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The price of a packet of cigarettes or rolling tobacco goes up on Wednesday as the government brings in more measures to stamp out smoking. A packet of cigarettes will cost €1 more, taking the price to around €8.20 depending on the brand. The price of rolling tobacco will rise up to €2.40. At the same time, smoking will be banned throughout Schiphol airport from today and Dutch railway company NS says it will ensure all platforms are smoke free by October. NS is also reducing the number of shops at stations which sell tobacco products.

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The UAE’s Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has decided to postpone the implementation of the ban on supplying, transferring, storing, and possessing water pipe tobacco and electrically heated cigarettes that do not carry digital tax stamps within the UAE to January 1, 2021. “This extension on the timeline provides them with seven additional months to prepare for the mandatory implementation of the ban,” said FTA director-general Khaled Ali Al Bustani.

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WALES'S 440,000 smokers - including tens of thousands across Gwent - are being urged to quit now as a way to reduce the risk from coronavirus.

Emerging evidence shows that smokers are more likely to develop more serious lung illnesses compared to non-smokers.

Smokers are considered to be at more risk from coronavirus because they have weakened lung defences as a result of smoking, which damages cells protecting their nose, upper and lower airways.

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Vaping is most heavily concentrated in U.S. schools with a higher proportion of white students, schools in the South and West, and schools where more students smoke cigarettes, a new University of Michigan study shows.

Overall, more than one in 10 American middle and high school students report having used e-cigarettes within the last month. In certain schools, as many as 60% of students said they vaped during that time.

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In an era where we sing “Happy Birthday” while washing our hands, freak out about keeping six feet apart, and can clear out an entire grocery aisle by clearing our throats, we now hear from the World Health Organization that people with smoking-related lung conditions are “at higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms.” A much-discussed research paper in the Chinese Medical Journal found the odds of coronavirus infections developing into more serious conditions are 14 times higher for people with a history of smoking. 

But do cannabis-smokers need to worry about these warnings? Does smoking pot put us at higher risk?

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The governor of New Mexico said last week that the state needs to explore every option for economic relief, and that includes passing marijuana legalization. [...] Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) was asked whether she was in favor of the legislature passing adult-use legalization during an upcoming special session to generate tax revenue to offset financial challenges caused by the pandemic. “Let’s end on a high note,” the governor joked, adding that she felt suspensions of various capital projects due to the health crisis “likely would not have occurred” if lawmakers had legalized recreational marijuana [...]

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Tobacco manufacturers may gain a 120-day extension for filing premarket applications with the FDA for electronic cigarettes and other next-generation products.

The current application deadline is May 12, set in a federal court-mandated order, for manufacturers to be included in a 12-month review process by the Food and Drug Administration. It includes makers of nicotine liquids.

The FDA said Tuesday it filed a legal motion Monday requesting an extension to Sept. 9. It’s the same federal court in Maryland that mandated the May 12 deadline.

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Last week, the UK banned the sale of menthol cigarettes, menthol filters and papers, and skinny cigarettes, in an effort to stop young people from smoking. In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said menthol cigarettes are more harmful than other cigarettes, but their sale continues in the US as well as in India. Menthol cigarettes have a similar design to regular cigarettes, but use menthol additives either mixed with the tobacco or within/near the cigarette filter to release a burst of menthol flavor when inhaled.

 

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For World No Tobacco Day 2020, an international group of independent experts with no conflicting links to the tobacco or vaping industry has sharply criticized the World Health Organization for its backward-looking approach to innovation and new technology, such as vaping products. Experts say they are exasperated by the WHO’s dogmatic hostility towards new technology and fear the U.N. health agency will squander the opportunity to avoid millions of premature deaths that will be caused by smoking.

 

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Māori and Pasifika who have not been able to quit smoking may need more support to move from smoking to vaping, researchers from the University of Otago and Māori public health collective Hāpai Te Hauora have found. The researchers conducted in-depth interviews with 16 people who identified as Māori or Pacific ethnicity, or both, who had smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime, and who currently used electronic nicotine delivery systems (also known as e-cigarettes or vapes).

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On June 1, the South African government plans to ease the lockdown restrictions and will allow limited alcohol sales, keeping bars shuttered yet permitting home consumption. However, the tobacco ban—which includes not only cigarettes but all tobacco harm reduction products, like vapes and snus—remains in effect and has no real end in sight.

