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Tobacco company Philip Morris says it will stop the sale of cigarettes in New Zealand when required to by law, regardless of whether the government lowers taxes on its new smokeless tobacco products. It was reported last week that Philip Morris was seeking a tax break as part of its plan to stop selling cigarettes in New Zealand ahead of the government's 2025 goal of making the country smokefree.

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As much as concerned adults like to blame fruit- and candy-flavored e-cigarettes, it’s hard to pin down what drives teens to vape in record numbers. Is it really the sweet-smelling vapor that makes e-cigarettes so irresistible? [...] In this new analysis, a team of researchers used data gathered from adolescents (ages 12 to 17), young adults (18 to 24), and older adults to investigate the much-discussed connection between sweet flavors and youth vaping. [...]

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For many within the tobacco control movement the debate over vaping—considering the decades spent fighting big tobacco—is filled with contradiction.
On one hand, you have the cigarette which is proven to be deadly and on the other, you have vaping, which despite relentless demonization is considered by even the most ardent critic, to be a much safer alternative to smoking. As the saying goes within vaping advocacy: Smoking kills and vaping saves lives.

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A cigarette is a lot like a sausage: you’re better off not knowing what’s inside. You might think it’s tobacco, but this is not true. According to experts, it contains a reconstituted tobacco product known as ‘sheet’, the ingredients of which include recycled tobacco stems, stalks, and floor sweepings, plus glue and chemicals. This is then sprayed with nicotine and shaped into curls. As a smoker, I’m okay with everything else, but the floor sweepings are a bit of a no-no.

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Vaping regulations around the world vary quite dramatically. From places such as the UK, which have gotten fully behind e-cigarettes for their harm reduction and smoking cessation purposes, to those such as Australia and Thailand, which have instead taken a very strict stance and virtually banned them. However, as more evidence is published regarding the impact of vaping there’s more and more support for loosening vaping regulations. Australia’s neighbor, New Zealand, went down this path a few years back after having followed suit with the Aussies for years. [...]

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It’s great the Government has announced it’s committed to amending the 1990 Smoke-free Environments Act. This follows Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa submitting a paper to cabinet in November titled “Supporting smokers to switch to significantly less harmful alternatives.”

The cabinet paper makes clear the main intentions of any legislative changes would be “to improve smokers’ access to quality vaping and smokeless tobacco products, while protecting children and young people” as well as “improving publicly available information on vaping.”

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Officials say it’s becoming more common among people and people trying to quit smoking to turn to vaping. Now, a Michigan dentist says things like vaping an E-cigarettes can have a negative impact on dental health. Doctor Zareena Banu of Grand Blanc has been a dentist for more people who vape over the past few years and E-cigarette use among teens is also growing.

"Nicotine is something that constricts your blood vessels and it causes decrease in blood flow to the gum tissue,” said Dr. Banu. [...]

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The most important way to stop the plague of smoking would be to stop the influx of new smokers, that is, mainly teenagers. When youngsters try their first cigarette, for reasons such as trying to fit in or peer pressure, most of them are not aware of the possible risk they are exposed to. Among young people, the short-term health consequences of smoking include respiratory and non-respiratory effects, addiction to nicotine, and the associated risk of other drug use. [...]

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration moved forward with its much-anticipated plan to limit sales of most flavored e-cigarettes in an effort to curb what it calls an epidemic of youth vaping.

 
 

The agency released a draft guideline for the industry on Wednesday, just weeks before Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is set to step down. The move is one of Gottlieb’s signature priorities after antismoking advocates blamed his earlier steps to ease restrictions for e-cigarettes for the rise in underage use.

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I’ve never smoked a cigarette, so it never really made sense for me to pick up vaping. After all, when vaping took off as a fad it was a bizarre bit of cyberpunk kitsch, and vapers were publicly ostracized. I ignored it, confident that the trend would soon end. Then, about two years ago, I began spotting friends and cool teens hitting the sleek little obelisks I would soon come to know as Juuls, and honestly, I felt pangs of jealousy. Sure, the company had insidiously started a “nicotine arms race” with their hyper-concentrated, addicting pods, [...]

