UK: Free Vapes Given to Homeless Smokers as Part of Quit-Smoking Trial


The aim is improving health and easing the financial burden of purchasing cigarettes.

A study conducted earlier this year, looked into the feasibility of distributing e-cigarettes to smokers attending homeless centres in Britain, with the aim of improving their health and ease the financial burden of purchasing cigarettes.

As part of this earlier trial, four homeless centres in Great Britain were allocated to either a Usual Care (UC) or E-Cigarette (EC) group. The 32 participants in the UC group, received smoking cessation advice and were offered support by a local Stop Smoking Service. The 48 EC group participants were given a vape starter kit with a 4-week e-liquid supply.

The compiled results had indicated that in both groups, depression and anxiety scores declined over the course of the study. However, the group who received vape starter kits indicated more smoking cessation success. “The EC intervention was well received with minimal negative effects and very few unintended consequences (e.g. lost, theft, adding illicit substances),” reported the researchers.

The objective of this trial was assessing the feasibility of supplying smokers attending homeless centres with free e-cigarette starter kits and estimate parameters so as to inform possible future trials conducted on a larger scale.

A larger trial to be conducted

Subsequently, a larger trial is to be conducted, this time including 32 centres for the homeless across five regions in the UK – Scotland, Wales, London, the South East and the East of England. Vape starter kits, costing an average of about £25 each, will be given for free to people attending 50% of the participating centres, while people at the other centres will be allocated to a care group.

The current trial will include 480 participants, with 240 in each group and 15 from each centre. Prof Caitlin Notley, from the University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School, highlighted that the percentage of homeless people who smoke is higher than the one in the general population. “We know that around 70% of people who are homeless smoke tobacco – this is far higher than the UK average of 14.1%. We also know that e-cigarettes are the most popular method of quitting smoking, with some studies suggesting they are more helpful aids than nicotine gum or patches and much less harmful than smoking tobacco.”

She reiterated that e-cigarettes are effective smoking cessation tools because vaping mimics smoking. “Electronic cigarettes mimic the experience of cigarette smoking because they are hand-held and generate a smoke-like vapour when used. They can be an attractive option for helping people switch from smoking, even if they have tried and failed in the past.”

Read Further: ITV

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Study Finds What Vapers Knew: Accidental Quitting Is Real


Many people begin using e-cigarettes with no intention to quit smoking, but then do quit smoking. The phenomenon is so widely recognized in the vaping community that it has a name: accidental quitting. Lots of vapers refer to themselves as accidental quitters or accidental vapers.

People who smoke but don’t intend to quit begin vaping for various reasons. They may try vaping out of curiosity, or vape as a substitute in settings where smoking isn’t allowed, or they may buy an e-cigarette on a whim. What we know is that, for whatever reason they try vaping, many discover they prefer it to smoking, or at least that it’s a good enough replacement that they decide to do it full time.

Now for the first time, a peer-reviewed study has recognized the experience of the accidental quitter. “Association of e-Cigarette Use With Discontinuation of Cigarette Smoking Among Adult Smokers Who Were Initially Never Planning to Quit” is the tongue-twister title of an open-access paper published yesterday in the journal JAMA Network Open. The study was authored by a group of researchers led by Dr. Karin A. Kasza, a research scientist in the Department of Health Behavior at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, NY.

The authors found that when smokers vape daily their odds of quitting smoking rise dramatically—even though they didn’t intend to quit smoking before vaping. The researchers identified 1,600 people who, at the beginning of the study, smoked cigarettes, didn’t vape, and didn’t intend to quit smoking. Among that group, 28 percent of those who began vaping daily quit smoking. Among those who didn’t vape at all, just 5.8 percent quit smoking.

“Most other studies focus exclusively on people who are actively trying to quit smoking, but this study suggests that we may be missing effects of e-cigarettes by not considering this group of smokers with limited intention to stop smoking—a group that is often at the highest risk for poor health outcomes from cigarette smoking,” said Dr. Andrew Hyland, Chair of Health Behavior at Roswell Park and one of the study’s authors.

The study used four waves of data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, collected between 2014 and 2019. PATH is a national longitudinal study of tobacco and nicotine product users, run jointly by the FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The Roswell Park study was funded by grants from the CTP and NIDA.

