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Researchers Scaremonger Over Vaping Chemicals and More! Tobacco Harm Reduction News

Researchers scaremonger over vaping chemicals. Maine flavor ban tabled. FDA proud of cracking down on small businesses. Questions Tobacco Control doesn’t want you to ask. The case against the menthol ban. Anti-vaping PMTA registry bill spreading across country. WHO has wrong priorities. Urgent Calls to Action and more!

Scroll to the bottom of this post for a link to the audio/video versions of this post!


CALLS TO ACTION

Below are the new and updated Calls to Action for this past week. To view all of the current Calls to Action, scroll down to “More Calls to Action” below. To view the current hearing events schedule (Facebook,) click the box on the right.

VIRGINIA

⚠️URGENT⚠️

Governor Youngkin has included a tax hike on nicotine e-liquid in the budget that equates to $11.00 per 100ml bottle. The governor’s proposal violates his campaign promise to not raise taxes on hard working Virginians!

TAKE ACTION: Virginia: Stop A Vape Tax Hike!

NEBRASKA

While LB 388 didn’t advance in the regular session that ended April 18th, it’s STILL ALIVE. Governor Pillen is promising a SPECIAL SESSION to address property tax relief, which could include the bill’s 20% tax on vaping products!

TAKE ACTION: Nebraska: Stop a Vape Tax!

IOWA

⚠️UPDATE⚠️

Urge Governor Kim Reynolds to VETO bill HF2677. Banning the sale of ANY products that are helping keep thousands of vulnerable adults from smoking and could help thousands more adults quit smoking is BAD FOR PUBLIC HEALTH!

TAKE ACTION: Iowa: Stop a Big Tobacco Protection Act!

 

MORE CALLS TO ACTION:  GET INVOLVED: Calls to Action By State


RESEARCH

Researchers Scaremonger Over Vape Chemicals

The headline says a study found that teen vaping is “linked with toxic lead exposure,” but does the article back that up with strong evidence showing causation?

Not at all.

“Uranium specifically has many different important sources of exposure (including food, water connected to geographic location), which were not controlled for in this analysis. Further, previous work has not found differences in uranium exposure between non-users and users of e-cigarettes nor detected uranium in e-cigarette aerosol,  suggesting this finding may be explained by other factors.”

“Lead, however, has been detected in e-cigarette aerosol in previous research. Yet the urine levels reported in this study, even in frequent vapers, are below or similar to those found in the general population and in adults who don’t vape.”

~ Dr. Lion Shahab, professor of health psychology at University College London and co-director of the UCL Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group

READ MORE: Teen vaping linked with toxic lead exposure, study finds

Common Denominator: Nicotine

This study attempts to blame vape flavors for appealing to sensation-seeking youth, yet it also finds sensation-seeking youth are statistically just as likely to smoke conventional cigarettes. Of course, they completely ignore the obvious “sensation” common denominator between vaping and smoking: the nicotine.

READ MORE: Does sensation-seeking behavior influence the patterns of flavored e-cigarette use? A cross-sectional study among Indonesian adolescents and young adults

 

FDA

Can’t Sell Unauthorized Safer Products but Can Sell Authorized Cigarettes

FDA seems proud of cracking down on small businesses for selling low-risk, smoke-free alternatives to smoking that are saving lives. Anyone wondering why the agency doesn’t announce that, since it took over tobacco regulation in 2009, it’s authorized over 400 deadly cigarette products?

What They Don’t Want You Asking About Vaping

Ask yourself why these products are even worth $700,000. Maybe because there is demand?

Then ask yourself if that demand is really coming from the 2.1 million youth vaping or the 18.4 million adults vaping.

Then ask yourself what those 18.4 million adults – most of whom rely on non-tobacco flavored products to keep from deadly smoking – will do when there are no flavored vapor products left to buy, because the FDA refuses to authorize any.

Then ask yourself what those 18.4 million adults, who rely on these products to keep from deadly smoking, will do when there are no flavored vapor products left to buy because the FDA refuses to authorize any.

Then ask yourself why the FDA, public health organizations and lawmakers don’t seem to want anyone asking these questions.

READ MORE: FDA, DOJ Seize Over $700,000 Worth of Unauthorized E-Cigarettes

 

REGULATION

The Case Against the Menthol Ban

“In the case of menthol cigarettes, we also know that such cigarettes are the tobacco product of choice for Black American smokers. The negative consequences of prohibition of menthol cigarettes, then, will fall disproportionately on Black American smokers. This is a peculiar policy choice for a Democratic president to consider.”

