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Finland is seeking to tighten its already tough restrictions on public smoking and tobacco advertising in the next few years, in line with the national goal to phase out the habit almost completely by 2030.

The Nordic country's Ministry of Social Affairs and Health said that the proposal unveiled Monday will further tighten restrictions on outdoor smoking. This would include places such as bus stops, public beaches, children’s playgrounds and some outdoor terraces becoming completely smoking-free.

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So much for lockdowns making us more health-conscious. Last week we saw Brits endure Arctic conditions for a pint. Now there’s data showing they’re smoking more too. Market researcher Mintel found in a survey of 2,000 British adults last fall that more than half of cigarette users were stress smoking more than before the pandemic. Some 10 percent started smoking again after giving up. Overall, 30 percent of the smokers surveyed reported lighting up more regularly since the outbreak. And the picture looks similar elsewhere: Many people in the U.S., as well as Canada, France, Israel and South Korea, have also said they are smoking more [...]

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West Virginia, one of the poorest states in the United States, is facing a twin crisis – it’s at once the epicentre of America’s opioid crisis and the site of a significant HIV outbreak. The situation is particularly tragic because the public health emergency likely could have been avoided, had policymakers looked at the science and endorsed successful harm reduction initiatives rather than vilifying them.

[...] Even in Europe, overall more forward-thinking on public health issues, lawmakers are falling short by failing to integrate reduced-harm products like e-cigarettes into their efforts to stamp out the tobacco habit [...]

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Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in America and causes about 30% of all cancer deaths. That's why researchers with the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center wanted to study the impact of a California law passed in 2016 that raised the tobacco sales age from 18 to 21.

Their new study [...] examines smoking behavior after the state implemented one of the first tobacco 21 (T21) policies.

The study, conducted by UC Davis researchers Melanie Dove, Susan Stewart and Elisa Tong, looked at smoking patterns before and after the law passed and compared California and other states without a T21 policy. [...]

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As lawmakers across the country seek to reduce youth tobacco and vapor product use, many have introduced and passed legislation that regulates, taxes, and in some cases, prohibits the sales of such products.

This analysis includes state specific information on tobacco and vapor product use among adults in youth in all 50 states, as well as Washington D.C. Each paper examines smoking rates among adults in the respective, youth use of tobacco and vapor products, and the effectiveness of tobacco settlement payments, taxes, and vapor products on reducing combustible cigarette use.

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The next time you visit a vape or e-cigarette retail store in the country, make sure you have your ID.

Retailers that sell electronic cigarette (e-cig) and combustible tobacco products could ask for age verification before selling electronic vapour products (EVPs) as part of a drive to prevent underage sales. This is just one of the guidelines vape and electronic cigarette retail stores are now reinforcing.

The vaping industry has come under intense scrutiny recently amid a wave of underage vaping.

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Several media reports recently came out quoting a CSIR survey that has gone viral on social media after it claimed that smokers and vegetarians are less susceptible to COVID-19.

According to an India.com report, ever since the second wave of COVID-19 caused chaos in India, a lot of false rumors and misinformation have appeared online. [...] Amidst the viral news, on Monday, the Press Information Bureau while quoting CSIR made it clear that at present, no conclusion can be drawn yet based on the "serological studies" that smoking and vegetarian diet may shield one from COVID-19. [...]

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Congressional Democrats have introduced a bill that would impose the first federal tax on vaping products, and increase other tobacco taxes for the first time in a decade. Currently, about half of U.S. states have some kind of vaping product tax, but there is no federal tax.

The bill is supported by longtime Illinois vaping foes Senator Dick Durbin and Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, and co-sponsored by a handful of the usual Senate vaping opponents. The Tobacco Tax Equity Act Of 2021 (S.1314) will close “loopholes that the industry has exploited to target our children” by doubling the cigarette tax [...]

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering whether to cap nicotine levels in traditional combustible cigarettes and to ban the sale of menthols as well. The FDA must respond in court by April 29 to a citizens’ petition to ban menthols by disclosing whether it plans to implement such a policy. And the Biden administration is considering a concurrent requirement to limit the amount of nicotine in all cigarettes sold in the U.S. to levels at which they are no longer addictive.

“It would be historic, it would be groundbreaking and it would save millions and millions of lives,” said the American Lung Association’s Erika Sward. [...]

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The right to information is a fundamental consumer value, may it be any form of product; the benefit to the consumer has to be at the heart of it. Today’s consumer is increasingly health conscious, from food to skincare to health and work-life balance – every aspect of life is now a well thought out, researched and self-aware decision. There are more than 1 billion smokers worldwide. And while everyone knows the negative impact of smoking on health, not many know why or of a solution, if they can’t quit smoking.

