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Industries often position products to tout the benefits of one category over another—such as the higher-quality, traditional ingredients of a microbrew over mass-produced brewery beer. Researchers suggest that during the past decade, efforts to promote e-cigarettes as a healthier alternative to combustible cigarettes instead backfired, resulting in a product with a reputation as bad or worse than the existing cigarette category.

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In line with previous studies, a paper by researchers at Penn State College of Medicine, has indicated that adults like candy-flavoured e-cigarettes too. “Our data show that flavors aren’t just popular with the youth, but with adults as well,” said lead author and associate professor of medicine and public health sciences, Dr. Ping Du. “Many of the participants in our study indicated that they used e-cigarettes as a means to quit smoking or avoid relapse, and these flavors may be part of the reason why they end up using e-cigarettes in the long term,” she said.

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Alberta’s top doctor is urging smokers to quit, as new research suggests smoking and vaping can increase both the risk of contracting COVID-19 and of having more serious complications from the virus. “Smoking and e-cigarettes can expose the lungs to toxic chemicals . . . There is growing evidence that quitting smoking or vaping, even temporarily, can have positive outcomes in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.”

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Smoking is more common in people with poor mental health than in the general population. In the UK, >40% of adults who have a serious mental illness also smoke; in the general population, the proportion of smokers is nearly 15% (Action on Smoking and Health, 2019a). Those with mental health conditions are also more likely to smoke heavily and intensively, inhaling greater volumes of carbon monoxide and other toxins (National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training, 2018).

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In Quebec, the challenge to vaping is starker, as the provincial government escalates its war on vaping to a point where a complete ban is not only possible but probable.

In this episode of RegWatch, we are joined by the Canadian Vaping Association’s executive director and lead advocate Darryl Tempest for a complete update (provincial and federal) about the impact COVID19 is having on vaping in Canada.

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A panel of experts asked the ministers of nine Asia-Pacific countries to restate tobacco harm reduction as a core policy in the Ninth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to be held in The Hague, Netherlands in November this year. The CAPHRA experts sent the letter to the top ministers of Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand where cigarette smoking continues to cause deaths and diseases among large segments of their population.

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Researchers at The Ohio State University will study the health effects of e-cigarettes and nicotine on youth and help develop vaping cessation programs after receiving a $5.5 million grant from the American Heart Association.

 

“This study engages experts across our medical center and health sciences colleges collaborating together,” said Dr. Hal Paz, executive vice president and chancellor for Health Affairs at The Ohio State University and CEO of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “It’s vital to better understand what gets our youth addicted, the long term effects on the lungs and heart [...]

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In a way, the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) ban on flavored e-cigarettes and vaping ended in a compromise. As of Feb. 6, convenience stores and other retailers can no longer carry or display cartridge-based e-cigarettes or vaping pods in flavors other than menthol and tobacco.

“Our wholesale supplier along with our individual brand representatives were very helpful in managing product inventory levels throughout the entire dialogue,” said Lisa Dell Alba, [...] “We were able to keep product available until the deadline, allowing our eligible customers to purchase what they needed.”

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Anti-vaping activist groups are using the coronavirus crisis to advance their goal of restricting — or even completely banning — the use of e-cigarettes, arguing that vapers are at higher risk of harm from COVID-19.

However, the available evidence indicates the opposite: If they had worked to convince more smokers to switch to e-cigarettes, there might be fewer coronavirus-related deaths today.

That’s the view of Dr. Michael Siegel, professor of community health sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health.

 

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As the pandemic of COVID-19, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is still under progression, the identification of prognostic factors is a global challenge. Among epidemiological risk factors, the role of smoking, to date, is unclear. Smoking has been initially found associated with adverse disease prognosis of COVID- 19, although this finding remains controversial[. Reported rates of current smokers among SARS-CoV-2-infected patients are heterogeneous, ranging from 1.4% to 12.5% (TABLE [1, 3-10]).

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Pretoria - Tax Justice South Africa has again urged the government to heed growing calls for a review of what it calls “nonsensical” and “draconian” ban on cigarettes that threatens to undermine the lockdown.
Founder Yusuf Abramjee said: “The ill-thought prohibition of cigarettes is impoverishing the nation, enriching criminals and destroying the public’s faith in the lockdown, which is crucial for its success. “The ban is doing little to reduce the movement of people. Instead, it achieves quite the opposite: encouraging South Africa’s 11 million smokers to travel further to find cigarettes in the black market, [...]

