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Many policy experts and researchers have rightly pointed out that for years, the United States has relied on an abstinence-only approach to tobacco, drugs and sex, and the results have been embarrassingly bad. Simply put, while abstinence may be the safest course of action, many just don’t—and will never—practice it. In light of this, it’s important to consider underused tools: consistent harm reduction strategies. These don’t seek to eliminate harm through abstinence, but (...)

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is moving forward with plans to ban menthol cigarettes and all flavored cigars—policies that agency officials say could help prevent some of the roughly 500,000 U.S. deaths linked to tobacco each year.

“The actions we are proposing can help significantly reduce youth initiation and increase the chances that current smokers quit,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf said in a statement. “It is clear that these efforts will help save lives.” But whether the proposed menthol ban will work as intended is a matter of active debate.

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An important new study published today has found that Australia’s harsh regulatory policy on vaping has SLOWED the decline in smoking compared to other similar countries with less restrictive policies.
The study found that in Canada and the UK, smoking consumption and smoking rates in young adults declined faster after (...)

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is moving fast to close off what seems to be the last remaining legal option for vaping companies that want to provide the e-liquid flavors that former smokers overwhelmingly prefer. Exercising regulatory authority that Congress recently gave it, the FDA has set a May 14 deadline for seeking "premarket" approval of vaping products that deliver nicotine derived from sources other than tobacco. Companies that fail to submit applications by then, the agency warns, "will be subject to FDA enforcement."

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is moving fast to close off what seems to be the last remaining legal option for vaping companies that want to provide the e-liquid flavors that former smokers overwhelmingly prefer. Exercising regulatory authority that Congress recently gave it, the FDA has set a May 14 deadline for seeking “premarket” approval of vaping products that deliver nicotine derived from sources other than tobacco. Companies that fail to submit (...)

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On April 28, the FDA announced regulations to prohibit menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes and all characterizing flavors (other than tobacco) in cigars. [...]

Why Ban Menthol in Cigarettes?

First, the basics: Menthol is a regulated drug when used in products like cough medicine and topical pain relievers, but in cigarettes and cigars it is used as a non-medicinal "flavor" additive with a minty aroma and taste that makes it less irritating to inhale smoke. Menthol also interacts with nicotine in the brain to increase addiction.

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Hong Kong police made their first arrests under a law banning the sale of electronic cigarettes after two men were allegedly caught with the items on Wednesday.
The suspects, aged 28 and 31, remained in custody as of Thursday. They were being held on suspicion of selling and possessing a poison in Part 1 of the Pharmacy and Poisons Regulations, as well as selling alternative smoking products.
The law, which came into effect on Saturday, bans the import, sale and manufacture of electronic cigarettes, heated tobacco products and herbal cigarettes, [...]

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David J Sweanor, Faculty of Law and Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics, University of Ottawa, Canada in conversation with ETHealthworld elucidates how harm reduction is an umbrella term for interventions designed to lessen problematic consequences of behaviours. Even though harm reduction was originally and most frequently associated with substance use, it is increasingly being applied to a variety of other behavioural disorders. The dramatic increase in global health over the past century and a half is one of the stellar accomplishments of humanity. [...]

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Is vaping really a better option than traditional smoking? FIU researchers want to find out.

FIU’s Clinical Research Lab for Tobacco Smoking looks at the addiction and toxicity profile of emerging tobacco use methods and ways to reduce their harm. With several newly funded projects, the lab has just begun recruitment efforts for a variety of studies looking at e-cigarettes.

These studies aim to provide public health practitioners, policymakers and regulators with evidence that will allow them to respond to the growth of e-cigarette use among young people in the US and reduce its harm.

 

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Although I have been studying electronic cigarettes for several years, sometimes it feels like the same questions keep coming back around: Are e-cigarettes safe? What are the health effects of vaping e-cigarettes? Is vaping better than smoking?

These questions come from parents, policy-makers, reporters, patients and health care workers. However, there are many parents here in La Jolla who could tell you firsthand that e-cigarettes are addictive and dangerous. These parents learned about the dangers of vaping e-cigarettes when their own children became addicts.

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Hawaii's ban on flavored e-cigarettes will land on the governor's desk, having survived a rollercoaster legislative session that saw the bill near death on multiple occasions.

 

After a contentious debate Tuesday, House Bill 1570 passed its final reading in the state House of Representatives with 36 voting in favor and 15 in opposition, reflecting division among public health advocates and other supporters who turned their backs on the measure they helped write.