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Making sure electronic cigarettes don't get into the hands of youngsters is the key to beating tobacco use and nicotine addiction in the United States, a new American Heart Association policy statement says. The statement authors said the tobacco industry's aggressive targeting of youngsters has led to a sharp rise in the use of e-cigarettes and other new types of tobacco products, which threatens Americans' health and decades of efforts to reduce tobacco use.

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Vaping is 95-percent safer than smoking: This fact, courtesy of Public Health England is the go-to rejoinder for every vaping advocate seeking to counter misinformation about the health effects of vaping. But is vaping really this safe?
In this RegWatch special series snippet hear from Michael Perley, Director at Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco and learn what he thinks about 95-percent safer?

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Youth are using e-cigarettes (also known as vaping devices) at a rapidly increasing rate — a practice that constitutes an urgent threat to public health. [...] Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control in the United States also found that 1.5 million more youth used e-cigarettes in 2018 than in 2017. If unchecked by strict regulations, the next generation of youth is likely to be the most nicotine-dependent and the heaviest smoking in recent history, wiping out decades of efforts to protect them.

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The announcement last month that Dr. Scott Gottlieb will resign as the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration has widely been seen as a victory for the vaping industry and producers of other alternative nicotine products. His tenure was marked not only by an intransigence towards accepting the health benefits of vaping over smoking, but also some extremely short-sighted policies towards traditional smoking, chief among them the idea of removing nicotine from tobacco.

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A few years ago, a pensioner friend of mine was laid up in hospital after breaking her ankle. I went to visit her when I could. My main duty was to help her into a wheelchair and take her in the lift down to the hospital entrance, so she could smoke a cigarette or two. Like many patients, she felt that being stuck in hospital was pretty much like being in prison. [...] Since then, the smoking ban has come into force for all ‘public places’ (mostly workplaces). Now anyone who wants to smoke has to go outside. [...]

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The tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI) is hopeful its “heat-not-burn” tobacco products will be classified separately from the conventional cigarettes in the Philippines.

Anna Bodi, PMI global communication manager, said that heated tobacco, like the IQOS, is labelled separately from combustable tobacco products in some markets including the United Kingdom, Hungary, Italy, Poland, among others.

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Ned Sharpless, the director of the National Cancer Institute, will be named temporary chief of the Food and Drug Administration, taking for now the post being vacated by Scott Gottlieb.

Sharpless will serve as acting head of the agency when Gottlieb leaves [...] The appointment of Sharpless, 52, could allay concerns by health advocates that Gottlieb’s departure would signal a letup in the FDA’s crackdown on flavored e-cigarettes and teen smoking. Sharpless has supported Gottlieb’s efforts to stem what the commissioner has called an “epidemic” of youth vaping.

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Here in Australia, it’s currently illegal to buy e-cigarettes that contain nicotine without a prescription. That’s not the case in countries like the UK, USA, Canada or New Zealand. And there’s a lot of debate about the issue.

Whether or not Australian adults should be able to access nicotine-containing e-cigarettes in the same way they buy tobacco cigarettes was considered by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in 2008, 2011 and again in 2017.

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President Donald Trump's budget proposal would make vaping more expensive by targetting e-cigarettes with a new "user fee" intended to generate $100 million annually.

The tax would fund regulatory programs and public health campaigns run by the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products—despite the fact that there is no tobacco used in e-cigarettes, which instead use nicotine-laced fluids. Cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco are already subject to the FDA's user fees.

 

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In July 2017, an announcement by the FDA declared that the agency “places nicotine, and the issue of addiction, at the center of the agency’s tobacco regulation efforts.”

It’s no surprise that with this renewed focus on nicotine—and ensuing FDA-driven fear-mongering surrounding products that contain the substance, even if they don’t involve combustion of tobacco—people are more confused than ever about what nicotine is and what it does.