Sweden Beats World For THR Win, 2022 eCigIntelligence Vaping Survey, Ohio Flavor Bans blocked by state lawmakers, Another ‘Nobel Experiment’, Experts Call Out US Government Misinformation, FDA Leadership Ethics In Question, RJR Loses CA Flavor Ban Block Supreme Court, Vaping Reduced Smoking in UK, Reviewing Vape Research and more!
Scroll to the bottom of this post for a link to the audio/video versions of this post!
CALL TO ACTION UPDATE // Columbus, Ohio
In a surprisingly quick move less than 2 days after the city of Columbus passed a flavor ban, the state legislature passed a bill that’s already on the governor’s desk that would prevent cities from adopting tobacco/vaping laws stricter than the state’s.
Governor Mike DeWine told a Columbus TV station he may veto the bill, saying he doesn’t oppose the ban passed by the Columbus City Council.
TAKE ACTION: Columbus Ohio: Stop a Flavor Ban!
ADVOCACY // 2022 eCigIntelligence Consumer Survey
Please take the 2022 survey!
The data collected from this 10-15 minute, anonymous survey will help inform regulators, advocates, and commentators as we all work to build policies that benefit consumers!
SURVEY LINK: USA – Vape Consumer Survey 2022
TOBACCO HARM REDUCTION // Sweden Beats World For THR Win
Smoking in Sweden fell to 5.6%, making it the only European nation close to reaching the EU smoke-free goal 18 yrs ahead of the 2040 target. Sweden has a pro-THR model clearly distinct from prohibitionist policies proposed by international health orgs.
The upcoming Swedish EU presidency is a great opportunity to share their 5% success story to other EU countries. We hope that Sweden will be generous with sharing this know-how internationally. https://t.co/nxkP2pnoWq
— EU4Snus (@Eu4Snus) December 10, 2022
TOBACCO CONTROLL // Fact Checking Dr. David Ensz in Sioux City
1) Nicotine vaping is still AT LEAST 95% less harmful despite the fact they can contain nicotine.
2) It’s safer than smoking. No one claims it’s 100% safe.
3) Vitamin E acetate was an issue with illicit THC vapes, not e-cigarettes!
4) Vapor isn’t “hot in the lungs.”
Some Doctors should never talk about vaping.
"Doctors say people who smoke e-cigarettes have a higher chance of developing a respiratory illness like pneumonia. There are toxic chemicals & one of the things they're looking at is Vitamin E," Dr. Ensz says.https://t.co/OxmCU5q9FE
— Lance Churchill (@LanceChurchill) December 5, 2022
TOBACCO CONTROL // Another ‘Nobel Experiment’
New Zealand has just passed prohibitionist tobacco/nicotine laws that are essentially a country-wide social and health experiment–mostly affecting people of color, people with mental health challenges, people of low income and in the LGBTQ+ community.
Alright, NZ is banning smoking permanently for anyone currently 14 and under. My hot-take: Stupid. All you'll do is drive it underground and foster criminal gangs building a black market. Prohibition etc. Dumb.https://t.co/MTP7QOS0VA
— Ben Klingberg (@BenKlingberg) December 15, 2022
TOBACCO CONTROL // ACS Opposes Reducing Cancer Risk?
American Cancer Society is “concerned” about something that does not cause cancer. (And no, smoke-free nicotine use is not a proven “gateway” to smoking.) Shouldn’t the American Cancer Society be supporting products that eliminate exposure to cancer-causing toxins?
— European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (@europethra) December 12, 2022
TOBACCO CONTROL // Experts Call Out Government Misinformation
The surgeon general himself says that health misinformation is a serious threat to public health. Through various reports and website content, the surgeon general and CDC have been contributing to health misinformation by over-emphasizing the dangers of safer tobacco products like e-cigarettes. Now that we have pointed this out, we hope they will put words into action and fix these problems to encourage people to make healthier decisions about tobacco product use.”
~ Michael Pesko, the lead author
FDA // Leadership Ethics In Question
Bombshell memos strongly suggest that FDA-higher ups, seemingly favoring political favor over facts, pressured their own scientists to ignore the scientific evidence they’d reviewed and reverse their recommendation to authorize a menthol vapor product.
