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As the pandemic of COVID-19, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is still under progression, the identification of prognostic factors is a global challenge. Among epidemiological risk factors, the role of smoking, to date, is unclear. Smoking has been initially found associated with adverse disease prognosis of COVID- 19, although this finding remains controversial[. Reported rates of current smokers among SARS-CoV-2-infected patients are heterogeneous, ranging from 1.4% to 12.5% (TABLE [1, 3-10]).

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More than two-thirds of the states within the United States have legalised cannabis in one form or another. Although ‘marijuana’ products remain illegal under federal law, as of April 2020, 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalised cannabis for medical purposes, and 11 of those states and the District of Columbia have also legalised cannabis for adult, recreational use.

However, the type of cannabis products a recreational consumer or medical user may encounter varies widely across these states. [...]

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As New Zealand endures the COVID-19 alert level 4 lockdown, Kiwi smokers are being encouraged to end the extra stress tobacco addiction brings them at an already stressful time. Miles Illemann is the CEO of NZ Smokefree Tomorrow Limited, the sole distributor of nicotine pouches in New Zealand.

He says the company's mission is helping New Zealand achieve smokefree status by 2025 and nicotine pouches will be a huge help.

"They just have such a high, proven effective rate. What we're seeing in European countries is nicotine pouches have a success rate of 60 - 75 percent in getting people to quit smoking," says Illemann.

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It’s a hard thought to come to grips with the possibility that in the case of COVID19 (as in vaping) the western public health establishment is proving to be enormously incompetent or fantastically corrupt. There seems to be no other option to viably explain the repeated misuse of science, maligning of reason and brazen propaganda tactics deployed in an effort to grow power and strip rights from the public. What’s going on?

Joining us today is Christopher Snowdon, a celebrated author and libertarian champion for vaping, as a tool for harm reduction. [...]

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Police minister Bheki Cele has said that no shop will be allowed to sell cigarettes during the national lockdown, as they are non-essential. He was responding to the Western Cape government's decision to lift the ban on the sale of cigarettes, emphasizing that they may only be sold together with essential goods. [...] We are joined via Skype by Emeritus Professor of Critical Care at Wits University, Prof Guy Richards.

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Inhaling smoke and vapors brings foreign substances into the body, puts acute stress on the lungs, creates long-term damage to the body, and can hurt the immune system — a bad mix at any time, and especially during a global pandemic of a respiratory disease. “What we worry about is impaired function and the risk of infection,” said Brenda Douglass, the director of Drexel University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program [...] “We do really worry about someone who smokes cigarettes or vapes … is there a greater propensity with smoking and with vaping for COVID-19? I would think so.”

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An Asia-wide education and information campaign, #SmokeFree4Life, was launched last month, and is urging the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) to respect the rights of smokers who wish to switch to safer alternatives such as e-cigarettes in order to quit smoking or reduce harm. “We, vapers and former smokers, and advocates of tobacco harm reduction, have an opportunity to add to the global discussions on ENDS, heat-not-burn tobacco products and snus as much safer alternatives to combustible cigarettes. [...]

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Speaking at a seminar on new-generation tobacco regulations held by Vietnam’s Ministry of Health, Nguyen Tuan Lam, a representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Vietnam, inaccurately stated that e-cigarettes are encouraging teens to start smoking. Lam cited a study which allegedly found that the number of teens who vaped before switching to smoking had more than tripled. Interestingly the vast majority of scientific research indicates the exact opposite, but sadly the WHO remains set on its rigid nonsensical stance. [...]

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As people rushed to stock up on toilet paper and hand sanitizer in March, Debi Meinwieser dropped thousands of dollars on more than 400 bottles of vape juice for e-cigarettes.

The 56-year-old from Whiting Township said she sought out the supply not in anticipation of the coronavirus outbreak and stay-at-home order, but to avoid a drought when the state law banning flavored vaping products takes effect Monday.

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Some have been forced to cut back on their smoking, others have had to switch to bidis, the poor Indian’s smoke. And, it’s not easy to lay hands on what is an “essential commodity” for some. Some are willing to pay a premium to lay their hands on a packet of cigarettes.

“It’s good in a way; we are smoking less. But the way it has been done is just promoting black marketing. I started asking my roommate for help after I finished my own pack which I bought for ₹50 extra,” his roommate Ojas Khari (name changed) said.

