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Nicotine, the drug craved for its unique and contradictory ability to increase alertness or sense of relaxation, depending on the circumstance it is used. Nicotine has been consumed for thousands of years yet over the past half-century it has become reviled as a source of addiction and contributor to the millions of worldwide smoking deaths each year. Joining us today on RegWatch is Dr. Karl Fagerstom. Since 1975 he’s been at the forefront of nicotine research. Hear what he has to say about nicotine dependence and learn why he believes some researchers are being pressured to not tell the truth.

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This fall, South Dakota became the first state in the U.S. to legalize both medical marijuana and recreational marijuana in the same election. Haugaard, who long opposed any form of marijuana legalization, now must participate in the creation of a medical marijuana program.

South Dakota voters enshrined legal marijuana in the state's constitution. So if Haugaard had any thoughts about reversing the initiative once lawmakers reconvene on Jan. 12, they've been dashed.

"With a constitutional amendment, there's really not much we can do about it. It's written in stone until it's repealed," Haugaard said.

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The Mexican lower house decided to delay debating a marijuana legalization bill until the next legislative period, which starts in February 2021, local newspapers reported.

Lawmakers said Tuesday they need more time to study the bill.

The delays should serve as a reminder to businesses to focus on existing rules rather than potential markets that depend on uncertain legislative or regulatory processes, according to experts.

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A team of researchers from Harvard Medical School, USA, the University of Arizona, USA, and other major institutions, have revealed some of the effects of cigarette smoke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) on SARS-CoV-2 infection. They found that the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) protein and messenger RNA (mRNA) levels were decreased in the peripheral airways in patients with COPD. However, the levels were the same in central airways in smokers and those who never smoked.

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The situation of both tobacco and alcohol consumption in Cambodia is quite serious. There is no law to control alcohol, so people consume a lot of alcohol and even start drinking an early age. Meanwhile, regarding tobacco, Cambodia is still lacking an effective mechanism to control e-cigarettes, which can also cause health problems. In fact, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, both tobacco and alcohol can lead to more infections and death from the coronavirus. 

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Ten different tobacco companies have been making illegal payments to Dutch supermarkets to encourage them to display and sell their products in a certain way, the Dutch food and product safety board NVWA said on Thursday.

The payments varied between €10,000 to €2m a year, junior health minster Paul Blokhuis told MPs in a briefing. [...] ‘It is extremely worrying that supermarket chains are receiving payment from tobacco producers in order to promote the sale of cigarettes and associated products,’ he said.

 

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ZIMBABWE might be well on its way to reclaim its status as one of the top producers of tobacco in the world in the 2020/2021 cropping season. “Government is therefore, taking advantage of this quick-win by engaging relevant and potential investors for tobacco cigarettes manufacturing so as to enhance value benefits to the country,” said Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube in the 2021 Budget.

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A Taichung doctor has urged people not to use e-cigarettes, after treating a 15-year-old boy who developed severe pneumonia after using the devices for four years. E-cigarettes, which use oil containing nicotine and various chemicals that make them addictive, cannot be used as a means of breaking an addiction to smoking tobacco products, Lu said.

“They also impact the development of a child’s brain and can lead to cancer,” he said, adding that the government should do more to restrict e-cigarette use among youth.

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Indonesian Professor and medical expert Tikki Pangestu sought a distinction on the health warnings during the second Philippine Harm Reduction Online Forum [...]

“Health warnings on combustible cigarette packs should not be the same as those on the packaging of e-cigarettes and HTPs (heated tobacco products). This is because e-cigarettes and HTPs have been shown to be 90- to 95-percent less harmful than combustible cigarettes,” Pangestu, visiting professor at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore and former director for research policy and cooperation of the World Health Organization, said.

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Starting January, longtime city residents will be the first to apply for certification and secure recreational marijuana licenses by the summer, city officials announced Wednesday. The city's long-awaited ordinance for recreational marijuana [...] guarantees no less than half of all licenses awarded will go to legacy residents.

"It's by far the most controversial provision," Duggan said. "The city will not issue a license to any business unless 50% of the licenses in that category are Detroiters. Which means if you're from outside the city, you can't get a license unless a Detroiter already has one. We'll never go below 50%."

