Caught! Bloomberg’s fingerprints try to smear Filipino vape bill

“Perfectly orchestrated criticism from youth and student organizations on the vaping legislation currently before the Philippines Senate proves that undue foreign influence and money continue to be an ongoing issue in the Philippines,” says Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA).

“This latest well-timed supposed youth initiative against Senate Bill No. 2239 has the fingerprints of Bloomberg Philanthropies all over it. Their ridiculous claim that the ‘vape bill is anti-youth and anti-health’ is undoubtedly funded and driven out of America. All their baseless rhetoric is straight out the Bloomberg playbook. It’s very disappointing,” she says.

CAPHRA’s spokesperson says the timing of this latest foreign attack on domestic policymaking could not be worse. The Philippines’ Congress is currently demanding tighter measures against foreign interference.

The House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability is calling for airtight policies to ensure foreign donors, such as Bloomberg, do not interfere in the country’s internal policymaking affairs.

“We are calling on Filipino Senators to see this latest well-funded and organised attack exactly for what it is: Unwanted foreign influence that the Philippines is now desperate to banish. Senators must reject this smear attempt forthwith,” says Ms Loucas.

CAPHRA says despite such despicable interference, the Philippines Senate looks set to approve the Non-Combustible Nicotine Delivery Systems Regulation Act. Also known as Senate Bill No. 2239, it aims to regulate the manufacture, use, sale, distribution, and promotion of vaping, as well as heated tobacco products (HTPs).

Peter Dator, President of adult consumer advocacy group Vapers PH and CAPHRA member, completely dismisses the youth organizations’ latest attempt to derail the progressive and risk-proportionate vape legislation.

“The purpose of the vape bill is not to promote youth entry into nicotine products, but to help address the enormous tobacco smoking epidemic we are facing. The bill has considerable safeguards to address youth access and ensures product safety standards to protect consumers,” he says.

Mr Dator says Vapers PH wholeheartedly agrees that vaping should not be introduced to the youth. It believes the imminent 18-year-old purchase age will provide young Filipino smokers with a real chance to quit cigarettes before the deadly habit sets in.

“We want fair and risk-proportionate regulation for vaping relative to tobacco regulation. We would be happy to support the legal age to purchase vape products remaining at 21 if the legal age to purchase cigarettes was to rise to 21. However, by ensuring both are 18 means young adult smokers have equal access to safer nicotine products,” he says.

Mr Dator says nearly 90,000 Filipinos die from smoking-related diseases every year, and over 16 million continue to smoke. The vape bill will simply enable and encourage more smokers to switch to vaping – the world’s most effective smoking cessation tool that’s been scientifically proven to be 95% less harmful than combustible cigarettes.

“We urge youth organizations to acknowledge the science. Allowing the alternatives to be more accessible, and in this case, simply just as accessible, would serve public health so much better.

“Not everyone can quit cigarettes cold turkey. We should stop discriminating against those who need alternatives to quit. It’s time to end the ’quit or die’ stigma that has been detrimental to ending the tobacco smoking epidemic in the Philippines. This vape bill will ensure a brighter and longer future for our young people,” says Peter Dator.

“We cannot wait for the Senate to now approve this leading legislation in the Asia Pacific region on how to do Tobacco Harm Reduction well. Ignoring any vestiges of foreign influence, this vape bill will be both lifesaving and historic for the Philippines,” says Nancy Loucas.

Now live and boasting nearly 14,000 testimonials, CAPHRA is calling on those who’ve quit cigarettes through smoke-free nicotine alternatives to tell their story on www.righttovape.org

Consumer groups in the Asia Pacific region have also launched a petition at change.org/v4v-petition that urges the World Health Organisation (WHO) to respect consumer rights and to stop demonizing Tobacco Harm Reduction options ahead of the next biennial meeting of the WHO Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in November.

For a free digital media repository on tobacco harm reduction in Asia Pacific – including media releases, images and graphics – please visithttps://apthrmedia.org

Philippines Senate to lead region with progressive

“The world is watching as the Philippines Senate looks set to approve the most progressive and risk-proportionate vaping legislation in Asia Pacific. We’re hoping other countries in the region will then follow their lead,” says Nancy Loucas, Executive Coordinator of the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA).

