UK Study: The Smoking Cessation Effectivity of Giving Free Vapes to Smokers


The study titled, “The Value of Providing Smokers with Free E-Cigarettes: Smoking Reduction and Cessation Associated with the Three-Month Provision to Smokers of a Refillable Tank-Style E-Cigarette,” was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

The median number of days per month that participants smoked, was also reduced from 30 to 13, after 90 days.

The researchers explained that to date very few studies looked into the rates of smoking cessation and smoking reduction as associated with the provision of free electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) to smokers.

To conduct the current study, the Blu Pro e-cigarette was given to a convenience sample of 72 adult smokers, with the aim of assisting them in quitting cigarettes or reduce the amount, over a 90-day period.

Subsequently, the rates of smoking abstinence and daily smoking patterns were assessed at baseline, 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days.

36.5% were abstinent after 90 days

The researchers found that following 90 days, the complete abstinence rate was 36.5%, up from 0% at baseline. The frequency of daily smoking was reduced from 88.7% to 17.5%, and the median consumption of cigarettes per day dropped from 15 cigarettes to 5. Similarly, the median number of days per month that participants smoked, was also reduced from 30 to 13, after 90 days.

“On the basis of these results, there may be value in smoking cessation services and other services ensuring that smokers are provided with e-cigarettes at zero or minimal costs for at least a short period of time,” concluded the researchers.

New Study: Adults Who Vape Flavoured E-Cigs Have More Smoking Cessation Success



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Juul Labs Shrinks Valuation to $10 Billion


K.C. Crosthwaite

Juul Labs has cut its valuation to about $10 billion from $12 billion at the end of last year, reports Reuters.

Juul was valued at $38 billion in December 2018, when Altria Group took a 35 percent stake in the company.

The latest write down follows recent decisions to exit certain markets and related restructuring costs, according to the memo sent to Juul employees by chief executive officer K.C. Crosthwaite.

“Today’s valuation does not surprise me, and I expect other investors to also arrive at lower valuation marks that factor in our recent restructuring,” he reportedly said.

Juul has faced heightened regulatory scrutiny following a rise in teenage vaping and a ban on the sale of popular flavors.

In September, the company said it would make a significant cut to its global workforce and explore pulling out of some European and Asia-Pacific markets to save cash.

Earlier this month, the company announced its exit from Germany.



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Tobacco Related Ballot Measures On the 2020 U.S. Election State-Level Ballots


Vaping, tobacco, and nicotine issues are on the ballot across the United States.

In the United States, November 3rd is the country’s national election day.

Former Vice President Joe Biden and incumbent Donald Trump are facing off for the position of U.S. president. Many lawmakers in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives are also up for reelection, thrusting the power of the executive and legislative branches of the federal government into a state of upheaval. Republicans currently face the chance of losing control of both the presidency and the US. Senate.

The Supreme Court of the United States, however, is strongly in the hands of conservative judges after Trump apologists confirmed ultra-conservative Amy Coney Barrett, aged 48, to the court for a lifetime appointment. Barrett, a social conservative, could be instrumental in repealing crucial laws that protect women’s civil liberties, people of color, LGBTQ people, and drug users. She has no vaping position, but she seems to be a potential hindrance to harm reduction efforts for tobacco, marijuana legalization, and vaping product protections for business owners and consumers.

Though outwardly concerned about vaping among youth in the U.S., Biden is actually more suggestible to effective harm reduction policies that cover all aspects of drug use rights for users of nicotine and other substances. However, several down-ballot issues could dramatically impact the tobacco and vaping industries across the fifty states and territories of the U.S. It also appears that the local ballot measures to change the state-to-state makeup of vaping and nicotine regulation.

By no means are we telling you how to vote if you live in these jurisdictions and are subject to the outcomes of a “yes” or “no” vote. This is merely an informational description of what’s on the ballot across several U.S. states.

Colorado Proposition EE

Colorado, my home state, is dealing with Proposition (Prop.) EE. This ballot measure would drastically change the cigarette and vaping market across the state.

