California Flavor Ban Will Go On Hold Until Nov. 2022

The California flavored vape ban scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021, will probably be suspended for two years until voters decide whether to keep or overturn the law. Opponents of the ban, which also includes menthol cigarettes and flavored smokeless tobacco and small cigars, have collected what they believe are enough signatures to give voters the choice to reject the tobacco and vape ban in a November 2022 referendum.

The California Coalition for Fairness, a group funded by major tobacco companies, says it has collected more than a million signatures from registered voters in the state opposed to the ban. According to the Los Angeles Times, 623,312 valid signatures are required. Typically, groups like the coalition collect more signatures than required, because many are discarded by state auditors.

The ban covers products sold in physical retail stores only (it does not ban online sales). The bill originally banned all tobacco and vaping products in flavors other than tobacco, but lobbyists were successful in obtaining exemptions in the final version for hookah products, pipe tobacco and premium cigars. It was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on Aug. 28.

The Coalition for Fairness was funded in large part by cigarette manufacturers Altria (Marlboro) and BAT/RJ Reynolds (Newport, Camel), which spent more than $21 million in the effort to stop the ban. According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the 22-month delay of the ban will mean an additional $1.1 billion in sales for the cigarette manufacturers.

But it will also mean a reprieve for small vape businesses in the state. For many vape shops and e-liquid manufacturers, the law could have been a death sentence. Although it allowed online sales to continue, most California vape shops depend on face-to-face sales of flavored e-liquid.

Unlike some other flavor bans, the California law made no exception even for products approved through the FDA’s premarket review process. In other words, submitting a PMTA to the agency and being approved would still not allow a manufacturer to sell products in the country’s largest state.

Although consumer group CASAA issued calls to action for its California members, there was no visible opposition to the flavor ban organized by independent vaping businesses in the state or national industry advocates, and no participation by industry groups in the signature-gathering effort.

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NZ Party Leader Wants to Remove Taxes on Safer Tobacco Alternatives

New Zealand’s First Part has announced that they would lower tobacco excise so that the average pack of cigarettes would cost no more than $20. Party leader Winston Peters said that the aim is to stop punishing smokers with high excise taxes as a strategy  to help them quit.

The AVCA believes that education and the availability of safer alternatives, not higher tobacco taxes, is the way forward in decreasing smoking rates.

The party leader added that they support the ASH’s surge strategy, making alternatives to smoking affordable and widely available. On the other hand, he added, the government’s current Smokefree 2025 approach isn’t working. “We don’t think that young and, particularly, poor people should be screwed any longer on this matter,” he says.

“The reality is this country has been involved in a serious deception for some time, they say they want to be smokefree by 2025 and meanwhile the excise tax is going up. Mainly poor people who can’t afford it, are paying outrageous excise tax for something that they could be persuaded to go from with the right policy, to other products which are far more safe as ASH says and in the meantime not sacrificing grocery bills to persist with a habit that they can be taken from with a sound strategy.”

High taxes have just fuelled a black market expansion

Peters pointed out that this decision has not been influenced by entities with vested interests. “I haven’t seen a cigarette company, no … I’ve never met a vaping company in my life. Don’t challenge my good faith and integrity.”

He also added that this approach would help reduce contraband activities. “High tobacco excise has fuelled a huge black market for tobacco, with sophisticated criminal operations avoiding tax by buying and importing cigarettes from parts of the world where tobacco excise is low. Less sophisticated criminals target dairies and service stations which are too often victims of violent crime. Lowering excise will reduce the value of stolen cigarettes to petty criminals.”

The 2020 Budget Did Not Raise Taxes

Meanwhile, for the first time after four years, New Zealand’s Government did not announce any further tobacco tax increases as part of this year’s budget.

“It’s good news the Minister of Finance didn’t use this Budget to hike tobacco tax, as has been the case for the past four years,” said Nancy Loucas, Director of Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA). In line with the arguments made by Peters, Loucas believes that while tobacco tax is used as a way of gaining revenue, it has a negative impact on vulnerable groups and does little to motivate the public to quit smoking.

The AVCA believes that education and the availability of safer alternatives is the way forward in decreasing smoking rates, added Loucas. “We support the Government investing in campaigns via its own Health Promotion Agency to encourage smokers to switch to vaping. However, we don’t support the Government effectively taxing our poorest households more. Thank goodness that has stopped.”

