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Join Dr. Marewa Glover and tobacco harm reduction journalist Michael McGrady as they discuss the challenges in the field of tobacco harm reduction and control. This recurring podcast is a look into the work done by Glover and her team at the Centre of Research Excellence: Indigenous Sovereignty & Smoking in Auckland, New Zealand. [...]

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Tobacco kills more than 8 million people globally every year. More than 7 million of these deaths are from direct tobacco use and around 1.2 million are due to non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.

Tobacco smoking is a known risk factor for many respiratory infections and increases the severity of respiratory diseases. A review of studies by public health experts convened by WHO on 29 April 2020 found that smokers are more likely to develop severe disease with COVID-19, compared to non-smokers.

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In this edition of RegWatch meet Vicki McKenna, conservative talk radio host and vaping advocate. She blasts common sense thinking to millions of listeners each week and isn’t afraid of taking on progressive forces hell bent on destroying vaping.

Last September McKenna went to Washington to testify on behalf of vaping at the House Oversight Committee hearing Don’t Vape: Examining the Outbreak of Lung Disease and CDC’s Urgent Warning Not to Use E-Cigarettes. [...]

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Dr Glover is a Māori (New Zealand indigenous) behavioral scientist with over 27 years of experience in tobacco control and over 100 scientific papers. She is the Director of the internationally-focused Centre of Research Excellence on Indigenous Sovereignty & Smoking. Much of her work as a Professor of Public Health has concentrated on designing pragmatic solutions to reduce smoking, particularly smoking while pregnant. [...]

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An Asia-Pacific consumer advocacy group has supported the petition asking the Taiwanese government to recognize tobacco harm reduction as a human right in line with the goal for Smoke-Free Taiwan 2040.

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (Caphra) said it was supporting the initiative of the Taiwan Tobacco Harm Reduction Association (TTHRA), which filed a petition calling upon the government of Taiwan to allow tobacco harm reduction products as part of the key strategy for tobacco control.

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Researchers are investigating the effects of nicotine on COVID-19, the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and evidence for a surprising hypothesis: Cigarette smokers are less likely than non-smokers to contract the virus.

Cardiologist Konstantinos Farsalinos told InsideSources he is investigating why smokers are disproportionately unlikely to become COVID-19 cases. He explained there is a need to explore the prevalence of current smoking behaviors among those who were diagnosed with the virus.

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For the past five years, New Zealand smokers have been embracing the new generation of less harmful alternatives such as e-cigarettes. The number of adult smokers vaping in New Zealand is growing along with new devices, flavours and nicotine levels that suit the very individual habits of smokers. [...] The Government now accepts the scientific consensus that vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking, so getting more smokers to transition is a desirable public health goal. This mature policy objective has been praised by public health experts here and overseas.

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The World Health Organization has hailed the South African government for upholding the ban on cigarette sales.

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Nova Scotia has approved a new regulatory cap on e-liquids and cigarettes making it the first province to adopt a maximum nicotine concentration of 20 milligrams per millilitre.

An order in council signed last week amends the province's Tobacco Access Act regulations and takes effect Sept. 1.

The move follows an amendment passed in March that banned flavoured vaping products. The Canadian Cancer Society says Nova Scotia's maximum nicotine level is the same standard that has been in place in the 28-country European Union for some years.

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As Massachusetts’ adult-use marijuana businesses face severe financial losses and await a chance to open up again amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cannabis Control Commission has offered to speak to an advisory board planning the state’s reopening.

Gov. Charlie Baker has appointed the 17-member board to come up with a plan to reopen the state by May 18 as the rate of COVID-19 cases starts to trend down. Baker banned non-essential businesses from operating in March. While recreational marijuana was not considered essential, medical marijuana dispensaries have been allowed to operate.

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A public health expert blames smoke, not nicotine, for causing thousands of deaths caused by cigarette smoking each day.

