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Helping smokers off cigarettes continues to be one of the most significant health challenges facing America today. But most people have extreme difficulty quitting, even once they finally decide that’s the best course of action. But a growing consensus of scientists believes that harm reduction tools represent our best chance of reducing the impact of tobacco on societal health. Chief among these harm reduction tools in both terms of popularity and effectiveness is e-cigarettes and vaping.

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African Americans who smoke cigarettes are more likely than those who don't smoke to develop peripheral artery disease, according to new research [...] Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a narrowing of arteries other then those directly serving the heart. [...] African Americans are disproportionately affected by PAD, nearly twice as much as non-Hispanic Whites. While cigarette smoking is a recognized PAD risk factor, little is known about its specific impact on African Americans.

 

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s2smodern

As an internist who treats hundreds of recalcitrant smokers a year, I was desperate for useful quitting techniques. I finally found a successful approach. In most cases a nicotine patch during the day, combined with e-cigarettes when the urge for tobacco hits, works best. Vaping is less dangerous than cigarette smoking, but it isn’t harmless, and the long-term health effects aren’t yet known. The American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Association for Cancer Research and American Heart Association have all expressed concerns about e-cigarettes.

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Free-market thinktanks around the world provide a powerful voice of support to cigarette manufacturers in battles against tougher regulations, a Guardian investigation shows.

The tobacco industry has long been treated as a pariah by many governments and officials because its products kill more than 7 million people per year.

But the industry has found support from free-market thinktanks, including from some of the most prestigious.

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The Belarusian president signed Decree No. 2 [...] regulating production, trade and consumption of tobacco products on 24 January, [...] The main goal is to consistently limit access to tobacco products, to reduce the negative effects of smoking on health of people. The document envisages legislative regulation of production, sale and use of electronic smoking systems, and also heat-not-burn tobacco products. Such systems shall be subject to the legal norms in respect of production, sale and consumption of tobacco products.

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While cigarette smoking has hit an all-time low, another form of tobacco use is rising in popularity – hookah smoking – and researchers are concerned there's a new epidemic brewing, especially among young adults.

Once seen as an exotic pastime and cultural phenomenon in the Middle East, hookah smoking spread to Europe and North America in recent years.

"When I started this research 20 years ago, I did not think that it would be a global problem," said Dr. Wasim Maziak [...] "Now, hookah has moved to the U.S. and it's one of the main tobacco products used by young Americans."

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Flavored Juul pods are disappearing from vape store shelves across the country. That's because, in November, the nicotine delivery company was facing a regulatory smackdown. Regulators at the Food and Drug Administration feared Juul was getting more and more teens addicted to nicotine just as youth smoking rates were...[...]

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Shanghai scientists have located brain areas of smokers and drinkers, bringing new insights and opening possibilities for stopping addictive behavior. They found that regular smokers tend to have low functional connectivity, especially in the brain area associated with the processing of punishment, while those who drink often have high brain connectivity, especially in the reward-related brain area.

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The price of cigarettes has risen significantly in recent months, but that has not deterred the country’s smokers. And the prices could rise even further. 

ITC Limited, which controls over three-quarter of India’s cigarette market, showed that it’s revenue from the cigarettes sales in the last nine months fell 15% compared to the same time a year earlier. However, the earnings before interest and tax went up 9%; and it was still below expectations. 

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In a new White Paper, “Public Health—Much Harder than Rocket Science,” Philip Morris International (PMI) looks at the dynamics between consumers, corporations and authorities across a range of global public health issues. [...]

Consumers all over the world want their governments to do better at solving major public health issues, according to the IPSOS survey of 31,000 respondents across 31 countries commissioned by PMI. In the survey, respondents were asked how important they believed it is for governments to dedicate time and resources to nine global health issues [...]

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Anti-tobacco groups worry a change in government could further delay or erase tobacco legislation. After languishing for five years, a few key sections of the Alberta Tobacco Reduction Amendment Act will expire at the end of the year.

Sections of the act which ban E-cigarettes in indoor public spaces and prohibit flavoured water-pipe tobacco use will cease to be active unless they are proclaimed over the next year, says Les Hagen, executive director of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).

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Researchers say the popularity of vaping among young Australian women is a growing public health concern, with new data revealing how many are taking up the habit.

A study has shown that more than one in 10 Aussie women aged 19-26 have tried vaping, but that more than a quarter of users have never smoked cigarettes. Researcher Alemu Melka, [...] said that figure might seem positive, but it was actually concerning because some research indicated that e-cigarette users were more likely to go on to smoke cigarettes.

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The presence of Juul e-cigarettes in high schools across the country is increasing — and so is Juul Labs' lobbying presence in the nation's capital.

The company, which bills its product as "a satisfying alternative to cigarettes," spent $750,000 on lobbying during the last three months of 2018, according to lobbying disclosure forms filed with Congress on Tuesday.

According to the filing, Juul advocated on the issue "regulation of e-cigarettes and vaping products designed to improve the lives of adult smokers." [...]

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The head of Philip Morris International has said the cannabis market remains too risky for it to follow rival cigarette maker Altria by making a significant investment in the nascent sector.

André Calantzopoulos, chief executive, stressed that there was a paucity of scientific data on the long-term impact of cannabis. Because international regulators were adopting different approaches to the drug, there could be logistical and reputational risks, he said.

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In recent weeks the public has been bombarded, both nationally and locally, by news stories featuring teens falling for the futuristic allure of e-cigarettes, while full-page, color ads feature adult smokers switching to what is being touted as a “safer” alternative to smoking.

This new epidemic of e-cigarettes is not only targeting young smokers while serving as a convenient justification for older smokers to embrace what they feel is a healthier way to smoke, but it is also enticing non-smokers to give it a try.

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With Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo continuing to push legal recreational marijuana use and retail sales for the state of New York, Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello said he would be interested in the county opting out of legal retail sales of the drug. Cuomo said that future legislation would allow county and city governments to choose whether to allow retail sales within their boundaries. He mentioned in his recent State of the State address that statewide legalization would raise an estimated $300 million per year from taxes.

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In the pursuit of reducing the harms caused by cigarettes, those of us who advocate for vaping as a public-health harm reduction tool are constantly battling with bullying and harassment, “justified” by moral outrage. During my first foray into this world, at the US E-Cig summit in 2017, I was surprised at the level of vitriol I witnessed, at the jeering and boos as different opinions, approaches and research were presented. Since then I have personally experienced such attacks, with the most recent coming at me on January 15.

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People, particularly young people, don't understand the risks of vaping, says the P.E.I. Tobacco Reduction Alliance, and it has launched an education campaign to change that. Julia Hartley, co-ordinator of the P.E.I. Lung Association, a member of the alliance, said vaping dangers include toxic chemicals such as metals and flavourings, as well as ultra-fine particles.

"Ultra-fine particles can really harm your lungs over time," said Hartley.

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Today, we’re joined by a broad range of stakeholders to discuss approaches to eliminating youth use of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. Specifically, our focus is the potential role that drug therapies may play in the broader effort to eliminate e-cigarette and other tobacco use among young people, as well as the appropriate methods for evaluating such therapies.
[...] In recent years, we’ve appeared poised to slay one of the most pernicious public health challenges of our times – the death and disease caused by cigarette smoking. [...]

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A number of health organizations are calling on the Saskatchewan government to update provincial tobacco laws to deal with high smoking rates in the province.

 

The latest data from the 2017 Canadian Tobacco Alcohol and Drug survey released in October 2018 found 21.9 per cent of youth aged 15 to 19 in the province currently smoke.

That number jumps to 23.4 per cent of those aged 20 to 24.