Read Further: RNZ

New Zealand’s Cigarettes Sales Rates Dropping Thanks to Vaping 

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Nearly 40% of smokers reduce smoking during the UAE epidemic

Recently, novel coronavirus pneumonia cases in the Middle East have been rebounded, while new cases of new crown pneumonia in the United Arab Emirates have decreased.

One reason may be that people generally follow the epidemic prevention rules, according to a survey. The survey was conducted by the health promotion department (HPD) of the Supreme Council for family affairs of Sharjah in collaboration with the University of Sharjah. It aims to investigate the impact of epidemic prevention restrictions on people’s eating behavior, lifestyle and health habits.

△ temperature detectors are set at the entrance of the UAE shopping mall (pictures are from local media) △ temperature detectors are set at the entrance of the UAE shopping mall (pictures are from local media)

The survey found that 98% of the respondents believed that isolation measures were an effective way to protect their families and prevent the spread of infectious diseases. During the outbreak, 83% of residents in the UAE consciously wore masks and gloves when they went out, and 39% of smokers reduced smoking. On the other hand, the population structure of the United Arab Emirates is different from that of most countries in the Middle East. Nearly 90% of its residents are foreigners. Some analysts believe that this is the reason why its residents are highly obedient to the regulatory policy.

In addition, the overall population of the United Arab Emirates is relatively young, which is one of the important reasons for the low mortality rate in the United Arab Emirates since the outbreak.

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Glantzing At Scientists Going Too Farsalinos

With both pro and anti electronic cigarette groups applying pressure on the World Health Organisation (WHO) the tweets, Facebook posts and open letters demonstrate how prissy leading scientists can be.

1. Size is important (to some people)

Firstly, begin by ensuring you have the longest possible number of letters and credentials after your name. Stanton Glantz is a past master at this.Stanton Glantz credentialsHe’s not the only one. When trying to ensure that what you are saying has credence everyone rolls out the letters. Check out Sharon, you go girl!Sharon Fonn Credentials

Of course, some would say that there’s an over-compensation thing going on, like middle-aged men driving sports cars.

Compare the above anti-ecig campaigners with the scientists calling for the WHO to base decisions on good science. Notice how all of them have chosen to leave qualifications out of the equation and use the understated approach of just saying what they currently do rather than a potted life history, the middle-aged man driving a functional family hatchback approach.Stimson & Umberto

2. Anti-social media

Flame wars are nothing new to the Internet. I remember having a heated exchange about the Thatcherite policies of the 80s where the third post had invoked Godwin’s Law and I’d been called a paedophile by the fifth: Attack the man, not the idea.Farsalinos Tweet To Glantz

No one trolls the social media as well as a scientist – and the way they do it is to question either the intelligence or, worse, the abuse of the scientific process the other scientist has invoked.

“A science-based response” is a slap across Glantz’ face, implying his is anything but based on science.

Of course, it’s possible to be less subtle: Clive Bates goes for the all-out assault on Glantz’ ideas by calling them “half-baked”.Clive Bates Tweet To Glantz
Now, any one who has watched The Big Bang Theory will appreciate, this is like calling Sheldon Cooper dim-witted. For those who like their string of credentials to be on public display nothing cuts deeper than the allegation that they can’t think properly.Glantz Tweet in response to Clive BatesWatching Scientists bicker in the public domain has to rank as one of my favourite hobbies not listed on my CV!

3. Question what drives their science

intellectual-freedomPeople automatically assume that intelligent people do intelligent things. Wrong. People are humans and do human things; without this there would be no use for the word schadenfreude and Harry Hill would have no videos of fat ladies falling off tables to show us.Glantz - Clive Bates

Scientists are humans, they do a job and get paid…but by who? The ‘who’ is important as it dictates what they are expected to say. So when someone makes a statement or releases e cig research it would be a brave or stupid person to put burning bag of dog poo on his or her own doorstep.

4. Insult their intelligence again

By now, you ought to understand that people at the top of their profession are proud people. They have become adept at covering up their mistakes and blaming it on other people (Glantz blaming his “source” for telling him Clive Bates was in the Philippines).

Dr Farsalinos is an expert in many things but the one thing not on his curriculum vitae is his ability to use 180 characters to blast into other people’s lack of insight.Farsalins Tweet Farsalinos / Glantz Tweet

Just make sure you’re fast though, Glantz has a habit of being quick to delete his more inappropriate tweets – it’s probably because he’s too stupid to think before he acts.

See how easy it is!


The letter to WHO from West and colleagues

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The UK’s largest retailer of steam products said sales of e-cigarettes increased by 1150% during the outbreak

Demand for steam products and e-cigarettes has surged more than 11 times since covid-19 and the ban on menthol cigarettes in the UK, according to one of the UK’s largest retailers of steam products.

Each cloud vape store said sales of steam products, e-cigarettes and oil jumped 1150% in the three months (March to May) during the closure compared with the first three months.

Cloud Vape

In addition, sales of menthol e-cigarettes and cigarette oil rose 69% month on month in May.

“While the ban on menthol cigarettes is an overwhelming positive development, it’s important to recognize that there are thousands of smokers there who have only used menthol cigarettes and that they may now find quitting smoking an unexpected challenge,” said Jon Humphrey, operations manager at every cloud vape store

Cloud vape store is one of the largest e-cigarette retailers in the UK, with 27 branches in southern England and plans to open more than 100 stores in the UK by the end of 2022.

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Vape Juice Contaminants And Why E-Liquid Quality Is Important

Not all vape juice manufactures adhere to the same manufacturing standards. The cleanliness of their manufacturing facilities, the ingredients that they use, and the quality control procedures that they have in place all play a critical role in determining the quality of their e-juice.

So what happens when a vape company does a poor job manufacturing their e-juice and cuts corners that shouldn’t be cut to produce e-liquid for cheap? The possibility that their e-juice is contaminated may very well increase, leaving some vapers almost surely wondering why they ever considered buying and vaping cheap e-juice in the first place.

One study, which was published in the Medical Journal of Australia, tested various e-liquids sold online and over-the-counter and found some of the e-liquids to contain by-products of animal or human bodily functions and ingredients commonly used in the manufacturing of flavorings, detergents, solvents, and soaps.

Another study, carried about by researchers from Harvard University, found some e-juices to be contaminated by harmful bacterial and fungal toxins, giving vapers with a very good reason to carefully consider the quality of the e-juice that they’re vaping.

Vaper Empire’s High Manufacturing Standards

Vaper Empire, one of Australia’s leading vape brands, takes the quality of their e-juice very serious. Which is why all of the company’s vape juices, from their Caramel Tobacco to their Sweet Menthol, are made to EU standards inside of state-of-the-art cleanrooms. Only pharmaceutical-grade nicotine and high-quality ingredients are used in the production of Vaper Empire’s TPD-tested e-juice.

The complete line of Vaper Empire e-liquids can be found at Vaper Empire’s online vape store. Vaper Empire vape juice is available in many different flavors, multiple nicotine strengths, and can be purchased in different sized bottles as well as in prefilled vape pods and e-cigarette cartomizers.

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Juul Labs to Exit Irish Market After Just 2 Years

Less than two years ago, Juul Labs entered the Irish vaping market with great enthusiasm. The company now plans to withdraw from the country at the end of this year, according to a story in the Irish Independent.

Credit: Juul Labs

Juul Labs told workers in September that the vaping giant planned to exit some European and Asia-Pacific markets and cutting more of its remaining 2,200 employees.

“Although much has been achieved in a short space of time, at a global level the company has had to make some difficult decisions about how best to serve its mission,” the company told suppliers in Ireland in recent weeks, according to the story.

“As part of this process the company has made the decision to focus its investment on core markets in order to best position itself for the long term, therefore unfortunately have informed us of their intention to exit the Irish market,” it added in a memo seen by the Irish Independent.

“Juul Ireland will be ceasing operations at the end of this 2020 calendar year,” it said.

The company launched in Ireland initially selling its products in 160 Circle-K forecourts and 50 Hale Vaping stores.

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Study Looks Into the Cleaning of Thirdhand Smoke Pollutants in Smokers’ Homes

While most smokers are aware of the dangers of secondhand smoke, fewer know about the dangers of thirdhand smoke pollution, which results from the harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke settling on surfaces. The study titled, “Remediating Thirdhand Smoke Pollution in Multiunit Housing: Temporary Reductions and the Challenges of Persistent Reservoirs,” aimed to identify the the effects of different cleaning methods on such chemicals.

The researchers found that best way to reduce thirdhand smoke exposure, is through clearing household dust.

“We wanted to see if there were any solutions available for people who live in homes that are polluted with thirdhand smoke. We explored three options for cleaning, and tested apartments for nicotine contamination before, after, and three months after each cleaning,” explained Matt.

The study participants were split in three groups. The first were assigned to dry/damp cleaning followed by wet cleaning 1 month later, the second to wet cleaning followed by dry/damp cleaning 1 month later, and the third dry/damp and wet cleaning applied the same day.

