio Villarreal said Monday. Houston currently prohibits tobacco smoking in enclosed public places and seating areas, and within 25 feet of any building. Smoking in covered bus stops and light rail stops also is barred.

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With more and more states fully legalizing cannabis for medical and adult use, regulation has become a hot topic for the industry – and it won’t be going away anytime soon. The markets for virtually all cannabis uses (with the exception of industrial hemp, under the Farm Bill) have manifested at the state level without the benefit of federal oversight. One of the biggest consequences of state-based programs has been striking inconsistencies in assuring public safety through the establishment of testing requirements and the licensing of third-party, independent testing laboratories. Establishing legal cannabis programs on a state-by-state basis has been from the ground up. [...]

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That’s how Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, describes new research that indicates teens are increasingly struggling with nicotine addiction, largely from vaping e-cigarettes. The research, published [...] in the Journal of the American Medical Association, finds much of the progress made in nearly two decades of getting kids to quit smoking may be backsliding as so many teens are trying — but failing — to quit vaping nicotine. “If anything, concerns about the level of addiction have been understated,” Myers said. “This demonstrates that kids trying to quit e-cigarettes are failing at levels we haven’t seen in years.”

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As a physician – one who has dedicated his career to treating lung diseases – it has become clear to me that asking a smoker to quit, gradually cut back, or instructing smokers on the use of more traditional nicotine-replacement therapies, like nicotine gum or patches, is not as simple or as effective as it sounds. Hence, the availability and acceptability of safer tobacco and nicotine products may be critical to successfully helping adult smokers move away from traditional cigarettes.

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The introduction of a tax on heated tobacco products at 25% less than combustible tobacco over the past two years gives a small nod to harm reduction but is really aimed at reducing overall nicotine consumption. [...] SA Treasury’s Chief Director for Economic Tax Analysis, Chris Axelson, told Medical Brief that a flat tax rate on electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) – based on the amount of liquid they contain –has been agreed upon in principle. This will be regardless of whether the ENDS contains nicotine or a non-nicotine liquid. While having a nicotine content baseline was an attractive policy idea, “it just gets incredibly complicated to enforce”.

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Regulators and policymakers are on the warpath against vaping. Last fall, the FDA effectively banned millions of the most popular e-cigarette devices and nicotine liquids ex-smokers use in place of combustible tobacco. The agency's decision was poised to wipe out a major portion of the e-cigarette industry. So instead of going out of business, some vaping companies evaded the agency's decision by using synthetic nicotine in their products. The FDA at the time only had the authority to regulate products derived from tobacco, including nicotine.

 

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House Democrats are set to pass legislation this week to legalize marijuana at the federal level. 

The bill, authored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and titled the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, would remove cannabis from the list of federal controlled substances and eliminate criminal penalties associated with the drug.

It would also impose a federal tax on marijuana sales to fund programs to help communities negatively impacted by the war on drugs.