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Adults in Luxembourg will be permitted to grow up to four cannabis plants in their homes or gardens under laws that will make it the first country in Europe to legalise production and consumption of the drug.

The announcement on Friday by Luxembourg’s government was said to deliver fundamental changes in the country’s approach to recreational cannabis use and cultivation in light of the failure of prohibition to deter use.

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A game-changing move to make cigarettes non-addictive will be a decisive nail in the coffin of smoking harm in New Zealand, write professors of public health Richard Edwards and Chris Bullen.

Big tobacco has long known it is in the nicotine delivery business. The addictive substance grabs new customers and ensures they get trapped in a purchasing loop even as ill-health takes hold.

Associate minister of health Ayesha Verrall’s Smokefree Action Plan sets to change that by making New Zealand the first country to slash nicotine levels in cigarettes.

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On October 20, My Vape Order (MVO) petitioned a federal court of appeals for “an emergency motion for a stay pending a review and for expedited consideration” on the company’s vapor products that have been removed from the market.

In early September, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had issued a marketing denial order for MVO’s products. Like all other vape companies in the United States, MVO had until September 2020 to file premarket tobacco product applications (PMTAs) to be able to keep selling its vapes and e-liquids; the FDA, in turn, had until September 2021 to review the PMTAs.

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New data suggests teen vaping has returned to pre-pandemic levels in Canada, raising concerns that a new generation is becoming addicted to nicotine and Health Canada is not acting quickly enough to curb it.

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Mental health problems are common among adults who smoke cigarettes and those with substance use disorders, illustrating a need for treating smoking and mental health problems together, according to a new study by Indiana University. The research, done in conjunction with other universities, found mental health problems were more than twice as common among adults with substance use disorder who smoke cigarettes compared to those without substance use disorder who do not smoke cigarettes.

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Using e-cigarettes and other tobacco products to keep from relapsing to cigarettes doesn't appear to be effective, according to a new longitudinal study of nearly 13,000 smokers in the United States. "This is the first study to report on whether cigarette smokers can switch to e-cigarettes without relapsing to cigarette smoking," said study author John Pierce, [...] "Quitting is the most important thing a smoker can do to improve their health," he said in a statement attached to the study, "but the evidence indicates that switching to e-cigarettes made it less likely, not more likely, to stay off of cigarettes."

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Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration authorized the sale of e-cigarette products for the first time ever. The American Lung Association expressed displeasure, saying they are "dismayed" by the authorization.

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Despite ample evidence that snus and new nicotine products can save lives by helping people quit smoking, harm reduction advocates and industry experts fear that European policymakers are less informed about nicotine regulation today than they were a decade ago.

Part of the problem, says Swedish MP Joar Forssell of the Liberal Party, is that tobacco control “policy entrepreneurs” are unable to accept that people are making healthier choices.

In Sweden, where smoking rates are already among the lowest in Europe, tobacco control groups have instead focused on demonising all forms of nicotine. [...]

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Tampa-based GOP House Rep. Jackie Toledo says that she was "shocked" recently after she went into a retail store in Tampa that sells e-cigarettes and didn't see any signs informing the public that it’s now illegal for anyone 21 and under to purchase vaping products in the Sunshine State. “I know that they were selling to minors because someone had told me that they had purchased something there and I wanted to make sure that they would comply,” says Toledo, who co-sponsored legislation during the 2021 session that raised the legal age to buy tobacco and nicotine products in Florida from 18 to 21, complying with federal law.

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Most students in the age group of 13-15 years smoke or use tobacco products in schools in the state, according to the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS-4) released on Monday. After school (93.8%), students prefer homes of friends (2.4%), own homes (1.1%), social events (1%), public places (0.9%) and others (0.7%) for smoking, the survey shows.

IIPS professor Murli Dharan said the survey was conducted in 34 schools which have 2,735 students. Around 90% of the children said that they developed the habit of tobacco consumption from schools.

 

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Lawmakers passed a long-delayed bill on Thursday banning the import and sale of electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products in Hong Kong, delivering a major victory for health activists and educators who have blamed the devices for encouraging smoking among young people.
While the new law targets the local business of vaping, people will still be free to use the gadgets, prompting some politicians to call for more aggressive measures to curb tobacco use, including banning smoking in all public places except for designated areas. [...]