In addition to being far more likely to quit smoking completely, smokers who vaped daily were also more than four times as likely to switch from daily to less frequent smoking (45.5 percent) than those who didn’t vape (9.9 percent) or vaped less often (10.2 percent).

The authors believe “accidental quitters” (a term they don’t use) are a large enough group that their experience should matter to regulators like the FDA. “Our findings here suggest that such smokers should be specifically considered when evaluating the risk-benefit potential of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation in the population,” they note in the paper.

Clinical trials have shown that vaping outperforms nicotine replacement therapy for smokers intending to quit. But the smokers represented in the Roswell Park study are a much more difficult group, because they don’t intend to quit smoking.

“We found evidence that the use of e-cigarettes could have a positive impact on this very hard-to-reach group of recalcitrant smokers,” says Dr. Hyland. “To truly understand the health impact of vaping on the U.S. population, we need to consider those with no intention to quit.”

It should surprise no one that vaping, with its endless device and flavor options and its similarity to the act of smoking, offers the best chance to reach the most hardened smokers. Unfortunately, the trick must be performed while smokers are also bombarded with misinformation intended to sow doubt about vaping, and laws and regulations designed to restrict access and affordability. How many smokers would get interested if public health organizations recommended vaping and shared honest estimates of harm compared to smoking?



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Estonia Proposes Amendments to The Local Tobacco Act


Sadly, Estonia has recently ranked third in Europe for smoking-related deaths. To this effect, the current bill proposes amendments which would clarify regulations regarding alternative nicotine products, with the aim of encouraging safety and accessibility to such products and reduce smoking rates.

Bill sponsor MP Tarmo Kruusimäe said that previous amendments to the Tobacco Act, have not only led to a rise in smoking rates, but also unintentionally created a booming black market.

Amendments proposed on nicotine content and flavours

The amendments currently proposed would introduce regulations on nicotine content in white snus (tobacco free snus) and modify existing regulations regarding flavoured products and access to online sales.

An release by NNA Estonia summarized the amendments as follows:

“The proposed regulations will:

  • Set the maximum nicotine content in ‘white snus’ to 25mg/g and limit the maximum pouch size to 1 gram.
  • Prohibit the addition of vitamins, caffeine, taurine and other additives which may give consumers the false impression that ‘white snus’ is beneficial to health or promotes energy.
  • Exclude sweet flavours from the selection such as candy, cakes, soft drinks etc., which may be attractive to youth.”

Thankfully the bill proposes reversing a current ban on flavours which allows only tobacco and menthol on the market. The bill proposes extending the selection of flavours but keeping those described as candy, dessert or soft drinks banned.

Online sales would be brought back upon digital identification

Online sale of safer nicotine alternatives is currently banned. The bill would restore domestic online sales upon digital identification (ID-card) to exclude any sales and availability of products to minors. The NNA explained that a similar system has been adopted locally for digital voting which has proven to be very secure.

The proposed amendments would ensure that images and icons relating to child centric graphics such as cartoons, toys, characters, descriptors etc., would no longer be portrayed on the packages.

The display of electronic devices used for safer nicotine use is currently prohibited except in specialist independent retailers. The amendment would allow general retailers to display electronic nicotine products thus allowing adult customers the opportunity to view the range of products available, helping them to make informed choices.

The Bill on Amendments to the Tobacco Act are available on the Riigikogu website.

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Doozy Tropix Review | E-Liquid Reviews

Vape and e-liquid reviewer, Alex Shenker, takes a look at the Droozy Tropix range from popular e-liquid brand Doozy Vape Co.

The Doozy Tropix range includes five e-liquid flavours, available as a 50ml shortfill and a 10/20mg nic salt.

Tropix Fiji Shortfill

VG/PG – 70/30

This juice offers a unique combination of fuji apples, cucamelon and a hint of cucumber. The initial flavour was similar to a sour apple, which was quickly followed by refreshing notes of cucumber. I couldn’t put my finger on the cucamelon, but it’s safe to say that it added a slight tang on the inhale.

