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s2smodern

The World Health Organization (WHO) published an astonishingly bad Q&A on electronic cigarettes on January 20, full of lies of omission, outright falsehoods and hyperbole.

While the WHO has plenty of past form on this issue, it remains shocking that a prestigious organization employing some of the world’s foremost experts on health whose work has improved or saved the lives of billions of people, have jumped on the regressive anti-tobacco harm reduction bandwagon.

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s2smodern

The World Health Organisation (WHO) have run a Q&A via their website on electronic cigarettes.

 

Dr Nick Hopkinson, Reader in Respiratory Medicine at the National Heart and Lung Institute Imperial College London, said:

“We know that e-cigarettes are substantially safer than smoking, because the toxic substances present in cigarette smoke are either completely absent, or present at much lower levels.

“Evidence from randomised controlled trials shows clearly that e-cigarettes can help smokers to quit. [...]

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s2smodern

While youth vaping rates have increased in recent years, most middle and high school students don't vape or smoke and very few vape or smoke daily, finds a study led by researchers at NYU School of Global Public Health. The study, published this month in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, finds that over 80 percent of youth do not use any tobacco and over 86 percent don't vape—and among the minority who do vape, most are not regular users. In addition, the study reveals that most youth who are vaping are also current or former smokers.

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s2smodern

A recent New York Times editorial about the Food and Drug Administration reflects a systematic weakness at the once-venerable Gray Lady: The members of the editorial board often rely on sloganeering and popular wisdom instead of substantive evidence.

The editorial was headlined, “The FDA Is in Trouble. Here’s How to Fix It.” The agency is in trouble. But it’s due to the very kinds of “fixes” the Times recommends. The FDA is highly bureaucratic and risk averse, leading to a slow and expensive drug approval process—at last count, more than $2.5 billion to bring a new drug to market. [...]

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s2smodern

Muhammadiyah has declared electronic cigarettes and vaping as haram in a fatwa issued recently by the second biggest Muslim organisation in the country.

The organisation’s central executive board's tarjih (lawmaking) and tadjid (reform) council outlined the fatwa in a decree on e-cigarettes issued on Jan. 14 in Yogyakarta.

 

Wawan Gunawan Abdul Wahid, a member of the council's fatwa and guidance development division, said the fatwa was issued to underline Muhammadiyah’s stance against all kinds of cigarettes.

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s2smodern

Many opponents of vaping think the practice is a big tobacco conspiracy to keep people smoking and hook more kids. The reality is that vaping is a huge and disruptive threat to the tobacco industry. Campaigns against vaping support the cigarette market and are a huge gift to Big Tobacco.

For over a century, tobacco companies have run an incredibly lucrative cartel, selling an addictive product. Tobacco stocks have been the best performing segment of the stock market for over a century in spite of all-out tobacco control activities.

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s2smodern

We’re lucky to be joined this week by Shane MacGuill – Senior Head of Tobacco Research at Euromonitor International. Shane conducts in-depth research and provides strategic analysis on all aspects of the global tobacco and nicotine market and has recently broadened his scope to look at the emerging cannabis industry.

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s2smodern

A British tobacco advertising ban should be relaxed so that firms can highlight the health benefits of new alternatives to cigarettes, the head of major player Philip Morris International (PMI) has said.

Andrè Calantzopoulos said that products such as heated tobacco are much less risky for traditional smokers but it is hard to persuade them to switch due to rules which heavily restrict marketing.

Cigarettes must be hidden from view at shops in Britain and sold in plain packets, while tobacco advertising in all forms of media is illegal.

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s2smodern

IN A MAJOR POLICY SHIFT, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has endorsed vaping nicotine for Australian smokers in the latest national smoking cessation guidelines published today.

The peak GP organisation has carefully reviewed all the evidence on the effectiveness and safety of vaping and has determined that it is a legitimate quitting aid for adult smokers.

The guidelines advise GPs and other health professionals to recommend vaping for smokers who want to quit but have tried unsuccessfully with currently available medications.

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s2smodern

Trump reportedly regrets getting involved with the government's vaping policy. However, the president needs to remember that the law is still the law. Unfortunately, the "vape apocalypse" is mandated by federal law and a federal court. Congress has the power to curtail a vaping prohibition through legislation. What is also unfortunate, is that executive power has exceeded the authority of Congress and the courts, which indirectly makes the president, his cabinet, and the responsible regulators de facto lawmakers.

