Tobacco Harm Reduction – “Denial” Is Killing Smokers
With 8 billion smokers dying around the world each year a new study shows e-cigarettes could save many millions if not billions of lives.
It’s not only vaping either with SNUS and Heat Not Burn products accounting for very many quit smoking success stories globally.
However, the authors of the Burning Issues: The Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction (GSTHR) 2020 say with an increase in smoking rates across poorer and emerging countries, many smokers are denied life saving alternatives by Governments.
The numbers make for disturbing reading:
- There are only nine SNP users for every 100 smokers globally, mainly in high income countries;
- Overall, 98 million people are estimated to use safer nicotine products worldwide;
- Of those, 68 million are vapers, with the largest vaping populations in the US, China, the Russian Federation, the UK, France, Japan, Germany and Mexico;
- 20 million are HTP users; with most HTP users in Japan, where cigarette sales have dropped by 32% since 2016 when HTP were launched;
- 10 million are US smokeless or snus users.
The report delves deep into why NRTs appear to be denied in many countries and blames among other factors, the World Health Organization.
…the WHO is being influenced by billions of dollars from US foundations campaigning against tobacco harm reduction, while misinformation is discouraging smokers from switching to safer products.
I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve said that!
Here’s just one article: Media Scaremongering Is Stopping Smokers Make the Switch
Former chair of the New Nicotine Alliance and Emeritus Professor, Imperial College London, and KAC Director, Professor Gerry Stimson, says 1.1 billion smokers deserve better:
Integrated into tobacco control, harm reduction could be a game-changer in the battle against non-communicable disease.
Global tobacco control policymakers must listen to consumers and deliver policies that genuinely focus on reducing smoking-related deaths by all available means.
Burning Issues Executive Editor Harry Shapiro agreed adding:
Tobacco harm reduction could and should become a genuine consumer-led public health success.
Instead, we’re seeing the start of a war on nicotine.
Samrat Chowdhery, President of The International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organizations, Director of the Association of Vapers India, was also at the launch and said:
Given that over 80 per cent of tobacco users are in low- and middle-income countries with meagre means to deal with tobacco-related consequences, the focus ought to be unwaveringly on harm prevention, by allowing people to exercise the choice of avoiding death and disease by switching to affordable and accessible risk-reduced alternatives.
Most damming comment at the launch of the study came from guest speaker Professor David Nutt, DrugScience founder, who said:
My work leading a multicriteria decision analysis on the harms of different nicotine products back in 2013 contributed to the understanding that e-cigarettes are around 95 per cent less harmful than cigarettes.
Yet many so-called ‘experts’ rebuff scientific evidence on vaping or snus safety and deny relative harm data, while insulting and libeling scientists like myself.
To reject the opportunity of tobacco harm reduction is, perhaps, the worst example of scientific denial since the Catholic Church banned the works of Copernicus in 1616.”
Let’s hope this new study opens up Government doors to allow NRTs including e-cigarettes to become widely available.
On a personal note, I’d like to apologize to my good online friend and tireless vape advocate, Jelena Vidas, who gave me the heads up on this launch a few weeks ago…
Sadly my addled old brain forgot…my sincere apologies…
TPD 3 – EU Vape Study Slammed
Vape advocates fear the European Commission is biased towards anti vaping science and this could have a disastrous effect on TPD 3.
Despite hundreds of pro-vaping scientific studies, vape advocacy groups say the EU is only concentrating on negative studies including many that have proven to be unfounded.
The European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) published its finding a week or so ago, and this study will form the back bone of new European wide vaping regulations – the Tobacco Products Directive [TPD].
The study chimes with the stance taken by the anti-vaping World Health Organization that believes the long term effects of e-cigarettes on health is unclear.
SCHEER appears to support an European wide anti smoking and vaping campaign linking the two to increased risk of death from COVID-19…
This particular campaign includes the preposterous line:
Use of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products are not “safer” choices and may lead to increased danger to severe symptoms and hospitalization
No one appears to know where this extremely un-scientific pronouncement comes from – but as always in anti vaping rhetoric, don’t let the facts get in the way of a scare story around vaping!
Not only that, the SCHEER study also wrongly links e-cigarettes as a gateway to young people smoking – a tired – some might say ignorantly lazy – statement refuted very many times.
Add to those two false claims there is extremely ‘weak’ evidence that vaping helps smokers quit, and you can see vape advocacy groups across Europe will have a real fight on their hands over the coming months.