Doozy Vape Co Tropix Fiji E-Liquid Shortfill 50ml bottle and box packaging
Image Source: Doozy Vape Co

Tropix Hawaii Shortfill

VG/PG – 70/30

While some people are put off by aniseed, I would recommend everyone give this incredible flavour a try. With a delightful mix of berries, the inhale was nothing short of strong and sour, with hints of that unmistakable blue raspberry slushiness for added sweetness. This liquid also had an icy hit of menthol – no doubt a result of the aniseed – which worked brilliantly alongside the other flavours.

Doozy Vape Tropix Hawaii E-Liquid Shortfill 50ml
Image Source: Doozy Vape Co

Tropix Malibu Shortfill

VG/PG – 70/30

This liquid is certainly one for the cocktail lovers, blending tangerine, grenadine, banana and crushed ice.  Sweetness is definitely the word I would use to describe this e-liquid, as the initial inhale is a perfect mix of the grenadine and sour citrus. The banana then joins the party, bringing you back to the sweet side…and it’s all backed up by a sweeping hit of ice.

If you like your sweet, fruity juices definitely give Malibu a go!

Doozy Vape Tropix Malibu E-Liquid Shortfill 50ml bottle
Image Source: Doozy Vape Co

Tropix Rio Shortfill

VG/PG – 70/30

Rio was the juice I was looking forward to the most, and I wasn’t disappointed! If you’ve never had mangosteen, it’s a delicate south-east Asian fruit that, to me, tastes somewhere between a mango and a lychee.

On the inhale you get the perfect tropical cocktail, the guava and mysterious mangosteen combining to create a rich flavour that I can’t get enough of. The icy citrus swoops in to add an extra layer of flavour and complexity to this juice, taking it to the next level. Definitely an all-day vape contender in my books!

Doozy Vape Tropix Rio E-Liquid Shortfill 50ml bottle
Image Source: Doozy Vape Co

Tropix Tahiti Shortfill

VG/PG – 70/30

Tahiti is one for the sour, fizzy lovers out there, with the passion fruit definitely being the dominant flavour. The refreshing notes of grapefruit cut through and there’s even an icy blast thrown in for good measure.  It’s a fantastic combo of sweet and sour with enough fizz to really make your tastebuds dance.

Doozy Vape Tropix Tahiti Shortfill E-liquid 50ml bottle
Image Source: Doozy Vape Co

Discover more reviews from Vapouround

Enjoyed this Doozy Tropix review? Why not take a look at some of our other vape and e-liquid reviews by visiting the ‘review‘ section of the Vapouround website.

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WHO Adds Two Smoking Cessation Drugs to Its Essential Medicines List


The purpose of the list is guiding national authorities on the type of medicines that should be available in their countries. On October 1st 2021, the WHO published the updated list containing the infamous drugs.

Chantix

Chantix is known to cause moderate to severe psychological side effects, from horrifying nightmares to suicidal thoughts.

Varenciline, which goes by the trade name of Chantix, is an anti-smoking drug renowned for getting smokers over any cigarette cravings. Whilst considered significantly effective, it is also known to cause moderate to severe psychological side effects, from horrifying nightmares to suicidal thoughts.

After numerous reports about such disturbances, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had placed the most severe warning available on the medication, which led to Chantix’s sales dropping from $846 million in 2008, to $671 million last year.

To compensate for this drop, its manufacturer, Pfizer, had invested heavily in advertising and settling lawsuits against the drug. Moreover, the Pharma company had released data retrieved from a study which allegedly proved that there is no direct link between the consumption of Chantix and experiencing psychological disturbances.

Subsequently, after refusing to lift the warning in 2014, the FDA ha recently decided to change its stance and drop the warning. The agency required that the medication have its side effects listed, it also specified that the label should state that Chantix is more effective than other smoking cessation therapies.

Meanwhile last June, Pfizer was forced to halt the distribution of Chantix and recall some stock after finding elevated levels of nitrosamines in the pills. However, the following month the FDA said it will temporarily allow some manufacturers to distribute the carcinogen-containing drug, below an interim limit of 185 ng per day, until the impurity can be eliminated or reduced to acceptable levels.

