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Paul Blamire is a modern-day alchemist, a would-be Willy Wonka who conjures up flavours in the spare room of his modest Western Sydney pad.

The former racehorse trainer puts his gifts to profitable use making vape juice, the flavoured liquids used by electronic cigarette puffers, sometimes as a substitute for cigarettes. [...] For Mr Blamire, who switched to vaping to help kick his heavy smoking habit, his pastime has become a burgeoning business opportunity and a political cause.

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A growing number of middle- and high-school students are being exposed to second-hand aerosols from e-cigarettes by living with or being around individuals who are vaping, according to data from a national survey. The survey revealed that about one-third of middle- and high-school students said they were exposed to vaping aerosols in 2018 -- an increase by about 30% compared with the previous three years, said Andy S.L. Tan, PhD, MPH, MBBS, of Dana-Farber, the corresponding author of the report.

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s2smodern

Teen smoking has been a hot topic in Washington and across the country lately. As of July, 17 states have passed new laws increasing the legal smoking age from 18 to 21, with similar legislation currently being promoted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In addition, there have been numerous conversations about the impact e-cigarettes are having on teen smoking rates, especially given the latest data shows teen smoking is on the rise after the rate was in decline for decades.

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President Trump's former Food and Drug Administration head continued to blame counterfeit e-cigarette products for lung injuries after a spike in such incidents among teens and young adults.

"The legal vapes have been actively regulated by FDA since Aug 2017. FDA has conducted thousands of inspections of manufacturers and vape stores, published manufacturing guidance, sought product removals etc. These tragedies point to illegal vapes and THC," former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb wrote on TwitterOpens a New Window. Tuesday night.

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The rapid rise of smoke-free nicotine products, especially vaping, is the most disruptive influence on smoking in decades. These products are challenging not only smoked tobacco’s stranglehold on the nicotine market but also the public health response to tobacco harm reduction, including by WHO. In October, 2018, 72 experts with no connections to the tobacco industry wrote to the WHO Director-General to argue that WHO should embrace innovation and more actively include tobacco harm reduction in its strategy to tackle the burden of smoking-related disease. [...]

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North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein filed eight lawsuits against eight separate e-cigarette companies on Tuesday, alleging that the companies are "unlawfully targeting children" and not requiring appropriate age verification when selling products. "There is a vaping epidemic among high schoolers and middle schoolers in North Carolina and the United States," he said. "I, as attorney general of North Carolina, refuse to stand by as e-cigarette companies entice thousands of children to use their products."
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s2smodern

In response to former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb's warning that the spike in vaping-related lung disease among young people appears to be largely associated with counterfeit e-liquid products, especially THC oils, the American Lung Association contradicted Dr. Gottlieb and tried to cast the blame on traditional nicotine-containing e-cigarettes instead. Alas, the truth is revealed. At the end of the day, the American Lung Association's chief aim is to demonize e-cigarettes and anyone who is using them.

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s2smodern
Educators and health experts say big tobacco companies are hooking a new generation of children on smoking by marketing candy-flavoured e-cigarette juices with glamourous social media imagery. They warn the promotion of e-cigarettes with cartoon-like characters and the use of social media influencers is "re-normalising" smoking to youth. Vape, Juul, juice, nova, hit, cloud — if you are a parent of a teenager, chances are you are already familiar with some of these words.
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s2smodern

City officials in Milwaukee, Wisc., are sounding the alarm on e-cigarette smoking and urging residents to stop using vaping products, after at least 16 people were hospitalized with lung problems in the city. “We continue to learn more about the health effects associated with e-cigarettes,” Commissioner of Health Dr. Jeanette Kowalik said. “As the public health authority for the city, the MHD is committed to protecting the public from the dangers of secondhand exposure."

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E-cigarettes will encourage former smokers to return to their habit and play a part in "recruiting" new smokers, according to Prakit Vathesatogkit, executive secretary of the Action on Smoking and Health Foundation Thailand. "Using e-cigarettes could be a prelude to smoking cigarettes. There have been health reports in the US that e-cigarettes even encourage former smokers to return to smoking again," Dr Prakit said.
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Juul announced Thursday it would introduce a new age-verification system at the point of sale aimed at keeping its products out of minors’ hands, the e-cigarette giant’s latest attempt to distance itself from allegations that it caters to teens. Juul, which controls about 75% of the American e-cigarette market, will sweeten the deal by offering more than $100 million in incentives to stores that adopt the standards by May 2021, and plans to stop distributing products to retailers that don’t comply by then.

