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The general climate surrounding vaping and the vaping industry have appeared to turn hostile for the reduced-harm smoking cessation aid. Amid fearmongering reports of illnesses loosely attributed to “vaping,” likely caused by illegally produced cannabis oil cartridges, one representative is escalating misinformed hysteria to new heights.

Utah State Representative Paul Ray has called for a complete ban on all vapor products, citing “independent lab” testing and claims “roughly 84%” of products “tested positive for an illegal drug.” [...]

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Vaping-related illnesses are killing the buzz for entrepreneurs who have been riding high on the marijuana legalization boom.

Sales of vaping products — the fastest-growing segment of the burgeoning pot market — are falling nationwide amid reports of hundreds of mysterious lung ailments — the vast majority of which have been linked to vaping THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana that gives the high sensation.

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The chief executive of e-cigarette maker Juul stepped down on Wednesday as merger talks between its biggest investor Altria and Philip Morris collapsed in the face of a regulatory backlash against vaping that could reshape the industry. Juul Labs, in which tobacco giant Altria Group Inc owns a 35% stake, is facing intense scrutiny in its home market as teen use of e-cigarettes surges. The company, which faces a U.S. ban on some products, said on Wednesday that it would suspend all advertising in the country.

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Juul Labs Inc. pursued a strategy to win over Washington. But the e-cigarette maker wound up further alienating regulators, helping to thrust the once-soaring startup into a crisis that threatens its business. Facing scrutiny stemming from surging teen use of its vaporizers, Juul has tried over the past year to position itself as a responsible actor in an industry with few rules. It overhauled its marketing, halted retail-store sales of its fruity flavors that young people favor and introduced a checkout system to curb illegal sales to minors.

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Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb blamed a sudden outbreak of what resembles a rare type of pneumonia in young adults on illegal and unregulated vaping products that have flooded the market in recent years.

“It’s not clear that these acute lung injuries are being caused by the legally sold regulated products, which FDA does oversee the manufacture of,” Gottlieb said Wednesday on “Squawk Box.” “It appears that many of these acute lung injuries are being driven by illegal products that have oils in them.”

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The Ministry of Health and Welfare has recommended smokers who use e-cigarettes to refrain from using their devices until it completes investigation into the relationship between the liquid-type e-cigarettes and lung diseases. "After coordinating with the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS), we will conduct a full-scale investigation for the ingredient analysis of liquid-type e-cigarettes," a health and welfare ministry official said.

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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has called for a temporary statewide ban on the sale of all e-cigarettes and vaping products in response to a nationwide outbreak of lung injuries associated with vaping. "I'm officially declaring a public health emergency in the Commonwealth due to severe lung disease associated with the use of e-cigarettes and marijuana-infused vaping products," Baker said during a press conference on Tuesday.

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To date, over 20 countries, mostly in South America, the Middle East and South-East Asia, have banned the sale of e-cigarette products. Some countries have also banned possession of these products. Thailand has the strictest laws, while countries such as Australia, Canada and Norway have introduced many restrictions.

Research suggests that e-cigarettes may help smokers quit regular cigarettes benefiting their long-term health. But young people who have never smoked traditional cigarettes are taking up e-cigarettes, which are available in over 1,500 flavours, [...]

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The number of people vaping in the UK has reached 3.6 million - about half the number of smokers - figures from Action on Smoking and Health suggest.

The data indicates most vapers are former smokers, with the main reason for using e-cigarettes being to give up tobacco.

The findings come as the US continues to investigate a spate of serious lung injuries linked to vaping.

India, meanwhile, says it will ban e-cigarettes as they pose a health risk.

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Indian officials have long recognized that public health is better served by focusing on attainable solutions rather than far-flung ideals. Yet when it comes to smoking, their faith in this principle is waning. Rather than developing a regulatory framework to ensure that e-cigarettes are available alongside their more dangerous cousins — combustible cigarettes — public health officials have simply chosen to ban them.

