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The bill, which the state House passed yesterday, says police may seize vehicles in which they find untaxed vaping products. According to the Institute for Justice, Massachusetts has "the worst civil forfeiture laws in the country." It looks like state legislators are about to outdo themselves.

The Massachusetts House of Representatives yesterday approved a bill that would ban flavored e-cigarettes, impose a 75 percent excise tax on "electronic nicotine delivery systems" (including e-liquids as well as devices), and authorize forfeiture of cars driven by vapers caught with "untaxed" products. [...]

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[...] They might have appreciated it if some aide leaned over to the president and explained that smoking combustible cigarettes was the number one cause of preventable death in the world, and that they believed vaping to be a safer alternative. They wanted him to know that they did not condone teen use, and that they disdained embattled vape giant JUUL Labs for its marketing. Most importantly, they wanted him to reconsider a federal ban of e-liquid flavors, one he had called for weeks ago and just days earlier suggested was imminent. They wanted him to let them vape cake. [...]

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VICTORIA — B.C. will hike taxes on vaping products and restrict the amount of nicotine in e-cigarettes but not ban flavoured vape juice, under new regulations revealed Thursday.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said he will introduce legislation this month to increase the provincial sales tax from seven per cent to 20 per cent on vaping products, becoming the first province in Canada to specifically tax e-cigarettes.

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Since public health officials have declared teenage vaping an epidemic, the Trump administration announced plans to ban flavored products altogether, with exceptions for tobacco and menthol flavors. According to Axios, the administration plans to finalize its ban in the coming week.

Some, however, have called foul on the administration’s characterizing of teenage vaping as an “epidemic” and have labeled the numbers supporting the FDA’s conclusion misleading. [...]

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If the purpose of this legislation is to protect young people from the harmful effects of tobacco, then it is an utter failure. It makes it much easier for a youth in Massachusetts to get their hands on a Marlboro cigarette than a cherry vape. In addition, since proponents of the law argue that e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking, there are now thousands of youth vapers in Massachusetts who would no longer be able to vape, so by the proponents' own reasoning, there is going to be a large increase in youth smoking in the state if this bill is enacted.

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Younger people with cannabis use disorder are at an increased risk of heart rhythm problems, according to a new presentation at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions. A second presentation says that young people who use weed frequently are at a higher risk for stroke.

The first presentation found that a young person diagnosed with a cannabis use disorder had a 47% to 52% greater risk of being hospitalized for an arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, if they regularly used weed.

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When people have severe allergic reactions to peanuts, we have every sympathy with their experience – and rightly so. But if the BBC responded by fabricating a health panic about the general population’s peanut consumption, we’d think Auntie had gone completely bonkers. 

This is exactly what’s happening with vaping. The case of Ewan Fisher – a 16-year-old boy suffering with severe lung inflammation after a presumed allergic reaction from using an e-cigarette – has dominated headlines in recent days.

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The use of e-cigarettes, commonly known as vaping, is on the rise and is increasingly popular among young Canadians.

The growing trend is concerning to researchers like Robert Schwartz, a professor at the Institute of Health Policy, [...]

He studies tobacco control and smoking cessation as executive director of the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit.

“Anyone who has never smoked cigarettes should not pick up vaping,” says Schwartz. “Our lungs are not designed to deal with inhaling aerosols or smoke and that includes the vapour in vape products.”

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A bill seeking to regulate vaping products has been filed at the House of Representatives. [...] Garin, in a statement on Thursday, said that the proposed law primarily centered on mitigating public health risks that the ENDS or e-cigarettes may pose. The World Health Organization said that ENDS contain chemicals such propylene glycol and sometimes, nicotine considered as toxic substances.

“The bill is anchored on the concept of harm reduction, which refers to policies, regulations, and actions focusing on reducing health risks, usually by providing safer norms of hazardous products,” Garin said.

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The South Korean Army has banned the use and possession of liquid e-cigarettes on its bases for health reasons, the military said on Monday, following a government warning for people to stop using the devices.

South Korea has a large military of nearly 600,000 soldiers, primarily conscripted men, and the Army makes up the largest portion with 464,000. While the rate is declining, South Korean men are among the heaviest smokers in the world.