Now, a recently released and robust study out of the University of Cape Town seems to show exactly what government skeptics and much of the public have been insisting all along: that prohibition doesn’t work. [...]

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The vaping industry is demanding to be allowed to sell its products online and for delivery during lockdown level3. They also want to be disassociated from the tobacco sector.
Vapour Products Association of South Africa (VPASA) chief executive Asanda Gcoyi told The Star that the narrative that vapour products, cigarettes and tobacco products were the same was problematic. “Vaping is not smoking, those are two different things. Both vaping and cigarettes contain nicotine, but nicotine is not what kills people in smoking, people die because of the tar,” she said.

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The number of young people smoking rose for the first time in a decade last year, while the popularity of e-cigarettes rose by half, according to a report by the Ministry of Health and Welfare's Health Promotion Administration (HPA) the Thursday (May 28).

In 2019, an estimated 81,000 youths smoked traditional tobacco cigarettes, while 57,000 young Taiwanese had adopted the habit of vaping, CNA reported. The survey found that the proportion of junior high school students with a smoking habit rose from 2.8 percent in 2018 to 3 percent in 2019, [...]

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WHO is publishing 3 reports to inform countries on the current state of scientific knowledge, and regulatory and policy options available on novel tobacco products such as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), electronic non-nicotine delivery systems (ENNDS) and heated tobacco products (HTPs). [...] This year’s theme is “protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from nicotine and tobacco use”, and it poses important questions on how the public health community can protect youth from novel products.

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New US research has found that individuals who use e-cigarettes could be at risk of developing oral diseases in the future, which could range from gum disease to cancer.

[...] the new study looked at a group of 123 people with no signs of oral disease. The group included 25 smokers, 25 non-smokers, 20 e-cigarette users, 25 former tobacco smokers who used e-cigarettes and 28 people who smoked both tobacco cigarettes and e-cigarettes. "Vaping is such a big assault on the oral environment, and the change happens dramatically and over a short period of time," said Purnima Kumar, senior author of the study.

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Millions of e-cigarette users, or vapers, across the globe are celebrating World Vape Day on May 30, 2020, a day before World No Tobacco Day. World Vape Day aims to raise awareness on e-cigarettes or vapes and encourage smokers who are unable to quit on their own or with currently available smoking cessation tools to switch to safer nicotine products.
“Safer nicotine products, such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, are the most disruptive influence on smoking in decades.These are the innovations that have the potential to save millions of lives [...]

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EU member states will ask the European Commission this week to place novel tobacco products, electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products under the EU Tobacco Excise Directive, meaning they would be taxed just like traditional tobacco products [...]

“The current provisions of Directive 2011/64/EU have become less effective, as they are either no longer sufficient or too narrow to address current and future challenges, concerning some products, such as liquids for e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products and other types of next-generation products, which are entering the market,” the draft conclusions read.

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Approaches to smoking in lockdown are similarly divisive. More than a quarter of smokers in France said their tobacco consumption increased during lockdown, and the South African government's attempt to ban cigarette sales during coronavirus immediately resulted in a black market for tobacco products. For people like Ellie, however, being quarantined with family is simply not conducive to a nicotine habit. Of course, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. "I wonder if, when post-lockdown life begins, will I pick up the cigarettes again?" she says. "Or will I be able to go without?"

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Switzerland is at the bottom of the class in Europe when it comes to preventing young people from smoking. It is the only country, apart from Kosovo, that does not have a national minimum age for the purchase of these products. 

What’s more, the tobacco and nicotine industry has updated its range of products and now offers new flavoured products that appeal to young people, particularly because of their colourful packaging, the Swiss Association for the Prevention of Tobacco Addiction said [...] on Tuesday. 

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The tobacco giant Philip Morris has taken advantage of the UK’s ban on menthol cigarettes to promote its new tobacco product, despite heavy restrictions on advertising tobacco.

In the run up to the ban the company hired sales reps to promote its menthol heated tobacco products directly to newsagents, one of the only legal ways it can advertise in the UK, where almost all tobacco advertising is banned. It also offered promotional menthol kits and trials for new customers, with half-price tobacco sticks in any of its four menthol flavours.

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