Bupropion

On the other hand, Bupropion is actually an anti-depressant medication, and therefore also comes with possible psychological side effects, such as depression and suicidal thoughts. “This medicine may cause some people to be agitated or display other abnormal behaviors. It may cause some people to become depressed or have suicidal thoughts/tendencies. Stop the medication and seek immediate attention if you notice worsening depression, suicidal ideation (suicidal thoughts or behavior), or unusual changes in behavior that are not typical of nicotine withdrawal. Contact your provider immediately if this occurs,” reads a guide about the drug.

Interestingly, the WHO seems undeterred by all these possible adverse effects in both medications. Yet it remains fully against relatively safer nicotine products which can be used for smoking cessation such as vapes and heated tobacco products, and seem less risky than these medications.

The WHO insists on a “quit or die” approach with regards to smoking

In a recent press release, the Independent European Vape Alliance (IEVA) urged the World Health Organization (WHO) to focus on the future of millions of smokers worldwide “rather than its own counter-productive “quit or die” dogma.”

Discussing the infamous WHO FCTC COP9 held in Geneva last November, the press release highlighted that the WHO has lost sight of the importance of harm reduction in relation of tobacco, despite still embracing it in other contexts. “There is conclusive evidence that: completely substituting [vaping] for combustible tobacco cigarettes reduces users’ exposure to numerous toxicants and carcinogens present in combustible tobacco cigarettes.”

Similarly, 100 top experts in the field of public health and tobacco harm reduction, have sent a clear message to the WHO, a demand to end the war on vaping and other nicotine alternatives.

Amongst the experts were World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA’s) scientific advisor Prof. Bernhard Mayer and Dr. Colin Mendelsohn, an Australian public health expert, and they emphasized that the current anti-vaping approach from the WHO will “lead to more death and suffering from smoking.” “100 experts have spoken, and consumers agree that vaping and other methods of tobacco harm reduction must be at the forefront of saving lives. The WHO ignores that fact for the moment, but we’re asking them to listen. 200 million lives depend on it. It is time to end the war on vaping,” said WVA Director Michael Landl.

Read Further: Mirage

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Australia: Vape Ads Allowed in Pharmacies Under Some Circumstances


“..the TGA has granted a legal permission which allows pharmacies and a pharmacy marketing groups to advertise (i.e. promote), through certain media, where to obtain nicotine e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine with a prescription”.

In 2020, Australia’s Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt had announced a new measure banning the importation of vape liquid containing nicotine. A number of public health experts, tobacco harm reduction advocates and MPs, had spoken up against this measure, resulting in it being put on hold.

However earlier this year the TGA announced that the sales of the products will be restricted to pharmacies via prescription “..the importation of nicotine e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine for vaping will require a doctor’s prescription. This aligns with current domestic restrictions under State and Territory law, that prohibit the supply of nicotine containing e-cigarettes in Australia without a valid medical prescription.”

Permission to make ‘restricted representations’ of vaping products

Meanwhile, the most recent announcement grants pharmacists the permission to make ‘restricted representations’ of these products. In a statement released on Monday 5th July, the TGA said “generally, it is not lawful to advertise prescription medicines. However, the TGA has granted a legal permission which allows pharmacies and a pharmacy marketing groups to advertise (i.e. promote), through certain media, where to obtain nicotine e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine with a prescription”.

“This means that patients who have been prescribed liquid nicotine for smoking cessation will know where they can fill prescriptions,” continued the statement. “A pharmacy that dispenses nicotine e-cigarettes or liquid nicotine on prescription may, in specified circumstances, promote to those wishing to fill their prescription that it holds stock.”