In May the Philippines House of Representatives passed the Non-Combustible Nicotine Delivery Systems Regulation Act also known as House Bill 9007. It aims to regulate the manufacture, use, sale, distribution, and promotion of vaping, as well as heated tobacco products (HTPs).

Peter Dator, President of consumer group Vapers PH and CAPHRA member, hopes the Senate will pass the legislation by September.

He describes it as a massive turn around. The Philippines Government tried to ban the use of e-cigarettes, HTPs, and other smoke-free alternatives in 2019. Then there were proposals to raise the purchase age to 25 and ban all vape flavours other than menthol and tobacco.

“Consumer advocates in the Philippines have worked constructively with legislators and officials. They promoted the regulation of e-cigarettes as a consumer product and advocated for a purchase age of 18. They successfully argued that adult smokers keen to quit tobacco need reasonable access to safer alternatives. Also, that product safety standards are critical,” says Ms Loucas.

Mr Dator says given nearly 90,000 Filipinos die from smoking-related diseases every year, he is confident a clear majority of Senators realise just how much is at stake.

“This needs to get passed to ensure millions of Filipino smokers continue to have access to safer nicotine products. At the same time, existing vapers must maintain access to their product of choice to keep them from going back to cigarettes,” he says.

Clarisse Virgino, the Philippine representative of CAPHRA, is also hopeful the Senate is set to give its stamp of approval required to enact the legislation. She says it will go a long way to addressing the country’s stubbornly high smoking rate which sees over 16 million Filipinos still smoking combustible cigarettes.

“It’s vital this legislation gets Senate approval. It will give consumers better protection enabling them to choose genuine THR products at a reasonable price. Fair regulation will also eradicate any black markets or any sellers who are not authorized to sell THR products, prioritizing the safety of consumers,” she says.

Ms Virgino says legislation will legitimize the fact that tobacco harm reduction is a real thing, backed by science. International evidence continues to put vaping at 95% less harmful than smoking.

“I am confident that like our House representatives, our Senators have listened. Without doubt vaping has proved to be world’s most effective smoking cessation tool. Legitimizing it will go a long way to helping many more Filipino smokers quit cigarettes and protect the rights of consumers to access safer alternatives,” she says.

Ms Loucas says the Philippines adoption of best practice Tobacco Harm Reduction policies will hopefully be emulated by other Asia Pacific governments. Many suffer from desperately high smoking rates and in some countries, such as Thailand, vaping remains illegal.

“This move will only strengthen the Philippines’ independence as it shakes off any remaining vestiges of foreign influence on its public health policies. In recent years, we’ve seen American billionaires and their so-called philanthropic foundations fuelling anti-vaping sentiment around the world. It’s well established that the Philippines has been a target.

“As this landmark legislation nears its final hurdle, outside pressure will again pile on, but Senators can be confident their positive action will undoubtedly save thousands of Filipino lives,” says Nancy Loucas.

Consumer groups in the Asia Pacific region have also launched a petition at change.org/v4v-petition that urges the World Health Organisation (WHO) to respect consumer rights and to stop demonizing Tobacco Harm Reduction options ahead of the next biennial meeting of the WHO Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in November.

For a free digital media repository on tobacco harm reduction in Asia Pacific – including media releases, images and graphics – please visit https://apthrmedia.org

Edinburgh vaping firm VPZ takes wraps off first ‘vape clinic’

The facility has opened within the group’s flagship Newbridge store and plans are now in place to roll out the service across the entire retail estate in the coming months.

Bosses said the clinic concept had been introduced to meet the growing demand for smoking cessation help as access to local services and vaping retailers massively reduced during lockdown.

Plans for the vape clinics to help more smokers quit were first outlined in May.

Director Doug Mutter said: “VPZ is the UK’s leading vaping specialist and we are spearheading the fight against the nation’s number one killer – smoking.

“We are proud to be launching the very first vape clinic here in Edinburgh and will soon be rolling the service out across our entire retail estate to give smokers the support they need to quit and help the country regain its momentum toward becoming a tobacco free nation by 2030.

“Smoking statistics are continuing to rise as the pandemic has triggered an increase in smoking rates and the public health problem has been compounded by funding cuts for NHS stop smoking services and local support groups.”

He added: “Our new concept is an investment to fill the void left by the loss of local NHS stop smoking services. We are so confident in the success of our new service that we are offering our customers a money back guarantee if they are unable to make the switch entirely.”

