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Trapped inside the Atlantic bubble with few alternative supply options, New Brunswick smokers and drinkers grounded by the pandemic have increasingly been buying locally and legally to satisfy their cravings.

Over the summer, retailers in New Brunswick sold the equivalent of 1.5 million packs of cigarettes, four million cans of beer and 10,000 litres of hard liquor more than they did last summer, as cheaper options in the province — legal and otherwise — dried up.

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On November 4th, 2020, the United-Kingdom based public health organization Knowledge Action Change, which aims at promoting health through the concept of harm reduction, issued an expert report entitled: Burning Issues: The Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction. [...] In low and middle-income countries (LMICs), regulations, policies and information around Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) are particularly restrictive. Dr. Mwawi Ng'oma [...] stated that to her there is no doubt that current policies and regulations are counterproductive and lead to more confusion and misinformation: [...]

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Scientists and medical professionals have long debated whether pod e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. A new study provides some insight.

In a collaboration between The University of Kansas Cancer Center, California State University San Marcos and Brown University, scientists conducted a six-week-long randomized trial comparing e-cigarette use to traditional cigarette use in African American and Latinx smokers. E-cigarettes simulate tobacco smoke via battery-powered devices that work by heating a liquid into a vapor that the user inhales.

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Dr Charlie Easmon from Your Excellent Health Service gives a medical professional’s opinion on medical marijuana in the UK, including comment on hemp, CBD and THC
Government scientific advisers have a hard time with drugs. Not the use of drugs, but the objective evidence of harms and benefits. Politically ‘soft on drugs’ strikes the wrong note and so when advice is given to reduce the classification of a drug based on evidence, it is often ignored. Professor David Nutt found out the hard way when he was sacked by the Home Secretary for correctly pointing out that horse riding was more harmful statistically than ecstasy. [...]

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San Francisco lawmakers are considering a ban on all smoking and vaping inside private apartment buildings. The proposed ordinance is presented as an attempt to limit secondhand exposure to inhalants from both traditional smoking (“combustibles”) and vaping.

Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee introduced the proposal to prohibit the use of these products inside housing and apartment complexes with at least three or more residential units, regardless of whether the units are occupied by renters or by the actual owners.

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A growing body of evidence points to the health risks of using e-cigarettes (or "vaping"). But because e-cigarettes are marketed as a less harmful alternative to traditional cigarettes, it has been difficult to tell whether the association between vaping and disease is just a matter of smokers switching to vaping when they start experiencing health issues. [...] the study found that participants who had used e-cigarettes in the past were 21% more likely to develop a respiratory disease, and those who were current e-cigarette users had a 43% increased risk.

 

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J. Taylor Hays, director of the Nicotine Dependence Center at Mayo Clinic, and Jenny Prinsen, a nurse practitioner at Mayo Clinic Health Systems in La Crosse, Wis., held a media briefing via Zoom to speak about the health risks associated with smoking and vaping and its relation to COVID-19. It may sound counterintuitive to a smoker who has tried to quit, but experts say that quitting smoking over the long haul is an effective way to reduce anxiety and stress in a person's life. Hays said studies show it has the same impact as antidepressant therapy on moderate depression.

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recent study conducted by the tobacco company to illustrate the relative safety of the products, analysed the toxicological impact of BAT’s nicotine pouches Velo, formerly called Lyft. These tea bag-like pouches, are similar in appearance and use to snus. They are placed under the upper lip for about 15 to 30 minutes depending on the preferred nicotine dose and have the added benefit of being tobacco-free, odour-free, and not requiring spitting.

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Cigarette company Imperial Brands’ (IMBBY) full-year results have revealed a change of the habits of smokers, with a shift from e-cigarettes to tobacco. This is despite warnings from health professionals around the world that both smoking and e-cigarettes exacerbate cases of COVID-19 with those that smoke likely to see an increased severity of illness and a higher incidence of death. Imperial said: “It would appear smokers (...)"

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In recent years, snus has emerged as a compelling alternative to smoking tobacco products. Anyone who has ever tried quitting the habit can attest to how difficult it is to drop. Remember the millions of people who took up e-cigarettes to help stop or cut different smoking? Although an e-cigarette is an effective alternative to smoking, they aren’t suitable for all smokers. Thus the advent of snus, a harmful reduction method of consuming tobacco.