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ANGRY MPs have called on the Government to defund the World Health Organisation unless it ends its hostile attitude towards vaping as a way of helping smokers quit. A cross-party committee is furious the WHO is considering branding e-cigarettes as dangerous as smoking - even though scientists insist they are 95 percent safer and have helped millions of Britons kick the killer habit. Leaked papers reveal the organisation, which is already under fire for its COVID-19 response, looks set to urge countries to take an aggressive anti-vaping stance at an upcoming summit. [...]

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A recent survey conducted by CSIR (Council of Scientific Industrial Research), Government of India, has revealed that smokers and vegetarians are less likely to contract Covid-19 infection. The survey suggested smoking may be protective, despite Covid-19 being a respiratory disease, due to its role in increasing the mucous production that may be acting as the first line of defence among the smoking population. It indicated that vegetarian food rich in fibre may have a role to play in providing immunity against COVID-19 due to its anti-inflammatory properties by modification of gut microbiota.

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A new study published in The Lancet [...] suggests that smokers given higher-nicotine vaping products consume fewer dangerous carcinogens through continued smoking compared with their peers given lower-strength vapes. The study—funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—looked at how smokers’ use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) could help them cut back on cigarettes.

The participants, aged from 21 to 65, had smoked more than nine cigarettes per day for at least the past year and were not currently using ENDS. [...]

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In recent years, the billionaire-politician-philanthropist has used his largesse to bend regulators in the United States and elsewhere to his will in service of his social agenda, which includes eradicating smoking and battling climate change.

Earlier this year, the government of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte came under intense fire for denying tobacco companies access to COVID-19 vaccines imported by the government in partnership with the private sector for employee vaccination programs. The Duterte administration’s decision was based on a 10-year-old policy forbidding government officials from interacting with the tobacco industry. [...]

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Hispanic and Black adolescents and teens are more likely to smoke marijuana using e-cigarettes than their White peers, an analysis published Monday by JAMA Pediatrics found.

More than one in four Hispanic youths in grades 6 through 12 reported using vaping devices to smoke marijuana in 2020, compared to 19% of Black students and 18% of White students, the data showed. "Marijuana use during adolescence is associated with decline in memory, attention and learning," the CDC researchers wrote.

"Evidence-based strategies to reduce marijuana use in e-cigarettes are important for protecting young people from these health risks," they said.

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In one way or another, every conversation we bring you about vaping is a conversation about nicotine. Whether it be regulations, the latest media scare, or a promising piece of new science, nicotine looms large over all the issues. Without nicotine, there would be no smoking and, of course, no need for safer nicotine products.

Joining us today on RegWatch is Paddy Costall, a global tobacco harm reduction advocate and co-organizer of the 8th Annual Global Forum on Nicotine. Hear about the issues and challenges tackled in this year’s event held online and in Liverpool, England, on June 17th and 18th.

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It’s been a decade since e-cigarettes first gained popularity in the UK. Since then, the types of devices available and the number of people using them has risen sharply.

And as the popularity levels of e-cigarettes grew, so did the debate around them.

The big selling point for e-cigarettes is they’re a way to help people stop smoking and reduce harm from the biggest cause of cancer in the world, tobacco.

But it’s a balancing act. E-cigarettes contain nicotine and so it’s important to make sure that people who have never smoked, particularly young people, don’t start to use them.

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In February, the European Commission (EC) presented its Beating Cancer Plan (BCP), which named tobacco as the top avoidable risk factor. [...] The plan was met with criticism by consumer organizations and trade associations. “The Beating Cancer Plan doesn’t just fail to make a distinction between the relative risks of combustible and noncombustible products, it also fails to recognize that low-risk alternatives like e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products are substitutes for the extremely hazardous combustible products,” says Damian Sweeney, a partner in the European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (ETHRA).

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When I was growing up in New York in the 1970s, both of my parents were physicians and both of my parents smoked. I remember the ads as a child for “Joe Cool” and menthol cigarettes in popular magazines such as Ebony and Essence and on billboards everywhere in our community. [...] It’s been more than a decade since federal law eliminated flavored cigarettes in the United States, with one notable exception: menthol. The flavor that hooked my mom from the start.

Like my parents, I became a physician too and I chose pediatrics. Now I live and work in Florida and have seen the impact of nicotine addiction on my own young patients.

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The Vype ePod is very easy to use and highly portable. However, you may find its vapour too mild, and lacking in strength in the context of a transition to e-cigarettes. When you switch over to e-cigarettes, you need to satisfy your nicotine habit. Therefore, you need to opt for an e-liquid with a sufficient nicotine content (nicotine concentration) to meet this need. The maximum content authorised in Europe of 20 mg/ml for all e-liquids.