A “yes” vote for the proposition would support the creation of a tax on nicotine products that will finally cover e-cigarettes and other smoke-free products. Prop. EE will also increase cigarette and tobacco taxes and dedicate revenues to various health and education programs. A “no” vote counters this effort.

Opponents to Prop. EE recognizes that the ballot measure will not keep kids from using tobacco and nicotine products. Convenience stores, liquor stores that sell tobacco products, specialty tobacconists, and vape retailers are outwardly opposed to Prop. EE because of the increase in in-store expenditure for cigarette and tobacco sales.

If passed by voters on Nov. 3rd, Prop. EE would increase cigarette and tobacco product taxes and would create the new e-cigarette product tax. Currently, a 20 cents per pack tax rate is the law or one cent per cigarette per pack. Previously, the state passed constitutional Amendment 35 in 2004, which authorized a constitutional tax that tacks 64 cents per pack, or 3.2 cents per cigarette per pack. Proposition EE would set minimum price requirements that increase statutory cigarette tax rates to $1.80 per pack by July of 2027. The total state-level cigarette tax would then be $2.64 per pack—all funds generated by a Prop. EE tax would drive funds to the state’s general fund, the state education fund, tobacco education and prevention funds, and the rural schools’ fund.

Vaping Post reported on a lawsuit filed against Colorado and several officials alleging a “back-room” deal the government cut with Philip Morris USA and owner Altria Group. The lawsuit was brought by a class of discount cigarette makers who argue that Prop. EE will cartelize the Colorado cigarette market to one or two primary manufacturers.

Oregon Measure 108

Oregon voters will consider Ballot Measure 108 to increase the state’s tobacco tax levy further to fund health management policy and prevention education.

A “yes” vote supports the measure to increase taxes on tobacco products and “inhalant delivery systems” to cover e-cigarettes in the state law to fund the state’s various public assistance and safety-net programs for medical and healthcare-related matters. A “no” vote counters this measure.

If voters approve Measure 108, the state will increase taxes on tobacco products’ distributors and other nicotine delivery products like e-cigarettes. The cigarette tax will increase from $1.33 to $3.33 per 20-pack of cigarettes under the measure. Nicotine inhalant systems and electronic cigarettes will be charged at a 65 percent rate for these products’ wholesale sales price. The cigar tax cap will be set at the wholesale sales price of 65 percent and will not exceed $1.00 per cigar. That’s an increase from 50 cents.

Tax revenues from this ballot measure would be dedicated to the enforcement and administration of the tax. The other funds would be earmarked for the Oregon Health Authority — the state agency that manages public assistance and safety net plans for low-income individuals and other at-risk populations. These plans include Oregon’s Medicaid program, the Urban Indian Health Program, and programs that promote prevention and education concerning tobacco and nicotine-related health issues.

This ballot measure, if passed on Nov. 3rd, would be effective on January 1, 2021.

Voters in Oklahoma will decide State Question 814, which would decrease the total amount of funds paid from the state’s tobacco settlement endowment trust fund to the Medicaid and health safety-net programs. This ballot measure is considerably less controversial than a tax amendment or a prohibition. However, the real debate focuses on whether the Oklahoma state government should continue taking money from the Master Settlement Agreement funds the state is paid as apart of the benchmark settlement in 1998.

A “yes” vote for Question 814 supports decreasing the percentage of the money, from 75 percent to 25 percent, that is deposited in the state’s tobacco settlement endowment trust fund. The ballot question also permits the state to shift these funds to receive federal matching grants to fund the Oklahoma Medicaid program. A “no” vote counters this measure. The funds will be used to expand the state’s Medicaid program to expand adults’ eligibility between the age of 18 to 65 years, whose income exceeds 133 percent of the federal poverty line or below.

Though certainly late to the game, Oklahoma voters expanded Medicaid — per the provision of the Obama-era Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) — through State Question 802. This vote occurred in the state’s primary election, which took place on June 30. Republican leaders and Gov. Kevin Stitt support Question 814 to accommodate the expansion of Medicaid, per the June 30 vote of Question 802.

