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Vaping companies could be asked to fund research into the health effects of flavoured liquids used in e-cigarettes under plans being considered by the UK’s medicines watchdog. The proposal, outlined to the Observer by an expert on tobacco control, comes as studies link e-liquid flavours such as mint, creme brulee and cinnamon to heart and lung problems.

Last week, the US announced a ban on most e-liquid flavours over fears that vaping has reached epidemic proportions among teenagers. [...]

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A crackdown is coming on Australians who illegally import nicotine vaping products online, in a move set to reignite debate over whether e-cigarettes are helpful for smokers who need help to quit.
Despite laws prohibiting the importation of nicotine vape liquids - except under a little-used scheme that requires a prescription - there has until now been little obstacle to buying it online, with thousands of vapers - including those aged under 18 - importing it without obstruction.

 

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s2smodern

Deja vu in the new year, already. What a healthy beginning to 2020.

“We will protect the industry,” President Donald Trump said during remarks to reporters at a New Year’s Eve gala.

The Wall Street Journal alleged that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will move to ban most flavored vapor products across the U.S. market. This was confirmed.

The partial ban is now active and a reality. The FDA also remains adamant that this isn’t a “ban” because products can return to the market through the existing PMTA processes. Still, it’s a ban in one form or another.

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Malawi has passed a bill decriminalising cannabis for medicinal and industrial purposes, almost five years after a motion to legalise industrial hemp was adopted.

The country follows in the footsteps of Zimbabwe, Zambia and Lesotho, neighbouring south-east African states that have legalised medicinal cannabis, as well as South Africa, where medicinal and recreational use was decriminalised in 2018.

“Today is a very glorious day for me personally and, I think, for the entire nation,” said Boniface Kadzamira, the former MP who tabled the topic in 2015, following the successful passage of the bill on Thursday.

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The decision of the FDA not to ban all flavored e-cigarettes is a huge victory for public health. By allowing vape shops to continue selling flavored vape liquids, the FDA is preventing hundreds of thousands of ex-smokers from being forced to return to smoking. It also ensures that this important off-ramp from smoking remains available to adult smokers.

However, the battle is not yet over because if the FDA implements the PMTA deadline in May of this year, it will wipe out most of the vaping industry, handing it over to the tobacco companies. [...]

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The government insists it never interfered with state agencies to favour Philip Morris (Thailand) Ltd (PMTL) by lobbying public prosecutors not to press a new charge against the company.

On the fourth day of the no-confidence debate, the opposition raised the dispute between Thai agencies and tobacco company Philip Morris to grill the government.

Saranwuth Sarankate, a Pheu Thai Party MP for Uttaradit, accused Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai of being involved in efforts to help the company. [...]

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Many vapers say they feel safe using e-cigarettes despite the recent outbreak of lung injuries, new survey data shows.

About 77 percent of e-cigarette users say they believe vaping is healthier than smoking cigarettes and 60 percent say it is healthier than drinking alcohol.

Shockingly, nearly 80 percent of vapers younger than age 40 say they feel safe vaping. Collin Czarnecki, lead researcher of the survey conducted by Harmony Healthcare IT [...] said the findings show that more awareness needs to be spread on the dangers of vaping, particularly for young adults.

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President Rodrigo Duterte is now banning the use of unregistered vape in public and enclosed places nationwide.

Duterte signed Executive Order 106, amending EO 26 that prohibits smoking of cigarettes in enclosed areas such as schools, elevators and stairwells, fire hazard locations, medical facilities.

Vaping is no longer allowed except in designated smoking areas, which may be an open space or area with proper ventilation, the order read.

EO 106 also regulated the sale, manufacture, marketing, distribution and importation of unregistered electronic nicotine devices and other novel tobacco products, [...]

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[...]

Adam is among a small but growing number of UK teenagers who vape as a fashionable and, UK health authorities say, potentially safer alternative to smoking cigarettes.

Parents on the online forum Mumsnet said they would prefer their children to vape than smoke and Public Health England, a government body, says that vaping is 95 per cent safer than smoking. But this claim is based on 2014 data and scientists are increasingly rejecting the advice.

In recent years, more than 20 countries have banned vaping while others, including Canada and Australia, have tightened regulations.

