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Andy Wilkinson​ believes that if you think smoking is an addictive poison, then you should feel the same about vaping.

The Wellington-based 31-year-old tech consultant was a smoker before he used vaping to quit his habit.

But then he found vaping even harder to give up and has seen the e-cigarette habit form in people much younger.

“I think the health risks in vaping are seriously understated. And what is worse is it is targeted to teenagers. I personally know several teenagers, who use high nicotine vape liquids. It tastes like candy floss but is strong enough to make your head spin,” Wilkinson​ said.

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Hang out with Generation Z-ers for long enough, and at some point you're bound to be engulfed by the vapor clouds of Puff Bars. The brightly colored sticks resemble USB flash drives, and unlike other e-cigarettes, leave only the faintest odor upon exhalation. The vapes deliver synthetic nicotine interspersed with flavors like "Blue Razz and "Cool Mint" that sound more like candy varieties than e-cigarette scents. 

Therein lies the problem, at least according to one state official. On Wednesday, North Carolina's attorney general announced he is concerned that the hip descriptions of Puff Bar flavors make them resembles products that could appeal to kids.

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U.S. President Joe Biden’s proposed federal vape tax is one step closer to fruition with the passage this week of the Build Back Better Act by the U.S. House of Representatives. Joining us today on RegWatch is Dr. Michael Pesko, one of the country’s leading economists when it comes to analyzing the effect of e-cigarette taxes. [...]

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Death from a heart attack or stroke may be the first cardiovascular disease (CVD) event in some people who smoke cigarettes and CVD is the leading adverse health effect among smokers, according to new research [...] "There is often more awareness and concern about cancer as a result of smoking than heart disease, so we wanted to better define the risks of smoking related to different types of cardiovascular disease and, most importantly, to cardiovascular death. In our analysis, even after adjusting for deaths not related to the heart [...] we found that fatal or non-fatal events related to cardiovascular disease are more likely to occur among people who smoke."

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The number of people referring themselves to a service aimed at helping them stop smoking has increased rapidly since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2020, a total of 1,242 people applied to the Northamptonshire Stop Smoking Service - an increase of 200% on the previous year.

Richard Holley, from the service, said the increase was "very positive".

Ben Williams, who quit smoking after 30 years, said he felt much better.

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Last month, for the first time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized certain electronic cigarette products, citing evidence that the products can help smokers cut back or quit by switching from smoking to vaping. The FDA’s decision has left experts divided. On the one hand, smokers should have access to every option that can help them quit, but if young people believe e-cigarettes are “safe,” could they get hooked on vaping and transition to smoking cigarettes?

We asked two local experts to weigh in on whether or not the FDA was right to allow the marketing of some e-cigarette products. [...]

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The decision by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowing R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. to market e-cigarette products with high nicotine levels is wrong on multiple levels—but the agency’s gravest error is to frame its action as “appropriate for the protection of the public health.” The Premarket Tobacco Product Application pathway requires applicants to provide scientific data that demonstrates a product is appropriate for the protection of public health. In the case of Vuse, the agency found that tobacco-flavored products could benefit addicted adult smokers who switch to these products by reducing their exposure to harmful chemicals due to cigarette consumption.

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Getting the right support is essential when quitting smoking – very few people can manage it alone.

While family and friends can be a great source of encouragement, the HSE Quit team, with their dedicated Quit Advisors, should be the first stop for any would-be quitter. Anthony, a Waterford-based Quit Advisor, has helped hundreds of people from all walks of life quit cigarettes.

“The thing about smoking,” he says, “is there’s no class. There’s no differentiation – you could be the president or a doctor, young or old, but you’re just addicted to nicotine.

“There’s not many people out there now who actually enjoy smoking and they just do it because they can’t stop.”

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Dozens of people say they have been fired, bullied and discriminated against due to their vaping habit, according to a study by an e-cigarette firm.

After speaking to about 2,000 vapers, online retailer E-Cigarette Direct said that one in five experienced negative reactions from colleagues due to their vaping, with 44 reporting bullying and 13 saying they were fired.

James Dunworth, chairman of the firm, said: "It is quite shocking to learn people have actually lost their jobs due to vaping." He expressed concern over individuals' "health and happiness" in the workplace, adding: "We spend at least a third of our waking lives at work."

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Nicotine delivery devices such as vapes and e-cigarettes need to face similar sale and advertising restrictions as tobacco products, an Oireachtas Committee has heard.

