Journal opinion paper calls for vaping research change. IQOS returning to US shelves. Bloomberg-funded study claims vaping doesn’t help people quit. Calls to Action, Heads Up and Updates from around the US. Tobacco Control misinformation and more!
Scroll to the bottom of this post for a link to the audio/video versions of this post!
CALL TO ACTION // Maine
LD 1693, a bill aspiring to advance health equity, also contains a ban on sales of any flavored tobacco and vapor products–many of which are helping adults quit smoking!
TAKE ACTION: Maine – Stop a Flavor Ban!
CALL TO ACTION // HAWAI’I
621 and SB 2278 would subject vapor products to a 70% wholesale tax on tobacco products (that aren’t cigarettes) and prohibit direct-to-consumer shipping.
TAKE ACTION: Hawai’i – Stop a Vapor Tax
CALL TO ACTION // Alaska
HEADS UP // Iowa
HF 98 redefines nicotine vapor products as “tobacco,” most likely in order to levy a higher tax on the products. Harm reduction products that are helping adults quit smoking should be made more affordable, not more expensive!
READ MORE: Iowa House Bill 98
HEADS UP // Brunswick, Maine
Maine appears to be falling like dominoes when it comes to flavor bans. Only MANY CONSUMERS telling their stories to lawmakers at the hearings (first one is Feb. 22nd) will help change their minds. Industry can’t stop these.
❗️BRUNSWICK TO MOVE ON PROPOSAL❗️
A public hearing for the vote will happen on February 22nd.https://t.co/1pWvxBwMAV
— FlavorsHookKidsMaine (@FlavorsHookME) February 8, 2022
UPDATE // Portland, Maine
Disappointingly, the Portland, Maine City Council voted unanimously Monday night to ban flavored tobacco and vapor products, effective June 2022. Out of just 42 people who showed up to speak on the topic, 26 said they were in favor of the ban.
The Portland City Council is considering a plan to ban flavored tobacco products: https://t.co/G4Xf3iIkO3
What do you think about this? pic.twitter.com/X9nAkBLe4A
— WPFO FOX23 (@FOX23Maine) February 8, 2022
UPDATE // Fort Wayne, Indiana
Nancy Cripe of Tobacco Free Allen County shows support for Fort Wayne treating vaping just like smoking (banning public use, which reduces incentive for people to switch,) by repeating debunked myths and blatant lies, plus the bonus of reefer madness-like “meth, opioids or fentanyl” scaremongering.
Fort Wayne City council voted on a change in the city's smoking ordinance. It impacts where you can vape. https://t.co/gnOE7IonSl
— Briana Brownlee (@BreBrownleeTV) February 9, 2022
READ MORE: City puts safety first with vaping limits
Additionally, City of Fort Wayne Councilman Glynn Hines justified the public vaping ban with the false claim that “there’s a lot of dangerous particles, nicotine included, that’s in that vaping.” If he’s listening to Indiana Smoke Free, expect outdoor and multi-unit residence bans to follow.
UPDATE // Monterey County, California
The Monterey County Board of Supervisors backpedals on Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP) exemption from the proposed flavor ban after a Health Department supervisor lied to them, saying MRTP–which is an FDA designation only given to products scientifically proven to reduce health risks–is “mostly a marketing designation made by tobacco companies.”
“…this is big tobacco’s attempt to undermine government regulation by utilizing them as harm reduction and we think that’s a strategy for reframing the issue, which is tobacco is tobacco,” — A terribly misguided Michelle House at the @MCHDPIOhttps://t.co/c3dAae8Ywk
— StefanDidak (@StefanDidak) February 9, 2022
RESEARCH // Support for Harm Reduction
While we have yet to see nicotine vaping proven “undeniably harmful” to any non-smokers (esp. when most would likely have started smoking), it’s encouraging to see some researchers agree that propaganda used in a vain attempt to prevent non-smoker uptake is bad for public health.
The article is behind a paywall, but American Vapor Manufacturers did a nice Twitter thread with excerpts.
OUTSTANDING NEW STUDY: Researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine find that vaping misinformation has created a *hostile research environment* preventing scientific inquiries into the use of vaping as a harm-reduction strategy. Strong highlights 🧵: pic.twitter.com/HHSd9JKVXz
— American Vapor Manufacturers (@VaporAmerican) February 8, 2022
RESEARCH // Third-Hand Smoke
Tobacco control zealots are laying groundwork to ban nicotine use EVERYWHERE, because kids “might” be exposed to “residue.” Outrageously, they claim so-called “third-hand smoke” is “very cancer-causing,” without any conclusive research showing causation.
RESEARCH // Twisting The Data
Researchers use outdated 2017-19 surveys and a definition of “relapse” as “even one or two puffs” in the past year to disingenuously claim vaping doesn’t help people quit smoking. CASAA has a testimonial database with over 13,400 people who say otherwise!
It’s also fair to point out that 1) anti-vaping propaganda played a huge part in convincing adults that smoking was safer than vaping and 2) most people who turn to vaping report that they had already tried alternative methods many times, so find quitting more difficult than those who quit more easily with gums, patches, etc.
