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Philip Morris (New Zealand) Limited (PMNZ) has today reiterated its unconditional commitment to have cigarettes replaced by less harmful alternatives in New Zealand as soon as possible, following yesterday’s renewed debate on how to truly achieve a smoke-free country.

PMNZ General Manager James Williams: “New Zealand is leading the world when it comes to devising the appropriate, risk-proportionate regulations around smoke-free products, which are better options for adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke.”

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The resignation of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb Tuesday raises a lot of questions about the issues he personally championed during his time at the agency. Wells Fargo tobacco analyst Bonnie Herzog was among analysts voicing her surprise following Gottlieb’s resignation in a note Tuesday, but added that the news was viewed “as a positive for the tobacco industry.”

“We believe his resignation calls into question whether or not the FDA will in fact enforce harsher regulations around youth e-cig usage/access,” Herzog wrote. [...]

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The White House supports a Food and Drug Administration effort to crack down on youth vaping and plans more regulations on tobacco products despite the departure of the agency’s chief, senior White House officials said in an interview Thursday.

 
 

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb , 46, is leaving “only on the best of terms,” Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump’s acting chief of staff, said in an interview on Thursday. “I’m not aware of any policy dispute in the administration regarding Dr. Gottlieb.’’

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People with diabetes who quit smoking tobacco may have a lower risk of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases -- and weight gain following smoking cessation does not mitigate the health benefits among these patients, according to one study. Long-term, heavy smoking is a risk factor for cognitive decline, researchers found in an unrelated study.

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A quarter of smokers say they would not try vaping because they believe it is just as bad for them as cigarettes.

Commissioned by Yorkshire Cancer Research, the survey of 844 smokers and 1,156 ex-smokers found that tobacco users are “suspicious” of e-cigarettes with many saying they had no desire to give vaping a go.

The results revealed that the typical smoker has been doing so for 22 years and has attempted to kick the habit on average four times in their life.

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Following FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s statement titled “Forceful new actions focused on retailers, manufacturers to combat youth access to e-cigarettes as part of FDA’s Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan,” the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) gave its take on the Commissioner’s comments and what it means for the industry. NATO’s statement is as follows:

“The FDA Commissioner’s statement lists 15 retail chains that have accumulated an aggregate of 15% to 44% violation rates by their respective stores [...]

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By the end of February 2019, more than 200 bills had been introduced in multiple states aimed at regulating, taxing, or prohibiting e-cigarettes.

In response to media campaigns by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Surgeon General, state lawmakers have introduced flavor bans, draconian taxes, and proposals to restrict access to tobacco products to persons 21 years old or older.

Strangely, legislators in Connecticut, Iowa, and Nebraska are proposing to increase the age to purchase e-cigarettes and vaping devices from 18 to 21, but [...]

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Smoking rates among military service members continues to decline as e-cigarette use increases, according to a 2018 study by the Rand Corporation. In Rand’s Health Related Behaviors Survey Substance Use Among U.S. Active-Duty, “13.9 percent of service members were current cigarette smokers, and 7.4 percent smoked cigarettes daily.” Among the general population, 16.8 percent of Americans were current smokers, and 12.9 percent were daily smokers.

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When it comes to marketing electronic cigarettes to young people, fake news appears to stick.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration currently requires a prominent warning about the dangers of nicotine for e-cigarettes. But just before that mandate, a 2017 campaign by e-cigarette maker blu included fake warnings in precisely the place the real warnings would eventually appear. Messages such as "IMPORTANT: Contains flavor" and "IMPORTANT: Less harmful to your wallet" appeared atop the ads in large print inside a box, [...]

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Debate among public health professionals over approaches to tobacco and nicotine regulation has intensified with the rise of vaping in the form of electronic cigarettes (or e-cigarettes) and tobacco heat-not-burn products. In "Truth Telling about Tobacco and Nicotine", researchers Rachelle Annechino and Tamar Antin explain that, although there is agreement among researchers about evidence that vaping can be less harmful than combustible cigarettes, the tobacco control community remains divided about how to communicate [...]