E-cigarettes are increasingly being marketed towards teenagers, and their colourful packaging and fruity flavours are contributing to the rise in young people vaping, the Oireachtas Health Committee was told.

Chris Macey from the Irish Heart Foundation said that while vaping is less harmful than smoking, its long-term effects were still unclear.

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Does switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes facilitate smoking cessation? Researchers investigating the incidence of relapse among smokers who had switched to e-cigarettes or other tobacco products found no evidence that switching prevents a relapse to cigarette smoking. [...] The researchers conducted a cohort study of smokers who smoked but had recently quit. They collected data from the US Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study, using 4 annual waves from the Path study to identify 2 cohorts of people who had recently quit smoking cigarettes and who completed 2 follow-up surveys. [...]

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Two United Nations Conferences of Parties (COP) took place last week—both with the ostensible goal of saving lives. But the contrast couldn’t be starker. While COP 26 involved myriad relevant stakeholders and focused on transparency in seeking to address the climate crisis, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) COP 9, meant to address smoking-related harms, ended up once again being closed to the public, with any dissenting opinions excluded.

This is a massive problem, because COP 9’s recommendations—which on this occasion included pledging millions to strengthen traditional tobacco control measures—affect millions of people. [...]

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Vaping has been high on the European Union’s agenda the last few months, with the European Parliament finalising its version of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. However, vaping can be part of the solution and save many lives, argues Bernd Mayer, professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Graz in Austria. A key point to understand is that vaping is not smoking. Treating the two the same would be a mistake. It is scientifically established that vaping is less harmful than smoking. [...]

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Flavoured vapes are much less harmful to young people than smoking, and could help teen smokers quit tobacco – according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

A new study [...] looks at young peoples’ use of vape flavours, reporting the views and experiences of more than 500,000 under 18s.

It finds that flavours are an important aspect of vaping that young people enjoy, suggesting that flavoured products may help them switch away from harmful tobacco smoking.

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Tobacco kills roughly eight million people around the world every year, mostly in low- and middle-income countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) has long aimed for complete eradication of the substance, calling it “one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced.”

This month’s ninth Conference of the Parties (COP9) [...] promotes a science-based public health approach to the tobacco epidemic. This represents an opportunity to acknowledge––on a global scale––that various tobacco products and modes of use have differing levels of risk, and that harm reduction should be included in its recommendations going forward.

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The World Health Organization’s fourth WHO global tobacco trends report [...] shows that there are 1.3 billion tobacco users globally compared to 1.32 billion in 2015. This number is expected to drop to 1.27 billion by 2025. “It is very encouraging to see fewer people using tobacco each year, and more countries on track to meet global targets,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus [...] Critics, by contrast, said the WHO report showed tobacco control failing. “As the WHO publishes its latest global tobacco trends report, it trumpets falling tobacco use. But the global health institution is celebrating failure,” said Gerry Stimson, [...]

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Cannabis users who mix tobacco in their joints could be sliding into an addiction to both drugs without realising, an expert has warned.

While we all know how addictive cigarettes are, it is feared many people don’t always appreciate the additional risk of adding them to spliffs.

It could be much harder for them to quit or cut down on either drug if they use both in combination, warns Adam Winstock, a consultant addiction psychiatrist.

He fear that someone might decide to roll a joint in order to satisfy their nicotine cravings without even realising it.

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COP9 is good cop or bad cop? | RegWatch at GSTHR in London, 2021. Interview with Charles Gardner, Executive Director of the International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organizations (INNCO)

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Anti-tobacco groups on Tuesday praised a decision by Quebec’s highest court upholding the province’s right to subject vaping products to the same laws governing tobacco.

In a unanimous decision published Monday, the panel of three Court of Appeal judges reversed the parts of a 2019 lower court decision that struck down some provisions of the Tobacco Control Act pertaining to vaping products – known as electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes.

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“Tobacco Harm-Reduction Experts” are pushing WHO to loosen its stance on new tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products and nicotine pouches.

These products are falsely marketed as safer and more sustainable options to deadly cigarettes, misleading consumers, media and international institutions. Prior to COP9 to the WHO FCTC, over 40 organizations and professors from all continents urge delegates and policymakers to acknowledge nicotine addiction – in all forms – as a threat to global sustainable development, and to protect the future of the world´s young generation.