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PJ Carroll, the Irish subsidiary of British American Tobacco, has said over 200 million cigarettes it sells a year will be affected by the upcoming ban on menthol cigarettes. The menthol cigarette ban, which takes effect on May 20, covers cigarettes which use flavours to relax the airways and make smoking easier on a person's throat. The change follows the completion of a four-year phasing-in period under a 2016 EU directive on tobacco products.
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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was declared a pandemic on March 11, and the disease is now expected to spread to most countries, if not all. [...] Investments in harm reduction supplies and services need to be expanded now. These investments should focus on increasing supplies for safer smoking, snorting, and injecting drug use, access to alternatives to non-beverage alcohol, and providing sanitising supplies and educational materials in harm reduction packages. Harm reduction services should prepare for logistical challenges by developing emergency plans for potential volunteer and employee absences, [...]

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"In light of the skyrocketing youth e-cigarette epidemic, and concerns that smoking and vaping may increase the risk of severe complications from COVID-19, it is more critical than ever that new tobacco products be subject to statutorily required public health review by the FDA," the groups wrote to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, M.D., in their April 23 letter.(4 page PDF)

Under the court order, the products under review will be allowed to stay on the market for up to one year while the FDA reviews their applications. [...]

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The government will keep the restrictions on liquor sale as well as withdrawals of cigarettes from factories for the rest of the extended lockdown period, as keeping Filipinos away from these “sin” products would not only keep them healthy but also protect them from getting inflicted with COVID-19, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said Monday.

As such, the liquor ban imposed by the national and local governments will stay in areas under enhanced community quarantine, while domestic cigarette production will remain on halt, save for a few lines churning out for exports.

 

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Use of electronic cigarettes appeared to have stabilized among U.S. adults in 2018, with cigarette smokers who had recently kicked the habit reporting the highest rates of ever- and current e-cigarette use, according to national survey data.

In 2018, 3.2% of surveyed adults (ages 18 and older) reported regular current e-cigarette use, which was the same percentage as in 2016, reported Maria Villarroel, PhD, of the CDC National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), and colleagues.

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Lactating mothers who use e-cigarettes or nicotine replacement therapies may be putting their breastfed babies at risk for skull defects, a new study in animals suggests.

Cigarette smoking has already been linked to increased risk for these abnormalities in previous research. This study tested the effects of nicotine alone on head and face development. Researchers added nicotine to the drinking water of adult female mice that were nursing litters of newborn pups. The nicotine exposure was the equivalent of about one-half to a full pack of cigarettes per day.

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One assumption about COVID-19 that's been accepted as so obvious it needn't be supported with data is that smoking heightens the risk of infection, hospitalization, and death.

 

Cigarettes are one of the most lethal products on the market. Their hazards are so various and well-known that it seems intuitive that smokers would be at severe risk for the coronavirus. In March, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio asserted smokers and vapers are more vulnerable to COVID-19. In a television appearance, the surgeon general speculated vaping could be the reason why more young people were hospitalized in New York than anticipated.

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[...] the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued ten warning letters to retailers and manufacturers who sell, manufacture and/or import unauthorized electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products targeted to youth or likely to promote use by youth. The warning letters were sent to establishments marketing unauthorized products, such as a backpack and sweatshirt designed with stealth pockets to hold and conceal an e-cigarette, ENDS products that resemble smartwatches, or devices appearing as children’s toys such as a portable video game system or fidget spinner. [...]

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s2smodern

The prohibition of all tobacco products, including cigarettes, should remain in place beyond 1 May, according to the African National Congress’ Youth League (ANCYL). In an official statement, the Task Team, [...] described government’s decision to unban the sale of tobacco products as “ill-advised”, saying:

“The ANC NYTT views this decision as ill-advised and could negatively affect the immense work achieved in trying to flatten the curve.

Furthermore cigarettes pose a great risk to lives and health of smokers and those that surround them who are affected by second hand.”

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According to a new YouGov survey, a majority of Americans (55%) believe that marijuana laws in states that have legalized the drug have been a success.

