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The SA unit of cigarette maker Philip Morris International opened its first flagship store in Johannesburg on Thursday, as it tries to grow demand in Africa for its alternative heated tobacco product IQOS. The store in Sandton gives Philip Morris access to tourists and business people from Africa who frequent Africa’s richest square mile, allowing it to use its retail footprint as a springboard to expand in the rest of the continent.

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Smoking is bad for you – that’s common knowledge. [...] researchers and healthcare providers are constantly looking for new and better ways to help people quit smoking. A new systematic review demonstrates a concept that is proven to work: Paying smokers to quit. The review, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, includes 33 studies with more than 21,600 participants. The studies were conducted in the U.S., Europe, Thailand, and the Philippines in a wide range of settings including community centers, workplaces, [...]
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With health officials worried that teen vaping is an “epidemic of addiction”, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is turning to TV ads featuring a magician to educate young people about vaping’s dangers. But experts say the magic misses the mark. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) first TV anti-vaping ad campaign will be “completely ineffective,” Michael Siegel, a professor and American tobacco control expert at the Boston University School of Public Health, told MarketWatch.

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The most pervasive form of plastic pollution on Earth isn’t plastic bags or even plastic straws. It’s cigarette butts. Every year, an estimated 4.5 trillion cigarette butts, containing plastic filters, are littered by the 76 to 84 percent of smokers who toss the ends of a smoke rather than disposing of them into a trashcan or ashtray. The choice to pollute with a cigarette butt may seem small, but it brings repercussions over time. Most recently, scientists from England’s Anglia Ruskin University discovered that cigarette butt litter can significantly harm plants. [...]
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Last week, acting FDA Commissioner Norman E. "Ned" Sharpless, MD., released a statement on how the agency is tackling the alleged “epidemic of youth vaping”, mentioning the agency's position on the recent court ruling, pertaining PMTAs submission deadlines. Earlier this month, a court case which had been brought about by anti-tobacco and health groups, after the FDA had announced the premarket tobacco product application (PMTA) delay, has resulted in a ruling requiring e-cig manufacturers to submit their PMTAs by May 2020.

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The government has announced its aim to end smoking in England by 2030. On Monday evening, the government released a green paper titled "Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s", outlining its plans to tackle preventable ill health in the near future. One of the concerns highlighted in the paper is the detrimental impact of smoking, a national health issue which has improved in recent years.
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As the so-called epidemic of teen vaping continues to garner sensational headlines—“Why vaping is so dangerous for teens”; “The scary truth about teen vaping”— tactics from the War on Drugs playbook are increasingly used to punish teens who vape. Drug testing of adults and teenagers is an insidious aspect of the drug war dragnet. It seeks to control individual behavior and penalize personal choices. It starts with the humiliation of peeing in a cup, often while another person watches. Adults can be fired from jobs or denied welfare, methadone or liberty if they fail a drug test. Teens can lose access to important extracurricular activities, or be suspended or expelled from school.

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The tobacco giant behind Marlboro cigarettes is to sell 'smokeless cigarettes' over the counter for the first time after a change in the law legalised their sale. On Monday, Philip Morris International said 11 supermarkets and stores would sell its iQOS devices in addition to an outlet at Dubai Duty Free. The company claims its 'heat not burn' technology has much less of an impact on health than traditional cigarettes. [...]
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Lawmakers blasted Juul for its alleged role in fueling a teen vaping “epidemic,” calling the company’s tactics “right out of the tobacco playbook” and eager to understand what makes Juul’s e-cigarettes “so attractive to teenagers.”

A federal survey found nearly 21% — or 3 million — U.S. high school students vaped last year. Some, including former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, blame the surge in teen e-cigarette use on Juul, which makes the market-leading product.

