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Belgian authorities are investigating whether a sponsorship deal between British American Tobacco (BAT) and EU affairs news website Politico violated tobacco advertising laws. [...] The cases show how Big Tobacco is continuing to try and test the limits of an EU-wide ban on tobacco advertising, in place since 2003. Since Monday, the well-read Politico newsletter Playbook has appeared with "supported by British American Tobacco" in the headline.

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A New York doctor is warning that states shouldn’t take steps toward legalizing marijuana until more research is done on the potential dangers of cannabis use, particularly among young people.

“If I was a policymaker, which I’m not, I would simply say let’s not legalize until we have a lot more data,” Dr. Mary Jeanne Kreek, who is a senior attending physician at Rockefeller University, told Hill.TV [...]

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They work by heating up a liquid [...]

Users inhale the vapour produced, which contains nicotine - the addictive element in cigarettes.

But nicotine is relatively harmless compared with the many poisonous chemicals contained in tobacco smoke, such as tar and carbon monoxide.

Nicotine does not cause cancer - unlike tobacco in normal cigarettes, which kills thousands of smokers every year.

That's why nicotine replacement therapy has been used for many years by the NHS to help people stop smoking, in the form of gum, skin patches and sprays.

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The Swiss government aims to make it easier for patients to get medical marijuana, proposing on Wednesday to allow prescriptions for cannabis to treat people suffering from cancer or other serious conditions. The proposal, separate from a Swiss government push to allow some cities to experiment with recreational marijuana, would replace the current system, in which those seeking medical cannabis must apply for an exception from the Federal Health Office to get what is otherwise an illegal drug.

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Research presented at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNM MI) shows preliminary evidence that tobacco smokers may have reduced neuroimmune function compared with nonsmokers.

Tobacco, a leading cause of preventable death, has complex effects on immune signaling. While nicotine suppresses the immune system, other compounds in tobacco smoke cause inflammation. [...]

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A simple set of decision-support tools combined with institutional buy-in can help increase the number of cancer patients who engage in treatment to help them quit tobacco, data from researchers in the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania show. [...] More than 50 percent of cancer patients who smoked before their diagnosis continue to smoke - even after their treatment is over - according to a report from the Surgeon General. That same report also concluded that quitting smoking improves the prognosis of cancer patients, [...]

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Illinois just became the 11th state to legalize marijuana — and the first where the legislature legalized selling the drug. Illinois’s marijuana legalization law will allow recreational possession and sales starting on January 1, 2020, creating a new system of taxes and regulations. Adults 21 and older will be allowed to possess and buy cannabis, although tourists in Illinois will be allowed to buy less than state residents. [...]

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Doctors should add electronic cigarettes to their efforts to prevent young people from using tobacco, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says. It's the most significant change in a draft statement updating 2013 recommendations on steps primary care providers should take to stop tobacco use in kids. Those measures include education and brief counseling.

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Access to accurate health information about nicotine and products that contain it is a human right. A tobacco harm reduction approach centers this principle, in the same way that the United Nations justifies harm reduction for “harder” drugs. Unfortunately, UN institutions fail to recognize that international human rights treaties and conventions mandate governments to permit full access to information about every form of nicotine use.

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Leading experts on nicotine, tobacco-related disease, public health, policymaking, science and technology were joined by users of so-called “safer nicotine products” such as electronic cigarettes or vapes, oral tobaccos such as Swedish snus, and ‘heat-not-burn’ tobacco products, in calling on governments and regulators to stop ignoring the growing body of scientific evidence pointing to such products as a safe alternative to combustible tobacco.

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Smoking remains a terrible public health problem in the United Kingdom. The Government recently referred to it as the “continuing tobacco epidemic”. It is the country’s principal cause of cancer and single greatest cause of preventable illnesses and avoidable deaths. Some 7.4 million people in this country smoke, and smoking is the cause of around 100,000 deaths every year. There is a mistaken perception that the problem of smoking has largely been addressed, which might be because smoking, like many other societal ills, does not affect everyone equally. 

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San Francisco became the first city in the United States to ban e-cigarettes on Tuesday, a move that seeks to curb what experts have described as an nicotine epidemic among teenagers.

“We’ve worked for decades to decrease tobacco usage and try to end nicotine addiction,” said Shamann Walton, a member of the board of supervisors and a co-author of the bill banning e-cigarettes, which will go into effect 30 days after it is signed by the mayor. “Now you have this device loaded with nicotine and chemicals that’s drawing people to addiction. [...]

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E-cigarettes are relevant for every smoker in all the countries and science has shown that heated tobacco products are a much better choice than combustibles, said US-based tobacco giant Philip Morris which is eyeing the Indian market with over 100 million adult smokers. Philip Morris International (PMI) is planning to shift its business from cigarettes to science-based smoke-free alternatives which, it says, aims to benefit people who smoke.

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Dr Richard Roope and Professor Linda Bauld discuss the RCGP position statement on e-cigarettes.

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San Francisco's ban on electronic cigarettes is an "insane public policy," some public health experts say, arguing that the city should ban all tobacco products instead. [...] The CDC says e-cigarettes are not safe for children and teens, but adds that they have "potential to benefit adult smokers who are not pregnant if used as a complete substitute for regular cigarettes and other smoked tobacco products."

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2018 was not an easy year for the tobacco industry to say the least. Repeated attempts made by the FDA to reduce smoking rate have caused demand for cigarettes to diminish. Indeed, the number of smokers in the United States in that year has hit a record low of 16% (in 2013, the figure stood at 20%).  If that was not enough, in June, a proposition to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products in San Francisco almost passed.

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The number of Canadian teens who regularly vape nearly doubled in one year, coinciding with the first rise in cigarette-smoking rates in that age group in years, according to a new study that provides the first evidence of how vaping rates changed after they were legalized and new companies entered the market. [...] The surveys found the number of teens who reported vaping in the past week rose to 9.3 per cent in 2018 from 5.2 per cent in 2017. The number of those who said they had vaped in the previous month rose to 14.6 per cent in 2018 from 8.4 per cent in 2017.

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Despite federal and state age restrictions on the sale of tobacco and vaping products, a new "secret shopper" study found that IDs were checked only about half the time. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires tobacco retailers to check an ID for anyone appearing to be under 27, and California law bars sale of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to anyone under 21. But, "tobacco and vape shops are the least compliant with California's age-of-sale laws," said April Roeseler, [...]

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Sara Greene, associate professor of law at Duke University, thinks there is. She argues that too often state and local governments impose laws and regulations that cumulatively⁠—and too often “invisibly”⁠—hurt the very people we ought to be trying to help. From driver license suspension to eviction laws, these revenue-generating punishments disproportionately criminalize poor Americans and perpetuate the spiral of poverty.

One such new example is the trend toward criminalizing the ownership and use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products. [...]

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SEOUL -- Electronic cigarette maker Juul Labs has begun an aggressive bid to draw Asian smokers away from combustible cigarettes with the launch of its signature nicotine vaping device in South Korea. Juul has so far proved a hit with South Korean consumers, with local media organisations reporting that many stores had sold out of the battery powered devices within a day of going on sale late last month.