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In 2018, vaping company Juul stopped selling some flavored products from stores after facing intense pressure from the FDA to do more to curb youth vaping rates.

A new study by American Cancer Society researchers published in the American Journal of Public Health has indicated that this removal of certain flavors for sale had little-to-no long-term effect on sales, with users quickly switching to other flavors or different brands that were still selling the “sweet” flavors.

“There is no doubt that this is a way to market the products to youth,” said J. Taylor Hays, [...]

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Changes in tobacco and vaping policies were included in the 2021 budget passed by the state April 3.

Among the most significant changes were policies local anti-tobacco advocates have been battling against for some time — the sale of flavored vaping products and the sale of tobacco products of any kind by pharmacies.

Flavored vapor products will be banned statewide May 18, along with ending online sales delivered to private residences. Selling tobacco products in pharmacies will be prohibited effective July 1.

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Singaporean smokers enrolling in newly launched smoking cessation pilot programmes, will be entitled to full subsidies for nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in order to help them quit smoking. [...] The programme aims to reach approximately 10,000 smokers, and interested parties would benefit from intensive behavioural support, follow-up for up to a year and a three-month NRT supply. The success rate via such smoking cessation programmes is believed to range from 10 to 20 per cent. [...] Dr Daniel Fung, said that there are various methods to quit smoking, with the NRT being the most common method.

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Tobacco use remains the greatest preventable cause of death globally, killing up to half of all its users. It is known for being the leading risk factor for most noncommunicable diseases, including heart disease and cancer.

There are over 7,000 chemicals present in tobacco smoke and among these, at least 250 are known to be harmful and at least 69 are known to be carcinogenic (World Health Organisation). Nicotine, one of these chemicals, is the addictive substance in tobacco and has hooked over 1.1 billion smokers globally among which 80 per cent live in low-and middle-income countries.

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British American Tobacco (NYSE:BTI) is suing two of its longtime rivals, Altria Group (NYSE:MO) and Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM), for copyright infringement.

In the lawsuit filed in a Virginia federal court on Thursday, British American alleges that certain features of IQOS, a smoking device made by Philip Morris and distributed in the U.S. by Altria, infringe on its patents. British American makes a similar product called Glo, which, like IQOS, heats tobacco rather than burning it.

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On a trip to the supermarket these days you’ll be hard pressed to find canned food, toilet paper or hand sanitizer on the shelves. But if you swing by the pharmacy department, there’ll be plenty of nicotine patches and gum gathering dust.

Despite growing concern about a link between nicotine use and more severe coronavirus infections, cigarette and vaping sales are booming. Smokers find nicotine use relaxing (even though stress actually decreases after quitting), so it’s no surprise that many of America’s 38+ million smokers are panic buying now. [...]

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People who rely on vapes and other reduced-risk nicotine products—overwhelmingly former smokers, or those in the process of switching—face immediate worries over access during the coronavirus lockdown, as well as long-term fears for the survival of the small shops on which many rely.

Amanda Wheeler, the owner of Jvapes, which has locations in Colorado, Oklahoma and Arizona, said she had to lay off employees at two shops in Colorado. “I’ve never had to close a store before,” she told Filter. “It felt like a sad preview of what is to come.”

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Two years ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched a total war on the use of electronic cigarettes, declaring a fabricated epidemic in teenage vaping. E-cigarette manufacturers were raided, new federal regulations were implemented, and a misinformation campaign was waged on the public from the health agencies that claim to serve them, scaring millions of Americans from making a life-saving switch while the nation sat vulnerable to a pandemic.

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Tobacco manufacturers have experienced a significant drop-off in demand for traditional cigarettes following an initial inventory stockpiling related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Nielsen convenience store data, traditional cigarette volumes fell 8.4% for the week that ended April 4.

By comparison, when the first round of stay-at-home orders were issued by numerous governors in mid-March, including N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper, traditional cigarettes sales volume rose 1.1% for the week that ended March 22.

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Tobacco is often viewed as a recession-resistant segment of the market because no matter how bad things get, smokers will typically continue smoking -- perhaps even more so. Yet because COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has been found to strike smokers harder than the rest of the population, many may begin rethinking their habit in earnest.

[...] snus and nicotine pouches may become the means by which smokers finally break away from cigarettes.