At issue was a Senate amendment that would exempt from the ban certain tobacco products that had received federal Food and Drug Administration approval.

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The announcements have been years in the making: On April 28, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced proposed rules for a ban on menthol cigarettes, after a recent announcement saying it would move forward on a menthol ban, following a previous announcement saying a menthol ban was imminent. [...] Explicitly, the proposed law would prohibit “menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes”—meaning that “a cigarette or any of its components or parts [...] shall not contain, as a constituent (including a smoke constituent) or additive, menthol that is a characterizing flavor of the tobacco product or tobacco smoke.”

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The ACT government has proposed tougher protections to prevent the sale of e-cigarettes and vaping products to people aged under 18.

Under the changes, young people could soon be engaged by the ACT government to attempt to buy tobacco products from retailers as part of compliance testing. The testing could identify retailers who are selling e-cigarettes and vaping products to minors.

It is part of a suite of reforms put forward by Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith in an attempt to regulate the sales of e-cigarettes and vaping.

"Unfortunately, across Australia there are increasing reports of illegal sales of e-cigarettes, including sales to minors," Ms Stephen-Smith said.

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The federal agency is advancing two tobacco product standards that would ban menthol cigarettes and all flavored cigars. These new standards aim to build on the 2009 landmark Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which banned all forms of flavoring agents in cigarettes except for menthol. The National Library of Medicine explains that companies first began adding menthol to cigarettes in the 1920s, but the ingredient didn’t become widely used until the 1950s and ’60s. Today, the American Thoracic Society says an estimated 25 percent of all cigarettes in the U.S. contain menthol.

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A new study says smokers receiving noninvasive low intensity electric or magnetic impulses were twice as likely to go without cigarettes for three to six months than those receiving placebo treatment.

Researchers from the University of Dijon in France pooled data from seven previously published studies involving nearly 700 subjects. [...]

“The results appear to be robust, and we feel confident in suggesting that noninvasive brain stimulation is a technique of interest for both short-term and sustained smoking cessation,” lead researcher Dr. Benjamin Petit said in the press release.

 

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The National Tobacco Products Control Committee is being urged to consider revising its ban on the import and sales of e-cigarettes in Thailand.

Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn said he has submitted a petition to the committee to revise its decision on e-cigarette sales and imports. He said research in 70 countries has shown that e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to conventional cigarettes and that their sale has been subsidized by their governments. If the government allows the legal import and sale of e-cigarettes, it will be able to set selling standards and benefit from a tobacco tax.

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The New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) announces the launch of Live Vape Free, a new program offering teens free tools and resources by text message to help them quit the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarette, nicotine and vaping).

“Recent research by the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that much of the progress made in nearly two decades of getting kids to quit smoking may be eroding, as so many teens are trying, but failing to quit vaping nicotine.” said Acting Department of Health Secretary, David R. Scrase, M.D. “This program will be a valuable tool to assist our young people in quitting e-cigarettes [...]

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At least three vape shops in a shopping centre in Wan Chai have closed for good, the Post has found

Some smokers say they could go back to traditional smoking, while others are thinking about quitting smoking after using up e-cigarette stock

A law banning the sale of e-cigarettes and other heated tobacco products in Hong Kong has forced some shops selling these items to fold, with users either considering a return to traditional smoking or quitting the habit completely, the Post has found.

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The automatic criticism of everything associated with tobacco is not merely misguided; it has the potential to do real harm.


Yes, the tobacco companies worked hard to acquire a terrible reputation over many decades. With the publication of authoritative reports on smoking and health in the early 1960s, the tobacco companies entered a prolonged existential battle with reality. Emerging science threatened one of the most lucrative cash cows ever milked. What became known as the tobacco wars were fought over doubt, the marshy no-man’s land between ignorance and certainty, and it was ugly. [...]

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The Department of Health (DOH) has urged President Duterte to veto a proposed measure seeking to lower the age of those allowed to buy and use e-cigarettes and vapes from 21 to 18.

The DOH said the approval of the proposed Vaporized Nicotine Products Regulation Act is contrary to Duterte’s position to protect the public from the harmful effects of smoking.

“The Vape bill is contrary to public health goals and to President Duterte's established position to protect Filipinos – especially the youth – from the harmful effects of smoke and emissions from tobacco products, vapor products, and heated tobacco products,” the department said in a statement on Saturday.