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For many years, Australia has been a world leader in tobacco control, enjoying steady and rapid declines in smoking rates. However, recently that has changed. Over the last six years, Australian smoking rates have plateaued. One in seven adults still smokes and smoking remains the leading cause of death and illness across Australia. Arguably, helping a smoker quit is the most effective health intervention GPs can provide. However, it can be challenging and frustrating. Low quit rates, time pressures and other priorities mean that smoking does not always get the attention it deserves.

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San Francisco, not known as a city particularly interested in fighting the drug war, has just passed legislation banning the sale of e-cigarettes to consumers of any age — while leaving real cigarettes alone. [...] In many ways, increased vaping is a welcome development. While there is uncertainty about exactly how harmful e-cigarettes are, the consensus is that they are dramatically less dangerous than cigarettes. They contain no tar or tobacco. Some e-cigarette products are, however, more addictive thanks to higher concentrations of nicotine, [...]

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In any public debate there may come a point when the evidence for a shift in direction clearly outweighs that against. Has this point been reached for drug policy reform? Several UK medical bodies have decided it has. The Royal College of Physicians of London, the Faculty of Public Health, and the Royal Society for Public Health all now support decriminalising non-medical use of drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, and heroin. In this they agree with the World Health Organization and the UK government’s own independent Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.

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There are over a billion smokers across the world – a habit which causes more than 7m deaths per year. We have known that smoking kills for decades, but this simple fact has not been enough to persuade every smoker to quit.

Even more surprising is that the vast amount of evidence about the risks of smoking hasn’t been enough to put people off starting to smoke in the first place. If knowing smoking kills doesn’t stop people from taking up the habit, what will?

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There are an estimated 3.2 million e-cigarette users in Great Britain, and the majority of users have switched from smoking to vaping in search of a less harmful alternative to help them quit. In a recent study, people who used e-cigarettes to quit smoking were more likely to be smoke-free after one year compared to people who used more traditional methods such as nicotine patches. So, why are some smokers reluctant to try e-cigarettes, and why have some people been unable to quit smoking using them? The media, researchers, public health officials, and the general public have all played a role in discouraging some smokers from vaping.

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More teens in the United States are using e-cigarettes, and now there's a program specifically for youth who want to quit vaping or smoking. National Jewish Health, a hospital in Denver, launched the My Life, My Quit tobacco and vaping cessation program Monday for youth under the age of 18. [...] "We launched a specific teen quitline which reflects that teens want to make their own decisions," said Thomas Ylioja, [...] "They don't want to be told to quit ... the decision to stop is theirs, and we're here to support them."

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The Global Forum on Nicotine (GFN) recently held its 6th annual meeting in Warsaw featuring delegates and public health experts from more than 70 countries. GFN is as an international summit for discussions on how tobacco harm reduction methods can help combat global tobacco smoking rates. This year’s forum was programmed to examine the swift development of science related to nicotine and its uses and how countries should respond through policy and regulation.

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When University of Waterloo professor David Hammond first shared preliminary results of his teen vaping and smoking study with Health Canada and the media in late 2018, he did so with the “hope” that his findings were just a “blip”; [...] Dr. Chris Lalonde, professor of psychology at the University of Victoria, joins in an examination of the now public results, of what has become, a controversial study.

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Last Monday, Sweden took another step towards becoming a smoke-free nation, by introducing new laws with regards to smoking in public places. As of July 1st, Swedes are no longer allowed to smoke in spaces such as playgrounds, train stations and outside restaurants and bars. Sadly, despite being generally pro-harm reduction, this ban has been extended to e-cigarettes. In fact, according to European Union statistics, thanks to the harm reduction tactics Sweden has in place, mainly relative to its stance on the use of snus, Sweden has achieved the lowest smoking rates in Europe, at an impressive 7%.

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Smoking is killing 17 Australians a day from stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular conditions, wiping out almost double the population of Port Douglas every year, warn the researchers of a world-first study.