This story will be updated when information and the election results become available.



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Unix Starter Kit – Univapo review


Univapo is a manufacturer with a somewhat low profile in Europe. The Unix Starter Kit is designed for beginners and newcomers to vaping seeking a product that is easy to use whatever the situation.

Basic but effective

The Unix Starter Kit is designed for beginners who are looking to start vaping. It is simple in its approach and economical in its settings. However, in no way does this simplicity detract from its effectiveness. A nice set-up for beginners.

Technical characteristics

Mod dimensions 77,2x 23,5 x 18,2 mm
Mod weight 43,5 g
Charging USB-C charging, 1000 mAh
Range of use 5 to 16 W
Tank capacity 2 ml
Clearomizer dimensions 16 x 55,5 mm
Clearomizer weight 29 g
Filling From the top

What’s in the box?

  • Mod
  • Clearomizer
  • USB cable
  • Resistance coils
  • User guide

Retro-vaping?

Unix retro design

Overall, the Unix has a somewhat retro design. In any case, as far as vaping is concerned, “old school” only goes back a few years. Nevertheless, this bit of kit remains practical and remarkably easy to use. The 510 connector is spring-mounted and accommodates the kit’s specific clearomizer.

Unix - zoom on the screen

On the side of the battery, you will find the black and white screen and the trigger button. The button also serves to access the settings with its rotary disc.

Unix rotary disc

The rotary disc has two functions. When you press at its centre, it produces vapour, acting as the trigger button. The outermost part of the ring rotates to increase and reduce the power as needed. It’s very easy for any user to operate. Note that the rotary disc rotates fairly easily – the kit is liable to become misadjusted when carried out and about. To remedy this problem, all you need to do is press the button three times to lock the selected power.

Unix - zoom on the USB C port

A USB C port can be found under the mod for recharging. You can vape while the battery is charging. With a capacity of 1000 mAh, a full charge is completed very quickly.

Unix - screen's informations

The screen only contains a few items of information. The watts, voltage, battery charge status, and inhalation time. The Unix only features one vaping menu. As such, only Watt settings can be made from 5 to 16 W, no more, no less. The kit is designed for use with the specific clearomizer including resistance coils which do not need more power. Therefore, there is no need to bombard a first-time vaper with a multitude of overly complicated menus. Simple but effective. The battery is slim and lightweight. Weighing in at just over 43 g, the Unix is easily tucked away in your pocket or bag.

Simple and functional

Unix clearomizer

The clearomizer has a diameter of 16 mm for a height of slightly over 55 mm. It is somewhat tall, but its height is consistent with the rest of the kit. During our tests, no leakage or seepage was observed.

Unix drip tip

The drip tip size is 510, and can be replaced by any standard model. The one that comes with the kit feels quite long and thin in the mouth. For improved hygiene, the kit is supplied with a magnetic cap to protect the drip tip. It holds perfectly in place. When vaping, you should place the cap under the battery to keep from losing it. The bottom of the box is also magnetic.

Unix filling hole

The filling hole is accessed by rotating the ring located at the top of the clearomizer. This gives access to an opening covered by lip seals allowing the bottle tip through. Finer tips are the preferred choice so as to avoid having any problems filling the tank. Turning clockwise seals the access to the tank which is completely leak-tight. Therefore, there is no need to remove anything, guaranteeing an easy filling process.

Unix air flow control ring

At the base of the clearomizer, the airflow control ring is wide. Possibly a little too wide. The resistance coils supplied for indirect vaping (inhaled by the mouth followed by the lungs like a cigarette), but the ring needs to be practically shut off from the air inlets to achieve sufficient restriction. When fully open, you can indulge in very restrained and pleasant direct vaping (directly into the lungs)

Unix resistance coils

The value of the resistance coils in the Unix is 1.6 Ohm and 1.3 Ohm for use not in excess of 16 W. They are single-wire. Flavours are rendered to a very satisfactory quality and their stability over time is more than decent. The hit is pleasant, but not harsh. The 1.6 Ohm resistance coil is slightly more effective than the 1.3 Ohm for indirect vaping.