Germany approves tobacco and e-cigarette tax hike

Smokers – of both electronic cigarettes and the regular variety – will have to reach deeper into their pockets in the coming year, after the German Bundestag signed off a bill to raise taxes on cigarettes, e-cigarettes and tobacco heaters.

Smoking in Germany to get more expensive in 2022

On Friday morning, the Bundestag waved through legislation to make smoking in Germany more expensive as of next year – and the price hike is higher than was originally planned. Accordingly, the tobacco tax on a packet of 20 cigarettes will rise by an average of 10 cents in 2021. A year later, a further 10 cents will be added, and in both 2025 and 2026 another 15 cents per pack will be added.

Legislators are also coming down hard on e-cigarettes and tobacco heaters, products which were previously only lightly taxed. That will change in the future, as the government moves to tax even nicotine-free varieties of e-cigarettes.

Currently, a 10-millilitre bottle of vape liquid costs around 5 euros in Germany. In 2022, an extra 1,60 euros will be added to this price in taxation, and this will rise to 3,20 euros by 2026. An additional tax is also to be introduced for heated tobacco, so that in future it will be treated similarly to cigarettes for tax purposes.

E-cigarette manufacturers complain of unfair treatment

The new law has been met with dismay by the manufacturers of e-cigarettes and tobacco heaters, who argue that their products contain significantly fewer harmful substances than tobacco cigarettes and should therefore not be subject to the same levels of taxation. The Association of the E-Cigarette Trade (VdeH) warned that the move might prompt vapers to revert to smoking tobacco cigarettes.

The so-called “Alliance for Tobacco-Free Enjoyment” – a representative body for the e-cigarette industry – said that it intends to go to the Federal Constitutional Court to file a complaint against what it sees as a disproportionate tax increase.

Around one in four adults in Germany smokes regularly, meaning that the tobacco tax is a big source of revenue for the government. Last year, it swelled the government’s coffers to the tune of approximately 14,7 billion euros. The last time the tobacco tax was increased was in 2015.

Estonia decides to suspend consumption tax on e-liquid

A European country, Estonia, previously imposed a tax on e-cigarettes, but now it has decided to suspend the consumption tax on e-liquid.

The Estonian Parliament recently voted to suspend the consumption tax on e-liquids from April 1, 2021 to December 31, 2022.

The reason given for the suspension of e-liquid consumption tax is: to reduce cross-border trade and illegal trade, and that more countries should follow suit.

Since 2018, the consumption tax on e-liquid in Estonia has been 0.2 Euro per milliliter. Since its entry into force, e-cigarette users in Estonia have begun to buy e-liquid from neighboring Latvia and Russia. Prices in these two countries are much lower, and because the illegal trade of e-liquid has started to grow, minors have begun to become black marketers, buyers and sellers.

NNA Smoke-Free Estonia is an affiliate of the New Nicotine Alliance (NNA) network. It is a member of the International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organizations (INNCO) and the European Advocate for Tobacco Harm Reduction (ETHRA).
The organization calculated that self-mixing, cross-border and smuggled e-cigarettes e-liquid accounted for approximately 62-80% of the entire Estonian market.

Tarmo Kruusimäe, Member of Parliament of Estonia, said that the suspension of consumption tax will likely lower the price of e-liquid, thereby providing consumers with controlled and safe products at lower prices.

“If we manage to reduce illicit trade and cross-border trade, while at the same time providing less harmful alternatives to cigarettes at more competitive prices, then it may become a successful model.”

President of the Canadian Vaping Association calls on decision makers to include e-cigarettes in harm reduction strategies

On February 16, Darryl Tempest, chairman of the Canadian Vaping Association, issued an open letter calling on the government to use electronic cigarettes in tobacco harm reduction strategies.

He said that in Canada, the number of deaths caused by smoking has exceeded the combined number of deaths from drug overdose and the covid-19 pandemics, making it the first enemy of public health. E-cigarettes have been proven to have significant harm reduction effects and are the most effective tool to solve this public health crisis.

An open letter from Darryl Tempest – Executive Director of the Canadian Vaping Association

Beamsville, ON, Feb. 16, 2021 — For the better part of the last decade, advocates have fought for vaping to be recognised as a harm reduction tool for adult smokers. In the time since, science has caught up with the industry’s message and vaping has been recognized by all health organizations as far less harmful than smoking. Yet, despite the overwhelming evidence concluding that vaping is less harmful, smokers and society at large are still being sent mixed messages by the government and misleading information by media to support a sensationalistic narrative.

