American Cancer Society
“The ACS has always supported any smoker who is considering quitting, no matter what approach they use; there is nothing more important that they can do for their health.”
The statement might come as a surprise to those who remembered them getting behind Vivek Murthy’s Surgeon General report attacking vaping, in 2016, when the society’s vice president said: “the scientific reality is that these products are dangerous.”
But the position has been softened with the recent statement: “Based on currently available evidence, using current generation e-cigarettes is less harmful than smoking cigarettes,” even if they add, “but the health effects of long-term use are not known.”
New Zealand Hospital Call
Dr Penelope Truman at Massey University's School of Health Sciences thinks the short-term is more important. She has called for vaping to be adopted in hospitals to help those battling alcohol addiction and for patients admitted into psychiatric units.
Truman was speaking after a trial was deemed a success for 40 patients at Kenepuru Hospital in Porirua. “The e-cigarettes proved to be more popular than standard therapy, and were at least as effective,” she said. “This is only a little trial, but I think it does raise some questions. A lot of people are going to have to reconsider how they feel about people vaping around them, because it's going to become increasingly popular.”
Big T Issues
Tobacco companies can be forgiven for feeling slightly more unloved as BNP Paribas Asset Management decides to exclude tobacco company stocks from future investment planning. The announcement, coupled with concerns over tobacco risks, caused share prices to fall.
Meanwhile, regulators in Lithuania are lining up Philip Morris’ heat-not-burn product in its sights. While the tobacco firm is keen to have it seen as being under the vape umbrella, regulators are saying that it should be treated like a tobacco product and fined for breaching advertising legislation.
Trading Standards in North Lanarkshire are currently nobbling shops selling vapes to teens. Over a third of test store purchases have revealed a willingness to sell illegally to underage customers. A local councillor said: “They were given information about the rules so there’s no excuse for selling to young people under the age of 18.”
The councillor admitted that vaping helps save lives, so it is disappointing to hear that ecigs have been banned from the Quadrant shopping centre in Swansea. Lisa Hartley, centre manager, helpfully pointed out: “There are areas outside the centre where people are able to smoke and vape.”
Such enlightened policies stand in contrast with expert calls for vape red tape to be relaxed. The Science and Technology Select Committee listened to Dr Lynne Dawkins talk about things like the limit on eliquid nicotine content: “There is no rationale for that cap – it seems arbitrary to me. There's no evidence for increased harms of nicotine for levels above 20mg/ml. In light of research by our group, if you reduce the strength you compensate – that's costly financially, and comes with a health cost."