The Unix is a nice piece of kit. Easy to use, it offers an uncomplicated approach to vaping for beginners, thanks to the economical battery settings. However, the downside is the lack of airflow control restriction. With a maximum power of 16 W, the e-liquid consumption is very moderate.

 What we like

  • Easy to use
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Good flavours
  • Hygienic cap
  • Liquid consumption

 What we don’t like

  • Lack of restriction for pure MTL



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American Rapper Jay-Z launched His Own Cannabis Line Called Monogram


To be blunt, there’s not much that the Grammy Award-winning billionaire rapper and entrepreneur doesn’t have his hand in. From streaming service founder to music executive to memoir writer, the 50-year-old rapper starts his own cannabis business.

He launched a cannabis line called Monogram recently. It’s a partnership with California cannabis company Caliva. The website teases glossy shots of marijuana, but gives no information on what it will offer or a release date. Would-be customers can check the site to be “first in line for the drop.”

Accompanying the site was a playlist curated by Jay-Z on his streaming platform Tidal called “Monogram: Sounds from the grow room,” featuring an array of artists such as Bob Marley and Amy Winehouse.

According to a press release, Monogram wants to “redefine what cannabis means to consumers today,” with “careful strain selection, meticulous cultivation practices and uncompromising quality.” The company’s website said experts grow the Monogram flower so that each plant receives “personalized attention.”

Although this is his first official line of cannabis with Caliva, Jay-Z joined the company in 2019 as its chief brand strategist.

“We think this is a sea (of) change in terms of the visibility to the industry,” Dennis O’Malley, chief executive officer of Caliva, told CNN Business. “We take this partnership with a lot of responsibility, a lot of humility, a lot of accountability moving forward.”

While it remains federally illegal, more than half of US states have legalized medical marijuana, with some of those allowing recreational use. While plans to expand the cannabis industry went up in smoke because of the pandemic, others suspect that more states could legalize marijuana in 2021.



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Seattle Former NBA Player Shawn Kemp to Open Cannabis Store


Seattle SuperSonics legend Shawn Kemp will officially be in the cannabis business this week.

Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis—at 3035 1st Ave., just a few blocks from the Space Needle and Climate Pledge Arena—will welcome its first customers this coming Friday, Oct. 30, at 1:00 p.m.

Kemp will be joined by his former Sonics teammate, Hall of Famer Gary Payton, for the grand opening of Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis next Friday. After the green ribbon cutting ceremony at 12:45 p.m. PT, the official will be open to the public at 1 p.m.

Kemp said in a news release that he hopes that Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis can motivate more people to weigh in the legal cannabis industry, especially people of color.”

Kemp’s store will be one of the few cannabis shops in the Seattle metro area and all of Washington to have Black ownership. Black people and other minorities have been historically underrepresented in the legal pot industry.

Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis features a 30-foot-by-80-foot mural on its exterior of the Reign Man playing in a Sonics uniform. The new art, visible on the corner of First and Denny, was created by local muralist Jeff Jacobson.

Kemp’s store will be nearly 4,000 square feet.

Kemp is partnering with industry veterans Matt Schoeleina and Ramsey Hamide, two of the co-founders of Main Street Marijuana, for his cannabis venture. Main Street Marijuana has been a top cannabis retailer in Washington since its inception in 2014.

“My name is on this company and I have worked hard to bring Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis to fruition,” Kemp said. “I want to provide nothing short of the best selection, customer experience and prices in Seattle.”

Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 11:45 p.m.



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Liability Claims That Vaping Exacerbates COVID-19 Currently Do Not Hold Up In U.S. Courts


A variety of peer-reviewed studies argue the connection between the use and behavior of vaping products and devices and how such activities can exacerbate COVID-19.

Filter magazine published a tremendous analysis of the debate related to vaping and COVID-19. Authors Annie Kleykamp and Helen Redmond point to several instances in the venue of peer-reviewed research. Nicotine & Tobacco Research published an editorial by journal editor-in-chief Marcus Munafò and deputy editor Richard Edwards arguing that there’s very little evidence to make effective claims about vaping and COVID-19.