Something of a scoop, & this should be a bigger story than it'll be: Scientists at FDA said Logic's menthol e-cigarettes *should* be authorized, and then the director's office pressured them to change their mind. Is the agency really following the science? https://t.co/YwAwg6qWqb
— Alex Norcia (@Alex_Norcia) December 14, 2022
LEGISLATION // RJR Loses California Flavor Ban Block Supreme Court
On Monday, December 12th, the Supreme Court DENIED a request from tobacco company R.J. Reynolds to challenge a California law that bans the sale of flavored tobacco and nicotine products. The unscientific and likely harmful ban is set to go into effect December 21.
IMO: yet another stupid law that prevents nothing. Totally misguided. “Supreme Court Refuses to Block California's Nicotine Flavor Ban” – Filter https://t.co/miKF7cbOfk
— FreshSpellbound (@FreshSpellbound) December 14, 2022
RESEARCH // Vaping Reduced Smoking in UK
The UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) found around 13.3% of people aged 18+ smoked in 2021, down from 14.0% in 2020. ONS also said that vaping devices such as e-cigarettes had played a “major role” in reducing the numbers of smoking across the UK.
The answer, of course, is that vaping turns smokers into ex-smokers. The latest evidence of this phenomenon comes from the UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS). https://t.co/cV3nIJ0adl pic.twitter.com/9ykoiISqnj
— American Vapor Manufacturers (@VaporAmerican) December 9, 2022
RESEARCH // Still Getting It Horribly Wrong
In this study, researchers unbelievably consider nicotine e-cigarettes and THC vapes to be the same thing. They erroneously call both products “e-cigarettes” and associate increased nicotine vaping as a risk for EVALI. The single subject in their study used both nicotine and THC products, but they declare the abnormal lipid homeostasis that they found is from “chronic e-cig use.”
RESEARCH // Reviewing Vape Research
An analysis of vaping studies reporting associations with health conditions–including but not limited to COPD, stroke and heart disease–finds researchers didn’t question whether the diseases were diagnosed before or after the subjects began vaping.
MEDIA WATCH // Fact-Checking Research Reporting
There’s much to unpack with this study, so here’s a quick analysis:
Headlines are claiming that researchers found that vaping doesn’t help people quit smoking, but is that a fair assessment of what researches really found?
First, let’s keep in mind that getting people to want to try a product is key to the success of that product, but per CDC only 55.1% try to quit each year, only 31% reported using “proven” cessation products (2015) and only 7.5% successfully quit using traditional methods.
In this study, researchers didn’t even look at the quitting rates of all vapers who had smoked. They only looked at people who reported that they were still smoking while vaping (ie. “dual users”) between in PATH Waves from 2014-2019.
So it’s ridiculous for the headlines to spin this as reflecting overall cessation efficacy for vaping. The only subjects they followed were people who said they both vaped and smoked. They did not include people who had already switched completely from smoking to vaping.
For all we know, 6 of 10 people in the PATH Waves who tried vaping actually quit smoking completely and the researchers only looked at 4 of 10 who were unable to switch completely. That would change the public perception of the true efficacy of vaping, now wouldn’t it?
Did researchers studying the efficacy of nicotine gum not take into consideration all of the subjects who quit successfully and base their conclusion of cessation efficacy solely on the eventual outcome of only those who failed to quit? Doubtful.
What these researchers actually found is that most people who had already failed to quit with vaping were likely to not switch completely. They did NOT find that most people who smoke who try vaping failed to quit.
Significantly, they did find that while most of these folks who struggled with quitting went back to smoking and vaping rates declined between the PATH Waves 1-4, vaping started rebounding by the last Wave. This suggests that many people wanted to give vaping another try.
Also significant is that they found even in this group of vapers who struggled the most with quitting smoking, of those who kept vaping regularly, 7.4% had quit smoking in earlier Waves and 11.2% had quit by the last Wave. That’s a statistic that shouldn’t be taken lightly!
Consider those low quit/attempt rates mentioned earlier with “approved” products. How many attempts using do you think people who struggle the most had to make before it worked? Do public health advocates say it means those products are useless or do they say “Keep trying?”
Bogus conclusions such as that happen when you exclude *all* of the people who successfully quit smoking from a study.
— Phil (@phil_w888) December 14, 2022
CASAA MEDIA // Spotify
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CASAA IN ACTION // Twitter Spaces
The week we recap the Reagan-Udall sessions with Amanda Wheeler, Tim Andrews and CASAA CEO Alex Clark, who all presented to the panel about FDA’s issues regulating reduced-harm products. What grade would you give FDA? Also available on CASAA’s Spotify channel (above.)
— CASAA (@CASAAmedia) October 26, 2022
CASAA IN ACTION // CASAA Live
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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.