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Individual cigarettes could have “smoking kills” printed on them under a raft of tough measures proposed by MPs to encourage more people to quit the deadly habit.

MPs have submitted an amendment to the health and care bill going through parliament which would allow the health secretary to make graphic health warnings mandatory.

 

“We know that cigarettes are cancer sticks and kill half the people who use them. So I hope that health warnings on cigarettes would deter people from being tempted to smoke in the first place, especially young people,” said Mary Kelly Foy, the Labour MP behind the move.

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The US Food and Drug Administration finally approved the sale of three types of e-cigarettes last week, leaving business to ask what this means for the Egyptian market? The Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population recently warned against using e-cigarettes, saying that vaping contains nicotine and toxic substances that harm the smoker and those around them. [...] Fawzi Al-Hwaiti, a tobacco seller in central Cairo, is at the sharp end of the e-cigarette business in Egypt.

He stresses that only three types of vapes are authorized in Egypt, adding that he does not know whether the products he brings from dealers are legal or not. [...]

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On October 18, 100 tobacco control experts called on the World Health Organization (WHO) to accept the reality of safer nicotine alternatives. “There are many experts who feel strongly about these issues and believe in sound science and good policy,” said Clive Bates, the former director of Action on Smoking and Health (UK), who published the letter on his blog. [...] Vocal THR supporters, consumers and drug-war critics have frequently criticized the WHO for pushing prohibition or draconian regulations that would hinder smokers from switching to safer nicotine products, like vapes or forms of smokeless tobacco. 

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The Asia Pacific region has been split in two as to how to best deal with vaping. No bigger is the contrast than between Australia and New Zealand. While the two countries are close cousins, they’re miles apart when it comes to adopting Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) policies that work for their citizens.

Last year, New Zealand legalised and regulated vaping. Meanwhile, across the Tasman, Australia has passed regulations for nicotine to only be available via a prescription model. This not only significantly impacts the 500,000 vapers in the country but further limits access to the 2.3 million daily smokers to safer nicotine products. [...]

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More than a third of New Zealand high school students have tried vaping, with 10 percent vaping regularly and six percent vaping weekly or more often, researchers have found. The study [...] reflects the situation before the Government banned the sale of vaping products to under 18-year-olds and prohibited e-cigarette marketing late last year.

Researcher Dr. Jude Ball, from the University of Otago, Wellington, says the study highlights the importance of getting the balance right between making it easy for adult smokers to switch to less harmful vaping, while protecting young non-smokers.

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Tobacco is an issue that the general population thinks is important but rarely focuses on. It’s easily overlooked due to the assumed lack of urgency. In reality, the issue impacts everyone. Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Minnesota, the United States and even globally. Yearly, tobacco causes approximately 480,000 deaths in the United States — and affects thousands more lives. It’s nearly impossible to explain how detrimental tobacco use is on families and loved ones.

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All millennial’s and Gen-Zs must by now be familiar with hookah bars and lounges. They must have first or second-hand experience of Vaping e-liquids or tried out e-cigs, at least socially. All of the above activities enjoy great popularity with the younger section of the western populace. Still, there are fundamental differences between the three. So, let’s begin by examining what the three (Hookah, Vape and E-cig) mean exactly — starting with the hookah: [...]

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Using a combination of nicotine replacement therapy and varenicline may be more effective as first-line therapy for smoking cessation than varenicline alone, according to data presented at the CHEST Annual Meeting.

“Nicotine replacement therapy and varenicline are both effective in helping smokers quit,” Akesh Thomas, MD, internal medicine resident [...] “There is growing interest in combining these two treatment methods for better outcomes, but none of the available first-line pharmacological therapies to treat tobacco dependence have been labeled for use in combination with other therapies.”

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The Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction (GSTHR), a Knowledge·Action·Change (KAC) project, launches a new series of briefing papers ahead of the publication of its latest report, Fighting The Last War: The WHO and International Tobacco Control on 27 October.

The suite of new GSTHR publications aim to draw attention to, and challenge the direction of travel of, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Conference of the Parties 9 (COP9), a major global meeting on tackling smoking. [...]