Canada has a strong history of supporting other types of harm reduction, with the response to the opioid crisis being a great example. Opioid overdoses were responsible for 16,364 deaths in Canada over a 4-year period. The government responded by creating safe injection sites and are now considering decriminalizing heroine, fentanyl and cocaine. These measures were designed to provide safe spaces for addicts and to connect them with needed resources. While safe injection sites and the decriminalization of hard drugs are controversial, the government continues to address the problem through a science-based harm reduction lens.

This harm reduction lens is again applied to COVID-19, with Canada’s implementation of a highly controversial response. The country has shut down businesses, closed schools, mandated safety plans for employers and restricted travel. These measures while extreme and controversial were implemented following a thorough scientific review which determined they were necessary for public health. To date, COVID-19 has taken the lives of 21,311 Canadians.

These are just two of many examples of Canada leading effective harm reduction policies regardless of the controversy surrounding them for the betterment of public health. Vaping has been scientifically proven to be the most effective cessation method for smoking; an addiction that claims the lives of 45,000 Canadians each year. Despite smoking being Canada’s leading cause of preventable illness and premature death, the government’s response to vaping has been dangerously inadequate.

While Health Canada’s website does state that smokers who switch completely to vaping reduce their exposure to harmful chemicals, their campaigns warning of the dangers of vaping, without mention of the immense harm reduction opportunity for our country’s 4.5 million smokers have confused the public. This is made clear by polling which found more than half of Canadian’s believe vaping is at least as harmful as smoking. This polling data is dreadfully low for a product that could save millions of lives, save our health care system billions of dollars, and prevent millions of Canadian families from experiencing the emotional toll of smoking related deaths.

In large part, the confusion surrounding vaping stems from legitimate concerns regarding increased youth vaping rates. Instead of focusing on educating youth and restricting access, media and anti-vape organizations continue to run harmful campaigns discrediting vaping as a harm reduction solution while targeting flavours. These campaigns are contrary to the fact that vaping is the most successful tool in history to address smoking rates. To meet our national smoking reduction goal, policy makers must support vaping as a harm reduction strategy. We only need to look to the results in the United Kingdom to see the incredibly positive impact vaping has had on their nation. If the Government of Canada is serious about smoking rates being at 5% by 2035, their current policies will need to catch up with the plethora of science supporting vaping as the most powerful tool for harm reduction and acknowledge that flavours are the key to vaping’s success.

Youth vaping is a real concern, but it can be addressed through proper enforcement, education, and restricting access to adult environments, rather than further regulation at the expense of the lives of millions of adult smokers. Smoking is our country’s greatest threat to public health, with a death toll greater than both overdoses and COVID-19 fatalities combined. The government must use the same scientific approach to solving this health crisis as would be applied to any other.

While my message is addressing the systematic change needed to save millions of lives, personally I have lost family members to smoking related disease, as many of us have. If our leaders in government, public health and journalism continue to ignore the research, the only message I could share with those that our families have lost, is that because of stigma their lives didn’t matter to our society.

We will continue the fight for those that can change their health outcomes and for those that we have already lost.

Canadian Vaping Association’s Open Letter to Canadians

Hamilton, ON, Oct. 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — My name is Darryl Tempest and I am the Executive Director of the Canadian Vaping Association. Our organization represents independent vape retailers and manufacturers throughout our country. We do not represent or accept support from tobacco companies. From its inception our membership’s mission was to be a part of the solution to remove combustible tobacco from Canada forever. Our principles are simple, we support harm reduction for smokers through vaping, which studies have shown to be the single most effective method in history. We also advocate for regulations that balance adult harm reduction with youth protection.

As we predicted our fight against the tobacco companies has been a daunting task. Our mission to dismantle the tobacco industry has been met with highly paid lobbyists and predatory practices to protect their nicotine market share. It is important to understand that high nicotine products barely existed in Canada prior to 2018, when tobacco companies entered Canada with vape products. Tobacco companies primarily sell products with high nicotine ranging from 18-59mg/mL. Prior to Big Tobacco’s entry, specialty vape shops sold products ranging from 0-12mg/mL, while working with clients to gradually reduce their nicotine intake. As cigarette sales rapidly declined, tobacco companies responded by introducing extremely high nicotine products to ensure customers remain addicted.

