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The global disease and death burden from risky forms of oral tobacco such as gutkha, zarda, naswar, and American chew products – as well as from  smoked tobacco such as cigarettes, bidis, cigars, cigarillos, and shisha – is huge. There are over a billion current users of such tobacco products, and over 7 million annual deaths from their long-term use. The success rate of quitting such risky forms of tobacco is unacceptably low and the rate of relapse among quitters is too high. Thus, it’s crucial to innovate and develop better cessation products and services. And we believe nicotine pouches could be one such cessation option.

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MPs called on ministers to take advantage of Brexit by slashing tight controls on safer alternatives to ciggies and show what Global Britain is all about. Wonks from the Adam Smith Institute warned ministers they must rip up red tape and restrictions on e-cigarettes or they would sail past goals of a 5% smoking rate by 2030.

And they say Britain's hard-won progress will be put at risk as current low rates may be "reversed by an increase in social smoking after lockdowns".

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Many users over 50 are still puffing away, but new research shows that many of them don't disclose this to their doctors.

Folks who use marijuana for medical reasons are more likely to tell their doctors about it than recreational users. Still, just a fraction of medical marijuana users opened up about their use, the study found.

"Older adults may worry about how doctors would respond, as stigma about cannabis use as a psychoactive substance is still prevalent," said study author Namkee Choi. [...]

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If a nation’s public health policy succeeded in making its citizens healthier, wouldn’t you expect intergovernmental health organizations to examine that policy, embrace it, perhaps see if it could be applied to other countries?

Common sense, right?

Unfortunately, the taxpayer-funded World Health Organization (WHO) is doing the opposite when it comes to tobacco harm reduction products.

The United Kingdom is a world leader in e-cigarette use among current and former adult smokers. In 2015, Public Health England (PHE) released a landmark report that found e-cigarettes 95 percent safer than smoking. [...]

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The NZ Government is to be congratulated with its recent proposals for achieving the Smokefree 2025 Goal, especially with those for markedly reducing retail outlets and removing nicotine to make cigarettes non-addictive. If effectively implemented, these proposals could lead to major health gains, health system cost savings and reducing the unequal health burdens that Māori, Pasifika and low-income New Zealanders suffer. But a major missing part is national law-based smokefree outdoor areas.

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The use of e-cigarettes, or vaping, causes serious damage to the lungs. After the novel coronavirus responsible for the respiratory disease COVID-19 emerged last year, there have been ongoing concerns about how vaping might impact risk of infection and severity of symptoms. Some evidence shows an increased risk of COVID-19 among those who vape. Research also shows a higher COVID-19 mortality rate in men compared to women, and men are more likely to vape than women. However, there is no evidence to link these two observations.

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As Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc in the world, killing hundreds of thousands in India while triggering fears about another lockdown in Perth, it’s becoming evident that a coordinated global response to future health crises will be paramount. And we should expect that the global bodies that take up the task are capable of handling the challenge. The South-East Asia Director of the World Health Organization recently wrote about the need to build a healthier world as the global economy recovers from Covid-19.

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Juul Labs reached a $40 million settlement with North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein this week, agreeing to limit its sales and marketing practices to quell underage use of its potent e-cigarettes.

The settlement is also part of an “ongoing effort to reset our company and its relationship with our stakeholders” and “earn trust through action,” as a Juul spokesperson put it in a statement. In other words: Juul is trying to shed its reputation as the company that fueled a youth vaping epidemic, and it’s willing to pay $40 million to do it.

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For years, anti-tobacco lobbyists have summarily and very aggressively tarred electronic vapour products (EVPs) with the same brush they use to condemn combustible cigarettes, turning an intentional blind eye to the important role that EVPs play in tobacco harm reduction.

Chief executive of the Vapour Products Association of South Africa (VPASA) Asanda Gcoyi said: “This unscientific one-size-fits-all rhetoric by anti-smoking lobbyists has influenced certain governments around the world to pass legislation restricting the marketing and distribution of EVPs under the exact same legislation that applies to normal cigarettes.

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Any day now, Canadian vapers expect Health Canada to announce a nationwide restriction for nicotine levels in vaping products that promise to cut by over half the amount of nicotine available in current devices and e-liquids. In this episode of RegWatch, we are joined by Ian Irvine, Professor of Economics at Concordia University and Research Fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute. Hear his warning to Health Canada that these efforts, ostensibly to combat teen vaping, would lead to an increase in smoking-related disease and death.

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It’s not long until the 8th Global Forum on Nicotine (GFN21), taking place in Liverpool on 17th and 18th June and streaming online at the new GFN•TV platform. The conference organisers are inviting you to share news and views about using nicotine in 2021 by contributing to their GFN Fives slot. The Global Forum on Nicotine organisers have always understood the importance of the consumer voice both at their event and in wider discussions around the future of nicotine use. The GFN Fives are a new way to play an active part in the conference and they’re open to everyone.

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E-cigarettes are more effective than nicotine replacement treatments in achieving long term smoking reduction and cessation, according to the results of a clinical trial by Queen Mary University of London. The results, published in the journal Addiction, found a significant difference in smoking reduction (including quitting altogether) in the e-cigarette group. After six months, in the e-cigarette group, 27 per cent of the participants had reduced their smoking by at least half, compared to 6 per cent of participants in the NRT group. A significant difference was also found in rates of stopping smoking altogether, [...]

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Faced with a potential loss of nearly $200 million over the next two years if the state banned all flavored tobacco products, the General Assembly’s tax-writing committee on Monday drastically amended legislation to prohibit the sale of flavored vaping materials and electronic cigarettes.

The committee declined to advance a version of the bill that would have banned all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes.

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We have had the 2025 goal since 2011 but are not currently on track. A boost in funding and commitment is required, writes public health expert Robert Beaglehole.

Colin still haunts me. He was the first hospital patient I talked with as a young medical student in Dunedin in 1965. He was coughing blood from lung cancer caused by his long history of cigarette smoking. I was shocked and powerless; treatment of advanced lung cancer, then as now, is mainly palliative. Along with many other personal experiences of the uniquely harmful effects of cigarettes, my passion for a smokefree country led to the formation of ASH, Action for Smoking and Health, in 1982.

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The Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction (GSTHR) issued its latest report ‘A Burning Issue for Asia and the Far East’ recently, which found that health agencies like the WHO together with anti-lobby groups such as Bloomberg Philanthropies exert tremendous pressure on governments to make it difficult to promote Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) as a public health strategy. This results in policies that are more restrictive than regulation for traditional cigarettes, and discourage smokers from switching from combustible cigarettes to less harmful alternatives, it adds.

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The percentage of Americans aged 18 and over who smoke cigarettes is 14%. Two recent publications from the Recovery Research Institute indicate that the rate of tobacco use among persons receiving recovery support services is dramatically higher. It is noteworthy that these studies are of substance use disorder recovery populations as opposed to populations engaged in treatment or pre-treatment.

The first study surveyed 275 new attendees at recovery community centers in New England and reported a current tobacco use rate of 60.7% (ever used 74.5%). [...]

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The current tobacco tax structure is extremely complex and a major obstacle for discouraging tobacco usage, and this needs to be simplified, said experts at a virtual meeting on Monday.

The meeting was titled " Way Forward to Tobacco free Bangladesh by 2040: Tobacco Tax", organized by Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) and the Economic Reporters Forum (ERF.)

Speakers also said that in Bangladesh, the price of cigarettes is very low, while bidi is even cheaper.

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The situation with WHO, FCTC and smoking and vaping in six parts Part 1: the public health issue Part 2. the WHO and what it does Part 3. the FCTC and what it does Part 4: the problem with WHO and FCTC Part 5: a seven-point reform agenda Part 6. advocacy

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Tobacco use is a poor person’s problem. People with low incomes consume and grow it the most and suffer the gravest consequences from its trade and use. Yet tobacco control policies do not adequately address their needs, merely using them as statistics to highlight the enormity of problems rather than implementing measures to benefit them. Globally, 84 percent of smokers now live in low- and middle-income countries, which are also where around 90 percent of tobacco farming takes place. Even in the West, smoking is more prevalent in economically disadvantaged communities.

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I found conversations at the Global Forum on Nicotine – held earlier this month in Liverpool – very interesting, experts repeatedly highlighting the vital role of safer nicotine products in the fight to reduce global smoking-related death and disease.

They have reasons to be worried. Nearly four million people have died from the pandemic, a devastating figure that is, sadly, less than half the annual death toll from smoking. [...]