VPASA About South Africa’s Proposed Tobacco Bill

The Bill is expected to propose stricter vaping regulations, and restrictions on the use, marketing, and sales of certain tobacco products in South Africa.

The new Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill, was first announced last May by Deputy Health Minister Joe Phaahla, and is currently being reviewed. The Bill is expected to propose stricter e-cigarettes and vaping regulations, and restrictions on the use, marketing, and sales of certain tobacco products in South Africa. Moreover, it would set in place a provision allowing the government to implement a “100% public cigarette ban”.

However, the most detrimental aspect of the bill is that it fails to acknowledge the relative benefits of tobacco harm reduction products such as e-cigarettes, and would regulate them in the same way as regular cigarettes. In an article on Biz Community Gcoyi points out that the vaping industry is “alarmed by the false parallel that government and anti-tobacco activists are drawing between the different products.”

Regulations should be relative to risks

To this effect, the VPASA is urging the government to appropriately differentiate between combustible tobacco products and safer alternatives, refer to the available scientific data and regulate accordingly.

“Regulatory decisions should always be based on scientific facts rather than perception, ideological leanings or, even worse, misinformation. Unfortunately, electronic vapour products (EVPs) have tended to suffer from widespread misinformation, driven in no small part by anti-tobacco lobbyists and health authorities who deem EVPs as similar in danger to smoking, despite the preponderance of scientific evidence proving the contrary.”

She added that while public opinion has sadly been widely influenced by sensationalist and inaccurate media reporting, authorities should know better and turn to highly reputable research institutions, who are advising governments across the globe. “These institutions include Public Health England (PHE), the Royal College of Physicians, Cancer Research, Action on Smoking and Health and many others. These organisations are tied by the science that EVPs are 95% less harmful than traditional smoking, a staggering achievement,” she said.

The strategy adopted by the UK would be a good model to follow

In line with arguments by countless health experts, Gcoyi highlighted that the strategy adopted by the UK would be an ideal one to model. “VPASA has consistently advised the government to carefully study the example of the UK, which is a world leader in EVP regulation. Our organisation is not anti-regulation, as some may wish to suggest.”

“Rather, we are for sensible, measured and effective regulation, of which the UK seems to have found a workable model. VPASA wants to see appropriate, evidence-based policies, which enable consumers to make informed decisions about their choice of nicotine products. The bill, as it stands, runs contrary to this objective.”

“We believe that imposing the same restrictions on all ENDS as on traditional combustible tobacco products is problematic for a number of reasons. For one, standardised packaging and labelling for all ENDS products will restrict the dissemination of relevant educational information. The requirement for graphic health warnings standardised across all products will represent the dangers of smokers as there are no known graphics that can be displayed on EVPs.”

“Concealing products at point-of-sale misses an opportunity to bring awareness to smokers about the products. At the same time, banning all forms of product communication will unduly restrict the industry from communicating with smokers who wrongly believe that EVPs are equally or more harmful than smoking.”

Actions by South Africa’s Government Suggest Another Possible Tobacco Sales Ban

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86% of Hong Kong teenagers use e-cigarettes

According to a report from Hong Kong Sing Tao Daily on the 29th, a Hong Kong University study showed that the proportion of young people aged 25 or below in Hong Kong using new tobacco products such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco reached a record high. From 2019 to 2020, it was as high as 85.9%, an increase of 13 from the previous year. It is the third consecutive year that it has climbed up to 10%. The situation is worrying.

According to a survey conducted by the “Hong Kong University Youth Smoking Cessation Hotline”, 51.3% of the interviewed teenagers said that the main reason for using new tobacco products is curiosity, followed by peer influence (37.3%), and they hope to use new tobacco products to quit or reduce smoking. Smoking cigarettes (accounting for 21.6%). Respondents generally believe that new tobacco products are “healthier” than traditional tobacco products, and mistakenly believe that they can help quit smoking. The result is counterproductive, and they are encouraged to use more new tobacco products in disguise. In addition, the interviewees also said that they would be attracted by the various publicity, trendy packaging and design on the Internet, and friends would recommend and share with each other.

Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan have very strict controls on traditional paper tobacco, but e-cigarettes, as a “new thing” that has emerged in recent years, have been in a fuzzy area. In October 2018, when Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor read the second policy address during his tenure, he announced that Hong Kong would completely ban e-cigarettes. The Hong Kong government then formally submitted a draft to the Legislative Council, proposing a ban on the import, manufacture, sale, distribution, and promotion of e-cigarettes or heated tobacco. Once convicted, it will be fined 50,000 Hong Kong dollars and imprisoned for half a year. The medical profession in Hong Kong believes that e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes also contain potentially harmful compounds such as nicotine, various heavy metals, and formaldehyde, which seriously endanger health. However, the public generally misunderstands them and underestimates the health effects of e-cigarettes. I believe that e-cigarettes can help quit smoking. However, the e-cigarette ban has been opposed and resisted by many Hong Kong parliamentarians and some groups. They believe that the research data cited in the legislation is inaccurate and the research object is the “simulated cigarette-type” e-cigarette device that has long been eliminated, rather than the current market. Mainstream products. After a protracted struggle, the Smoking Bills Committee of the Hong Kong Legislative Council announced in June last year that it would stop discussing the ban and temporarily abandon its plan to ban new tobacco and vaping products.

Professor Lin Daqing of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong said that the latest findings warned of the need for immediate action and urged the Legislative Council to pass the government as soon as possible to submit a draft for a comprehensive ban on new tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products.

China’s Plans to Tighten E-Cigarette Regulations

In a draft amendment to China’s Detailed Rules for the Implementation of the Tobacco Patent Sales Law, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration, proposed aligning e-cig regulations with those for tobacco products.

There were around 45,000 e-cigarette companies in 2013, a number that reached nearly 170,000 in 2020.

“I think it will promote the development of this emerging business,” Ma Liang, professor at the School of Public Administration and Policy under Renmin University of China, told CGTN.

“With its expanded market share and different types, the e-cigarette industry is used to being in a vacuum in terms of supervision,” said Ma, adding that e-cigarettes have long been a regulatory grey area in China’s tobacco industry.

Data from iMedia Research have shown that there were around 45,000 e-cigarette companies in 2013, a number that reached nearly 170,000 in 2020. However it also showed that less than 40% of those interviewed in 2020, had barely ever use e-cigarettes.

In light of these findings, Ma believes that the devices have become the “first whiff of smoke” for many citizens and “now is the right time to tighten controls.” “Vaping products has many dimensions involving the tobacco, healthcare and food industries,” he said.

E-cigarettes use leads to decreased smoking rates

Meanwhile, scientific studies keep indicating that e-cigarettes are actually leading to decreased smoking rates. To this effect, in response to a recent report indicating that more than half of global smoking-related deaths occur in the region, consumer advocates and tobacco harm reduction experts are once again calling on the World Health Organization (WHO) and governments in Asia and the Far East, to endorse vape products as safer alternatives.

The experts made the statement during the launch of the latest Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction (GSTHR) report held by public health agency Knowledge Action Change (KAC) and the Association of Vapers India (AVI). Published by KAC and edited by Harry Shapiro, the regional report “Tobacco Harm Reduction: A Burning Issue for Asia and the Far East” noted that “over half of the world’s smokers who die every year, die in A&FE.”

Read Further: CTGN

ECigIntelligence Report on China’s Vape Market


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FDA Will Ban Menthol Cigs: Will There Be Flavored Vapes to Switch To?

The FDA Center for Tobacco Products will begin the process of banning menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars—more than a decade after Congress passed the Tobacco Control Act and tossed the menthol hot potato in the FDA’s lap.

The agency was sued last year by tobacco control groups to force a response to a 2013 Citizen Petition demanding a menthol ban, and the court ordered the FDA to respond by April 29. All other “characterizing flavors” in cigarettes were banned in 2009.

As we reported last week, the tobacco regulators are considering two policy actions first advanced by Scott Gottlieb during his time as FDA commissioner: the menthol ban and mandated nicotine reduction in cigarettes. Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said during a press conference today that the very-low nicotine standard is still under consideration.

The FDA presented the menthol ban as a response to disproportionate menthol use by black Americans, and historic targeting of black Americans by the tobacco industry. Addressing the concerns expressed by skeptical black and drug policy activists that a menthol ban will lead to enforcement actions in minority communities, the agency engaged in misdirection.

“If implemented, the FDA’s enforcement of any ban on menthol cigarettes and all flavored cigars will only address manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, importers and retailers,” said the agency’s press release. “The FDA cannot and will not enforce against individual consumer possession or use of menthol cigarettes or any tobacco product. The FDA will work to make sure that any unlawful tobacco products do not make their way onto the market.”

But enforcement actions against distributors and retailers in minority neighborhoods means actions against the same groups of people who live in those neighborhoods. And, despite the FDA’s lack of enforcement against smokers, it will be local police who confiscate contraband cigarette deliveries and punish the individuals who sell them illegally.