If we translate such observations to the realm of litigation, claiming exposure liability in a lawsuit will not stand in a U.S. court. An Oct. 26 analysis by lawyers for the DLA Piper law firm argues that vaping and COVID-19 cannot be a viable purpose for product liability litigation from select plaintiff classes.

“[T]he very newness of the disease (COVID-19), and our accordingly limited understanding of the mechanisms and epidemiology of the disease, raise a question as to whether plaintiffs bringing cases alleging a nexus between vaping and COVID-19 will be able to prove causality, as required under tort law principles, or if instead, they will able to prove only what is, in essence, plausibility,” the analysis says.

Legal standing and veracity

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, there are vaping and COVID-19 related liability claims currently pending in federal courts across the United States.

People who contracted COVID-19 who claim vaping put them at greater risk of more serious health complications were added to asserted claims in multi-district litigation (MDL) case against Juul Labs.

The analysis notes that the Juul MDL case could have no standing in federal court, based on the lawsuit’s information as veracity for their arguments.

As mentioned early in this column, the epidemiological evidence is merely observational and is not necessarily proof of product liability amidst the pandemic.

“There is considerably more data regarding cigarette smoking and COVID-19 than there is regarding vaping and the disease – there are far more cigarette smokers in the world than there are vapers, and patient data is far more likely to include information regarding smoking status than vaping status,” reads the analysis. “Therefore, to date, most claims in the scientific and medical community that vaping increases the susceptibility to, or the severity of, COVID-19 are based on studies of nicotine and/or cigarette smoking, not studies of vaping itself.”

The analysis goes on:

So how is a court to evaluate a claim like the one in the JUUL MDL? The specific allegation in the master complaint is that “JUUL users are… at greater risk of suffering more serious complications if they contract the coronavirus.” The master complaint does not refer to any scientific studies purporting to describe a causal relationship between vaping and the severity of COVID-19. Rather, the complaint points to (i) a statement by Michael Felberbaum, a Food and Drug Administration spokesman, who commented in March 2020 that “[e]-cigarettes can damage lung cells,” and expose people who “smoke and/or vape tobacco or nicotine-containing products” to more “serious complications from COVID-19” (though it should be noted that the FDA subsequently modified this position, stating that it was unknown “whether [vape product] exposure[] increase[s] the risk of COVID-19”, and (ii) a statement from the National Institute on Drug Abuse that COVID-19 posed an “especially serious threat” to persons who vape “[b]ecause [COVID-19] attacks the lungs.”

In a courtroom, these assertions must be analyzed not in the context of public health, but of tort law. To establish general causation, a plaintiff must prove that it is more probable than not that an exposure is capable of causing or contributing to the disease in question; a mere showing that the relationship is plausible is legally insufficient. Further, “[t]o prove general causation, scientists frequently rely on epidemiological data to first establish an association between a chemical and a disease or set of symptoms which they then probe to determine if the association warrants being described as cause-effect relationship.”

By this standard, assertions like those in the JUUL MDL appear to be insufficient to support a viable claim. There is no epidemiological or toxicological data that might help assess the question of whether it is “more likely than not” that vaping causes, or increases the severity of, COVID-19. Standing alone, the assertions do not meet the tort law requirement of an in-depth assessment of causality. The assertions are classic statements of plausibility, not of causation. However, while cases always unfold in real time, in this case, the science is doing so as well. Whether courts will allow cases to proceed, on the theory that as the cases progress the science will as well, remains to be seen.

No proof “beyond speculation”

Jianlin Song, a medical doctor and an attorney with the law firm Wilson Elser, wrote a similar analysis early this year for The National Law Review.

“[Studies] surveying the vaping-related conversation on Twitter identified that topics such as whether vapers are more susceptible to COVID-19 infections and should be prioritized in COVID-19 testing were the most-discussed concerns among vapers during this pandemic,” Song wrote. “A close examination of these online claims and concerns, however, reveals very little scientific basis beyond speculation.”