Snus has its origin in 18th century Sweden. Production was inspired by snuff, a smokeless derivative of tobacco that is inhaled via the nasal cavity. [...]

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As governments around the world are focused on fighting Covid-19 tobacco companies are encouraging policy makers to let down their guard against the main driver of another deadly epidemic: tobacco use. Covid-19 is a reminder of how important it is to fight the scourge of tobacco: smoking or being a former smoker increases the risk of severe illness from the coronavirus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Governments know what policies encourage people to (...)

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Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Vietnam should not legalise the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and heated-tobacco-products (HTPs) immediately but conduct a pilot phase allowing the production, import and trading of this new-generation cigarettes in the country, officials have said.

Representatives from various agencies of the Government were speaking at a workshop on the legal framework for new-generation cigarettes in Vietnam, [...]

The representatives said e-cigarettes and HTPs were the result of the global application of technology and still very new to Vietnam's tobacco industry and regulators.

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Wednesday, November 4th, saw the launch of Burning Issues: The Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction (GSTHR) 2020, the latest landmark report series from UK-based public health agency Knowledge Action Change (KAC). The authors of Burning Issues reveal an estimate for the total global number of users of safer nicotine products, showing that there is an urgent need to scale up tobacco harm reduction to realize its full public health potential. In this episode of VIDA News Live, Senior Correspondent Dom Garret sits down with Professor Gerry Stimson (Project Director, GSTHR,) Harry Shapiro (Executive Editor, GSTHR), and Ruth Goldsmith (Communications Manager, GSTHR.) They will discuss the report's mission, the process of gathering data, and tobacco harm reduction's current obstacles.

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SINGAPORE: Singapore has been a tough place for a smoker to live in.

Smokers cannot seem to catch a break, particularly with the suggestion to ban smoking near home balconies and windows by Nee Soon GRC Member of Parliament and Group Parliament Committee for Sustainability and Environment Louis Ng in October reviving a national debate about how far the country should go to combat smoking completely.

 

Make smokers close their windows when they smoke, some suggested. 

Ban smoking altogether, a few frustrated netizens said.

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In a controlled study of smokers, nonsmokers, and e-cigarette users, University of North Carolina School of Medicine researchers found that e-cigarette users exhibited significantly altered immune responses to a model of influenza virus infection, suggesting increased susceptibility to disease. The findings, published in the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, show that vaping changes the expression of genes and production of proteins in respiratory cells, as well as altering virus-specific antibody production.

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Minister of State with Responsibility for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan TD, today launched the Irish European Schools Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) report. The ESPAD is a cross-European survey carried out every four years on substance use among students aged 15 and 16 years across 39 countries. It monitors trends in alcohol and drug use, smoking and gambling, gaming and internet use.

The Ireland Report was conducted by the TobaccoFree Research Institute Ireland for the Department of Health and includes data for a total of 1,949 Irish students [...]

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Over 35 national consumer organizations under the International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations (INNCO) sounded the alarm over foreign grants on local health regulators that may adversely affect efforts to reduce the harm caused by combustible cigarettes in low and middle-income countries including the Philippines.

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A recent UK study funded by Cancer Research UK, has indicated that the average cigarette consumption in England has dropped by nearly a quarter between 2011 and 2018, equating to approximately 118m fewer cigarettes being lit up each month. Thankfully a similar trend of decreasing smoking rates is being observed all across the globe.

In many cases, this drop in smoking rates is being achieved thanks to the prevalence of safer alternatives. For example, Sweden has reached a smoke-free status because many smokers have migrated from smoking to using snus. [...]

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Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill have found that people who use e-cigarettes have significantly altered immune responses to influenza viruses, a worrying discovery as flu season approaches and COVID-19 surges across the U.S. "There's been a lot of questions in the field as to whether e-cigarette and cigarette use is beneficial or damaging or problematic in terms of COVID, and we really haven't had a good answer," Meghan Rebuli, an assistant professor in the UNC Department of Pediatrics, said in an interview.

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Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill have found that people who use e-cigarettes have significantly altered immune responses to influenza viruses, a worrying discovery as flu season approaches and COVID-19 surges across the U.S.

E-cigarettes have boomed in popularity across the U.S. in the past decade, even as the use of traditional cigarettes declined. The rise has been especially pronounced among the youth population.