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Americans are smoking more during the coronavirus pandemic because they are spending less on travel and entertainment and have more opportunities to light up. They are also switching back to traditional cigarettes from vaping devices in the wake of federal restrictions on e-cigarette flavors.

Executives at Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. pointed to the trends Tuesday and said they have been significant enough to slow the yearslong decline in U.S. cigarette sales. [...]

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Traditional cigarette sales continue to perform better than expected during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to two tobacco industry analysts.

Overall sales volume for traditional cigarettes was down just 0.2% for the four-week period that ended July 11, according to the latest Nielsen survey of convenience stores.

By comparison, the sales volume was down 7.2% in the four-week period that ended in Aug. 10, 2019.

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A genetic difference in one gene common in people of East Asian descent may make them more susceptible to adverse responses to e-cigarettes, according to preliminary research [...] "This study highlights the importance of understanding the interplay of genetics with e-cigarette aerosol exposure, as some people may be more susceptible to oxidative damage from smoking e-cigarettes," said Xuan Yu, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the study and a postdoctoral research fellow in the Gross Lab at Stanford University in Stanford, California.

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Chinese like to quip that the electronic cigarette is China’s fifth great invention, after paper, printing, gunpowder and the compass. A Chinese pharmacist hatched the idea in 2003 to wean smokers off tobacco. But it was in America, home to brands like Juul and Blu, that vaping first took off. Although one in four Chinese adults smoke tobacco, sales of e-cigarettes in China amounted to $2.7bn last year, a tenth of those in America, according to Frost and Sullivan, a consultancy.

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Vaping is likely to be banned in 11 areas of Melbourne's CBD and surrounds where cigarette smoking is already banned, including the Bourke Street Mall and the Tan and Princes Park running tracks.

The move would extend the definition of smoking, under local laws, to include using an e-cigarette. The City of Melbourne has been working for months to extend its localised smoking bans to include vaping, in the face of opposition from civil libertarians, smokers and vapers, and those who argue vaping is a safer alternative to cigarettes and can help people quit altogether.

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Regulation of e-cigarettes and other smoke-free nicotine products became a major topic during the virtual Global Nicotine Forum 2020 (GFN 2020) this year as advocates seek a more promising solution for smokers to quit. Discussions started with how attacks on the THR (tobacco harm reduction) movement has been intensified with fake news, misleading studies and unethical media campaigns. All speakers agreed that action needed to be taken immediately before things worsen and that the technology needed to be regulated, not restricted or banned.

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Around Thanksgiving 2019, two months after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order that banned sales of flavored vaping products in New York, Taobi Silva thought he’d give the vape business another shot.

Rob Ermolovich, the owner of a shop called Fluid Vapor and a local e-liquid manufacturing business, had given Silva a call, asking if he’d be interested in some kind of partnership. Silva and Ermolovich knew what was coming, as did many in the industry. [...]

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Conducted at the San Francisco Hospital research ward, the current study analyzed the systemic nicotine exposure and subjective effects of e-cigarettes in dual users. The study recruited 36 healthy participants who used both cigarettes and e-cigarettes. The amount of nicotine in the participants’ plasma was measured, alongside their level of nicotine withdrawal, urge to smoke and vape, affective states, cravings, and satisfaction and psychological reward from vaping as compared to smoking.

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WHO takes this opportunity to remind Member States that are Parties to the WHO Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC) of their obligations under the Convention. Heated tobacco products are tobacco products, meaning that the WHO FCTC fully applies to these products. (Decision FCTC/COP8(22)) Specifically, Article 13.4(a) obliges Parties, to prohibit "all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship that promote a tobacco product by any means that are false, misleading or deceptive or likely to create an erroneous impression about its characteristics, health effects, hazards or emissions."

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The international health profession is rightly focused on the SARS-CoV-2 virus threat at the moment. Meanwhile, another multinational threat has insidiously spread: Alarmism about nicotine vapor products (aka e-cigarettes) has infected a growing number of governments around the world, causing authorities to eschew science, logic, and human nature. Out of blind panic, they are disregarding the indisputable evidence that giving smokers legal access to nicotine vapor can save millions of lives. Instead, they embrace prohibitionist policies that will keep people smoking and dying. [...]