Vape adverts guidance

An article on AJP summarized the TGA guidance as follows:

  • use information to assist the public in obtaining nicotine vaping products such as:
  • the location at which the e-cigarettes or nicotine vaping products are available on prescription to assist with smoking cessation
  • the kinds of nicotine vaping products that are available, for example nicotine vape liquids, nicotine e-liquids or devices such as e-cigarettes (including e-cigarettes that resemble a combustible cigarette, one that uses pods or another called ‘mods’) – however note that no trade names are allowed
  • the concentrations available
  • whether the nicotine solution is in base or salt form

However, any promotion must not:

  • be made using radio or television (including streaming services)
  • be promoted on websites or any other advertising that is not under the direct control of the pharmacy or pharmacy marketing group
  • be promoted by social media influencers or brand ambassadors
  • be promoted through social media platforms using paid promotion
  • contain pictorial representations of nicotine e-cigarettes or liquid nicotine
  • contain trade names
  • contain references to flavours
  • statements or the implication that vaping is not harmful or is less harmful than smoking
  • contain statements or the implication that the stocked e-cigarette is superior to another
  • include incentives to encourage a user to take up nicotine e-cigarettes

Local group criticizes TGA for publishing list of authorized vape sellers

Meanwhile, as if the current vape restrictions were not bad enough at making vapes hard to obtain as smoking cessation aids. The Australian Medical Association (AMA) is now urging the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to stop publishing details of authorised prescribers of the products. 

In a letter to the TGA, AMA President Dr. Omar Khorshid said he is deeply concerned by the fact that the TGA would publish a list of authorised prescribers of nicotine vaping products. He claims that these sellers “masquerade” themselves as smoking cessation services, when in fact they do nothing more than provide easy access to the addictive products. 

In contrast, Australian Public health expert and tobacco harm reduction advocate Dr. Colin Mendelsohn has consistently highlighted that the restrictions in place will be detrimental to public health. “Australia’s requirement for nicotine prescriptions is complex, expensive and unnecessary and makes it harder to access vaping products than cigarettes. Is that really what Greg Hunt wants?” he said.

Australia Fines Vaping Advertisers and Importers





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BAT Study: Health Impacts of Smoking Reduced When Switching to Heated Tobacco


The findings indicated decreased biomarkers of exposure in smokers who switched to THPs in comparison to those who did not.

Titled, “Changes in biomarkers after 1have improved health80 days of tobacco heating product use: a randomised trial,” the study looked for biomarkers of exposure (BoE) and potential harm (BoPH) in participants, in order to identify any changes when smokers switch from smoking cigarettes to exclusive use of THPs.

The selected participants were healthy volunteer smokers assigned either to continue smoking or switch to a THP, and a control group of smokers who abstained from cigarette smoking. The researchers looked for various BoE and BoPH related to oxidative stress, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and cancer at baseline and up to 180 days.

The findings indicated decreased biomarkers of exposure in smokers who switched to THPs in comparison to those who did not. “In continuing smokers, BoE and BoPH remained stable between baseline and day 180, while THP users’ levels of most BoE reduced significantly, becoming similar to those in controls abstaining from cigarette smoking. Also at 180 days, significant changes in numerous BoPH, including total 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol, 8-epi-prostaglandin F2α type III, fractional concentration of exhaled nitric oxide and white blood cell count, were directionally consistent with lessened health impact.”

Heated tobacco part of Japan’s stategy to curb smoking

Meanwhile, a recent paper by Frost & Sullivan in collaboration with tobacco company Philip Morris International (PMI) titled, “Tobacco Harm Reduction and Novel Nicotine and Tobacco Products: Evidence from the Japanese Market,” found that the entry of HTPs has led to a drop of 34% in cigarettes sales.

“The commercial availability of HTPs in Japan is associated with a significant drop in conventional cigarette sales, well ahead of the previous rate of decline. Moreover, even after Heated Tobacco Products became available, sales of all tobacco products (Heated Tobacco Products and conventional cigarettes) continued to fall. Although there is mixed evidence, data from the 2019 National Health Survey indicates that 76% of consumers who use Heated Tobacco do so exclusively. Only 24% of HTPs users maintain dual-use,” said Mark Dougan, Consulting Director, Healthcare, Frost & Sullivan.

“The Japanese government is differentiating HTPs from conventional cigarettes in regulations such as taxation, health warnings and indoor use restrictions, with Heated Tobacco Products generally receiving less-stringent regulatory settings than conventional cigarettes,” he added.

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Vapers’ Stories Broadcast in Brussels to Encourage Pro-Vaping Policies


The bus drove through Brussels displaying a powerful selection of real life quit stories by vapers from around Europe.