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The tobacco giants Philip Morris International and the Altria Group are in talks to reunite, the companies said on Tuesday, in a deal that would combine the most popular brands of both traditional and electronic cigarettes. The companies described the proposed deal in a statement as an “all-stock, merger of equals,” but cautioned that the discussions might not result in an agreement. The number of cigarettes sold in the United States fell 3.5 percent in 2017 from the previous year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [...]
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Nearly 1.5bn fewer cigarettes have been smoked each year in England since 2011, research has found. A study [...] found average cigarette consumption fell by nearly a quarter between 2011 and 2018, with approximately 118m fewer cigarettes smoked each month. The lead author of the study, Dr Sarah Jackson [...] said: “It’s brilliant that over a billion fewer cigarettes are being sold and smoked in England every year. Studies like this help to give us an accurate picture of cigarette consumption so we know where we’re at and what more needs to be done.”

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Nearly one in four Arizona teens have used a highly potent form of marijuana known as marijuana concentrate, according to a new study by Arizona State University researchers. Marijuana concentrates have about three times more THC, the constituent of marijuana that causes the "high," than a traditional marijuana flower. This is concerning because higher doses of THC have been linked to increased risk of marijuana addiction, cognitive impairment and psychosis, said the study's lead researcher, Madeline Meier, an ASU assistant professor of psychology.
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s2smodern

The nation's dominant tobacco company, maker of the top-selling Marlboro cigarette, is trying to become the next e-cigarette giant.

And Atlanta is ground zero in the high-stakes experiment.

Altria will begin selling next month a new tobacco product called IQOS, a penlike electronic device with a sleek battery pack. [...] "I find it ironic that Atlanta is the site of the launch of IQOS," said Dr. Michael Eriksen, dean of Georgia State University's School of Public Health. "Atlanta is home of the CDC, home of the American Cancer Society."

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Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada are monitoring the U.S. situation and working with U.S. officials but have not seen any evidence of similar pulmonary illness clusters in Canada related to e-cigarettes. [...] David Sweanor, [...] pointed to evidence that the lung illnesses found in the U.S. resulted from people vaping contaminated THC-based products. “These are fundamentally different from the nicotine vaping products that many millions of people worldwide have been using in place of lethal cigarettes.”
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THE UNION Health Ministry is preparing to bring out an ordinance banning the production, import, distribution and sale of electronic cigarettes. The ordinance will be sent to a group of ministers for scrutiny.

 

A senior official said: “ICMR has recommended a complete ban on e-cigarettes. A petition that had asked for prohibition of an ordinance banning e-cigarettes has been rejected by the court. The ordinance will give legal backing to the ban.” The ministry had earlier sent advisories to states asking them to ban e-cigarettes, but the move was challenged in court.

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Americans are twice as likely to say that alcohol is “very harmful” than say the same about marijuana, according to a survey released on Monday.

In fact, far more respondents described alcohol, tobacco and e-cigarettes—all legal, regulated products—as seriously dangerous. The number of Americans who said that tobacco cigarettes are “very dangerous” is more than three times the share who believe that about cannabis, which the federal government continues to classify as an illegal Schedule I substance.

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According to an article in USA Today, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) warned consumers "not to buy THC vape products from unlicensed retailers." [...] The CDC continues to remain silent, even though it has become clear that vaping THC oils, particularly those obtained on the street from unlicensed sellers, is a risk factor for the "mysterious" respiratory illness that has affected close to 200 individuals. [...]

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Tobacco giant Philip Morris has been trying to gain access to a major Auckland poverty group in a bid to get its new tobacco products marketed to poor people.

The tobacco company has also been lobbying key figures in the Ministry of Health and approached South Auckland's Counties Manukau District Health Board (DHB) in an attempt to give away its IQOS "smokeless tobacco" device, which it says is less harmful than cigarettes, for use in quit smoking groups.