Samrat Chowdhery has been a journalist for two decades with stints in mainline newspapers in India. He leads the consumer movement for lower-risk alternatives in the country and is involved in tobacco harm reduction advocacy since 2014, building grassroots resistance to anti-THR policies through consultations with authorities and stakeholders, identifying and seeding research opportunities and creating awareness about THR through public dialogues.
The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) on Thursday urged the Nigerian government to be cautious and have nothing to do with tobacco industry recommendations on so-called harmless alternatives to cigarettes. Last week, Philip Morris International's (PMI) Sub-Saharan Africa Managing Director, Bahman Safakish, said the company was not ready to stop manufacturing of cigarettes because "ending cigarette sales would automatically create a niche market for competitors and illicit traders who do not appreciate the need to replace the combustible hazardous smoking with the electronic vapour-producing device."
There have been calls from certain quarters to reduce taxes on legal cigarettes in Malaysia. However, this unorthodox or paradoxical sounding measure does not seem to be a viable measure to resolve the country’s illegal cigarette trade or protect the people’s well-being.
To put things in perspective, there are two different tax structures for domestic and imported cigarettes in Malaysia. Excise tax per stick is levied on locally produced cigarettes sold in the country, while import duty is levied on imported cigarettes.
A new study of high school seniors in the U.S. suggests that teens who are less satisfied with their lives and seek out risky experiences and exciting, unpredictable friends are more likely to use multiple illicit substances regularly. Teens' attitude toward e-cigarette use also played a critical role in their use of other substances. Students who considered vaping to be a relatively harmless activity were more likely to use significant amounts of tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and other drugs.
In October 2018, Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) had announced that it would be introducing standardised packaging for tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigarillos, cigars, beedies [...] and other roll-your-own tobacco products, as part of ongoing efforts to reduce local smoking rates. The measure has finally gone into effect, and besides plain packaging, meaning that all logos, colours, images and promotional information on the packaging of tobacco products should be removed, it includes a clause requiring graphic health warnings that cover at least 75% of the packet.
South Africa is the only country to still have a tobacco ban (and was only ever one of three to impose it) while many major European countries such as France, Spain and Italy even exempted tobacco kiosks from their various lockdowns. This was on the basis that they provide an essential service. As early as April in the Covid-19 outbreak, researchers noticed that the virus disproportionately affected non-smokers compared to smokers. [...]
The Ministry of Health has called for a crackdown on illegal new modern cigarettes advertising and trading via e-commerce and social networks.
The ministry recommended the ministries of Public Security, Culture, Sports and Tourism and Information and Communications, as well as the General Department of Customs strengthen inspections into the products.
Tran Thi Trang, Deputy Director of the Legal Affairs Department, at the Ministry of Health, has said the new cigarettes are products that cannot be advertised, imported or traded in Vietnam.
In a new position paper, the European Association of Preventive Cardiology recommended that due to known CV harms from e-cigarettes, they should not be used for smoking cessation except as a last resort.
“E-cigarettes should only be used for smoking cessation if nothing else has worked and the individual is carefully monitored for adverse effects,” Maja-Lisa Løchen, MD, PhD, professor of preventive medicine at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, professorial fellow at Australian Catholic University and an author of the paper, said in a press release [...]
In a letter to the US Food and Drug Administration, lawmakers are urging the agency to temporarily clear the market of all e-cigarettes for the duration of the coronavirus crisis. The letter, sent to FDA commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn on Tuesday, makes this call based on emerging research that suggests vaping or using e-cigarettes can come with an increased risk of being diagnosed with Covid-19 and suffering symptoms. [...]
A video depicting Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein vaping during Parliamentary proceedings is making its rounds on social media.
The video shows Hishammuddin sneaking a vape behind his face mask while his colleague, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, was speaking during Parliamentary proceedings. Hishammuddin, however, apologised on Twitter and promised not to vape during Parliament proceedings again.
"Sorry, I didn't realise – it's a new habit. I apologise to the Dewan and promise not to do it again," he tweeted.
