News Round-up

Posted 18th January 2019 by Dave Cross
Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) warn about the ‘Fear Profiteers’. Israel bans harm reduction product advertising. Researchers find that smokers opt to vape in order to reduce their exposure to tobacco-related harm. Ethiopia proposes a law that would ban the sale of vape products entirely.

The CEI is a non-profit public policy organisation. It campaigns on libertarian issues. In “How E-cigarette Panic Benefits Health Activists”, Michelle Minton writes that despite vaping becoming widely accepted as being “vastly safer than smoking … public perception of e-cigarette safety has declined while demands for stricter regulation - even bans on certain e-cigarettes - have only intensified.”

It’s a vigorous takedown of a state where, “health charities, federal health agencies, and state health departments are financially co-dependent.”

Minton lays into the likes of the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health and how their co-dependency works to fuel skepticism and doubt.

The paper puts forward excellent arguments and lays out the stark truth: “The loser in this scenario is the public, especially smokers. As the evidence indicates, increasing e-cigarette taxes, eliminating flavors, and restricting entry into the vaping market will have little to no benefit for adolescents, but potentially catastrophic consequences for adult smokers.”


Israel is taking its lead from the United States and has banned the advertising of tobacco harm reduction products, claiming it reduces “the public’s exposure to smoking products”.

The Zionist Union MK’s Eyal Ben Reuven, proudly proclaimed: “This is a historic day and an important victory in the war we are waging against the phenomenon of smoking in Israel.”

Vaping is now banned, along with smoking, from hospitals, health clinics, government offices and buildings, event halls, religious councils, courts, car parks, zoos, shows and concerts, amusement parks, and sports venues.

Israel’s actions cut off access to tobacco harm reduction products for many smokers that, as recently shown by Marti, Buckell, MacLean and Sindelar, are used by people looking to reduce tobacco-related harm.

Rather than being motivated by cost savings or being able to avoid smoking bans, the quartet’s paper (recently published in Economic Inquiry journal) showed: “[Smokers] value e-cigarettes as an effective cessation aid,” and, “as a healthier option compared with tobacco cigarettes”.


The research team hope their findings prompt governments into considering legislation more carefully in future.

Such contemplation is desperately needed in Ethiopia, where legislators are proposing a bill that will ban all vape products from sale. