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The COVID-19 pandemic has upended our lives, turning our homes into offices, classrooms and gyms to protect us from the deadly coronavirus. The pandemic has also disrupted the time-honored real estate rituals of open houses and in-person home tours, and we are now using virtual tours and other “non-touch” experiences to find a new home. [...] In a recent study of 220 apartments in San Diego County, we found nicotine residue in every unit, even homes of nonsmokers with strict smoking bans. In about 10% of homes of nonsmokers, we found levels of toxic tobacco residue as high as levels typically seen in homes of active indoor smokers. [...]

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PUTRAJAYA: Excise duty will be imposed on all imported electronic cigarettes and vape gel or juices, including non-nicotine types, but exceptions will be given to local manufacturers, Customs Department director-general Abdul Latif Abdul Kadir said today.

The excise duty on these items will be imposed beginning 2021.

Excise duty would be charged on the devices at an “ad valorem” (according to value) rate of 10%, while liquids and gels will be charged a rate of 40 sen for each millilitre, he said.

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Cannabis is illegal in Nigeria. Its production, distribution and use are criminalised by local laws. Cultivated mostly in southern Nigeria, the drug is affordable and readily available through street drug-running. Cannabis users are also widely seen as social deviants, and are liable to arrest and imprisonment.

Despite the stigma and danger from the law, the use of cannabis in Nigeria is growing fast. Studies show that it ranks just below alcohol as the second most used psychoactive substance in Nigeria. It is mostly used by people aged 25-39 years.

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While I was volunteering at an Irish homelessness service called Dublin Simon Community a couple of years ago, I helped work on their harm reduction policy. One day, a staff member said: “What about tobacco smoking?”

This led me down a rabbit hole which changed the way I thought about this issue. I eventually applied for a tobacco harm reduction grant and conducted a small study—looking at the challenges, opportunities and efficacy of tobacco harm reduction in the very supported temporary accommodation (STA) service in inner-city Dublin where the staff member had asked the question. [...]

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A study of 200 teens and young adults used eye-tracking technology to determine that tagging vaping-related influencer Instagram posts with #ad or #sponsored was effective in grabbing attention. [...]
"The e-cigarette industry is paying these social media celebrities to do what they do best -- shape young people's behavior. And our study gives us some hope that placing labels on these posts might be an effective tool to discourage young people from picking up a harmful habit," said Liz Klein, the study's lead author and an associate professor of health behavior and health promotion at The Ohio State University.

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The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Vaping brings together members of both Houses of Parliament, who have an interest in the subject, to receive information and discuss research and policy options presented by experts and consumers, which enables them to contribute to debates on legislation, influence colleagues and speak publicly on the issues that impact on the acceptability and availability of safer nicotine products.  The purpose of the inquiry is to collect evidence and issue a report on the FCTC’s Conference of Parties 9.  The APPG welcomes submissions from anyone/any organisation who would like to give evidence.

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Cigarette smoking is not the socially accepted habit it once was in the United States. While science has helped new generations realize the dangers of smoking, a new study finds many children may be getting lured back into using tobacco. Researchers [...] say young teens who use e-cigarettes are much more likely to switch to normal cigarettes, even if they never intended to pick up the habit. “Research is showing us that adolescent e-cigarette users who progress to cigarette smoking are not simply those who would have ended up smoking cigarette anyway,” says lead study author Olusegun Owotomo in a press release. [...]

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The tobacco industry-funded group behind an effort to undo a pending state ban on the sale of most flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, has submitted more than 1 million petition signatures. "In the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, raging wildfires, heatwaves and power outages across the state, more than one million Californians signed petitions for the right to have their voice heard on an unfair law that benefits the wealthy and special interests while costing jobs and cutting funding for education and healthcare," the group said in a statement.

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British American Tobacco expects annual revenue growth to be at the top of its forecast range, after the pandemic delivered a smaller-than-expected blow to the industry.

A collapse in duty-free sales at airports has hit the FTSE 100 company, but overall demand for cigarettes during the Covid-19 crisis has proved resilient.

As a result, the £66bn company said on Wednesday that adjusted revenue growth for the financial year will be at the upper end of the 1 to 3 per cent range it has forecast. [...]

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The association between vaping and COVID-19 infection may help delineate some of the proposed mechanisms for any potential protective or harmful effects of nicotine on COVID-19 outcomes. [...] Dimitra Kale et al. explore the associations between vaping and self-reported diagnosed/suspected COVID-19.