Song adds: “The COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity for plaintiffs’ attorneys to manufacture another wave of Roundup type litigation. Articles purporting to analyze data to show a connection likely are on their way.”

While there is a high probability that vaping could place people at higher risks, there is still no official tabulation of that information.

This means litigators could push a wave of litigation against e-cigarette manufacturers without the appropriate medical evidence to rely on. This has yet to come to fruition.

 

 

 

 



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Geyser S – VapX review


The VapX Geyser S is the manufacturer’s second model. Smaller and more lightweight than its predecessor, it retains the qualities of the Geyser, but is considerably easier to use. With a built-in 1500 mAh battery, this pod is user-friendly.

A small-scale Geyser

The Geyser S is the Geyser‘s little brother. Smaller and more compact, it operates with a built-in 1500 mAh battery. With a potential output of up to 50 W, it has retained the original circular airflow control system. A nice product for moderate direct vaping.

Technical characteristics

Pod dimensions 26 x 42 x 54,5 mm
Pod weight 134 g
Charging USB-C
Range of use 5 to 50 W
Tank capacity 3,2 ml

What’s in the box?

  • Pod
  • Spare parts
  • USB cable
  • User guide

Compact and lightweight

The Geyser S has channelled the spirit of the Geyser but in a much more compact format. The overall shape is somewhat reminiscent of the original. The finishes are impeccable and adjustments down to the nearest millimetre. You can feel the quality of the product in your hand. It is both strong and lightweight.

Geyser Vapx zoom on USBC

On the side of the Geyser S, you will find the screen, trigger button, “+” and “-” buttons to adjust the pod settings, and the USB C port for recharging or updating the chipset. It is small, but perfectly formed. The buttons don’t rattle annoyingly.

Geyser s vapX - zoom on screen

User-friendly

Geyser's cover system

VapX has kept all the key features while making clever changes that make the Geyser S particularly user-friendly. The Geyser’s cover system has been omitted in exchange for more conventional filling port access. The filling port is covered by a small silicone seal. The hold is excellent and the opening wide enough for most bottle tips.

On the other hand, the tank must be filled slowly, otherwise it may overflow, especially with larger tips. The cartridge capacity is 3.2 ml, which is more than decent in view of the size of the pod. Another advantage, in spite of the somewhat opaque colour, is that you can see the level of liquid at all times without removing the tank.

Geyser's circular airflow control

This model also includes the circular airflow control feature. That’s a good thing. It is precise and effective. Unlike its bigger counterpart, it only features a single rotary disc instead of two. However, the Geyser S, with its 0.25 Ohm resistance coils, has no need for an additional air supply. The flow is adjusted by rotating the disc to allow more or less air to pass. The disc is solid but easy to rotate. Once set, it won’t move of its own accord, ensuring a precise selection.

Geyser's drip tip

The drip tip size is 510, and can be replaced by any standard model. This is an added bonus as it allows some customisations. The drip tip supplied feels great in the mouth and is wide enough to allow a decent amount of unrestricted vapour.

Geyser - zoom below the cartridge

Below the cartridge, you will find two indentations, meaning that the resistance coil can only be fitted in one direction. You won’t be able to position the coil the wrong way, even if you try to force it. Once the resistance coil is fitted in its housing, there will no leakage or seepage from the pod. Which is a plus!

Geyser's tank

The tank holds the battery using a bead at the top of the mod which fits onto the tank. It may seem flimsy at first glance, but nothing could be further from the truth. The fastening is strong enough to hold the cartridge perfectly in place, while offering sufficient flexibility for easy removal. You can remove the tank and fit a new resistance coil in a matter of seconds.Geyser's resistance

Two resistance coils are supplied with the Geyser S. The 0.25 Ohm Xcoil 10 resistance coil is made of Kanthal mesh and is used between 35 and 45 W.

