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The Finance Ministry recently announced a proposal for higher taxes for the electronic cigarettes industry.

The vaping trend emerged about 11 years ago, and today, the industry is allegedly worth RM2.27 billion.

It is projected that the industry will be worth RM10 billion in the next few years if the government supports it in one way or another.

The only benefit of having such an industry is that it can be a source of revenue for our country through high taxes, but this could be counterproductive if all that revenue goes down the drain with healthcare expenditures to treat vape- and smoking-related diseases.

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Following a swathe of endorsements by social media influencers of a type of flavoured nicotine pouch, produced by British American Tobacco (BAT), the group wrote a letter to the chief execs of Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter demanding for an end to the practice. [...] Although BAT brands Velo as an alternative to cigarettes to help smoking addicts, none of the social media posts by influencers suggest or mention quitting, according to the Guardian.

Earlier this year BAT was found to have bet around £1bn on using the popularity of social media influencers to reach young people in countries including Pakistan, Sweden and Spain, [...]

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A new study finds that Canada's ban on menthol cigarettes seemed to drive more smokers to quit, with overall cigarette sales dipping after the law took hold.

Researchers found that after menthol ban went into effect, sales of those cigarettes took an unsurprising plunge. But there was also a reduction in overall cigarette sales, of just under 5%.

The findings suggest that the ban is having its intended effect, said lead researcher Michael Chaiton, of the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit and the University of Toronto.

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People are kept unaware of health gains from vaping | RegWatch at GSTHR in London, 2021. Interview with Grzegorz Król, Director, Knowledge-Action-Change (KAC)

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What governments get wrong on vaping | RegWatch at GSTHR in London, 2021. Interview with Jeannie Cameron, Fmr V.P. Regulatory Engagement, Juul Labs; Fmr Head of International Advocacy, BAT; CEO/Managing Dir., JCIC International.

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Adults who used electronic cigarettes had a 15% higher risk of having a stroke at a younger age when compared with adults who smoked traditional combustible cigarettes and despite the high risk of stroke with tobacco smoking, according to preliminary research [...] “The public needs to know that the safety of e-cigarettes have not been proved to be safe and should not be considered as an alternative to traditional smoking especially among people with existing risk factors such as history of heart attack, high blood pressure and high cholesterol,” said the study’s co-lead author Urvish K. Patel, [...]

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On November 8, Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Illinois), the chair of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy and a longstanding antagonist of tobacco harm reduction proponents, sent ominous letters to two companies that sell synthetic nicotine.

Krishnamoorthi asked Puff Bar, the disposable vape producer that has come under fire for alleged youth-centered marketing practices, and Next Generation Labs, the largest synthetic nicotine producer in the United States, to provide a bevy of information. [...]

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District health boards are backing calls for rapid action on Aotearoa’s smokefree goals saying that otherwise Māori won’t get there for another 40 years.

New Zealand’s aspirational goal – announced a decade ago – aims to see smoking rates at less than 5 per cent by 2025 but the Government is yet to finalise its plan on how to get there as smoking related illnesses continue to kill thousands every year.

“We won’t get to a smokefree New Zealand unless we have a smokefree Māori population, and that won’t occur till 2060 at the current rates,” Nick Chamberlain, chief executive for Northland DHB and public health lead for the 20 health boards, said.

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The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday disassociated itself from and opposed the “pro-tobacco industry statements” made by the Philippine delegation in an ongoing global conference on tobacco control in Geneva, Switzerland.

According to DOH, the Philippine delegation made statements that promoted the interest of tobacco industries, including those of vapor products and heated tobacco products, and described them as “salutary” and “source of good” during the ongoing the 9th Conference of Parties (COP9) to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).

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What is it and why is it Important? THR can benefit millions of people globally.

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Many cigarette smokers wake in the night, smoke, and then return to sleep. Prior research has linked this behavior to smoking a higher number of cigarettes each day and to a higher likelihood of failing when trying to quit smoking. In recent years, some researchers began to propose that waking to smoke is a symptom of nicotine dependence. New research from Penn State, however, suggests that waking in the night is more likely the result of stress than nicotine addiction. [...]

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At the start of COP-9, the head of the FCTC convention secretariat proudly drew a comparison with the other COP, the one going on in Glasgow dealing with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).  Perhaps she hoping some of the interest in UNFCCC COP-26 would rub off on the altogether more tawdry FCTC COP-9.  But the tobacco COP takes an aggressive exclusionary and insular approach to stakeholders that would never be tolerated in the climate COP.  This post compares the two COPs.

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[...] tobacco harm reduction advocates are hoping the UK will use the gathering to put pressure on the global health body to drop its opposition to vaping and other less harmful nicotine products like snus and nicotine pouches.

“COP9 could be a critical turning point,” UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) head John Dunne said in a statement.

“At the Conference, the United Kingdom has a duty to lead the charge against the WHO and be proud of its record so far. The UK delegation should use its influence to encourage other delegations to back the science and follow its example.”

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The president of the conference of the parties Mr Esmaeil Baghaei Hamameh opened proceedings with a statement [...] He stated that “although the technology on which we rely at this time is not always kind to us, I promise you that we will use every means to ensure that technical nuances rob no-one of their voice”

Although this would appear to be a commitment to openness and transparency, there has been no option for the public to make their voice heard, and we now hear that the press feed has been cut, so accredited media are no longer able to view proceedings.

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The UK has long been among the world’s leaders in tobacco harm reduction, and for years the country’s health authorities have endorsed the use of vapes to quit smoking. So when the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced on October 29 that it would create updated regulations, clearing the way for licensed e-cigarette products to be prescribed to smokers by the National Health Service (NHS), it made international headlines.

And why not make them available on the NHS? The key advantage is that vapes are more effective for quitting smoking than traditional nicotine-replacement products [...]

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Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. called on the World Health Organization “to regain the momentum” of tobacco control and consider “evolving and latest scientific information” in solving the global smoking problem.

Leading a panel of Philippine officials, Locsin addressed delegates at the opening of the ninth conference of parties (COP 9) of the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control being held virtually this week. During the opening of the conference, Locsin said tobacco is a source of bad health but acknowledged that it “is also a source of good through taxation.”

 

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This post examines how WHO and related institutions aggressively promote the prohibition of much safer alternatives to cigarettes, such as vaping and heated tobacco products. The effect, if not the intent, is to protect the cigarette trade from competition, to promote black markets, to stimulate harmful workarounds, to nurture criminal networks, to harm young people, and to prolong the epidemic of avoidable smoking-related disease.  It’s a reckless policy, built on misplaced righteousness, defended by bureaucratic inertia, sustained by group-think, and cultivated by elitist billionaire foundation money. [...]

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Monumental madness behind the war on nicotine | RegWatch at GSTHR in London, 2021. Interview with Ethan Nadelmann, Founder & Fmr. Exec. Director, Drug Policy Alliance; Podcast Host, PSYCHOACTIVE

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We are elected representatives of students globally as volunteer functionaries of non-profit organizations and initiatives involving recent graduates or students from faculties of health sciences spanning Low-and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) around the world. [...]
Many of us are focused on human rights-based approaches to ameliorating pressing health issues where health needs are expensive and/or technically advanced treatments aren’t financially possible or accepted enough to be focal areas for our Governments. Wherefore, what remains is quit or die approaches and harm reduction in one form or the other.