Plus the fact that studies suggest a menthol ban would be most effective if low-risk alternatives (like vapor products) were available in menthol flavor for adults who smoke to switch to. Unfortunately, the FDA refuses to authorize menthol vapes.

READ MORE: Anti-tobacco crusaders might be upset, but Biden should shelve menthol ban permanently

LEGISLATION

Maine Flavor Ban Tabled

Left on the table Thursday as unfinished business, the Maine flavor ban bill is effectively dead, and proponents would have to submit a new version next session.

The bill was criticized for potentially creating a financial burden for Maine, especially when people could just travel to New Hampshire to buy flavored products.

READ MORE: Advocates for ban on flavored tobacco decry lack of vote in Maine House

Big Tobacco Protection Acts Causing Split

“The number of statehouse lobbyists on tobacco company payrolls is a testament to the amount of [anti] smoking and [anti] vaping-centric legislation that has moved through statehouses over the past six months. Much of that activity centers around state lawmakers’ attempts to pass [PMTA vape registry] bills….

The legislative push has split the tobacco industry. Large tobacco companies, most publicly Altria, which sells both Marlboro-brand cigarettes and NJOY-branded vapes, have been actively lobbying for vaping registries. Vaping advocates have dubbed the bills ‘Big Tobacco Protection Acts’.”

Note: STAT’s coverage of chronic health issues is supported by a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

READ MORE: Statehouses are a hotbed of tobacco lobbying and legislation

Government Doing More Harm Than Good

“These are just the latest examples of so-called PMTA registry bills, which are spreading around the United States in the name of protecting consumers from unregulated products.

Tobacco harm reduction advocates have long condemned the PMTA process as excessively onerous and opaque. They point out that it’s easier to bring new cigarettes to market than it is to gain authorization for vastly safer vapes that can replace them.

The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association (CASAA) has dubbed it ‘A Big Tobacco Protection Act’.”

~ Kiran Sidhu, Filter Magazine

Banning tobacco harm reduction products “in the name of protecting consumers,” while deadly cigarettes remain widely sold (and, in fact, authorized by the FDA,) is akin to banning seat belts in cars “in the name of protecting consumers” from Seatbelt Syndrome (injuries caused by seatbelts,) while ignoring the far greater risks to life from NOT wearing a seatbelt.

In effect, government officials sponsoring and voting for these PMTA bills are doing more harm than good. As the saying goes, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help’.”

READ MORE: PMTA Registry Bills, Which Ban Flavored Vapes, Are Spreading

TOBACCO CONTROL

A ‘Pressing Need’ For WHO

The World Health Organization says that the Global Adult Tobacco Survey Indonesia 2021 shows 3% of that population is using low-risk vaping products instead of smoking deadly cigarettes, “indicating a pressing need for regulatory actions” against e-cigarettes.

However, what they don’t bother to mention is that the very same survey also found a whopping 33.5% of Indonesian adults still smoked.

This indicates to us the pressing need for WHO to get its priorities straight.

READ MORE: Toward tighter controls: regulating the next generation of tobacco products

Never Mind Those Pesky Facts

This is a typically myopic take by Tobacco Control. Nothing but complete abstinence is acceptable.

Never mind that youth vaping is lower today than it was in 2014.

Never mind that millions of adults are no longer inhaling deadly smoke because they’re vaping instead.

Never mind that the benefits of adults quitting smoking clearly far outweigh the risks of youth vaping.

Never mind that there’s no evidence that youth vaping leads to youth smoking, but there’s a lot of evidence showing that youth vaping is a substitute for smoking.

Never mind that everyone knows that it’s the SMOKE that causes 99% of the harm, not the nicotine dependency, so continued use isn’t as concerning as they make it out to be.

Never mind that e-cigarettes weren’t created to act as nicotine cessation products, but instead were meant to be low risk replacements for deadly cigarettes for adults who cannot or will not quit.

Never mind all of that.

All that matters (to them) is 100% abstinence from nicotine regardless of how low the health risk.

READ MORE: E-Cigarettes: They May Help People to Quit Smoking, But What About Harm to Public Health?


CASAA IN ACTION // CASAA Live

On this week’s episode, join CASAA CEO Alex Clark and CASAA Vice President Logan Evans as they speak with guest Addy Tuney, a vaping consumer and advocate, about the challenges of living in a state with anti-vaping laws.

Catch the next show LIVE Saturday, May 4th at 4:30PM ET/3:30PM CT!

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!

VISIT: CASAA Apparel and Swag Store


CASAA MEDIA // Spotify

CASAA’s podcast is on Spotify! Please give us a follow here:

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.

SoundCloud: