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Menthol cigarettes have been historically heavily marketed toward Black Americans. And that's had a strong enough impact that when the Food and Drug Administration proposed a ban on menthol cigarettes yesterday, the agency specifically noted that the move would save the lives of 92,000 to 238,000 African Americans.

"It's a long time coming," said Keith Wailoo, author of the book Pushing Cool: Big Tobacco, Racial Marketing, and the Untold Story of the Menthol Cigarette. In 1964, federal regulators barred tobacco companies from advertising to their key youth demographic. That meant no advertising on college campuses. [...]

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The United Nations expresses full support for Thailand’s ban of electronic cigarettes, known as e-cigarettes, and urges the Government to take strong measures, as appropriate to the national context, to protect the people in Thailand, especially youth from the harms of tobacco use.

“Evidence suggests that e-cigarettes are harmful to health and are not safe. E-cigarettes put young people at risk of lifelong nicotine addiction and can turn current users into dual users,” according to a letter issued today addressed to H.E. General Prayuth Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand.

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New proposals to raise excise tax on nicotine products will push safer alternatives for smokers out of reach and help the black market thrive. [...] “Doubling the tax on vapes and nicotine pouches is the opposite of a cash cow. If anything, it will drain more money from the Treasury by forcing vapers into the black market,” said Casa chairman Joseph Magero on the proposals contained in the Finance Bill.

“Already, Kenya’s sky-high vaping taxes have created a thriving black market for vape products, with many shops selling un-taxed vapes in broad daylight.”

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In 2018, Health Canada took some major steps to deal with the use of vaping products across Canada. The measures, which arrived after news stories in the United States focused on a marked increase in the consumption of these products by young Americans, were well received by Canadians.

In the early years of this century, electronic cigarettes were regarded as a welcome option for people who were trying to quit smoking. However, the emergence of vaping products that actually delivered nicotine into our bodies was lost in an improperly designed regulatory framework. [...]

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The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday announced a plan to ban sales of menthol-flavored cigarettes in the United States, a measure many public health experts hailed as the government’s most meaningful action in more than a decade of tobacco control efforts.

The ban would most likely have the deepest impact on Black smokers, nearly 85 percent of whom use menthol cigarettes, compared with 29 percent of white smokers, according to a government survey. If effective in reducing smoking, the ban could significantly diminish the burden of chronic disease and limit the number of lives cut short by one of the most hazardous legal products available.

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Health Canada’s (HC) Tobacco Products Directorate has embarked on a public consultation to inform a mandated legislative review of the vape-related aspects of the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (TVPA), which was last amended in 2020. Even though the public is invited to comment, HC is sending confusing messages with this process, which suggest it is somewhat confused.

Not long ago [...] HC asked for input on proposals to further restrict flavored vaping products. The responses to that consultation are still being processed and no report has been published. Now, there is another consultation that haphazardly asks questions of respondents as if HC was starting back at square one.

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People with substance use disorders (SUD) have high rates of smoking. One study found that 56 percent reported cigarette use in the past month, compared to 18 percent of people without SUD. An older paper found an even higher rate—77 percent—among methadone patients. Researchers have found that vaping is more effective for smoking cessation than nicotine replacement therapy, so it’s imperative to help smokers in these populations switch to vaping—something USU is working on.    

 

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The vapor industry has welcomed Egypt’s decision to allow the import and commercialization of e-cigarette product.

“The lifting of the ban highlights the Egyptian authorities’ progressive approach to e-cigarettes and sets the stage for the creation of a regulated market rich with business opportunities, through serving the demand for easily accessible, quality products by legal age (adult) consumers across the country,” [...] With its recent decision, Egypt joins global and regional markets, such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which have legalized and commercialized the consumption of e-cigarettes. [...]

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Medical experts welcomed the final version of the vape bill, saying this will strictly regulate e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, protect the youth and save smokers’ lives.

This followed the publication last week of the details of the final version of the vape bill and its key provisions particularly those meant to protect the minors and regulate the sale, advertising and public use of vapor products and HTPs which are considered less harmful alternatives to combustible cigarettes.

 

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Webinar with Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) on "Vaping Down Under" with Kristin Noll-March, Alex Clark and Logan Evans The US Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) was formed in in 2009 as an advocacy group to raise awareness and protect the rights of consumers to access reduced harm alternatives.

