E-cigarette tax stops smokers quitting No ratings yet.

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E-cigarette tax stops smokers quitting, according to new research

Researchers from the National Bureau of Economic Research believe that taxing e-cigarettes like tobacco could impact smoking-cessation.

Almost 2 million US smokers could be deterred from quitting in a ten-year period, the study found.

This is if e-cigarette tax matches the current tobacco rate in Minnesota.

Minnesota was the first US state to impose a tax on e-cigarettes by including them in the definition of a tobacco product.

The current rate of tax is 95 percent of the wholesale price and the researchers says this provides a “deterrent to e-cigarette use.”

Although there is no federal tax on e-cigarettes, many states are beginning to impose similar levies.

Millions of Americans could be deterred from switching to vaping if national tax becomes as high as in Minnesota.

The researchers assessed tobacco-use data from the Current Population Survey between 1992 and 2015.

They were then able to determine how this large tax increase has impacted smoking cessation.

According to their current estimates, the e-cigarette tax in Minnesota has increased adult smoking.

It has also reduced overall smoking-cessation.

In the study the researchers say:

“Our results suggest that in the sample period about 32,400 additional adult smokers would have quit smoking in Minnesota in the absence of the tax.

“If this tax were imposed on a national level about 1.8 million smokers would be deterred from quitting in a ten year period.”

Source: The National Bureau of Economic Research

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US: Philadelphia bans flavoured vape products in stores open to minors No ratings yet.

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A law that aims to reduce youth access to flavoured vape products has passed in Philadelphia

Philadelphia City Council now prohibits flavoured vape products from being sold in any stores where minors have access.

This means that only tobacco flavoured e-liquids will be available on premises that don’t have an age restriction to enter.

Vape shops and other 18+ stores may still sell flavoured products so that adults who need them can continue to use them.

Cheryl Bettigole of Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health, said the agency wanted these alternatives available for adults.

But she added that it’s about “balancing” protecting kids and helping smokers.

Bettigole said:

“We’re really trying to balance protecting kids — which has to be our top priority here — with maintaining some access for chronic smokers, who may be using these products to try to quit smoking.”

Other products affected

The ban also restricts cartridges and pods with high nicotine concentrations.

The required nicotine limit is now 20mg which is the same as in the UK.

Flavoured tobacco products such as cigars and cigarillos have also been completely banned in-line with this new legislation.

Since this legislation was introduced, JUUL has stopped selling it’s desert and mint flavour pods.

Evidence suggests that teens in the US are more likely to take up vaping than those in the UK.

Link with lung illness

Though the CDC has recently found that many ‘vaping-related’ lung illnesses affecting young people were not the result of legal e-cigarettes, Bettigole says that restricting minors’ access to flavours is still important.

She believes that the lung-illness epidemic is “just a symptom of a broader problem: nicotine addiction.”

She said:

“Fortunately, it looks like the CDC has identified the specific culprit in this outbreak.

“But we have to recognize that as long as we have millions of our teens continuing to breathe in unknown substances, there will be another outbreak.

“That’s what we’re trying to prevent here in Philadelphia.”

Source: WHYY

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More US adults doubt e-cigarettes No ratings yet.

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More US adults doubt e-cigarettes and their safety, according to a study by Georgia State University

The study, by the University’s School of Public Health, finds more adults in the US believe e-cigarettes are dangerous.

The number of adults who consider e-cigarettes are as harmful as, or more harmful than, cigarettes increased between 2017 and 2018.

This means the increase occurred even before the outbreak of THC-related ‘vaping’ lung illnesses.

In 2018, 43 percent of them thought that e-cigarettes are as harmful as combustibles, 8 percent thought they were more harmful.

Current smokers are included in this data and that has implications for harm-reduction among that group.

Believing that e-cigarettes are as harmful or more harmful than cigarettes could stop smokers from making the switch.

The study’s lead author, Amy L Nyman, said:

“Smokers who perceive too much risk from e-cigarettes may decide against using them to quit smoking and may instead continue with their combustible smoking habit.”

She noted that this trend is likely to have increased recently, in light of the news about ‘vaping related deaths’ in the US.

Less doubt for UK adults

Conversely, the number of vapers in the UK has increased this year.

Around 3.6m people in the UK now use e-cigarettes and this is a rise of 12.5 percent in only one year.

Also in contrast with the situation in the US, the lowest rates of e-cigarette use in the UK is among young people.

According to a study by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), vaping is most popular among 35 to 44 year olds.