We failed to anticipate that health advocacy groups would design polices to support big tobacco’s transition to dominate the vaping industry and destroy the independent vape industry dedicated to harm reduction. These policies put tobacco companies firmly in control to continue to drive high nicotine sales without any mention of harm reduction or relative risk. The support of Big Tobacco has recently been led by Dr. Andrew Pipe and Dr. Mohammed Al-Hamdani and their staff, creating their own research to counter the balanced and peer reviewed global research as it does not fit their narrative. In fact, Dr. Al-Hamdani has supported the legislation tobacco companies have lobbied hard for.

If Big Tobacco were to write legislation to advantage themselves, they could not have asked for better than the new regulation in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia has taxed e-liquids 50 cents per millilitre sold and an additional 20% tax on the retail value of all vaping devices. This tax disproportionately tax’s adult ex-smokers who vape using refillable tank systems and barely taxes the highly addictive, high nicotine pod systems primarily sold in convenience stores, which the data shows are preferred by youth. For example, a typical 30mL bottle of e-liquid used by adult ex-smokers would be taxed an extra $15 (30mL x.50 cents/mL) effectively doubling its current retail price, while pod systems contain 1mL of liquid and would therefore be taxed 50 cents for each pod. Typically, these pods are sold in packs of 3, making the additional cost $1.50. If Dr. Pipe is so concerned with the affordability of vaping products for youth, where was his leadership in Nova Scotia?

Additionally, these organizations have positioned flavour bans as necessary for youth protection. The reality is the research demonstrates that flavour bans are completely ineffective in preventing youth vaping. While flavour bans don’t affect youth vaping rates, they do harm adult smokers by pushing them back to smoking. Yale researchers concluded that adults who quit smoking using a flavoured product were 2.3 times more likely to be successful, while the sales data from regions that have implemented flavours bans shows that in all cases smoking rates increased 3-9%. Tobacco companies benefit from flavour bans on both ends. As smoking rates increase, their tobacco sales do as well. Moreover, their vape products are not dependant on flavours but rather high nicotine concentrations, so flavour bans have no effect on their vape product sales.

The health organizations’ policy recommendation will lead to:

  • The closure of specialty vape shops – the country’s only age-restricted retailers;
  • Significant growth in foreign imports with no federal age verification regulations;
  • A growing unregulated black-market selling unregulated and potentially dangerous products; and
  • The loss of an unprecedented harm reduction opportunity for smokers.

How these recommendations play into Big Tobacco’s strategy:

  • Replace cigarettes with high nicotine vaping products to ensure profits;
  • Use per/mL taxation and flavour bans to eliminate the independent vape industry; and
  • Once independent vape stores are wiped out due to taxation and flavour bans, use their already established distribution network to dominate the landscape.

How health organizations are helping them:

  • Not engaging with stakeholders and ignoring the science behind vaping and its success;
  • Failing to support vaping after science has proven significant harm reduction and effectiveness;
  • Recommending ineffective policies such as flavour bans and taxation which have proven not to work and to harm smokers;
  • Destroying the sole adult-only access retailers across this country, while fueling the illicit market for these products (criminals do not ID); and
  • Ensuring that only high nicotine products are available legally

Tobacco companies have created the perfect storm, by irresponsibly marketing vape products prior to regulation preventing it, they’ve increased youth awareness and experimentation. They then supplied the market with high nicotine products with limited flavour profiles as they knew users would be addicted to nicotine as flavours are not addictive. Youth experimentation and high nicotine resulted in rightful concern by parents and regulators, causing sensationalist reporting by mass media that failed to convey the complexities and nuance of vaping. This in turn put pressure on regulators to act on misinformation which largely has been supplied by health organizations including Heart and Stroke. The entirety of the above, led us to where we are today with health advocates recommending policies to advantage tobacco companies exclusively.

We all must be on the right side of history with respect to vaping, without change, it is the 5 million Canadian smokers and 1 million vapers who lose. Ex-smokers will be forced back to smoking and current smokers will lose access to the specialty vape stores which unlike gas stations are equipped to aid in a smoker’s transition away from tobacco. Our youth also lose, as none of these health advocate’s proposals address the root of the problem. I ask that Canadians review the science and voice your support for harm reduction. Big tobacco created the problem, they are not the solution.

