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As the Covid-19 pandemic forced restaurant and pub goers outside, a new problem began to arise for the first time since 2007 UK-wide.

Now, non-smokers were in direct contact with smokers, lighting up in public places such as outside restaurant seating.

 

Smoking inside public areas has been banned across the UK since 2007 (2006 in Scotland), but no such ban has been introduced for outdoor gatherings.

The outdoor eating and drinking culture that Covid-19 has given rise to, has also increased calls to make these areas smoke-free.

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Join RegWatch for a special live episode to unpack the reckless behaviour of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in its decision to delay authorizations of nicotine vaping products for controversial companies such as Juul. While issuing Marketing Denial Orders for millions of products manufactured and sold by thousands of small businesses operating in the U.S. market.

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The tobacco giant behind the Marlboro man has sparked outrage in medical circles over a bid to invest in a company that develops inhaler technology, which could see it profit from the smoking-related lung diseases it helped create. Philip Morris International is in the middle of a takeover bid over for Vectura, a UK company that specialises in inhaler technology for lung illnesses.

In Australia, experts say it could threaten research and force doctors to change the way they treat some patients with lung disease. There are also concerns the deal could put Australia in breach of a global treaty.

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On September 9, its longstanding deadline, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) effectively announced that it would need more time to process the remaining premarket tobacco applications (PMTAs) that vape companies were required to file last year to stay legally on the market. [...] “America’s tobacco and nicotine regulatory system is broken beyond repair,” Greg Conley, the president of the American Vaping Association, told Filter. “It is absolutely absurd that the same agency that found time to ban over 6 million vaping products manufactured by small businesses is now indicating they need more time to review products with massive market shares. [...]

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In Reply: I thank my colleagues for their comments on my recent Research Letter.1 Given space constraints, I will focus on their 3 main critiques.

The critique that findings were premature as they relied on a single data point was noted by Maa and Gardiner as well as Leas but has a false premise. Regressions used data on 95 843 high school students (2097 from San Francisco, California, in 2019) to estimate a difference-in-differences research design assessing whether smoking trends among San Francisco minors enrolled in high school diverged from students in comparison districts after the flavor ban. [...]

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Voopoo has made great strides in recent years, releasing a string of high-quality vape devices. In particular, the Voopoo Drag series has become one of the most popular device series in the UK in recent months, and has dominated the pod mod category. 

There’s a lot of options to the series, but in this post I’m going to be looking at the newest addition, the Voopoo Drag X Pro pod mod. 

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The new major tax bill proposed by Democrats in the House of Representatives would dramatically increase the federal taxes on tobacco products, including more than doubling the federal taxes for large cigars.

The U.S. House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee is in the process of markup for the Build Back Better Act, or specifically, how to pay for the proposal, which is part of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda. It could cost as much as $3.5 trillion and as such, Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee have unveiled a proposed bill that would increase a variety of taxes.

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In this century, especially in these COVID times, businesses of all types and sizes have started to look beyond the strict confines of their product, service, and supply chains for new ways to meet the evolving needs of their consumers and communities, and the planet that houses us all. [...] For Philip Morris International (PMI), science has changed our company and is transforming our industry. Today, PMI is a science and technology−minded company developing and making available science backed smoke-free products as an alternative to cigarettes.

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A new study published in the journal Eating Behaviors found that vaping or e-cigarette use is associated with a heighted risk of developing an eating disorder among US college students. This finding is particularly important given the common use of vape pens and e-cigarettes and an increase in the prevalence of eating disorders amidst the COVID-19 pandemic among young people.

The study, which analyzed a sample of over 51,000 U.S. college students who participated in the 2018-2019 Healthy Minds Study, highlights the need for more research and clinical assessment and intervention for those who exhibit both substance use and eating disorders.

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The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday put off a long-anticipated ruling on whether Juul Labs and other major e-cigarette companies could continue to sell their products in the United States.

The companies are at the center of a review of the vaping industry that the agency has been conducting for the past year. The F.D.A. said on Thursday that it had so far denied the applications of 946,000 flavored e-cigarette products to remain on the market, mostly made by small companies. No e-cigarettes have been approved through the application process, an agency official said.