Tobacco smokers have triple the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease (CVD) – the biggest killer in Australia – compared to people who never smoked, according to the study of almost 190,000 Australians aged 45 and over.

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An unbelievable documentary about nicotine & the teen vaping epidemic. Coming to theaters spring 2020. In this movie, we go behind the headlines to get the real stories of teens who are vaping nicotine and those trying to help them.

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THE absence of consistent laws governing the sale and marketing of alternative tobacco-based products in Malaysia risks saturating the market with brands eager to make a profit, but unconcerned over health standards.

While the Ministry of Health (MoH) works on drafting a new Tobacco Act to regulate both traditional cigarettes and their electronic alternatives under one bill, electronic cigarettes or e-ciggies are gaining popularity among users.

 

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New official statistics show the positive news that smoking prevalence in England is continuing to fall. 14.4% of adults in England smoke, down from 14.9% the previous year – a drop of almost 175,000. There are almost two million fewer smokers now than in 2011. While smoking is in terminal decline, it remains the nation’s biggest killer and today, we are one step closer to a smokefree generation – but there is still much work to do.

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Vaping taxes have become an all too common part of life for vapers across the US, with legislators often content to tax them at the same rate as cigarettes. Despite the clear and obvious reasons vaping and smoking should be treated differently, some lawmakers have taken that sentiment too far in the wrong direction. Vermont passed a hefty 92% tax on vaping earlier this year, which officially took effect earlier this week. Unfortunately for vapers, this means the tax on vaping products is almost twice as high as the per pack tax on cigarettes.

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Netflix has pledged to reduce the number of occasions where actors use tobacco products in its original programmes, after a study suggested that smoking on the streaming service’s programmes had contributed to a rise in on-screen smoking more widely.

The US-based anti-smoking group Truth Initiative said tobacco imagery was increasing on small screens and that depictions were much more common on streaming services than on cable television.

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American vapers facing increasing restrictions, government misinformation and regulatory uncertainties are naturally concerned for the future of vaping. However, here in Australia we have it even worse.

Australia essentially has a de facto ban on vaping. The possession and use of nicotine e-liquid for vaping is illegal under federal poisons regulation. Vaping products are regulated as a tobacco products under state laws, with harsh restrictions similar to smoking. 

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Altria Group’s recent $372 million acquisition Opens a New Window. of a Switzerland-based maker of smokeless tobacco products comes as the industry seems to be shifting in response to plummeting cigarette sales. “I don’t think there is any question cigarette sales are on a steep decline and tobacco companies are [shifting] to smoke-free products, traditional smokeless tobacco, vaping and ... others,” Dr. Brad Rodu, endowed chairman of tobacco harm reduction research at the University of Louisville, told Fox Business.

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There is general agreement that smoking is one of the worst things one can do for one’s health. But when it comes to alternatives like electronic cigarettes, the debate continues to divide stakeholders and policymakers.

A London-based psychologist told EURACTIV that taking nicotine in an alternative form is less harmful than smoking. But Dr Lynne Dawkins, an associate professor of psychology at London South Bank University, also admitted that vaping is not totally safe and needs further research.

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Three in five Australian young adults who currently use e-cigarettes are likely to initiate tobacco cigarette smoking in the next six months, new research led by Curtin University has found. Lead author Dr Michelle Jongenelis, from the School of Psychology at Curtin University, said recent calls to relax current Australian regulations related to e-cigarettes could result in an increase in the use of conventional cigarettes, especially among young adults.

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It was unusual to be at an international harm reduction conference where Australia was at the bottom of the class – we were reporting that every state health department and every state health minister said that products like heat not burn tobacco, snus and vapourisers were too dangerous to allow smokers to use. The result was that our policy was just say no or continue feeding your nicotine dependence via the very dangerous form of combustible tobacco.

Everywhere I walked around the hotel and in the city of Warsaw people were vaping. [...]