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As New Zealand endures the COVID-19 alert level 4 lockdown, Kiwi smokers are being encouraged to end the extra stress tobacco addiction brings them at an already stressful time. Miles Illemann is the CEO of NZ Smokefree Tomorrow Limited, the sole distributor of nicotine pouches in New Zealand.

He says the company's mission is helping New Zealand achieve smokefree status by 2025 and nicotine pouches will be a huge help.

"They just have such a high, proven effective rate. What we're seeing in European countries is nicotine pouches have a success rate of 60 - 75 percent in getting people to quit smoking," says Illemann.

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The Lebanese parliament on Tuesday passed legislation to legalize cannabis cultivation for medical and industrial purposes, a move that was recommended by economic advisers even before the coronavirus pandemic dealt a devastating blow to the Mediterranean nation's struggling economy.

Under the new law, the cultivation of cannabis by farmers would be regulated within the country, according to The Daily Star, a Lebanese English-language newspaper. Although the plant has long been widely and openly cultivated in Lebanon, particularly in the country's eastern Bekaa Valley, growing cannabis was strictly illegal.

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Police minister Bheki Cele has said that no shop will be allowed to sell cigarettes during the national lockdown, as they are non-essential. He was responding to the Western Cape government's decision to lift the ban on the sale of cigarettes, emphasizing that they may only be sold together with essential goods. [...] We are joined via Skype by Emeritus Professor of Critical Care at Wits University, Prof Guy Richards.

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A tobacco lobby group representing southern African cigarette manufacturers is arguing that the ban on the sale of their product is “unconstitutional, unlawful and invalid”, and is preparing to challenge the prohibition in court. It is estimated that the ban on the sale of tobacco products cost SA almost R500m in cigarette excise duties in the first two weeks of the national lockdown. The government expected to collect about R14.5bn in excise taxes in 2020/2021

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An Asia-wide education and information campaign, #SmokeFree4Life, was launched last month, and is urging the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) to respect the rights of smokers who wish to switch to safer alternatives such as e-cigarettes in order to quit smoking or reduce harm. “We, vapers and former smokers, and advocates of tobacco harm reduction, have an opportunity to add to the global discussions on ENDS, heat-not-burn tobacco products and snus as much safer alternatives to combustible cigarettes. [...]

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Jason McCoy, tobacco prevention coordinator for Clay County Public Health, says the split between people he’s heard from reacting to the pandemic by quitting vs. people smoking more than before due to boredom or anxiety is “about 50-50.”

“We’re seeing people who stay at home — you could feel like there’s nothing to do so I need to smoke,” he said. “And I think there are probably some people who are scared and maybe the nicotine is what they think will help them cope. But we know that while nicotine seems like it will cause instant comfort but it enhances anxiety.”

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As people rushed to stock up on toilet paper and hand sanitizer in March, Debi Meinwieser dropped thousands of dollars on more than 400 bottles of vape juice for e-cigarettes.

The 56-year-old from Whiting Township said she sought out the supply not in anticipation of the coronavirus outbreak and stay-at-home order, but to avoid a drought when the state law banning flavored vaping products takes effect Monday.

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In the Philippines, the medical community struggles with the lack of ENDS/ENNDS product regulation. “Juuls are only the tip of the iceberg. Due to poor regulation, nearly anyone has access to these vapes,” asserts Loyola Schools Office of Health Services (LSHS) Director Henrietta dela Cruz, MD, MPH, FPCCP. In line with dela Cruz’ concerns on the regulation of ENDS/ENNDS products, the national Food and Drug Administration (FDA) admitted to the poor regulation of the industry throughout the country. [...]

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In 2018, vaping company Juul stopped selling some flavored products from stores after facing intense pressure from the FDA to do more to curb youth vaping rates.

A new study by American Cancer Society researchers published in the American Journal of Public Health has indicated that this removal of certain flavors for sale had little-to-no long-term effect on sales, with users quickly switching to other flavors or different brands that were still selling the “sweet” flavors.

“There is no doubt that this is a way to market the products to youth,” said J. Taylor Hays, [...]