For vaping purposes, the Geyser does a perfect job. The vape is dense and the flavours are really clear. In spite of its small size, you can obtain a really cloudy vapour by fully opening the airflow ring. During the tests, the resistance coil gave better results with some restriction and superior rendering of flavours at 40 W. This makes for a very pleasant direct vaping experience. You can also use other resistance coils such as for example the 0.6 Ohm Xcoil 10N for more moderate vaping between 15 and 25 W.

 What we like

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Easy to use
  • Airflow precision
  • Vaping quality
  • Content price

 What we don’t like

  • Filling process could be improved



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U.S. FDA Releases Draft Guidance for Perception Studies


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a draft guidance for tobacco product perception and intention (TPPI) studies. The studies must be submitted as part of a modified risk tobacco product application (MRTP), a premarket tobacco product application (PMTA) or a substantial equivalence report (SE Report).

The guidance is aimed at helping applicants design and conduct the studies that can be used to assess, among other things, individuals’ perceptions of tobacco products, understanding of tobacco product information (e.g., labeling, modified risk information), and intentions to use tobacco products.

It is possible for a TPPI study to also include an actual use component (e.g., an actual product utilized in a simulated use setting or a real environment of use); however, a discussion of actual use research is beyond the scope of this draft guidance, according to the FDA.

This draft guidance addresses the following scientific issues for applicants to consider as they design and conduct TPPI studies to support tobacco product applications:

  • Developing TPPI study aims and hypotheses
  • Designing quantitative and qualitative TPPI studies
  • Selecting and adapting measures of TPPI study constructs
  • Determining TPPI study outcomes
  • Selecting and justifying TPPI study samples
  • Analyzing TPPI study results

The administration is accepting public comments related to the draft guidance through Dec. 28. The application deadline was Sept. 9 for deemed new tobacco products that were on the market as of Aug. 8, 2016, and the FDA said it intends to make a public list of what products were submitted on time. 



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Risk Perceptions of Snus and Cigarettes in a Snus-Prevalent Society


The vast majority of studies conducted in the U.S. conclude that perceptions of the relative harmfulness of SLT versus cigarettes amongst the public, are inconsistent with those derived from scientific research and typically confused with those of cigarettes. Conducted in Norway, where the use of snus is highly prevalent, the current study tested whether such inaccuracies existed also locally.

“Like the situation in the US, incorrect beliefs about SLT risks seem to be prevalent also in the snus-prevalent Norwegian setting.”

The researchers compiled data over a period of 16 years (2003–2018), from 13,381 respondents (aged 16–79 years). The respondents answered questions about the risk perceptions in Norway’s nationally representative survey of tobacco behavior. The researchers asked questions pertaining to the risk beliefs for eight nicotine products.

The wording of the question was as follows: “We will now mention a variety of nicotine products and ask you how harmful you think daily use of these are. Use a scale from 1 to 7, where 1 is slightly harmful and 7 is very harmful”.

The researchers found that the overall risk score for cigarettes was 6.48, while the risk score for snus was 5.14, equating to 79.3% of the risk score of cigarettes. The relative risk scores for e-cigarettes (3.78) and NRT products (3.39) were 58.4% and 52.3% those of cigarettes. These perceptions of risk were stable over time, and a strong association was observed between perceived risk of snus and having used snus in attempts to quit smoking.

Risk perceptions are inconsistent with scientific data

Sadly these figures indicated that despite the scientific data in favour of snus and the prevalence of use in Norway, perceptions remain inaccurately negative. “Perceptions of relative risk between snus and cigarettes is inconsistent with estimates from medical expert committees, which assess the overall health risk from use of Swedish snus to be minor when compared to the risk from smoking.”

The researchers concluded, that sadly, the perceptions in Norway are no different than those in the States. “Like the situation in the US, incorrect beliefs about SLT risks seem to be prevalent also in the snus-prevalent Norwegian setting. Accurate information on differential harms needs to be communicated. Future research should try to identify reasons why health authorities in the US and Scandinavia allow these well-documented misconceptions to persist.”

AVCA: Kiwi MP’s Plea to Lift Snus Ban Should be Supported



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