Launched in Barcelona last August, the bus tour aims to educate about tobacco harm reduction, as part of the WVA’s “Back Vaping. Beat Smoking” campaign. Travelling across Europe, the electric pink bus has been spreading the message that up to 19 million lives can be saved in Europe alone, if policymakers had to embrace the use of e-cigarettes for the purpose of tobacco harm reduction, such as in the UK.

Over the next year, EU policymakers will be reviewing the EU’s main legislation on tobacco, the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). ECigIntelligence, the renowned independent data analysis resource for the tobacco-alternatives industry, has recently said that the EU Commission has carried out different assessments with industry members, commissioned research to in-house scientists and third parties, and put in place a validation workshop to check the consistency and accuracy of all the findings, since 2019.

These findings are expected to be used by officials as important sources in the document, which will be forwarded to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee, and the Committee of the Regions, with the aim of informing the revised tobacco legislation. To this effect the WVA team on tour will also be gathering stories and testimonies from vapers and sharing them with politicians.

Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan being finalized

To this effect, in November the bus drove through Brussels displaying a powerful selection of real life quit stories by vapers from around Europe. The demonstration brought these messages from across Europe directly to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), who were currently debating the Beating Cancer plan which may set the direction for anti-smoking policies across Europe.

“The next few weeks will be crucial for smokers, vapers and public health in general with Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan being finalised. We came here today to make sure that vapers’ voices are heard and that the MEPs understand the real-life stories of people who have been able to quit smoking thanks to vaping. European policymakers have the opportunity to make history and save lives if they back vaping as a tool to beat smoking. Our message to them is clear: choose science and save lives,” said WVA Director Michael Landl.

Delivering the message to the WHO FCTC

Similarly, in the first week of November, the bus drove through the streets of Geneva, while the WHO’s infamous FCTC COP9 was being held in the city. “We came here today to make sure that vapers’ voices are heard, and that vaping is at the forefront of smoking cessation policies worldwide. Vaping can save 200 million lives globally, and it is imperative that COP9 delegates understand the real-life stories of people who have been able to quit smoking thanks to vaping.”

Landl added that they brought the message of vapers’ worldwide to “the WHO’s front door” asking them to listen.  He said that if COP9 delegates were willing to listen they could make history by endorsing vaping as a smoking cessation tool and save millions of lives.

WVA Survey: Most Smokers Managed to Quit or Reduce Via Vaping





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NZ THR Advocates: Any Valid Youth Vaping Concerns Already Addressed


Referring to a recent frontpage nationwide newspaper story, headlined ‘Vaping – at 10’, AVCA co-director Nancy Loucas recently spoke out, highlighting the irony in the title. “Why don’t we see ‘Smoking – at 10’, ‘Drinking – at 10’, ‘Drugs – at 10’ media stories? It’s all about vaping, which is ironic given it’s the least harmful.”

Earlier this year, the AVCA had highlighted that the publication of increasingly negative stories regarding vaping were no accident, and were being timed to coincide with current political events taking place at the time. “Just when Cabinet is about to approve the Ministry of Health’s latest vaping regulations and finalise Minister Dr. Ayesha Verrall’s smokefree action plan, out come the attacks on vaping. Given vaping is New Zealand’s most effective smoking cessation tool, some balance in the debate is.”

Vaping’s possible key role in achieving the Smokefree goal must be recognized

In a more recent release, the group referred to similar damaging comments made on Maori television show, The Hui, which investigated the uptake of vaping amongst rangatahi, and alleged resulting stand-offs at home and stand-downs at school. Loucas highlighted that while teen vaping is unacceptable, the issue has already been well addressed. “Vaping by minors is completely unacceptable. However, let’s not forget that vaping products are strictly R18 following last year’s Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act.”

“The Government now needs to get really tough at the point of sale, applying the toughest penalties available for those caught selling or supplying to minors,” she says. Moreover, recent data has put any fears about possible rising teen vaping rates at rest. “After examining a survey of over 27,000 secondary school students, University of Auckland researchers last year found that only 0.8% of 14 and 15-year-olds, who had never smoked, were regular vapers. Researchers subsequently confirmed there was no youth vaping epidemic in New Zealand,” added Loucas.