Darryl Tempest
The Canadian Vaping Association 
6472741867
[email protected]

Jordan Receives WHO Funding and Assistance to Help Combat Smoking Problem


More than 8 out of 10 Jordanian men are believed to either smoke or use other nicotine products and men who smoke daily are estimated to consume an average of 23 cigarettes per day. These figures were revealed by a 2019 national survey (STEPS) conducted by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the WHO.

Jordan has the world’s highest smoking rates

The smoking rates in Jordan surpass the ones in Indonesia, a country long been considered as having the world’s highest rates.

Excluding e-cigarettes and other “smokeless” products, the research indicated that 66% of Jordanian men and over 17% of women were smokers. These figures surpass the rates in Indonesia, which has long been considered as having the world’s highest rates. “The rates are dangerously high and a predictor of a future public health catastrophe,” said Firas al-Hawari, a physician and head of the cancer-control office at Amman’s King Hussein Cancer Center.

Public health advocates and industry analysts are attributing these alarming figures to widespread interference in local policy-making by multinational tobacco companies. These firms are said to be allowed to operate with comparatively fewer restrictions than in the UK and other countries which boast relatively low smoking rates.

“These companies continue to exercise as much political power as they can in wealthy countries, but they’re more successful in lower-income countries where they face less transparency, can operate more in the dark and overwhelm whatever civic societies exist,” said Rima Nakkash, an associate professor of public health at the American University of Beirut.

The Access Initiative for Quitting Tobacco

The WHO received its first-ever donation of nicotine replacement therapy from J & J of about $1 million to cover thousands of smokers in Jordan.

Enter the WHO, and a new Access Initiative for Quitting Tobacco launched last month. The initiative is being overseen by Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus from the WHO, HH Princess Dina Mired, President of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and Thibault Mongon, Executive Vice President of Johnson & Johnson (J & J), during the WHO COVID-19 media briefing.

According to a WHO statement, Jordan will be the first country in the world to benefit from this new smoking cessation scheme. The health organization received its first-ever donation of nicotine replacement therapy from J & J of about $1 million to cover thousands of smokers in Jordan, added the statement.

The scheme provides free NRTs and a digital assistant

Besides giving people free access to NRTs, the programme also gives smokers a digital health worker, Florence, based on artificial intelligence. This digital assistant aims to educate by dispelling myths around COVID-19 and tobacco,whilst helping people develop a personalised plan to quit tobacco. This initiative will complement the currently available local free smoking cessation services through Ministry of Health clinics and other facilities.

“Given the alarming tobacco status — 82.5% of Jordanian adult men smokers using tobacco or e-cigarettes and 80%  of the population being exposed to second-hand smoking — I am very pleased that Jordan is part of this initiative, which will help advocate for tobacco control and support civil society organisations in their continued efforts for a healthier smoke-free future for Jordan,” said Princess Dina Mired.

The STEPS Survey has indicated that 44% of Jordanian adult smokers have tried to quit smoking in the past year, yet only a small percentage managed successfully. “Health Minister Saad Jaber praises the partnership with WHO to help support the Ministry of Health’s efforts in decreasing all forms of smoking in Jordan by providing free of charge medications and counselling services to Jordan’s population,” read the WHO statement.

Maria Cristina Profili, WHO representative to Jordan added, “We are grateful for this donation which builds on WHO existing efforts and a comprehensive programme to fight tobacco control in Jordan. The nicotine replacement therapy will help thousands of people in Jordan quit tobacco and lead a healthier life.”

The WHO added that the Access Initiative for Quitting Tobacco, which will be soon available in Jordan, is designed to deliver tobacco cessation services that will help people overcome both physical and mental addictions to tobacco and allow them and their families to live a smoke-free life. Smokers can seek additional information and help by calling the national Smoking Cessation Hotline (06-50-04-546).

Big pharma’s influence on the WHO stands out

The partnership that the WHO has made with Johnson & Johnson to supply NRTs for the programme, clearly highlights something recently pointed out by AVCA (Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy) director Nancy Loucas. Loucas, who is also Executive Coordinator of CAPHRA (the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocate) was explaining that the WHO’s position against e-cigarettes has been influenced and compromised by vested interests that provide funds to the organisation, such as in the this case a massive pharmaceutical company supplying the WHO with NRTs.