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At the beginning of the pandemic, smokers may have thought they had little to worry about, as there was a sliver of good news for them: a study circulating on social media suggested smoking could be associated with a lower risk of contracting Covid-19. That’s not the full story. A number of recent reports seem to debunk this claim. Last week, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, analyzed data from more than 8,000 young adults who completed the National Health Interview Survey, along with a set of risk indicators set out by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [...]

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Aconsortium of tobacco companies has taken the South African government to court in a bid to overturn the administration’s decision to ban the sale of alcohol and tobacco products during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Japan Tobacco International (JPI) and British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA), together with The South Africa Tobacco Transformation Alliance (SATTA) claim the ban represents an unwarranted and unfair infringement of citizens’ rights.

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This short doc is about Covid-19, smoking, vaping and racism. We interview Riccardo Polosa, a world-renowned researcher about how he convinced the Italian government to keep vape shops open. He talks about how nicotine could have a protective affect against the coronavirus. Polosa also discusses how the pandemic is playing out differently in Italy and the US. [...]

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Habit and routine formulate a teenage version of "normal."Often those habits can be influenced by malevolent forces such as nicotine. In fact, 58% of high schoolers in Montana admit to having once used a vaping device. Many of those students define "normal" in terms of a reliance on nicotine to make it through the day. Big Tobacco companies know this because they created appealing flavors of e-cigarettes with the purpose — and result — of getting kids hooked on vaping and addicted to nicotine both here in our state and across the country. [...]

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The continued ban on the sale of tobacco products and e-cigarettes during the lockdown was a missed opportunity to make smoke-free alternatives available for 11-million South African smokers, said Philip Morris South Africa (PMSA) in a statement on Thursday.

“The blanket ban on all tobacco and e-cigarette products undermines the efforts of those adult smokers who switched to better alternatives, such as heated tobacco products and e-cigarettes,” said Phillip Morris SA MD Marcelo Nico.

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The European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (ETHRA) has launched a manifesto on behalf of million of smokers who have managed to quit smoking or reduce harm, thanks to safer alternatives such as e-cigarettes and snus, declaring their rights within Europe. ETHRA is comprised of 21 consumer associations in 16 European countries. Launched last May on behalf of 27 million grass roots consumers across Europe who have quit smoking using safer products, the manifesto urged policymakers to recognize the benefits of tobacco harm reduction in advance of World No Tobacco Day.

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The VERITAS (Vaping effects: real-world international surveillance) Cohort Study is headed by Dr. Riccardo Polosa out of CoEHAR, the Center of Excellence for Harm Reduction, Catania. The lead scientist and global project manager is Dr. Carl V. Phillips.

In this episode of RegWatch hear Dr. Phillips explain why the VERITAS Study is by far the most substantial study of the health effects of vaping (in the absence of smoking,) and will provide invaluable information for vapers, smokers, and policymakers.

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“MP Nicky Wagner’s amendment to reverse the Government’s effective ban on oral tobacco-free nicotine pouches deserves supporting. Thank goodness at least one MP read and listened to key submissions and evidence on the bill to regulate vaping,” says Nancy Loucas, co-director of Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA).

Commonly known as tobacco-free snus, the pouches are placed between the upper lip and gum, providing up to 10,000 New Zealanders with a much safer alternative to smoking.

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My google search engine thinks Public Health England (PHE) is a vaping organisation.

“Vaping organisation UK”.  You can try it yourself.

E-cigarettes lie at the centre of PHE’s tobacco control strategy, probably drawing attention and commitment away from alternative strategies for reducing smoking rates.

In September 2017, PHE encouraged smokers to “stop smoking with an e-cigarette”.

E-cigarette promotion also featured significantly in the 2019 NHS “Stoptober” campaign.  “Try an e-cigarette”, urges Public Health England.

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Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has called on the government to heighten its campaign on the adverse effects of continued use of cigarette and tobacco products to discourage young Filipinos from taking up smoking habits and also the reduce risk of COVID-19 infection. In a webinar with student leaders, the Senate committee on basic education, arts and culture head emphasized that there are three important steps for a smoke-free Philippines: fight the heavy lobby from the tobacco industry, transition tobacco farmers to planting sustainable high-quality crops, and dissuade the youth from smoking.

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