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Almost half of the people who followed Juul Labs Inc on Twitter last year were not old enough to legally purchase e-cigarettes in the United States, according to a study published on Monday. Researchers analyzed data collected in April 2018 on public followers of Juul’s Twitter account (@JUULvapor) with at least one public tweet. About 45 percent of those who followed Juul were 13 to 17 years old, according to the study published online in JAMA Pediatrics.

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A rise in teen vaping has created a frenzy within the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as in state legislatures across the country. Just last week, San Francisco introduced legislation to ban the sale of e-cigarettes until the FDA conducts a full review of the product. Lost in the panic, however, has been a conversation about addiction. We don’t want to encourage bad habits among teens, but we must ensure our policies on e-cigarettes don’t make it harder for addicted adult smokers to quit.

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Half of Swiss boys and a third of girls aged 15 have tried e-cigarettes at least once, suggests a survey of addiction among schoolchildren. The finding has alarmed the group Addiction Switzerland, which carried out the study of 11,000 children between the ages of 11 and 15.

This is a higher rate than for smokers of conventional cigarettes. The figure for vaping was 21% for boys and 13% for girls. The addiction surveyexternal link, conducted last year, included the e-cigarette and vaping categories for the first time.

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For researchers at the Yale Tobacco Center for Regulatory Science, the similarities between cigarettes and e-cigarettes are helpful for closing this knowledge gap. According to co-leader of the Center Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, both products contain the addictive chemical nicotine, which in high-enough doses, can prove to be harmful to the brains of young children and teenagers. “The teen brain is very sensitive to the effects of nicotine,” she said. [...]

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More than 100 cancer patients, survivors, and their family members fanned out across Beacon Hill on Thursday to push for a ban on all flavored tobacco products, including the nicotine liquid used in vaping, as well as steep new taxes on e-cigarettes.

“They are marketed and sold to our youth and our youth are getting sick and they have no idea what the consequences are,” Representative Danielle W. Gregoire, a Marlborough Democrat [...] told the advocates before they set off on their lobbying blitz at the State House.

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The All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health put forward the idea earlier this month, and now a leading doctor, Imperial College London respiratory specialist Dr Nicholas Hopkinson, has written in the British Medical Journalarguing the case for the change.

Helping existing smokers to quit is important, says Dr Hopkinson, who also chairs the Action on Smoking and Health campaign group, but "the most vital element" is to prevent young people from starting in the first place.

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Electronic cigarettes should be seen as a normal consumer product and not be regulated under the Tobacco Products Directive, according to Giovanni Carucci, vice president EU affairs at British American Tobacco (BAT).

Carucci said the next European Commission should consider the differences between e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes and act accordingly when it revisits the two most important acts related to the tobacco industry: The directives on tobacco products and on the tobacco excise duty.

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Just recently, Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo reiterated the health department’s warning that the use of electronic cigarettes is not a good alternative to cigarette smoking and that because e-cigarettes or “vapes” contain nicotine, the DOH is concerned that vapers will get addicted to nicotine and then become cigarette smokers.

Dr. Domingo’s statement is hardly surprising. The DOH follows the World Health Organization (WHO) position that the only way to reduce smoking is for smokers to quit or die, [...]

 

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E-cigarette prohibitions have quietly been spreading around the globe in recent years. Singapore, Thailand and Brazil, are just a few countries with complete e-cigarette bans, while many others either heavily regulate sales or disallow nicotine-based vape liquids.

Hong Kong is the latest region to propose strict regulations, recently beginning the process for a blanket ban on the sale, importation or promotion of e-cigarettes. [...]

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Tobacco giant Reynolds wants to give smokers a more convenient way to use nicotine.

On Wednesday, the company rolled out nicotine lozenges that dissolve in the mouth and come in four flavors: berry, cream, and two kinds of mint. Sold under the brand Revel, the lozenges are the first new product the company has launched on a wide commercial scale since the Vuse e-cigarette in 2013. Its new Revel lozenges are meant to appeal exclusively to adults who already smoke. [...]