“Recall that Eric Garner’s fatal encounter with police began with an arrest for the petty crime of selling loose cigarettes and ended with him being choked to death by a New York City cop,” wrote Jacob Grier earlier this week.

The FDA’s press release avoided the issue of low-risk nicotine alternatives for smokers, instead reminding us that it is still slogging through millions of premarket applications for vaping products, and is actively engaged in a youth anti-vaping campaign.

Acting Commissioner Woodcock responded to a question on the FDA press call by saying that educating the public about low-risk options like vaping was “part of the overall plan on harm reduction.” That’s encouraging, even though she followed up by saying the FDA needs to “learn more” about them.

Unfortunately, while the FDA learns, the public is being misled by tobacco control groups to believe vaping is as dangerous as smoking. Almost a half-million Americans will die prematurely this year because they spent their adult lives smoking, and had no low-risk nicotine product like e-cigarettes to switch to. Now that such an option is available, the FDA is terrified that telling the truth about it will earn them a mean letter from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

“Evidence from other countries suggests that a menthol ban is not a magic wand that will spur a majority of users to quit nicotine entirely,” says American Vaping Association president Gregory Conley. “There will be no massive public health benefit if the response from most menthol and little cigar smokers is to switch to Marlboros or use illicit products bought off the street.”

The agency will now go through the full rulemaking process, beginning with a proposed rule and a public comment period. By the time the agency completes a final rule and fights the tobacco companies in court, it could be many years before menthol cigarettes are off the legal market, if it happens at all.

Meanwhile, tobacco control groups will be pushing the FDA to blackball flavored vaping product PMTAs, and spending Michael Bloomberg’s millions to advance flavor bans in state legislatures and city councils across the country. By the time menthol cigarettes come off the market, there may be no menthol vapes for smokers to switch to.

We can probably expect to hear details of the FDA’s “overall plan on harm reduction” at about that same time.

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Almost 80% of Irish smokers Intend to Quit Cigarettes in 2021

While 79% of the people surveyed said they decided to quit smoking this year, two in five have set the goal to quit for 28 days.

This figure was recently released by Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE). Recent research conducted by the agency has reported that people who manage to refrain from smoking for at least 28 days, are five times more likely to manage quitting for good.

A survey of smokers conducted as part of the study suggested that while 79% have decided to quit smoking this year, two in five have set the goal to quit for 28 days. “The HSE Quit Service is here to help by providing the tools and supports to make it possible. This practical support and resources give the best chance of making it to Day 28 and once you reach that, you are well on the way to long-term success and the benefits of a smoke-free life,” said Martina Blake, national lead at the HSE Tobacco Free Ireland Programme.

Sadly, 5% of former smokers have relapsed and started smoking again during the Covid-19 pandemic. “Most people who smoke want to quit but for many the idea of quitting can seem impossible. We know however, that smoking isn’t just an unhealthy habit that you need to break. There are the physical cravings for nicotine, the psychological dependence and the emotional dependence, which all need to be worked on when quitting,” she added.

Menthol Ban

In May 2020, menthol cigarettes, rolling tobacco and irregularly shaped cigarettes such as slims, were banned across Ireland. The move was part of a four year phasing-out period by the EU TPD which entered into force on May 2014 and became applicable across the EU in May 2016. Chair of the Policy Group on Tobacco at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, Professor Des Cox, said the ban was welcomed as menthols make smoking initiation easier.

“There’s been good research which demonstrates that young people are introduced to smoking often by menthol cigarettes as they find them more attractive, they find them less irritative and they find them more palatable, so that’s a way they get introduced to regular smoking. Also the cigarette companies today have targeted women with these products so we strongly feel that they should be banned and welcome the government’s decision to take this legislation forward,” said Cox.

Read Further: Breaking.News.ie

Ireland: E-Cig Advertising to be Restricted

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E-cigarette manufacturer Beibian Technology receives US$23 million in investment

According to news on April 29, Beibian Technology in China recently received an investment of USD 23 million from a well-known investment institution. This round of investment is mainly used to update technology to create vape products that are more in line with market needs and design aesthetics. At the same time, it uses technical means to seek from the bottom of the product logic to solve the problems of fakes and prohibit the purchase and use of minors, and promote the health of the industry, develop and open up market channels.

It is reported that this is a relatively large amount of investment that Beibian Science and Technology has obtained since its establishment, and it has provided a solid momentum for the development of Beibian Science and Technology.

