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In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched an anti-smoking mass media campaign that included ads featuring Rebecca, a real person who agreed to speak on camera about her use of tobacco and her struggles with depression.

About 32 percent of people with mental health conditions smoke compared to 23 percent of smokers without mental illness. The CDC’s 2016 Tips from Former Smokers or "Tips" campaign [...] was one of the first to deliberately feature someone who had a mental health condition and successfully quit smoking.

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South Korea has become the first east Asian country to legalise medical cannabis in a surprising move to expand the treatment options for patients with epilepsy and other rare diseases in the conservative country.

The country’s national assembly approved amending the Act on the Management of Narcotic Drugs on Friday to allow non-hallucinogenic doses of medical marijuana. Still, using weed even for medical purpose will be strictly controlled with patients required to apply to the Korea Orphan Drug Centre, [...]

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With votes by Italy’s League and Five Stars (Coalition), the consumption tax on e-liquids is reduced by a significant 90% on non-nicotine-containing liquids, and 80% on the nicotine containing types. With regards to online sales, e-cig manufacturers will also be able to sell e-liquids online after registering with the tax (customs) warehouse. Additionally, from now on, manufacturers must comply with the European Tobacco Directive (TPD), and can only sell nicotine liquids that contain a maximum nicotine concentration of 20 milligrams per milliliter.

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The anti-tobacco use group New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP) has decried the meager tobacco tax increase imposed by the House of Representatives on tobacco products. Saying “it simply won’t do’’, NVAP president Emer Rojas said, in reaction to the decision of the House Committee on Ways and Means to adjust by an initial amount of P2.50 the tobacco tax rate.

He said it was not sufficient to attain the measure’s goal of minimizing to the fullest cigarette smoking and other tobacco use.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued a warning letter to Electric Lotus LLC for selling nicotine-containing e-liquids used in e-cigarettes with labeling and/or advertising that cause them to resemble kid-friendly food products, such as cereal, candy and peanut butter and jelly. [...] “We’re seeing too many cases where companies are designing e-liquid products in packages that resemble children’s food items and this sort of egregious marketing can lead to accidental ingestion of potentially lethal doses of nicotine by young kids.

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Juul Labs has soared to the top of the United States e-cigarette market in just three years with its high-nicotine products that give off just a wisp of vapor.

Now, facing public backlash and overseas restrictions, the company is working on a way to lower the nicotine in its pods — but still maintain a potent punch from the addictive chemical. Joshua Raffel, a Juul spokesman [...] would only say: “We are always looking to create products that help adult smokers switch from combustible cigarettes and limit appeal to youth.”

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No health issue has the capacity to divide public opinions more than smoking.

Even as countries around the world introduce more measures to curb the unhealthy habit, industry players, experts and consumers are calling on authorities to hold discussions and work towards substituting regular tobacco products with purportedly less harmful options such as e-cigarettes. For one, governments in Asia are largely averse to having such discussions as the debate over the issue remains “polarised and emotional”, said Professor Tikki Pangestu, [...]

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The more often adolescents say they have seen adverts for e-cigarettes, the more often they use both e-cigarettes and smoke tobacco cigarettes, according to a study published in ERJ Open Research.

The study took place in Germany, where regulations around tobacco and e-cigarettes advertising are more permissive than in other parts of Europe. Elsewhere there are firm bans on advertising tobacco but certain types of adverts and promotions for e-cigarettes are permitted.

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One in two forensic mental health patients in Christchurch are believed to have used synthetic drugs, which is contributing to significant numbers of mental health admissions.

Patients are routinely arriving at Hillmorton Hospital under the influence of the drugs, also known as synthetic cannabinoids, according to staff.

Users could display schizophrenia-like symptoms, and become aggressive and agitated, according to a leading psychiatrist. [...]

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If you are a parent, pay close attention, there are vaping devices small enough for school kids are taking them to school [...] "They're easy to hide, they look like a flash drive but they're a vaping device, the most popular called a Juul pen, which is normally filled with liquid nicotine," DEA Agent Wendell Campbell said. "But kids are misusing it, filling it with marijuana extract to get a secret high many times while in school."

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main chemical responsible for most of marijuana's psychological effects.

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Union health ministry has directed all States to make government buildings and offices “Tobacco Free” in order to protect public health. Health secretary Preeti Sudan has written to all State Chief Secretaries and Secretaries of all government departments that the ministry is ready to extend any technical support if required for the initiative. [...] The ministry of health and family welfare housed in Nirman Bhawan has already taken this initiative and issued a circular for banning use of any form of tobacco in the building.

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A chart published in May 2017 by the EU as part of a survey regarding attitude towards tobacco in Europe, lists the percentage of smokers in 28 nations. Bulgaria topped this chart where 36% of its population smokes daily. [...] Finally, represented by a short red line at the bottom of the chart, was Sweden, with 5% of daily smokers. [...] The country adopted a unique strategy that largely and naturally replaced cigarettes with a seemingly unique product that offers its users nicotine and tobacco.

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Phillip Morris South Africa is offering a new range of reduced risk products to reach their vision of a smoke free world.

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Earlier this month, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced sweeping new rules governing e-cigarettes and tobacco in the United States. [...] More worryingly, these moves may pave the way for even more radical regulations that would, in essence, make it illegal to sell the combustible tobacco products favored by cigarette and cigar smokers throughout the United States. The new vaping rules fall short of the stricter interventions favored by many anti-smoking activists.[...]

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The decision by the Scottish Government has already sparked fear that greedy lags are stockpiling cigarettes and tobacco before flogging them for up to 25 times their value. It’s estimated that 80 per cent of Scots lags smoke so there will be no shortage of takers looking for an illicit puff.

We’ve already told how inmates are being offered e-cigs and vaping kits, inset, to help wean them off fags.

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Philip Morris International, one of the biggest tobacco companies in the world, sees SA’s mooted tobacco regulations as an impediment to its plan to phase out its cigarette brands, such as Marlboro, in favour of healthier alternatives.

The New York-listed cigarette and tobacco giant wants to ultimately replace all its cigarettes with new products that do not produce harmful smoke, such as e-cigarettes and its new iQOS range of devices that heat instead of burn tobacco.

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The Altria Group, whose fortune was built on traditional cigarette brands like Marlboro, is in talks to buy a minority stake in Juul Labs, the start-up that has captured much of the market for e-cigarettes, two people briefed on the matter said on Wednesday.

If a deal is struck, Altria will get a piece of a popular e-cigarette maker — but one that critics say has targeted teenage customers.

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A group of politicians are campaigning for the use of vapes and e-cigarettes to be legal in the workplace.

The group called The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Vaping (APPGV) is calling for companies and businesses to provide proper indoor vaping areas and policies.

 

They believe 'reasonable vaping etiquette' should be created and all outside areas should be open to vapers unless there is a legitimate safety or professional reason to stop it, [...]

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Smokers who switch to vaping don't lapse for long—according to new research from the University of East Anglia. While vapers may occasionally have the odd smoking lapse, they don't see it as 'game over' for their quit attempt and it doesn't have to lead to a full relapse. Lead researcher Dr. Caitlin Notley, from UEA's Norwich Medical School, said: "E-cigarettes are the most popular aid to quitting smoking in the UK. [...]

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The increased popularity of e-cigarettes has reversed years of progress by educators, parents and doctors to turn young people away from nicotine, local health experts said Monday.

Fewer of middle school and high school age are smoking but use of e-cigarettes – which look like USB drives, are marketed as alternatives to smoking and contain nicotine, the addictive ingredient in tobacco – is rising, health officials said, and the harmful chemicals in the devices can affect heart and brain function.