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When a court-set deadline for "premarket" review of nicotine vaping products came and went on Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had received millions of applications but had not approved any. As a result, the agency says, every vaping product sold in the United States—including myriad e-liquids, devices, and parts—is now "subject to enforcement action at the FDA's discretion."

Seven years after the FDA officially declared its intention to regulate e-cigarettes as "tobacco products," in other words, the entire industry remains in legal limbo, existing solely thanks to the agency's enforcement discretion and limited resources. [...]

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On this day last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration faced the unprecedented task of reviewing applications for over 6.5 million “deemed” new tobacco products – many of which were already on the market. A majority of the applications submitted by a court-ordered deadline of Sept. 9, 2020, were for electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products, such as e-cigarettes and e-liquids, which had never been through the FDA review process.

We’ve made significant progress in the months since, working diligently to better understand these products and, as of today, taking action on about 93% of the total timely-submitted applications. [...]

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Last month, 15 past presidents of the venerable Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT), the top tobacco research society in the world, co-authored a courageous, groundbreaking article that argues that the media, legislators, and the general public have developed a negative view of e-cigarettes (vaping products) because of the heavy emphasis public health organizations have placed on protecting youth from vaping while ignoring the potentially substantial benefits of e-cigarettes in helping tens of millions of addicted adults quit smoking. [...]

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In the early 2000s, Clive Bates was one of Britain's foremost advocates against cigarette smoking and Big Tobacco. Today he is one of the world's foremost proponents of e-cigarettes as a way to help people quit smoking and reduce the harms caused by combustible cigarettes. There's no better teacher about tobacco harm reduction than Clive, which is why I pressed him on the toughest questions: Aren't the risks of e-cigarettes still unknown? Shouldn't we be concerned about people developing a lifelong addiction to vaping nicotine? [...]

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Despite having numerous negative health consequences, the epidemiological relationship between cigarette smoking and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is controversial.

Now, a new study published on the bioRxiv* preprint server investigates this relationship further and suggests that current smoking is not associated with a higher incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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Health experts are pushing for health warning labels to be added to e-cigarettes.

Officials from 15 countries agreed there was now enough evidence to warrant a warning being printed on the packages.

According to health chiefs, the warnings should not be 'softer' than the ones found on cigarettes, Birmingham Live reports.

It became UK law for tobacco packets to carry picture warnings in 2008 and health messages must now take up two-thirds of the pack.


There is only very limited regulation covering the sale of e-cigarettes in the UK. However, they contain nicotine, which is addictive, and have been linked to lung and blood vessel damage.

 

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Smokers are more likely to become severely ill as a result of Covid-19 infection, but experts say that quitting can provide instant benefits. In just 20 minutes, blood pressure drops and within eight hours, oxygen absorption increases. A group of medical experts from the UAE and India explained the harmful effects of smoking during a webinar on Saturday. They also noted that many people turned to cigarettes in response to stress during the pandemic.

According to the World Health Organisation, smoking impairs lung function, making it harder for the body to fight off coronavirus and other respiratory diseases. [...]

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Young people who use e-cigarettes are more likely to take up tobacco cigarettes, according to an international review of research into vaping.

People under 20 who used vapes were more than three times as likely to have ever smoked tobacco cigarettes, and more than twice as likely to have smoked cigarettes in the previous month, according to a review of 25 studies globally.

 

The review, published in the journal Plos One, was led by Australian researchers and funded by the World Health Organization. It analysed vaping studies in several countries, including the US, UK and Germany.

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Seven years ago LegCo started to discuss the regulation of electronic cigarettes. Finally, public health advocates believe, it will next month pass a bill that outlaws the import, production, distribution, sale and promotion of new smoking products.

It will be a major step to reducing the city’s smoking rate, already one of the lowest in the world at 10.2 per cent. Sophia Chan, Secretary for Food and Health, last week put the target at 7.8 per cent in 2025, with a long-term goal of creating a “smoke-free” Hong Kong.

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This blog gives my take on how to think about the FDA’s decisions (some taken, some forthcoming) on approving or denying thousands of “pre-market tobacco applications” (PMTAs) to allow vaping products to remain on the US market.  FDA must make decisions no later than 9th September 2021, following legal action brought against the agency. FDA’s Director of the Center for Tobacco Products, Mitchel Zeller, provides the background in a February 2021 blog.