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s2smodern

The impact of the tobacco display ban on young people's attitudes to smoking has been analysed by University of Stirling experts. Professor Sally Haw, of Stirling's Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, and colleagues found the ban on point-of-sale tobacco displays "had been a great success", with retailer compliance high at 98%. This has led to reduction in exposure to tobacco products, however the message that tobacco is still available and still for sale remains very prominent.

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s2smodern

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), also called crib death or cot death, is the sudden and unexplained death of an infant less than one-year-old. There is no exact known cause of SIDS, but a recent study shows that mothers who smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol during pregnancy may have babies with a 12-fold increased risk of SIDS. "Ours is the first large-scale prospective study to closely investigate the association between prenatal alcohol and tobacco exposure and the risk of SIDS. Our findings suggest that combined exposures to alcohol and tobacco have a synergistic effect on SIDS risk, [...]

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s2smodern

New Mexico legislators are considering a full ban on flavored tobacco and nicotine vaping products along with more robust oversight of retail sales to discourage use by minors and young adults.

Backed by Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, one initiative would raise the age limit for tobacco sales including vaping products to 21 [...]

The bill, from Democratic Sens. Linda Lopez and Gabriel Ramos, also would establish mandatory licenses for tobacco manufacturers and vendors. The license could be revoked with repeated violations for sales to those under age 21.

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s2smodern

The rapid pace at which vaping entered mainstream youth culture presented little time for researchers to confidently determine its safety. This lack of certain research often allows for a notion of safety to enter the minds of vape users, even when there might be more harmful consequences. Determining the level of safety when vaping is an ever-evolving question that requires additional research in order to track the long-term effects. [...]

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s2smodern

The U.S. Surgeon General released Thursday a 30-year update on smoking-cessation efforts that provided a mixed message on the effectiveness of electronic cigarettes.

E-cigarettes are not currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a quit-smoking aid, and are not considered as safe products for any user.

“E-cigarettes, a continually changing and diverse group of products, are used in a variety of ways,” Dr. Jerome Adams said in the 20-page consumer guide.

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s2smodern

Tobacco smokers are at significantly higher risk than non-smokers for post-surgical complications including impaired heart and lung functions, infections and delayed or impaired wound healing.

But new evidence reveals that smokers who quit approximately 4 weeks or more before surgery have a lower risk of complication and better results 6 months afterwards. Patients who quit smoking tobacco are less likely to experience complications with anesthesia when compared to regular smokers. 

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s2smodern

Despite efforts from health officials to raise awareness of the potential harms of vaping among young people, social media users are being exposed to a growing amount of pro e-cigarette content. That's according to researchers.

Following a rise in school children saying they have used e-cigarettes—despite the harms nicotine can pose to the developing brain—researchers wanted to gain a better understanding of the part played by social media sites like Instagram. According to the authors [...] e-cigarettes are portrayed as healthier alternatives to regular cigarettes on such platforms.

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s2smodern

Lebanon soon could raise its minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 under a new ordinance proposed by Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital and public safety officials.

The proposal comes even as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month increased the age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 nationally. The change took effect when President Donald Trump signed a budget deal Dec. 20. The proposal for Lebanon also would require those purchasing tobacco — including cigarettes, e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco — to be at least 21 years old.

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s2smodern

Media reports of a vaping epidemic among youth have raised concerns about the creation of a new generation of nicotine-dependent individuals who could graduate to cigarette smoking. We investigated the use of e-cigarettes and cigarettes in the youth of New Zealand from 2014 to 2019, with focus on daily use of these products as an indicator of potential dependence. We analysed data from the Action for Smokefree 2025 Year-10 survey, an annual cross-sectional survey of tobacco use undertaken by almost half of all school students aged 14–15 years (21 504–31 021 students). [...]

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s2smodern

In 2008, a year after smoking was banned indoors across the UK, e-cigarettes hit the market. By 2019, according to a YouGov survey, more than 3.6 million adults in Great Britain were using e-cigarettes or vaping, a total of 7.1 per cent of the adult population. However, as relatively new products, there is very little long-term evidence on e-cigarettes, and many people remain unsure as to whether or not vaping may pose a risk to children, particularly as more and more stories about the dangers of vaping are now hitting the headlines.