Beibian Technology was established in 2021, leading the research and development of MIC brand electronic cigarette bombs. According to data, the MIC brand is a new brand that has just been established. Its discovery series, small popsicle series, and dazzling light-emitting atomizing sticks have aroused enthusiastic responses since the beginning of the market, and the market has responded well. In addition, MIC also strives to shape the brand culture, interpret the product connotation, and give a deeper meaning to the brand.

At present, MIC’s series products have now covered major provinces and cities across the country, with Shenzhen as the base point, radiating inward, covering Heilongjiang, Hebei, Chongqing, Inner Mongolia, Shandong, etc., forming a mature digital offline operation model.

NZ: Government’s Proposed Action Plan For Smokefree 2025 Excludes Vaping

“Back in 2011 when Smokefree 2025 was launched, it was viewed as doable albeit requiring serious and deliberate government programmes and intervention. However, nine years on we’re still sadly miles off,” said AVCA co-director Nancy Loucas, in a recent press release.

Any vape/tobacco tobacco-related actions should dovetail with the country’s smokefree action plan.

However, earlier this year she had pointed out that the recently implemented Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill, would be counterproductive to achieving this goal. “A huge opportunity has been missed to make risk-reduced vaping products more accessible to smokers in order to reach the SmokeFree 2025 goal set by the government,” she said.

Earlier this month, Loucas explained that any vape/tobacco tobacco-related actions must dovetail with the country’s smokefree action plan. “Finalising the vaping regulations and the smokefree action plan must not been done in silos. The two are intrinsically linked, with vaping an effective tool towards Aotearoa achieving the smokefree goal. It should be regulated proportionately.”

“As the most effective smoking cessation tool in history, vaping has been key to reducing our national smoking rate in the past decade. Going forward, encouraging smokers to switch to much safer and less expensive vaping products is absolutely critical to achieving smokefree,” said Loucas.

Vaping acknowledged for its benefits but still excluded

Sadly, this does not seem the case. The Government’s discussion document on ‘Proposals For A Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan’ alarmingly reveals there’s little intention to elevate vaping as a much safer and cheaper alternative to smoking, she said in a recent press release.

“It acknowledges vaping, but it fails to support it as a key factor to achieving a smokefree nation. There’s a lot of talk about tougher rules and regulations for tobacco, but to achieve smokefree, smokers also need to be presented with a viable, less harmful alternative – and that’s vaping,” added Loucas.

The document fails to differentiate between smoking and vaping

Moreover, added the tobacco harm reduction expert, the discussion document fails to differentiate between smoking and vaping. “Vape businesses are already facing enormous costs with many new regulations now being finalised by the Ministry of Health. To now add more compliance costs will only make vaping products more expensive and less accessible to former smokers desperate to keep off the cancer sticks,” she said.

Loucas emphasized that while enhancing existing initiatives such as advertising campaigns and stop smoking services is suggested, vaping needs to have a role in the smoke free plan. “The Health Ministry, Health Promotion Agency, and the District Health Boards have all successfully run ‘Vape to Quit’ promotions and programmes, helping thousands of Kiwi smokers switch to vaping. Why doesn’t the Government recommend ramping up this support and make ‘Vape to Quit’ a cornerstone component of Smokefree 2025? I suspect because vaping is its next target,” she said.

New Zealand: Opinions About The Recently Released Draft Vape Laws

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Report: USPS Postpones Ban On Vape Mail For Now

U.S. Postal Service announced that it is delaying a ban on mail and parcels and mail covering vape products.

WASHINGTON — In an exclusive to Marijuana Business Daily, a spokesperson for the United States Post Service said that a ban on sending vape products in the mail needs “more time to review how to implement the changes ordered by Congress.”

The ban was supposed to take effect Monday and apply to all vaping companies, including those shipping products without nicotine.

“Despite our best efforts, in order to ensure thorough and thoughtful consideration of the complex issues and voluminous comments by industry, individual, and governmental stakeholders, the Postal Service is unable to publish a final rule by today’s target date,” said David P. Coleman, a USPS spokesperson, in an email to Marijuana Business Daily.

Mr. Coleman said that his agency would “finalize the rule “as soon as possible.’” “Mailers should be prepared for implementation upon publication anytime,” Coleman said.

According to the same report, the Postal Service said that businesses making vape components to be “ready for new prohibitions on mailing their products.”

Private parcel carriers like FedEx and UPS said that they will enforce the Postal Service directive not to ship vaping products, notes the report.

The Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act of 2020 (PACT Act of 2020) revised a previous law, meaning that the 2010 PACT Act which bans “direct sales of cigarettes to consumers through the mail.” The PACT Act of 2020 was passed in a Trump-supported COVID-19 relief bill.