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A sweeping tobacco bill slated for a House vote this week is reviving interest in limiting the levels of nicotine in cigarettes and other products — an idea the FDA first proposed three years ago that's largely fallen off the Trump administration's regulatory agenda.

Nicotine caps aren't actually in the legislation which would ban flavored tobacco, including menthol. But the way in which the Democratic bill goes further than the Trump administration's dialed-back vaping ban is focusing attention on what public health advocates say is a broader White House retreat from regulating tobacco [...]

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Amid the epidemic levels of youth use of e-cigarettes and the popularity of certain products among children, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration [...] issued a policy prioritizing enforcement against certain unauthorized flavored e-cigarette products that appeal to kids, including fruit and mint flavors. Under this policy, companies that do not cease manufacture, distribution and sale of unauthorized flavored cartridge-based e-cigarettes (other than tobacco or menthol) within 30 days risk FDA enforcement actions.

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In this episode of RegWatch Dr. Rodu discusses events behind the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA) retraction of a major study by authors Stanton Glantz and Dharma Bhatta of the University of California San Francisco that purported to show nicotine vaping led to an increase in heart attacks. The study fueled national panic over vaping and Dr. Rodu led the effort questioning the work.

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s2smodern

The addiction treatment and recovery system in the United States is massive. The industry comprises approximately 15,000 public and private service units with more than 1.3 million persons in care at any point in time. Some 24 million people are in long-term recovery, having benefited from treatment, recovery support and/or a variety of mutual aid organizations. Considerable innovation occurs regularly in the system, including motivational/cognitive-behavioral approaches, recovery community organizations, and harm reduction strategies such as needle exchange and naloxone distribution.

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The health risks of e-cigarettes have come into focus after the deaths of several “vapers” due to lung injury in the USA recently. These health risks were discussed in press reports on eight young people who were poisoned in Bremerhaven in October 2019. Patients suffered from convulsive seizures, impaired consciousness and memory, and heart palpitations.

According to a preliminary assessment from the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), the prohibited use of synthetic cannabinoids in e-liquids can be assumed with high likelihood as reason for the observed symptoms. [...]

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The past decade in British healthcare has been disappointing: improvements in life expectancy and neonatal mortality have stalled and public satisfaction with the NHS has fallen sharply.

But one positive singled out in a recent review of healthcare developments was the rise of e-cigarettes use, which the article noted had given “tobacco cessation a boost at no cost to the public purse”. Yet 2019 was one of the most challenging years for e-cigarettes since they emerged on the global market just over 10 years ago. [...]

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Cancer Council Tasmania is an organisation that provides information supported by evidence. It was disappointing to read Senator Eric Abetz's view that it makes good sense to wean smokers onto vaping (The Examiner, February 25). There is no evidence to support his claims. The short and long-term health effects of e-cigarettes are currently being researched. It took many years for the harms of tobacco smoking to be understood, so why are we rushing in to support the legalisation of vaping when there is insufficient evidence on understanding the impacts and harms, or not, of vaping.

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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. [...]

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s2smodern

Public Health Law Center Executive Director D. Douglas Blanke, J.D., spoke as part of a panel on e-cigarettes and nicotine addiction during the National Governors Association 2020 Winter Meeting.

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s2smodern

The Trump administration is expected to announce this week that it will ban mint-, fruit- and dessert-flavored e-cigarette cartridges popular with teenagers, but allow menthol and tobacco flavors to remain on the market.

Flavored liquid nicotine used in open tank systems can continue to be sold, according to two administration officials who have been briefed on the plan. It is an important concession to vape shops that have thrived alongside the booming e-cigarette business in recent years.

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Vaping alters the bacteria in the mouth, making e-cigarettes users more prone to inflammation and infection than non-smokers, new research suggests.

Researchers say their study is the first to demonstrate vaping changes the oral microbiome – the community of bacteria and other micro-organisms, adding to the limited understanding of the safety of e-cigarettes. Senior author Xin Li [...] said: “Given the popularity of vaping, it is critical that we learn more about the effects of e-cigarette aerosols on the oral microbiome and host inflammatory responses in order to better understand the impact of vaping on human health.”