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Despite the fact that most humanity’s inventions lead to global progress and are widely popular among the end user, electronic cigarettes still entail many disputes even decades after the day of their Invention. Obviously, there is a conflict of interest between Big Tobacco and Big Vaping, which initiates unsavoury reputation and myths around the vape products and industry in general. But are e-cigs as bad as they tell us? And what are the pros and cons of vaping? [...]

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Having more time on their hands during the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t resulted in more young people taking up e-cigarettes in 2020.

If anything, it’s caused more of them to cut back, or even quit, according to a new study. [...]
Dr. Ilan Shapiro, a pediatrician for AltaMed in Southern California, said the survey provides some good news in 2020.

“The access to products is difficult,” Shapiro told Healthline. “If you’re home all the time, you’re being supervised more. They can’t share with other teens. It’s a social thing and, right now, that contact has diminished.”

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The tobacco ban may have brought a permanent shift in South Africa’s cigarette market, a new study shows.

Following its third survey of almost 4,000 smokers this year, the Research Unit on the Economics of Excisable Products (REEP) at the University of Cape Town released its new findings this week.

Tobacco sales were banned for 20 weeks during the first phase of lockdown. Only Botswana (12 weeks) and India (6 weeks) banned tobacco sales in reaction to the pandemic.

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Quebec intends to ban the sale of flavoured vaping cartridges and limit their nicotine content after a public health report warned of a major increase in youth vaping in the province.

“With the growing popularity of vaporization products, especially among young people, it becomes imperative to act to prevent a new generation from becoming addicted to nicotine because of these products,” Health Minister Christian Dubé said Wednesday in a statement.

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The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to delay a controversial ban on smoking and vaping tobacco products in multi-unit, privately owned apartment buildings, sending the issue back to committees for further study. [...] Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor of community health sciences at Boston University, says that the move to further study the issue of banning smoke and vapor in apartment buildings is a mixed blessing.

“I am delighted to hear that the San Francisco board of supervisors has reversed its decision to ban vaping in all multi-unit dwellings,” Siegel told InsideSources. “However, the reason for its reversal is concerning.”

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The COVID-19 pandemic has upended our lives, turning our homes into offices, classrooms and gyms to protect us from the deadly coronavirus. The pandemic has also disrupted the time-honored real estate rituals of open houses and in-person home tours, and we are now using virtual tours and other “non-touch” experiences to find a new home. [...] In a recent study of 220 apartments in San Diego County, we found nicotine residue in every unit, even homes of nonsmokers with strict smoking bans. In about 10% of homes of nonsmokers, we found levels of toxic tobacco residue as high as levels typically seen in homes of active indoor smokers. [...]

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Two prominent federal health agencies do not appear to have as 2021 priorities banning menthol cigarettes or reducing nicotine levels in traditional cigarettes.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration released Wednesday their unified agenda and regulatory agenda through at least August.

However, that could change significantly in the expected Biden administration, according to analysts.

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Cannabis is illegal in Nigeria. Its production, distribution and use are criminalised by local laws. Cultivated mostly in southern Nigeria, the drug is affordable and readily available through street drug-running. Cannabis users are also widely seen as social deviants, and are liable to arrest and imprisonment.

Despite the stigma and danger from the law, the use of cannabis in Nigeria is growing fast. Studies show that it ranks just below alcohol as the second most used psychoactive substance in Nigeria. It is mostly used by people aged 25-39 years.

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Figures recently released by the Jordanian government in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) have indicated that the Middle Eastern kingdom of Jordan, has the world’s highest smoking rates. Sadly, other Middle Eastern countries seem to have similar rates.

[...] “We believe a few factors explain why less than two per cent of smokers may have switched to less harmful tobacco products in the region,” said David Janazzo, chief financial officer at the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World.

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A study of 200 teens and young adults used eye-tracking technology to determine that tagging vaping-related influencer Instagram posts with #ad or #sponsored was effective in grabbing attention. [...]
"The e-cigarette industry is paying these social media celebrities to do what they do best -- shape young people's behavior. And our study gives us some hope that placing labels on these posts might be an effective tool to discourage young people from picking up a harmful habit," said Liz Klein, the study's lead author and an associate professor of health behavior and health promotion at The Ohio State University.