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Electronic cigarette makers were counting on Asia as a growth market. But the region may not be a refuge from an escalating crackdown in the U.S.

India banned electronic cigarettes last week, days after Juul Labs Inc.’s products vanished from online Chinese marketplaces. [...] But some nations still view e-cigarettes as viable alternatives to smoking, a leading cause of preventable death. Public health officials in Britain, the biggest market in Europe for the products, endorse vaping as a way to wean people off smoking. [...]

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[...] What ties together the patients who died in Tulare County and Los Angeles County is not that they both vaped "electronic cigarettes," but that they both used illicit THC (marijuana) vaping cartridges that they purchased illegally off the black market. In the two other deaths in which authorities released information about the products used (one in Oregon, one in Minnesota), each involved vaping marijuana, not electronic cigarettes.

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A top U.S. health official told lawmakers Tuesday that e-cigarette market leader Juul uses salts in its vaping devices that she said could be particularly dangerous for teenagers.

“Juul products use nicotine salts, which can lead to much more available nicotine,” CDC Principal Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat told the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s panel on consumer products. She said doctors believe the salts allow nicotine to “cross the blood brain barrier and lead to potentially more effect on the developing brain in adolescents.”

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A leading heart consultant called for a ban on vaping and warned: “It’s more dangerous than smoking and booze combined.” President of the International Society For Vascular Surgery, Prof Sherif Sultan, described e-cigarettes as “the disaster of the century”. Prof Sultan, who is based in the Galway Clinic, is now calling on the Health Minister to ban the use of e-cigs immediately. He said: “Simon Harris needs to step in now before it’s too late and ban them. He needs to follow in Donald Trump’s footsteps. [...]

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Vapour from e-cigarettes can kill off cells which line human airways, new research has suggested.

A study by scientists at the University of Adelaide in Australia found fumes from three types of apple-flavoured vaping liquid could destroy bronchial epithelial cells. The researchers also discovered the vapour could interfere with the immune system, in particular by disrupting macrophages: white blood cells which digest and store unhealthy cells and foreign debris.

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Smoking kills. That such a damaging and irrational behaviour persists in many countries where the health risks of smoking are well understood and most smokers want to quit, is testimony to the power of nicotine addiction. Quitting is difficult, particularly without medication and behavioural support, but persuading smokers to accept help can also be difficult: most choose to quit unaided, and usually fail. Regular smokers therefore tend to remain smokers for decades, and in due course half are killed by their smoking. [...]

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I have argued that a flavored e-cigarette ban would drive masses of ex-smokers from vaping back to smoking. This prediction now seems to be confirmed by a number of tobacco financial analysts, who are alerting investors that such a ban would substantially boost the sale of cigarettes while decimating the e-cigarette market, which has nearly doubled in the past year. It is predicted that nearly all of the declines in vaping will be translated into cigarette smoking.

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Walmart has said it will no longer sell e-cigarettes in the US, amid mounting calls to ban the products entirely. The retailer said its decision was due to "uncertainty" about the rules governing e-cigarettes, which US health authorities have linked to more than 500 cases of lung injury. On Friday a group of US senators called on health authorities to remove all pod and cartridge-based e-cigarettes from the market until it can be proven the products are safe.

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At a time when the rapid growth in electronic cigarette "vaping" among young people threatens to reverse decades of progress in reducing tobacco use, a large study [...] finds that medical professionals are largely failing to use existing tools to help young people quit smoking.

Medicaid data from more than 80,000 adolescents and young adults diagnosed with nicotine use disorder indicated that only four percent had received counseling to encourage them to stop using tobacco products, only 1.2 percent were prescribed medications to help them quit, [...]

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How can a government justify criminalizing people for using safer methods to use a legal recreational substance? This question is the centerpiece of all prohibitions against vaping as the global outrage about the behavior grows exponentially.

India, a country of millions of smokers, just banned e-cigarettes nationwide.

“The decision was made keeping in mind the impact that e-cigarettes have on the youth of today,” India’s finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, said in a press conference. [...]

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