UBC researchers are raising the alarm about the increase of vaping among teenagers and how e-cigarette marketing strategies target youth. Assistant Professor Laura Struik, who teaches in UBC Okanagan's School of Nursing, recently published a paper examining why teens take up vaping and whether advertising capitalizes on those reasons. "This is the first study of its kind that makes direct links between reasons for youth uptake and the marketing strategies of e-cigarette companies," says Struik. [...]
The "wild west" vaping industry has three months to get its house in order after a new law banning advertising and restricting flavours has finally passed under urgency.
It's taken 620 days to get the law over the line after Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa promised to regulate the industry in November 2018.
It wasn't until this year she introduced the bill, which was voted through the House late last night - just before the final sitting day in this term of government.
Salesa blamed the delays on it being a "complex bill", and said it was the most significant change to the Smokefree Act.
In the last few months, researchers have been trying to find out how strong the link between smokers and severe coronavirus cases really is.
A recent study by The Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco found that smokers are nearly twice as likely to develop severe coronavirus symptoms.
The research examined more than 11,000 COVID-19 patients and found that about 30% of those who had a history of smoking saw their conditions progress to a more severe or critical state.
The Cancer Society is pleased to see the new vaping legislation passed with general cross-party support as it will help protect people from the harms of e-cigarettes and nicotine addiction while also supporting those who use vaping to quit smoking. The Vaping Amendment Bill passed yesterday, ending a period in which New Zealand’s vaping industry has operated without regulation. Cancer Society spokesperson Shayne Nahu (Te Arawa, Tainui, Irish) says the legislation puts an end to e-cigarettes being heavily marketed to children and non-smokers.
In what they call the largest study ever done, researchers found using marijuana while pregnant may increase the risk that a child will develop autism. "Women who used cannabis during pregnancy were 1.5 times more likely to have a child with autism," said study author Dr. Darine El-Chaâr, a maternal fetal medicine specialist and clinical investigator at Ottawa Hospital Research Institute in Canada. "These are not reassuring findings. We highly discourage use of cannabis during pregnancy and breastfeeding," she said.
Economists and leading international Tobacco Harm Reduction experts, drawn from Africa and Europe, have advised smokers in Uganda to turn to oral nicotine products saying it is least 90 per cent safer than smoking. Nicotine pouches are white pre-portioned pouches containing nicotine but no tobacco, and are described as either similar to or a tobacco-free version of snus. Mr Atakan Befrits, a Sweden-based Tobacco Harm Reduction policy advocacy [...] said: “This figure is “most likely closer to 99 per cent when you account for the food grade standard to which some of the latest products are produced.”
Current FDA regulations have resulted in a ban of flavored e-cigarette pods, with only menthol and tobacco flavored pods being exempted. Previous work using menthol and tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes have been shown to induce mitochondrial reactive oxygen species. We hypothesized that exposure to pod-based JUUL Menthol and Virginia Tobacco aerosols will alter mitochondrial respiration and electron transport chain protein levels. [...]
In a recent statement about the ongoing controversial tobacco ban, Philip Morris South Africa (PMSA) said that the continued ban during the covid lockdown, has been a missed opportunity to make smoke-free alternatives available for the 11-million local smokers. The bans on tobacco products and alcohol sales announced in March, sadly included safer alternatives such as e-cigarettes and snus. Naturally, this had angered many public health experts and vaping advocates. [...] (VPASA) chief executive Asanda Gcoyi, reiterated that treating cigarettes and safer alternatives in the same manner poses a significant problem.
Japan’s male smoking rate fell below 30 percent for the first time last year, slipping to 28.8 percent, down 2.3 points from the previous study in 2016, a health ministry survey found.
The national livelihood survey, conducted every three years by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, also found that the female smoking rate fell 0.7 point to 8.8 percent.
E-cigarettes (a.k.a. vaporizers or vapes) aren't necessarily a safe substitute for the real thing. Smoking tobacco-free e-cigarettes still damages the users' DNA, increases the rate of genetic mutations, and raises the risk of cancer, according to a new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and spotted by Technology Networks. Researchers from New York University School of Medicine exposed the mice to smoke for three months, and then examined their DNA. They found adducts, a form of DNA damage in which a piece of the genetic material bonds to a chemical. [...]