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This week sees India attacking heat-not-burn (HNB). Israel places a ban on JUUL; the ban will be contested in court. Hysterical nonsense emanates from anti-vape Doctors Leventhal and Barrington-Trimis. The USA implements tariffs on Chinese vape products but ecig are going to be given to Scottish prisoners.

India Opposes HNB

Indian officials hate harm reduction. The country has placed barriers in the way of adopting a common sense way of tackling its catastrophic levels of tobacco-related deaths - 900,000 per annum. Now it has set its sights on Philip Morris’ iQOS.

Reuters reports that the tobacco firm had intended to launch its HNB product in the country, but politicians have labelled iQOS a “great health risk to the public at large, especially to children, adolescents, pregnant women and women of reproductive age.”

HNB is to be categorised as being the same as vape products and therefore banned from being sold, manufactured, imported or advertised.

Israel Bans JUUL

JUUL pens are also being labelled “a grave risk to public health.” This time it’s the Israelis who are taking a fear-driven and evidence-free approach to vilifying the hugely successful product.

Despite clear links between the growth of JUUL and the declining smoking rates in the United States, Israel’s Health Ministry has taken the step to ban the device because it contains nicotine. Cigarettes remain on sale in the country.

JUUL is reported as saying in a statement that it was “incredibly disappointed” by the “misguided” decision. The company has launched an action in court and labels the ban decision a clear case of “double standards”.

JUUL wrote: “It is not possible to accept the conduct of a regulator working in the dark, with a hidden agenda and strengthening the status of the tobacco companies at the expense of an alternative designed to save millions of smokers the cancerous influence of consuming tobacco.”

Leventhal and Barrington-Trimis

Doctors Leventhal and Barrington-Trimis have held a long-standing opposition to non- pharmaceutical harm reduction products. They have partnered each other in plenty of substandard pieces of junk science. Now they team up to write a hysterical article about JUUL for the New England Medical Journal.

Relying on two unpublished studies, a piece of propaganda from the American Lung Association and a shoddy piece of work from National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

The latter, for example, contains the stunning finding: “There is conclusive evidence that intentionally or unintentionally drinking or injecting e-liquids can be fatal.” This is the level of their evidence!

Laughably calling for “the development of evidence-based interventions”, Leventhal and Barrington-Trimis trot out the usual nonsense: “We advise physicians and parents to remain on alert regarding this emerging public health concern” – not least because “pod mods are easy to conceal from authority figures.”

American Import Duties on Chinese Vape Products

American vapers and vape businesses are feeling the impact of a 25% tax being placed on all hardware and juices coming into the country from China.

“The tax hike also applies to smoke-free products that are helping smokers quit,” says Greg Conley, president of the American Vaping Association.

Guy Bentley, writing for The Hill, describes the action: “Tariffs on e-cigarettes aren't just an act of economic self-harm. They're an active threat to public health and a slap in the face to the millions of Americans trying to lead longer and healthier lives.”

Free Vape Kits for Scottish Prisoners

The Scottish government is spending £200,000 on helping prisoners to prepare for the forthcoming smoking ban in Scotland’s prison system. From November, free vape kits are going to be given out to inmates.

The free kits will be available for two months, after that point they will be sold at a subsidised price until April. At this point the kits will go up to full price for convicts who wish to keep using them

Scottish Prison Service’s Tom Fox is quoted as saying: “People in the community who are giving up cigarettes, still have the opportunity to smoke in parts of the community. The people in our care won't be able to smoke at all. We are recognising the unique nature of that environment by providing the support we are."

The move has met with cross-party support.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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