YouGov asked nearly 30,000 Americans if they “think the legislation (of marijuana) has been a success or a failure” in those states.

36% of respondents said marijuana has been “more of a success than a failure,” while 13% said “more of a failure than a success.”

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Leading Welsh doctors claim nicotine patches could offer hope of a possible treatment for coronavirus.

Jonathan Davies, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant, said the "powerful" drug has the potential to block the virus from entering cells.

 

The research, which was created with two of his colleagues, was published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and has received recognition from leading physicians in Wales.

The treatment option is now being looked at by scientists in France who carried out a study involving nearly 500 hospital patients in Paris.

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Ethan has played a leading role in harm reduction and other drug policy reform efforts in the United States and globally since the late 1980s. [...] He then founded first The Lindesmith Center (1994-2000, a drug policy institute created with the philanthropic support of George Soros) and then the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), which he directed from 2000 until 2017. [...]

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A new report shows that despite the progress achieved in Ukraine in the past 10 years, a more comprehensive approach is needed to tackle tobacco use and its associated health issues in the country. Ukraine has made considerable progress in adopting and implementing the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). As a result of this commitment, the country has achieved a remarkable 20% reduction in smokers since 2010. However, the current level of tobacco use remains high, with 23% of adults still using tobacco.

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France has banned the online sale of nicotine products and limited their sale in pharmacies, after researchers suggested that nicotine may play a role in protecting against coronavirus.

The new rules cover products like nicotine gum and patches, designed to help people stop smoking.

Last week, data from a Paris hospital indicated that smokers were statistically less likely to be admitted for treatment for Covid-19.

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Researchers studied more than 400 men and women aged between 21 and 45 made up of non-smokers, cigarette smokers, e-cigarette users and people who both smoked and vaped.

The team studied measures of blood vessel function in e-cigarette and dual users who had been using e-cigarettes for at least three months. Author Jessica Fetterman, assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, said that stiffening of the arteries can contribute to heart disease. She added: “Many people believe e-cigarettes are safer than combustible cigarettes.

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LEICESTER is joining a national campaign called #quitforcovid to encourage smokers to kick the habit during the coronavirus lockdown. Assistant city mayor for public health Cllr Vi Demspter said: “These are difficult times for everyone, and it’s more important than ever that people are supported to stay safe and healthy. That includes giving up smoking. “Giving up smoking isn’t easy, but we know that quitting with specialist support significantly increases your chances of quitting for good. [...]

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Dr Ahmad al-Mulla, head of the Hamad Medical Corp (HMC) Tobacco Control Centre, says Ramadan is an opportune time to quit smoking.

 

According to Dr al-Mulla, fasting has a lot of positive effects on one’s health, and those benefits are especially prominent in tobacco users who give up smoking.

“For smokers, quitting is often easier during Ramadan as believers are already required to abstain from food and drink, as well as from smoking cigarettes and using other tobacco products, for 14 hours,” says Dr al-Mulla.

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The French government on Friday issued a decree suspending online sales of nicotine patches and other products designed to help smokers quit, and told pharmacies to limit physical sales. Chemists were told to only dispense the products to customers in amounts needed for one month of treatment. 

It follows the publication of a study this week on 483 patients at Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris, that found the infection rate for smokers among Covid-19 outpatients and inpatients was significantly lower than for non-smokers. [...]

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Menthols, menthol rollies and skinny cigarettes will be banned under new smoking laws from May 20. The ban will also see the production of click dual cigarettes – such as Sterling Dual – that change from normal to menthol, stopped.

It's part of a four-year phasing-out period that stems from the new EU Tobacco Product Directive laws, which entered into force on May 19, 2014, and became applicable in EU countries on May 20, 2016. So far, flavoured cigarettes were restricted to packs of 20 but they'll be totally outlawed in the next few weeks.

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The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA) has said that it would no longer pursue legal action against the government over its ban on the sale of tobacco products during the Covid-19 lockdown. This follows President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement on Thursday that, from 1 May, the selling of cigarettes will again be allowed as part of government's phasing-out approach of certain lockdown conditions.