A spokesman for the SCHEER study denied it had been selective adding:
The SCHEER committee takes into consideration the most recent and up-to-date scientific evidence and technical developments and, as appropriate, the existing provisions concerning e-cigarettes under the TPD (in particular Article 20(3)), and the evolution of new products on the market…
Professor Riccardo Polosa told EURACTIV this new EU study seemed to have ‘skipped’ over the positive health aspects of e-cigarettes adding:
Science has a high bar for proof, which is right.
At the same time, any way a person can stop smoking is good – chewing gum, sucking lollipops.
It is well known in harm reduction that substitution is easier to achieve than abstinence, so that is why e-cigarettes have worked for many people to stop smoking.
It looks like vape advocacy groups are in for one hell of a fight to stop the EU from implementing even tighter restrictions on vaping.
House of Lords Debates Vape Shops Closure
Vape shops SHOULD remain open during the current COVID-19 lock down says a prominent Baroness!
Baroness Molly Meacher made the call during a debate on the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020.
She told the House of Lords:
I have a third concern: these regulations should not exacerbate serious addictions.
Why exclude vape shops—not normally places I visit, but still—from the list of businesses that can remain open for health purposes as listed in paragraph 47 of Schedule 1?
Tobacco-related illnesses kill 70,000 people every year.
The anti-smoking campaign has been hugely successful, and the 3.2 million vapers are ex-smokers or current smokers attempting to stop.
Closing the vape shops could set back the anti-smoking campaign terribly badly.
Will the Minister take away my request for vape shops to be slipped into that list of businesses that can remain open for health reasons?
Good to see, let’s hope the minister in question listens and acts…
JUUL Reduces Canada’s Smoking Numbers
A new study shows that once vape giant JUUL entered the Canadian market the number of smokers dropped significantly.
The figures are pretty impressive with one country wide retailer reporting a drop of 1.5% in lit tobacco sales over a year once JUUL hit the shelves.
Rasmus Wissmann, Vice President of Data at Juul Labs said:
This work provides strong evidence that the availability of vaping products could reduce cigarette sales, and suggests that providing alternative nicotine products to adult smokers could drive down combustible cigarette consumption.
Further research is needed to determine the long-term impact of vapor products on cigarette sales, and the net population health impact of such products.
No matter what you might think of the JUUL brand, it’s fantastic news to see so many smokers across the world using the device to quit the deadly habit.
and finally…”President” Biden USA Vape Ban?
Not quite sure if Joe Biden is the President of the USA quite yet given all the litigation – but if he is it may be bad news for vaping in America.
Biden and his “Vice President” Kamala Harris, are both staunch anti-vapers.
Back in January this year Harris was among a number of Democrats attacking Trump and the FDA for not banning flavoured e-liquids citing [wrongly] the appeal to children [sighs].
The statement included:
We are deeply disappointed with the Trump Administration’s stark reversal from its September 11, 2019 commitment to clear the market of all non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes.
On January 2, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it intends to leave all tobacco- and menthol-flavored electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and all flavors of e-liquids for “open tank” ENDS on the market.
These products have not undergone a scientific review by FDA of their impact on public health.
Leaving them on the market will place millions of children at risk of addiction.
As the newly confirmed FDA Commissioner, you have the opportunity – and the obligation – to take meaningful action to address the ongoing youth vaping crisis.
FDA’s recently announced compliance policy fails to prioritize children, families, and the public health ahead of industry objections.
We strongly urge you to abandon this policy and instead implement the proposal President Trump and his Administration promised in September.
Unless the lady is for turning expect a ban on all flavoured products once the anti vaping duo take office…if indeed the result still stands lol.
As for Biden and vaping?
He couldn’t be any clearer he wants it “eliminated” and doesn’t care if that affects small businesses.
Back in January this year he said:
I have not met with any of the particular individual small business people selling the vaping equipment and the kinds of material that you can include in and put in the pipe.
But I tell you what, one of the things that you know, everybody knows who Donald Trump is, we gotta let him know who we are, and he’s telling who I am.
And I choose science over fiction. And so if the science has demonstrated is doing great damage then I don’t care what it does to a small business person who’s selling this stuff.
If it is damaging lungs, if it’s causing the kind of damage that is said and that studies not been fully done yet.
If it turns out that it is that I would eliminate it.
I would make it I would go after it in a hard way.
I would make it broader, not just for he is.
Crazy Joe to say the least…
USA vape advocate and YouTube review Grimm Green has already offered an olive branch to any future Biden/Harris administration tweeting:
Worrying times indeed for vapers and the vape industry across the pond…
If 2020 was a battle I reckon next year will be the MOAB…
More vape news on Wednesday 🙂