An expert reaction written by Professor John Britton, Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology, University of Nottingham, calling the study “fundamentally flawed”.
This @CNN story misinforms. Worst, perhaps, is this, from Prof. John Pierce: "There's no evidence that the use of e-cigarettes is an effective cessation aid." Let's hope that was taken out of context; it's obviously false. #vaping #smoking https://t.co/03flYoaykL
— MarcGunther (@MarcGunther) February 9, 2022
READ MORE: Expert Reaction to E-cigs for Quitting
RESEARCH // Flavor Ban Favoritism
Researchers looked only at retail sales data, but flavor bans closed down a great number of adult-only vape shops, which aren’t tracked. The closings forced many adult customers to buy flavored vapes in bordering states, illicitly, or back to smoking!
That this study was designed to support flavor bans doesn’t come as a surprise, because Bloomberg Philanthropies funded it. But the fact that the federal government accepted funds from a political org to produce “science” that supports the goal of that political org? Hmm….🤔
The sentence, "Sales from online retailers and vape shops were not available," is enough to nullify the authors' conclusions, although there were many additional flaws.
— Phil (@phil_w888) February 10, 2022
HARM REDUCTION // Heat Not Burn Product Will Again Be Available
Tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI) will begin U.S. production of heated tobacco product IQOS in the United States, putting the product back on convenience store shelves by next year.
The more low risk, smoke-free alternatives that are available for adults who smoke, the better for public health!
https://t.co/xLUfg5AVA5 Heat-not-burn/IQOS is tobacco harm reduction
— Helen Redmond (@aftariak) February 11, 2022
COMMENTARY // Vaping Isn’t Harm Reduction
So close to getting it right but…takes a hard left at vaping. It seems Ms. Iellamo has been misled by lies about “flavors targeting children” and EVALI. Plus, even if more non-smokers start vaping, the very low risks wouldn’t outweigh the benefit of millions quitting or never starting smoking.
"Harm reduction is both a principle and practice with the aim of improving the safety of people who engage in potentially risky behavior."
— Action for Economic Reforms (@aerphilippines) February 7, 2022
TOBACCO CONTROL // Misleading Healthcare Workers
Lindsay Fischer, a writer for Oncology Nursing News, and Tiffany Klein, RN, BSN, of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America Atlanta, mislead nurses in order to “change the conversation” about vaping. They not only conflate illicit THC vape risks with nicotine e-cigarettes, they make wildly unsubstantiated claims about both.
TOBACCO CONTROL // Prohibition
Australian tobacco control groups have insisted that excessive regulation of vapor products would not lead to a significant black market for vapor products, ignoring the ever-growing black market that already exists for over-regulated and highly taxed tobacco products. Now, even Uber drivers in the country are allegedly cashing in.
Additionally, police in Auburn, New York recently raided a smoke shop selling “marijuana, untaxed cigarettes, flavored vaping products and other items not intended for sale under the public health law.” It’s completely nonsensical that adults who want to buy the flavored products helping keep them from smoking cigarettes are forced into “criminal” behavior!
Prohibition (even “partial” prohibitions like flavor bans, excessive taxes and nicotine caps) don’t work!
— Grams New York (@GramsNewYork) February 9, 2022
TOBACCO CONTROL // Switching isn’t Quitting
This Kenyan Tobacco Control tweet claims “switching ≠ quitting.”
Wrong. If there’s no smoke, then you’re not smoking. Inhaling smoke is what causes nearly all of the health risks, not nicotine dependency. So if vaping ≠ smoking and addiction ≠ smoking, then Switching = Quitting Smoking!
How do you know you are addicted? Here are some symptoms to look out for:
— Tobacco Control and Health Promotion Alliance (@KETCA254) February 8, 2022
CASAA IN ACTION // CASAA Live
If you missed the CASAA Live show this past weekend, check out the replay now! CASAA Live is on Saturdays at 4:30 PM ET/3:30 PM CT/2:30 PM MT/1:30 PM PT on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter!
IN THE NEWS //
TAKE ACTION // CASAA State Facebook Groups
Have you joined your CASAA State Facebook group yet? Check it out now! Click the link below, click on your state on the map, then click the “Join Now” button to go to your state’s group page. It’s as easy as that to stay updated on local happenings, meet local advocates and never miss a Call to Action in your state!
Don’t forget to also follow our official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CASAAmedia
FIND YOUR GROUP: CASAA State Locator
CASAA STORE // Apparel and More
Show your support by shopping our store! Our president (and brilliant website/swag designer) Danielle has added some awesome new designs to CASAA’s apparel shop, plus there are still Black Friday deals on all items!
VISIT: CASAA Apparel and Swag Store
CASAA MEDIA // Podcast
Catch up on past tobacco harm reduction news with Alex and Logan on the CASAA podcasts on SoundCloud every Monday and now live on YouTube and Facebook every Saturday at 3:30 PM.