 

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HEALTH MINISTER SIMON Harris said he is considering banning vaping products and e-cigarettes near schools and playgrounds amid fears they are being “cynically” marketed toward young people and will get them addicted to nicotine. Speaking at the launch of a new patient advocacy service on Wednesday, Mr Harris said it is his intention to restrict advertisements of e-cigarettes and vaping products close to schools, creches and playgrounds.

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Is vaping harder to quit than smoking? In a word, possibly. To answer this question it is important to put nicotine, the cause of persistent tobacco use, in context. Tobacco companies know when nicotine is rapidly absorbed in sufficient quantities, the result is substantial profit from the sale of addictive products. Nicotine has pleasurable effects and withdrawal from nicotine is miserable. Tobacco users feel irritable, anxious, cannot concentrate, and experience other unpleasant symptoms when nicotine levels begin to fall. [...]

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Trump health officials in September said the administration was on flavored e-cigarettes, but the policy appears to have stalled since then. Public health advocates worry the administration may be buckling under pressure from vaping companies and Trump supporters that are lobbying against the ban. [...] “I think any questions about the current state of policy really needs to be directed to the White House,” Zeller said. “We are in a deliberative process. The White House made an announcement in September, and we are working to advance a policy consistent with taking steps [...]

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Vaping could harm heart health, according to scientists who fear e-cigarettes could be as damaging as tobacco smoke. One study involved 476 people aged between 21 and 45. Of the total, 94 didn't smoke, 45 used e-cigarettes, 52 used both e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes, while 285 smoked tobacco. Those who only used e-cigarettes had lower total cholesterol and higher so-called "bad" LDL cholesterol. Those who both vaped and smoked had lower "good" cholesterol levels.

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Cardiologists have issued a stark warning about the dangers of e-cigarettes, particularly for young people, as results of new research show the damage they cause to the brain, heart, blood vessels and lungs. The study [...] also identifies some of the mechanisms involved, for which there has been limited information up until now.

Professor Thomas Münzel [...] who led the study, said e-cigarettes were so dangerous, as well as addictive, that countries should consider banning them, action that countries such as India, Brazil, Singapore, Mexico and Thailand have already taken.

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President Trump on Monday said he plans to meet with representatives of the vaping industry, as well as medical professionals and state politicians, as the White House considers a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes.

“Will be meeting with representatives of the Vaping industry, together with medical professionals and individual state representatives, to come up with an acceptable solution to the Vaping and E-cigarette dilemma,” the president said in a tweet.

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We have a saying in Pakistan,” smiled the taxi driver. We were discussing two-year-olds as we drove out of St. Louis, Missouri to the airport. “If they’re not breaking something or making noise, it’s time to call the doctor.”

It struck me that something similar might be said of civil rights and social justice movements. The drug policy reform conference that I had just left vibrated with debates about the extent to which advocates should work with, or within, systems that inflict harm—criminal justice, law enforcement, [...]

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Several thousand activists gathered Saturday on the National Mall to voice their opposition to a federal ban on flavored nicotine vaping products. The ban, they say, will be lethal for the vaping industry, and for millions of ex-smokers who have relied on these products to quit cigarettes. "We have an audience, in the short term, of one," says Greg Conley, executive director of the United Vapers Alliance [...] "Thousands of consumers and small business owners [have] made it very loud and clear that if [Trump] allowed this to go through, it could cost him reelection in 2020."

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Groups at the forefront of the fight against smoking have told members of the Nova Scotia Legislature's health committee that a crackdown on e-cigarettes is needed to fight an "epidemic" of youth vaping.

Both the Lung Association of Nova Scotia and the Canadian Cancer Society are calling for tougher restrictions on e-cigarettes.

Robert MacDonald, president and CEO of the Lung Association of Nova Scotia, accused vape shops of targeting young people. MacDonald said the proliferation of "candy flavours" and social media advertising has "culminated in an epidemic."

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Vaping has been getting something of a bad name of late. Countries worldwide are considering restrictions and bans. But, as a way to help smokers quit, e-cigarettes are an important tool that we shouldn’t dismiss.

In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported over a thousand cases of a vaping-related lung disease called EVALI, and 34 deaths. This is catastrophic for the families involved, but must be compared with the 8m smokers who die every year as a result of smoking tobacco. [...]