The researchers measured the levels of nicotine on surfaces and in dust before smoke exposure, immediately after, and 3 months after the cleaning, using liquid chromatography with triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS).

All cleaning methods reduced nicotine only temporarily

The study results indicated that nicotine contamination was immediately reduced in all three groups following cleaning. However, regardless of the cleaning method, nicotine contamination in all homes increased again during the three months following cleaning.

“Over a 4-month period prior to cleaning, surface nicotine levels remained unchanged (GeoMean change: −11% to +8%; repeated measures r = .94; p < .001). Used separately, dry/damp and wet cleaning methods showed limited benefits. When applied in combination, however, we observed significantly reduced nicotine on surfaces and in dust. Compared with baseline, GeoMean surface nicotine was 43% lower immediately after (z = −3.73, p < .001) and 53% lower 3 months later (z = −3.96, p < .001). GeoMean dust nicotine loading declined by 60% immediately after (z = −3.55, p < .001) and then increased 3 months later to precleaning levels (z = −1.18, p = .237),” reported the study Abstract.

In light of these results, the researchers concluded that while cleaning interventions did reduce nicotine in dust and on surfaces, they did not permanently remove it. “We would like to be able to tell residents that there is a simple way to remove this contamination permanently, but that is not what we found. What we can say, as a result of this study, is that there are two important steps you can take to reduce thirdhand smoke contamination and make your home safer,” said Matt.

The importance of clearing dust particles

In light of the findings, the study author is suggesting keeping household dust as low as possible. Frequent vacuuming of all soft furnishings and floors, and dusting/mopping of all hard surfaces, is suggested as the best way to reduce thirdhand smoke exposure through household dust.

Secondly, surfaces that are touched often should be kept as clean as possible. Frequently wiping table tops, doors, cabinets, and chairs, and washing pillow cases, blankets, and drapery will help reduce exposure to thirdhand smoke whilst at home.

US Study: Smoke-Exposed Children Have Higher Rates of Hospital Admissions

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Cannabis ‘Breath Analyzer’ Going to Beta Testing Phase

Cannabix Technologies plans to begin beta testing its marijuana THC Breath Analyzer version 3.0 with an occupational health care provider in southern California early next year. Newport Beach-based Alipour Medical Centre provides drug and alcohol testing services to a number of local employers in the state.

Man smoking marijuana joint
Credit: Elsa Olofsson

After the recent election, 33 U.S. states now have some form of legal marijuana. The THCBA is an ideal device for employers and other markets who are seeking a way to quickly, easily and non-invasively test for recent use of Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the psychoactive component of marijuana that causes impairment, according to a press release.

Alipour Medical Centre provides drug and alcohol testing services to a number of local employers in the state. Cannabix will be seeking additional organizations for beta testing. Interested parties to contact the company via its website

“The Cannabix device allows for more relevant THC detection from breath allowing employers to create an onsite regiment whereby they can perform pre-access testing for recent use of marijuana before and during work hours, instead of testing for drug use when employees are not at work,” the release states. “Cannabix will be beta testing its device in order to continue training the device’s machine learning database and improve user experience through testing feedback. The THCBA has been built to provide easy to understand screen prompts for the positive and negative detection of THC in breath in a portable manner, and can be administered without extensive training.”

Current forms of testing for marijuana use can identify THC ranging from minutes to days prior to actual use, making it impossible to show the difference between the two. Studies¹ have shown that breath is a better indicator of impairment than saliva, blood or urine because THC is present in breath for a relatively short period of time (1-3 hours); whereas, it is excreted at detectable levels in other body fluids for many hours, days, or even weeks after smoking. This short time period of detection in breath aligns with the peak impairment window.

“We are very pleased to be using one of the world’s first marijuana breathalyzers in our medical facility. We know first-hand how the legalization of marijuana has affected employers in our state. As occupational health practitioners based in Orange County, we understand the challenges that employers are facing in providing relevant drug testing for existing and new employees,” said Dr. Nima Alipour, CEO of Alipour Medical Corp. “We advise corporations on how best to keep their workforce safe; identifying safety issues as they pertain to impairment, while taking into account employee rights in an environment of state legalization.”

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It is reported that Russia will limit nicotine content in e-cigarettes to less than 20mg

juul e-cigarettes

Russian legislators are discussing a bill that would ban the sale of devices containing more than 20 mg of liquid nicotine, the business man reported.

Sources said the second review of the bill in the Russian State Duma, the lower house of Russia, may be completed by the end of this week.

In order to stay in Russia, Juul needs to reduce nicotine’s share of its device from 50 mg, the source said.

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