The United States Postal Service also published temporary guidance in the national Federal Register and further notified vape component manufacturers that the new prohibitions on the mailing of products are imminent.

The PACT Act also prevents cigarettes, smokeless tobacco products, and roll-your-own from being shipped through the public postal system regulated by USPS.

Comment Period On USPS Vape Shipping Ban Closed

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Montana Legislature Approves Bill to Block Local Flavor Bans

The Montana legislature has passed a bill that would prevent local governments in the state from imposing flavor bans or otherwise restricting the sales of vaping products. The bill will now go to Governor Greg Gianforte, who is expected to sign it into law.

The bill, SB 398, passed the state house Monday by a 59-40 margin. It had already been approved by the senate earlier this month by a vote of 26-23. The governor, a conservative Republican, is expected to support it.

Senate Bill 398 amends an existing state law that contains a long list of restrictions on local government actions to include restrictions on vapor product sales. It says local Montana governments “may not adopt or enforce any local ordinance or resolution that prohibits the sale of alternative nicotine products or vapor products.” The bill does allow cities or counties to enact “reasonable ordinances or resolutions relating to the sale of alternative nicotine products or vapor products.”

The bill’s senate sponsor, Republican Jason Ellsworth, told the Helena Independent Record that he considers “reasonable ordinances” to mean common-sense rules like keeping vaping products out of the reach of children or banning vaping in public places.

Republican Representative Mike Hopkins, who sponsored the bill in the house, told the paper that local governments shouldn’t be allowed to ban legal products like flavored e-cigarettes, noting that such ordinances “smash the economic and financial lives of Montanans who are running businesses.”

The bill was a response by conservative lawmakers to a flavor ban passed last year (and now on hold) in the city of Missoula, and an unsuccessful attempt by former governor Steve Bullock to prohibit sales of flavored vaping products with a health department rule that bypassed the legislature. Bullock was also among the governors who passed a temporary flavor ban in response to the 2019 “EVALI” outbreak. (Gov. Bullock ran unsuccessfully for both the Democratic presidential nomination and the U.S. Senate in 2020.)

Lobbyists from anti-vaping organizations opposed SB 398, claiming the bill ignores widespread public concern over “an epidemic of youth e-cigarette use” in Montana. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids received a $160 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies in 2019 that was earmarked for passing legislation that would ban flavored vaping products across the country. Passage of the Montana bill will force them to lobby for flavor restrictions strictly at the state level.

Newly elected Montana representative (and vape shop owner) Ron Marshall sponsored a bill earlier this year that would have prevented locally enacted vaping prohibitions and also rules issued by the state health department or local health agencies. That bill passed the state house but was stopped in a senate committee.

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Florida Supreme Court Kills 2022 Marijuana Legalization Initiative

The Florida Supreme Court killed a ballot initiative against the people’s will — both Democrats and Republicans in favor of the initiative.

TALLAHASSEE — A majority of the Florida Supreme Court ruled against a citizen-initiated ballot measure in favor of legalizing marijuana in the very conservative state of Florida.

According to local and trade media reports, a ballot initiative proposed by Make It Legal Florida was found to be “misleading” the court ruled.

On 5 to 2 difference, the ruling came after conservative Attorney General Ashley Moody asked the seven-judge high court panel whether the proposal is suitable for a future ballot.

Make It Legal’s proposal would have allowed voters across Florida to decide whether to permit residents to purchase recreational marijuana in a regulated setting for those who are 21 years or older.

The proposal would also permit 2.5 ounces of marijuana.

The initiative is also backed by the Florida medical marijuana industry which raised $8.2 million for the effort.

They also gathered more than half a million signatures out of the 891,589 needed for the measure to make the 2022 ballot.

“A [state] constitutional amendment cannot unequivocally ‘permit’ or authorize conduct that is criminalized under federal law,” wrote Chief Justice Charles Canady in his concurring opinion. “A ballot summary suggesting otherwise is affirmatively misleading.”

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed three justices that voted against the initiative. The Florida House and Senate, dominated by Republicans, also filed briefs opposing the initiative. Seemingly, a coordinated effort to some observers.

“Today’s decision underestimates Florida voters and adds hurdles to the citizen-initiative process that are not supported by the plain language of the governing law or our precedent,” the two opposing justices wrote.

Ben Pollara, a political operator, and marijuana industry advocate told the Tampa Bay Times that the court decision was a bad move.

“Floridians would legalize marijuana tomorrow if given the opportunity to do so, but that’s clearly not what Tallahassee wants,” Pollara said in a statement to the Times.

U.S. House Votes To Decriminalize Marijuana Nationwide


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