Those in the UK aged 18 to 24 are less likely to vape than those aged between 45 and 54.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said:

“Vapers should not be scared back to smoking by the news of vaping illness in the US.

“Nothing like this has been seen in the UK to date, where a proper regulatory system is in place for nicotine containing e-cigarettes, which is not yet the case in the US.”

Source: Scienmag

Source: Independent



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US bill limits pods to 20mg No ratings yet.

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A US congressman has introduced a bill that would limit e-cigarette pods to 20mg of nicotine

Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (Illinois) introduced the bill on Monday.

The bill is the ‘END ENDS Act’, which stands for ‘End Nicotine Dependence from Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems Act’.

It will also allow the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to lower the limit even further.

Krishnamoorthi believes this bill will make e-cigarettes “less addictive and appealing” to teenagers.

He hopes this will put an end to the ‘vaping epidemic’ among youngsters in the US.

This limit is in line with current regulation in the UK and European Union.

But it’s a different approach to many other US states which have focused primarily on flavours rather than nicotine content.

Krishnamoorthi said:

“As a concerned parent, I am committed to preventing a new generation of nicotine addicts.”

“Capping the concentration of nicotine in e-cigarettes is integral to ending the youth vaping epidemic by making these products less addictive, less appealing to youth, and less harmful to public health.”

Source: Daily Mail

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British magician in incendiary FDA campaign No ratings yet.

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British street magician and illusionist Julius Dein features in a new campaign by the FDA to discourage teenagers from vaping. 

The magician, who has almost 800,000 subscribers on YouTube, features in the FDA’s ‘The Real Cost’ campaign.

Airing on American TV channels, the campaign is aimed at youngsters who vape.

This is the first time the FDA has used a British magician to publicise a campaign.

Correlating vaping with smoking

In the ad, Dein says, that ‘some people think that vaping is no big deal, but that is just an illusion.’

He then approaches a group of teenagers and asks which of them vape.

When one teen raises his hand, Dein follows with: “How come you don’t smoke cigarettes?”

He then uses his impressive illusionist skills to turn what looks like a standard JUUL device into a cigarette.

When the trick is over, Dein tells the group that vaping ‘can lead to trying cigarettes.’

The advert closes with: “Teens who vape are more likely to start smoking cigarettes.”

No evidence that vaping causes smoking

A Cardiff University study found that vaping doesn’t re-normalise smoking among young people.

The study concluded that concerns about vaping leading to smoking were largely unfounded.

But the FDA continues to associate vaping with a heightened risk of taking up smoking.

The Real Cost campaign even likens ‘vaping harms’ to those of tobacco.

Public Health England stand by an evidence review stating e-cigarettes are 95 percent safer than combustible cigarettes.

America at odds with UK

The FDA and American authorities are reluctant to follow Public Health England’s example and support vaping for harm-reduction.

In the meantime, the fear-mongering adverts are airing on ESPN and MTV, among other stations.

The FDA is also distributing posters for schools to display in bathrooms.

One such poster crassly declares that “it’s a lot easier to wipe your butt than your lungs.”

Source: The Cut

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JUUL hit by teen vaping investigation No ratings yet.

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A congressional investigation into youth vaping has requested information from JUUL Labs, amid concerns that the vaping company has caused a ‘vaping epidemic.’

US Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi requested information from JUUL, including their marketing strategy, advertising campaigns and internal communications.

The representative said that he believes JUUL Labs are a “primary cause” of the youth vaping ‘epidemic,’ according to Bloomberg News.

The representative said in an email:

“The safety and well-being of America’s youth is not for sale, I am extremely concerned about reports that Juul’s high nicotine content is fueling addiction and that frequent Juul use is sending kids across the country into rehab.”

A JUUL Labs spokesperson said that the company will be cooperating with the investigation.

In another email, the spokesperson said:

“We share the subcommittee’s concerns about youth vaping and welcome the opportunity to share information about our aggressive, industry-leading actions to combat youth usage.”

More on this as it develops.

Source: Bloomberg News

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Vape helps Sophie Turner channel emotions on set No ratings yet.

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Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner cried on cue after her dialect coach took her vape away, according to X-Men: Dark Phoenix co-star, Jennifer Lawrence.

Lawrence made the comments during a cast interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

During the scene in question, Turner’s character Jean Grey accidentally kills Lawrence’s character, Raven/Mystique. However, Turner needed a little help in turning on the waterworks.

Lawrence said:

“I teared up a little bit watching Sophie in that scene.