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The market is full of devices that come with a multitude of functions. For instance, a wristwatch can measure your heart rate or serve as a communication device apart from telling the time. However, they now can also serve as vapes or e-cigarettes, raising concerns among parents and teachers. Watches, radios and MP3 players that also double up as e-cigarettes and vapes can be purchased online from RM30 to RM350 each. This will enable children to purchase and use the devices without their parents or teachers knowing.
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The hearings will build on the Subcommittee’s investigation into JUUL’s role in the youth nicotine addiction epidemic, marketing to youth, misleading health claims, and new partnerships with traditional tobacco companies.

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[...] I was wrong. I have to admit it ... ... I was wrong. Specifically, I had argued that "there is no way to know which came first: the vaping or the heart attack." However, Dr. Brad Rodu -- a professor at the University of Louisville -- noticed that in fact, we do know which came first. Why? Because the PATH survey actually asked respondents not just whether they had ever experienced a heart attack, but when they had the heart attack. And similarly, the survey asked respondents not just whether they vaped, but when they started vaping.
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America is struggling to win its battle against drug addiction. The good weather doesn’t help. Teenagers are more likely to experiment with recreational drugs for the first time during the summer months in part due to the amount of free time on their hands after school finishes in June and activities like music festivals, according to research published Tuesday by the NYU School of Medicine. More than one-third (34%) of teens tried LSD for the first time in the summer, followed by marijuana (30%), ecstasy (also known as MDMA or Molly; 30%) and cocaine (28%).
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China is planning to regulate e-cigarettes in an attempt to stave off a new gateway addiction in what is already the world's largest smoking population. The Asian giant has over 300 million tobacco-smokers—nearly a third of the world's total—but the battery-operated vaping trend has yet to explode as it has in the United States and elsewhere. "The supervision of electronic cigarettes must be severely strengthened," said Mao Qunan, head of the National Health Commission's (NHC) planning department, at a press conference Monday.
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E-cigarettes have long been pitched as a healthier alternative to cigarettes, and one that could help smokers kick the habit by delivering nicotine without many of the dangerous byproducts of combustible tobacco products. [...] Now, one of the most comprehensive studies yet provides solid support for daily vaping. It found that adult cigarette smokers who also used e-cigarettes every day were 77% more likely than non-users to have quit and stayed off cigarettes after two years.
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Juul Labs, the nation’s leading manufacturer of e-cigarettes, has hired as its medical director a prominent University of California researcher known for his work on the dangers nicotine poses for the adolescent brain. The company said the hiring will support its efforts to stem a teen vaping craze the Food and Drug Administration has labeled an epidemic. But critics see a cynical tactic taken straight from the Big Tobacco playbook.
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Children and teenagers should not be vaping, House members and witnesses agreed at a hearing Wednesday, but they disagreed on what government should focus on regarding e-cigarettes such as those made by JUUL: their potential as smoking-cessation aids for adults, or their role in creating a new generation of nicotine addicts. "JUUL ... has misled the American people, has lied, and has used our broken system to target [teens]," Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), a member of the House Oversight & Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, said [...]
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The US Food and Drug Administration put out its first TV ads focused on e-cigarette prevention. The effort is part of the FDA's "The Real Cost" youth e-cigarette prevention campaign, a $60 million initiative that launched last year through social media, digital content and posters at high schools nationwide. The campaign aims to reach almost 10.7 million students ages 12 to 17 who might be at risk of vaping or have already started.
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Facebook plans to restrict sales and limit content related to alcohol and tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, on its sites. A new policy, which goes into effect Wednesday, will prohibit all private sales, trades, transfers and gifting of alcohol and tobacco on Facebook and Instagram, according to CNN. Businesses that post content related to alcohol and tobacco will reportedly have to restrict content people 18 and older.
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Stanford adolescent medicine expert Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD, is worried that flavored vape and e-cigarette products are a gateway to nicotine use for young people. "So far, all the research on adolescents and young adults is showing that today's youth are not starting with cigarettes," she told me recently. "Young people just have very negative opinions of cigarettes and no intentions of using them. But they have more favorable perceptions of e-cigarettes."