In this study, the research team from the University College London, UK, highlight: 1) there is no difference found in diagnosed/suspected COVID-19 in between never, current, and ex-vapers; 2) half of the current vapers changed their vaping consumption since COVID-19; 3) motivation to quit vaping was partly related to COVID-19.

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Combustible tobacco products are harmful not only to smokers but their smoke has prejudicial effects on non-smokers, says Professor David Nutt, an English scientist specialising in drug research. The neuropsychopharmacologist – who specialises in the research on drugs that affect the brain and conditions such as addiction, anxiety and sleep – argues that smokers who cannot quit should be encouraged to use other innovative sources of tobacco that reduce harm on people’s health.

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Should ways of taking nicotine be made more inexpensive, attractive and less harmful?

Should Australia follow the example of other countries who are decriminalising drug use in order to help people seek treatment?

Dr Alex Wodak is President of Harm Reduction Australia and he has some very bold ideas.

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WHO today launches a year-long global campaign for World No Tobacco Day 2021 - “Commit to Quit." The new WHO Quit Challenge on WhatsApp and publication “More than 100 reasons to quit tobacco" are being released today to mark the start of the campaign.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to millions of tobacco users saying they want to quit. The campaign will support at least 100 million people as they try to give up tobacco through communities of quitters.

“Commit to Quit” will help create healthier environments that are conducive to quitting tobacco by advocating for strong tobacco cessation policies; [...]

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A leading public health expert and anti-smoking advocate calls the San Francisco vote to ban smoking and vaping in residential apartments “the opposite of what we should be doing” to improve health outcomes.

The San Francisco board of supervisors voted 10-to-1 to prohibit smoking of traditional cigarettes as well as vaping, but they exempted cannabis which, Dr. Michael Seigel says, undermines the stated goals of risk reduction.

“If the principle here is that nobody in an apartment should be exposed to harmful combusted products from an adjacent apartment, then there’s no justification for saying, ‘we’re banning tobacco, but not cannabis.’”

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The American Heart Association is asking Gov. Cuomo to increase taxes on cigarettes in New York state.

Advocates want a tax hike on cigarettes and other tobacco products to be included in the 2021 executive budget. Those in favor say it’s been 10 years since the last tax increase, and with the increase in e-cigarette use it’s time to raise that price tag again.

They’re calling for an increase of $1 per pack of cigarettes. They say this would hopefully result in 61,800 New York state adults quitting smoking and prevent 29,500 youths in the state from becoming smokers.

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New York Attorney General Letitia James ordered dozens of retailers across the state to immediately stop selling e-cigarette products to underage customers and to stop selling flavored vaping products in violation of New York state law. Her office issued cease and desist letters to 47 retailers that were illegally selling tobacco products throughout New York state in Albany, Buffalo, Elmira, Hamilton, Nassau, Rochester, Saratoga County, Syracuse, Warren County, Watertown, and the New York City area.

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While the daily death toll of COVID-19 understandably dominates health news, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the UK. As the UK teeters on the edge of Brexit, newly found freedom from EU regulations could be an opportunity for the government to impose even tighter tobacco restrictions. [...] In 2019, one in seven UK adults were smokers, and smoking was responsible for 50% of the difference in life expectancy between rich and poor. If the government wants to keep its promise of making England and Scotland “smoke-free” by 2030, and 2034 respectively, reducing tobacco use needs to remain a public health priority.

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 American teens' use of tobacco cigarettes and smokeless tobacco has dropped to record lows, even as their use of electronic cigarettes increased, new research shows. For the study, researchers analyzed nationwide data on tobacco product use among 8th-, 10th- and 12th-graders from 1991 to 2019. "This is an astoundingly low rate, and our goal from a public health perspective should be to keep smoking at this rate or lower," said study co-author David Levy, a professor of oncology at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

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How can consumers ensure the UK will escape excessive EU regulations on safer nicotine products post-Brexit? The NNA wrote to the Department of Health and the Number 10 Policy Unit recently to suggest a coherent post-Brexit strategy for regulating safer nicotine delivery options. But isn’t it a given that when we leave the EU the restrictions will cease to be anyway from January 1st 2021? [...]

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The Anchorage Assembly recently voted to classify e-cigarettes as tobacco products leading to a new 55% tax on all vapes sold in the city.

The Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of the classification, which already exists for traditional tobacco products like cigarettes and pipe tobacco. The motion to classify e-cigarettes as tobacco products were made by two members of the Assembly, Assemblywoman Suzanne LaFrance, and Assemblyman Christopher Constant.