She went on to say it’s important to recognize vaping’s possible key role in New Zealand achieving the Smokefree Aotearoa goal. “Let’s not keep trashing the best thing we have to achieving smokefree. More than enough measures are in place to protect our rangitahi – or young people. We now just need all retailers to enforce the age restriction. The role of parents, whanau, and schools is also critical.”

The Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan

Meanwhile the long awaited Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan was finally launched on Thursday 9th December 2021. And while commended for what it aims to achieve, sadly it fails to include vaping products as effective smoking cessation tools.

On the otherhand, New Zealand’s Associate Health Minister Dr. Ayesha Verrall, has been commended for engaging with a number of health entities to gather opinions about the action plan before finalizing it. These included organisations, services, advocates, academics, researchers and individuals who have left a mark on their communities.

New Zealand: Cigarette Smuggling to Worsen if Vaping Not Promoted





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Malta Becomes The First EU Country to Legalise Cannabis For Personal Use


Prohibition has never stopped anyone from consuming their preferred products, just pushed to obtain them from illegal and unsafe sources.

Following a vote of 36-27 in Parliament, President George Vella of the Labour party is expected to sign the measure into law by this weekend. The legislation will mean that possession of up to seven grams of the drug will be legal for those aged 18 and above. Moreover, users will be allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants at home, with up to 50g of the dried product storable.

In Malta, the measure has been welcomed by most, while condemned by the Nationalist Party, the conservative political party currently in opposition. A number of progressive entities have been calling for such a measure for years. In 2011, Daniel Holmes, a man from south Wales residing in Malta, was convicted for five years for possession and cultivation of cannabis, for personal use. The case had fuelled a debate over the country’s draconian drug laws and promoted protests for what many believed was a disproportionate punishment.

The move to legalise cannabis for personal use, is likely to lead to reform across Europe. Germany has already announced a move to establish a legal market. This was preceded by similar announcements from the governments of Switzerland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, while Italy already has a referendum planned.

Prohibition has never worked

Meanwhile, Malta will be joining a growing number of countries implementing such measures. Canada, Mexico and 18 US states have already enacted similar legislations, and rival Democrat and Republican bills being debated in the Senate, with federal US legalisation being inches closer each day.

The arguments in favour of the legislation are similar across the globe. Cannabis prohibition does not work, and never has. It has never stopped anyone from consuming their preferred products, but just pushed to obtain them from illegal and unsafe sources.

The legislation aims to reduce cannabis trafficking

Malta’s PM Abela has reiterated that under the reformed law, cannabis trafficking will remain illegal. “We are legislating to address a problem, with a harm reduction approach by regulating the sector so that people don’t have to resort to the black market,” he argued in parliament last month.”

Anyone caught violating the new law will still be fined up to €100 if caught in possession of between 7 and 28 grams of cannabis. The penalty increases to €235 for those who consume the substance in public, and between €300 and €500 if they consume it in the presence of children.

Indoor cannabis use across the US

Meanwhile, a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, discusses laws related to indoor cannabis use across the US. Titled, “Emerging Indoor Air Laws for Onsite Cannabis Consumption Businesses in the US,” the study said that over 50 localities across the States allow now allow indoor cannabis smoking at certain businesses, exposing customers and employees to secondhand cannabis smoke (SHCS).

The research team found a wide variation in how state and local governments address SHCS exposure. All of the 11 states that have legalized adult-use cannabis as of June 2020 prohibit consumption in public places, but six states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Michigan) allow onsite consumption in licensed cannabis businesses subject to local government approval. While Massachusetts only allows onsite consumption through vaporization or other non-combustible methods.

“The majority of the localities that allow onsite cannabis consumption do not explicitly prohibit smoking or vaping inside. Policymakers should be made aware that ventilation and other engineering interventions cannot fully protect workers and patrons. Health authorities and local leaders should educate policymakers on the science of secondhand smoke remediation and advocate for the same standards for secondhand cannabis smoking and vaping that apply to tobacco, particularly because other modes of cannabis administration do not pollute the air,” concluded the study.

Big Tobacco’s Next Frontier: The Legal Cannabis Industry





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