“This vested interest has coloured the information in order to serve the political and financial interests of Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Gates Foundation who provide nearly half of all the funding for the WHO-FCTC. The WHO is lying to you to protect their own financial interests and keep their private donors happy. They are not objective. They are not focused on their own mandate under FCTC to promote the health of the people and their right to have information to make informed choices regarding their health,” said Loucas.

Read Further: MENAFN

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Canada allows e-cigarette stores to continue operating amid COVID 19

The Canadian government of Newfoundland and Labrador allows professional e-cigarette stores to continue operating under strict epidemic prevention measures. Allowing e-cigarette stores to operate under contactless protocols will prevent thousands of Newfoundland & Labrador e-cigarette users from being forced to re-smoke traditional cigarettes.

The Canadian Vaping Association appreciated the move of the Canadian government.

Latest vaping trends in March 2020

There’s been a bit of positive vaping news recently, and we’ve decided to give you the rundown on some of the freshest news in the vape world to ring in the Spring! Check out the highlights below.

Trump Backpedals on Vape Ban

In September, Trump announced he would take “very, very strong” action to combat the rise in underage vaping by banning all flavored e-cigarettes.

However, during a call at in the Oval Office (which was on speakerphone), the president expressed regret for getting personally involved in the issue, and reneged, “I should never have done that f*cking vaping thing.” The U.S. President now seems to be under pressure from the industry, interest groups and his own supporters, some of whom threatened not to vote for him if he went through with a complete ban. It appears the issue became more politically fraught than Trump had imagined, and this might mean less political backlash in the future.

An Updated Research Report on UK Vaping

Over in the UK, a recent 2020 study by the UK government shows that smoking

among adults in England, has continued to decline over the past 10 years, and was at around 15% in 2019. Most adults in the country now use vaping products to help them quit smoking. The report also notes that, “Data from stop smoking services in England suggests that when a vaping product is used in a quit attempt, either alone or with licensed medication, success rates might be higher than licensed medication alone.”

Vapers have said that a total ban on flavors would impact their ability to use vapes to quit or reduce their smoking. It could also push current vapers towards illicit or off market products.

Similar to previous years, data from smoking cessation services in England suggests that when a vaping product is used to quit, success rates tend to be better than many other options.

Where statistical data is available, prevalence of vaping among adults in England appears to be higher than in other countries.

Current vaping prevalence (weekly or less than weekly) among young people in England has remained reasonably steady with the best recent estimates putting it at 6% of 11 to 15-year-olds in 2018 and 5% of 11 to 18-year-olds in 2019. This rate is under control.

Canadian Vaping Association Calls for Better Regulation

The Candian Vaping Association (CVA) has called for more reasonable regulation of the sale of flavored vape e-liquids during Covid-19. The CVA pointed out that vaping is a “critical tool” for many people in managing their nicotine addiction and flavored e-liquids are key to making that tool work properly.

The CVA is calling on governments around the world to ensure that adult-only vape shops remain open under the new public health guidelines put in place to manage Covid-19, in order to supply vapers with the products they need during these difficult times.

Darryl Tempest, Executive Director of The Canadian Vaping Association noted that there are around 1.1 million vapers across Canada for whom vape shops are critical in ensuring they don’t return to combustible cigarettes or black market homemade e-liquids.

New Vaping Regulations in Philippines

Vaping is now making the transition from illegal to regulated industry in the Philippines.

Three months after President Rodrigo Duterte banned the use and importation of vapes in a speech, e-cigarettes are now officially covered by the nationwide smoking ban, allowing all vapor products to go through official channels for certification as per a new executive order signed by the Philippino President. The Department of Health welcomed the President’s amendments, and marked it as a “solid step” in compelling the industry to comply with regulations. An earlier administrative order that regulated e-cigarettes was met with court injunctions filed by players in the industry.

The Truth About Vaping

Given the current research, there’s little doubt that vaping exposes you users to less harm than traditional cigarettes. England’s NHS published that it is estimated that vapes are “at least 95% less harmful” than traditional cigarettes.

If all smokers turn from cigarettes to vaping products, including box mods, pod kits, and easy-to-use, portable systems like SNOWPLUS, many smokers would be better off.

Final words

To some extent, things seem to be improving for vaping, as laws in more countries are becoming more reasonable. Vapes like these are readily available in many countries around the world and are great options for adult smokers looking for something better than smelly cigarettes.