“It was so honest and real, and it’s because she really was crying because her dialect coach, right before the take, took her Juul away…She started genuinely tearing up. It was like the performance of the year. It was amazing.”

Turner responded:

“It is. It’s how to act.

“You take it away, and then you give it back, and that’s happy and sad.”

Turner’s vaping habit was revealed in May when the actor shared a photo taken during the filming of the final series of Game of Thrones.

View this post on Instagram

The pack survived

A post shared by Sophie Turner (@sophiet) on

Source: Vanity Fair

Header Image: Suzi Pratt [Flickr]

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JUUL challenges San Fran ban No ratings yet.

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US e-cigarette giants JUUL are leading the charge on encouraging anti-vaping lawmakers in San Francisco not to ban e-cigarettes entirely.

San Francisco officials want the Californian city to become the first in the US to impose a total ban on e-cigarettes in a bid to help curb youth vaping.

But JUUL have proposed restrictions and regulations of sales instead of a total ban – a sentiment shared by 51 percent of 800 San Francisco voters polled by the vape company.

JUUL and a coalition of corner grocers and adult smokers have begun collecting signatures for a ballot initiative that would impose restrictions on e-cigarette retailers and small corner shops.

One such restriction would involve a maximum purchase of two vaping units and five pod packets at a time, which 71 percent of the 800 polled were on board with.

However, San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton has called this initiative a “smoke screen” according to the San Francisco Chronicle, and said:

“They say they are trying to cure people of nicotine addiction when they are just trading one form of addiction for another.”

It’s unlikely that Walton will be on board with such changes, given that he’s been imperative in pushing for a total ban – but it’s hoped that other officials will come around to the idea.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

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Has language skewed youth vaping figures? No ratings yet.

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Health officials in the US have expressed concern that a ‘language gap’ has led to unreliable figures in the National Youth Tobacco Survey, which measures young Americans’ attitudes to tobacco and related products.

In past years, some teens taking part in the survey did not say “yes” when asked if they vape, even though they regularly used a Juul device. Researchers suggest that many teens believe that the device is distinct from other e-cigarettes and does not count as a conventional vape.

This year will be the first in the history of the survey that the poll will specifically mention Juul as an example of an e-cigarette.

The survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is usually conducted from March until May. Results will be available later this year.

It is hoped that this survey – and it’s updated language – will secure results from ‘Juuling’ teens to create a more accurate picture.

Brian King, deputy director for research translation in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office of Smoking and Health, told Bloomberg:

“We suspect that we may see an increase as a result of the more precise language. Most kids are aware of Juul now that it has become a household name, but it has also become so ingrained in the culture that some of them may not know it’s an e-cigarette.”

Source: Bloomberg

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Vape flavours may reduce cigarette cravings No ratings yet.

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A recent study published by the American Psychological Association found that inhaling pleasant aromas can decrease a smoker’s urge to light up.

The research published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology made no reference to the flavours used in e-liquid.

The researchers recruited 232 smokers aged between 18 and 55 who, at the time, were not attempting to quit with any form of nicotine replacement, including e-cigarettes.

The participants were asked to stop smoking eight hours before the study and to bring their preferred brand of cigarette with them.

First, the participants were asked to smell and rate a number of pleasant odours such as chocolate, peppermint and vanilla, as well as one unpleasant odour, tobacco from their favoured brand of cigarette and one odourless ‘blank’.

10 seconds later, the participants rated their urge to smoke on a scale of 1 to 100.

Finally, they opened a container containing the most pleasurable odour, the tobacco or the ‘blank’, sniffed it and then rated their urge to smoke. They continued to sniff for five minutes, rating their urge to smoke every 60 seconds.

All the participants reported a reduced urge to smoke after smelling each odour. However, the greatest reduction was found with the pleasant odours (19.3 points), compared to tobacco (11.7 percent) and the blank (11.2 points).

Lead author Michael Sayette, PhD, believes that pleasant odours distract people from their cravings as they are linked to ‘olfactory cues’.

The olfactory system links smells with memories, for example, cinnamon evoking pleasant memories of Christmas during childhood.

Sayette wrote:

“Our research suggests that the use of pleasant odors [sic] shows promise for controlling nicotine cravings in individuals who are trying to quit smoking.”

Meanwhile, Sacramento City Council has approved a ban on the sale of flavoured e-liquids.

Local public heath advocates applauded the move, claiming that flavours lead underage users to smoke combustible cigarettes.

Image: Ink Media

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