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Vaping enthusiasts will say that it’s the lesser of two evils when it comes to getting a nicotine fix, but it’s getting harder and harder to justify the idea that vaping is actually safe. The results from a survey of over 96,000 individuals, add three more reasons to worry about the costs of e-cigarettes over time. Research [...] reveals that e-cigarette use was associated with higher rates of heart attack, coronary artery disease, and, interestingly, depression. [...]

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U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on Tuesday that he plans to step down next month, a sudden resignation that calls into question how the agency will handle issues such as surging e-cigarette use among teens and efforts to increase competition in prescription drugs. Gottlieb was well regarded by public health advocates and won bipartisan support for his efforts to curb use of flavored e-cigarettes by youths, speed approval times for cheap generic medicines to increase competition and bring down drug prices, [...]

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Health professionals advise against using any nicotine products during pregnancy, but some women are using e-cigarettes before, during or after pregnancy and thinking it’s safer than smoking, U.S. researchers report.

In a survey of more than 3,000 new mothers in Oklahoma and Texas, 7 percent said they had used electronic vapor products, including e-cigarettes, around the time of their pregnancy; 1.4 percent used them during pregnancy.

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[...] New Zealand’s Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa announced that she would be banning smoking and vaping in cars when anyone under the age of 18 is present. Once the law is changed, police will be required to look for puffs of smoke swirling inside vehicle cabs and sneaking out the window. Because it’s difficult to discern if an adult-sized body is under 18 from a distance, the police will have to get alongside vehicles to peer inside or simply pull all drivers over if anything resembling smoke or vapor is seen.

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The state Assembly voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to ban the purchase of tobacco products and electronic cigarettes to people under the age of 21, a move expected to be followed in the coming weeks by the state Senate.

Smoking “is a great cost to individuals and families … As a former smoker, I know that," said Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democrat and sponsor of the bill in the Assembly. The bill takes effect 120 days after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, already on record supporting the higher tobacco purchase age, signs it into law.

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It's pretty common knowledge that smoking during pregnancy confers a host of risks on a developing embryo and fetus, including miscarriage, low birth weight, and premature birth. But for ethical reasons, it's been difficult to directly study the effects of nicotine exposure before birth.

Now cardiologist and stem cell researcher [...] have found a way to use human embryoid bodies — balls of pluripotent stem cells that mimic aspects of the early human embryo — to examine at the single-cell level how nicotine affects cell development.

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Smoking costs the state more than 140 times the amount it spends on helping people to quit, the Irish Heart Foundation has said.

The charity is urging the government to increase its spending on smoking cessation services.

In 2017 about €11.8 million was spent on measures such as medication, support services, a national quit line and media campaigns. The estimated annual cost of smoking to the state through healthcare was €1.6 billion. The charity’s call is being made on National No Smoking Day, which coincides with Ash Wednesday each year.

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Colorado congresswoman Diana DeGette plans to introduce legislation this week that could ban e-cigarette flavors on a national level, her office announced Monday.

The bill, expected to be introduced to the House of Representatives on Tuesday, enters a contentious debate on how to regulate vaping products and address rising levels of e-cigarette use among youth. Flavors are at the center of the regulatory debate: Some say they're an important tool in getting adults to switch from combustible cigarettes, while others want to ban them entirely [...]

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Outgoing Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said his departure won't have any impact on the agency's crackdown on youth vaping.

"I'm very confident of that, and I'm very confident that we're going to continue with this policy over the next month, including the policy that we've been formulating," Gottlieb said during an event hosted by The Hill Wednesday. Gottlieb has proposed limiting the sales of most flavored e-cigarettes to age-restricted, in-person locations, effectively ending sales at gas stations and convenience stores.

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As the number of children using e-cigarettes remains at epidemic levels, our enforcement work has been one cornerstone of our efforts to protect youth from the dangers of tobacco products. In recent months our vigorous enforcement efforts as part of the agency’s Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan have included a number of actions to combat the illegal sales of e-cigarettes to youth at brick-and-mortar and internet storefronts, as well as steps to target companies engaged in kid-friendly marketing that can increase the appeal of these products to youth.