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San Francisco, already notorious for its opposition to tobacco harm reduction, has upped the stakes yet again as a city legislator pushes for a total ban on e-cig sales. Similar anti-vaping laws continue to spread across the USA, although one Wisconsin town has decided to exempt vape shops from their workplace vaping ban – and the fact that’s seen as a victory tells us just how bad things are getting. There’s been a bigger win in India though, where Delhi’s High Court has frozen a national ban on vapour products.

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A former health ministry official and a think-tank have called on Putrajaya to treat heat-not-burn (HNB) smoking refills as cigarettes and subject to the same regulations which govern tobacco products, amid reports that Putrajaya is developing a law on e-cigarettes, which include HNB products.

Speaking to FMT, the Malaysian Women’s Action for Tobacco Control and Health (MyWATCH) said HNB refills fulfilled the definition of a cigarette under the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004 (CTPR), [...]

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Regulatory scrutiny of e-cigarettes in the United States and pressure on tobacco sales generally have cast a cloud over trading at Imperial Brands.

City analysts yesterday questioned whether the London-listed tobacco group would hit its full-year targets after it issued a mixed trading update in advance of its half-year results.

The scepticism came despite Imperial Brands saying that it was on track to reach its annual net revenue and earnings expectations. [...]

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Earlier this month, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Supervisor Shamann Walton announced that they are introducing an ordinance to the Board of Supervisors that would ban all electronic cigarettes until they are officially reviewed and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Since there is not a single e-cigarette on the market that has undergone such an approval process, the ordinance does indeed ban the sale of all electronic cigarettes in the city of San Francisco.

 

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Official attitudes toward vaping and nicotine use in general vary widely. In the United Kingdom, vaping is essentially encouraged by government health agencies. Because smoking creates a costly burden for the U.K.’s National Health Service, the country stands to save money if smokers switch to e-cigarettes instead.

Most other countries also allow a regulated vaping market, but are less enthusiastic in their endorsement of the practice. [...]

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A study recently published in BMC public health, looked at self-reported adverse effects (AEs) and perceived health changes due to e-cigarette use amongst Hungarian adult e-cigarette-only users (former smokers who switched completely to e-cigarette use) and dual users (smokers who use e-cigarettes and combustible tobacco cigarettes concomitantly). The study titled Perceived health effects of vaping among Hungarian adult e-cigarette-only and dual users: a cross-sectional internet survey, administered a web-based survey to 1042 adults in 2015. [...]

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Adult smokers are a highly stigmatized population, yet people rarely acknowledge that this is the case. The denial of this truth not only makes smokers vulnerable to receiving unequal treatment in society, but impedes their efforts to quit.

Consider a brief personal anecdote. Recently, a friend mentioned that she has a co-worker with health problems. This co-worker is also a smoker of more than 30 years. The co-worker credits switching to e-cigarettes with eliminating his chronic cough and improving his stamina.

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Cigarette smoking is huge both from an economic standpoint and globally. It’s equivalent of about $850 billion a year. There are about 1.1 to 1.3 billion cigarette users worldwide. We also have other products like bidis in India and Kretek in Indonesia. We have lots of oral tobacco products in addition to that. But, we are seeing a disruption in the marketplace as new products are coming in. They can replace the lethal products. [...]

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In an almost uniform response to the impending exit of Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, city and county public health officials are urging the Trump administration to go bigger in its response to adolescents' growing use of e-cigarettes.

The issue, they say, is reaching crisis levels and many worry the FDA's much-touted efforts are falling short. [...]

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The science looking at potential harmful effects of e-cigarettes is lagging, as e-cigarette popularity soars and consumer marketing takes hold convincing consumers that e-cigarettes are the safer of the two.

The scenario presents surgeons with the clinical challenge of trying to determine how e-cigarette use compares to smoking regular cigarettes in terms of wound healing, according to a commentary [...]