“There have been many decades of research on the health effects of cigarette smoking, and we have known since at least the 1970s that the primary cause of the cancers, heart and lung disease is the repeated inhalation of smoke,” said Prof. David T. Sweanor, chair of the advisory board of the Centre for Health Law, Policy & Ethics at the University of Ottawa.

Sweanor is a Canadian legal expert who believes that tobacco harm reduction is one of the greatest public health breakthroughs in history. [...]

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Dr. Riccardo Polosa, a respiratory physician and harm reduction expert [...] speaks about his first-hand experience with the #COVID19 pandemic in Italy.

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Junior health minister Paul Blokhuis has told MPs he is considering extra legislation to limit the use of e-cigarettes following research which shows they are widely used by teenagers. Electronic cigarettes are more dangerous to health than first thought and are seen by teenagers as a first step to smoking real cigarettes, according to a new fact sheet produced by the Trimbos addiction clinic on behalf of the health ministry.

 

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In a study of adolescents who have used e-cigarettes in the past month, certain factors were associated with frequent use.

In the Public Health Nursing study of 1,556 adolescents in Korea, 55.1% reported that they had used e-cigarettes for 6 to 30 days in the past month and 44.9% used them from 1 to 5 days. Using e-cigarettes because of the belief they may be less harmful than cigarettes, they can be concealed, they're easy to purchase, and they have various added flavors were factors linked to more frequent use.

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The consumer group Nicotine Consumers Union of the Philippines (NCUP) urged the public to take an objective look at the merits of nicotine amidst the spread and popularity of opposing opinions.

“People should stop demonizing nicotine and instead look at it through objective, science-informed eyes. It is not the nicotine that causes serious harms, but the tar and poisonous gases produced by combustible cigarettes,” Antonio Israel, president of the NCUP said.

 

 

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Today on RegWatch we are joined by John Britton, Professor of Epidemiology, University of Nottingham [...] Join us for a deep dive into the science on vaping; an examination public health policies on vaping since the report; a hard look at anti-vaping opponents, the mainstream media, and the recent scares over the teen vaping epidemic and vaping-related lung-illness. And also, for a discussion about COVID19 and its impact on healthcare, the proportionality of the response, and the emerging new evidence that nicotine could have a role in protecting people from the virus.

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With Covid-19, everyone is experiencing really challenging times. We are all trying to do our bit to support people who have been unwell with Covid-19. However, it is also essential to pre-empt the unintended consequences of isolation and social distancing on the population’s mental health. The uncertainties around health and the economy are making most people very anxious and stressed. We already know that stress and boredom are triggers for smoking. There is a greater likelihood of people making unhealthy lifestyle choices to cope with stress, which may lead to increases in smoking: [...]

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Despite calls by smokers and the legal tobacco industry, on April 29 the government confirmed its uncompromising stance on the ban. Strangely, this announcement followed only six days after President Cyril Ramaphosa declared that the government planned to lift the tobacco ban as South Africa enters Level 4 of lockdown on May 1. 

Unsurprisingly, there was a collective sigh of relief among smokers at the time, only for that to turn to disgust and outrage on social media late on Wednesday evening over the authorities’ about-turn.

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In less than a decade, e-cigarette use among high schoolers in the U.S. has skyrocketed, from almost none in 2011 (1.5%) to more than one-fourth in 2019 (27.5%). Alarm bells have sounded for doctors, parents and schools; lawmakers have created policies to combat this epidemic.


That includes legislation signed by President Trump on Dec. 20, 2019, which raised the minimum age from 18 to 21 on the sale of tobacco products.

E-cigarettes like Juul were covered in the legislation. [...]

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New research reveals vaping among Canadian youth has risen dramatically over the past two years, and experts say it shows no signs of slowing down unless stricter regulations are put in place immediately.

A survey of more than 12,000 Canadians aged 16 to 19, done in three groups between 2017 and 2019, found that the number of those who reported vaping in the previous month had more than doubled to 17.8 per cent from 8.4 per cent in 2017. The results were published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics this week.

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