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HONG KONG (China Daily/Asia News Network): The Hong Kong government on Thursday (April 28) reminded the public that the ban on the importation and sale of alternative smoking products (ASPs), like electronic cigarettes, will take effect on April 30.

In a statement, the government said that, under the Smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021, people will not be allowed to use or carry an activated ASP in no-smoking areas. Offenders will be fined $1,500.

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Smokers in Hong Kong flocked to stock up on e-cigarettes before the ban on all alternative smoking products took effect on Saturday.  

From April 30, no person may import, promote, manufacture, sell, or possess for commercial purposes alternative smoking products, including electronic smoking products, heated tobacco products, and herbal cigarettes.  

One of the customers was seen buying 15 e-cigarettes in preparation for the coming ban, while merchants said the sales of these products surged three times in recent days.  

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British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd (BAT Malaysia) has urged the government to focus on tackling the tobacco black market, which is expected to see an increase in activity following the reopening of borders on April 1.

BAT Malaysia managing director Nedal Salem pointed out that the black market currently commands approximately 60% of the total market and causes a loss of RM5 billion in tax revenue every year.

“Smugglers are also now using vessels to bring in their black market goods. Hence, we urge the government to continue to increase enforcement, especially in coastal areas, [...]

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An end to the sale of flavored tobacco in the city of San Diego is in reach, much to the relief of school districts, youth-serving organizations, health practitioners, and parents. 

The SAAFE Act, introduced by Councilmember Marni von Wilpert, will end the sale of youth-targeted flavored vapes, flavored cigarillos, and menthol cigarettes if adopted. Hookah, premium flavored cigars, flavored loose-leaf tobacco, and non-flavored tobacco products will remain on store shelves.

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Significant reductions in cigarette use were found among U.S. adults with major depression, substance use disorder, or both from 2006 to 2019, according to a new analysis of nationally representative survey data [...]. The study was conducted by researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). These findings suggest that groups at higher risk of cigarette smoking can be reached by, and may have benefitted from, tobacco use prevention and cessation efforts that have led to significant declines in tobacco use in the general population. [...]

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According to industry analyst Michelle Minton, the future for nicotine vaping in the United States looks “pretty brutal,” following the FDA’s marketing denial orders, the vape mail ban, and the loss of synthetic nicotine as an ingredient in nicotine vapes. In the battle against anti-vaping forces, no one is more tenacious than Michelle Minton, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. [...]

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On April 26, the FDA issued decisions on multiple NJOY Ace e-cigarette products, including the authorization of four new tobacco products through the Premarket Tobacco Product Application (PMTA) pathway. The FDA issued marketing granted orders to NJOY LLC for its Ace closed e-cigarette device and three accompanying tobacco-flavored e-liquid pods, specifically: 

  • NJOY Ace Device
  • NJOY Ace Pod Classic Tobacco 2.4%
  • NJOY Ace Pod Classic Tobacco 5%
  • NJOY Ace Pod Rich Tobacco 5% 
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The early 21st century decline in adolescent use of alcohol, tobacco and cannabis may have reached a plateau, and could reverse, researchers fear.

In a review summarising the latest evidence, a University of Otago team said substance use among 13 to 19-year-olds had peaked in the late 1990s or early 2000s. [...] “Furthermore, evidence suggests we may again be at a turning point, with long-term declines stalling or reversing since about 2014–2016, and e-cigarette use emerging as a new risk,” the study, publicly released on Friday in the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, said.

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On April 8, Mitch Zeller punched the clock for the last time at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), retiring after nearly a decade as director of the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP).

Just weeks later, he spoke to his former agency about his long career. In an interview published on the FDA’s website, Zeller lauded his former colleagues. “In the face of some disappointments that we’ve experienced over the years, no one’s given up,” he said. 

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South Africa will impose a sin tax on vaping products from 2023.

Proponents of vaping products say that this could have a deadly effect on smokers who can’t quit.

Why?

Because sin taxes make products more expensive, which means many smokers won’t be able to afford the devices.

Instead, they’ll keep using cigarettes, which are deadly.

If such a policy goes through, the vaping lobby says the government will be guilty of a human rights violation akin to Aids denialism.

What is Aids denialism? Between 1999 to 2008, the South African government largely denied that Aids was a disease caused by a virus called HIV. [...]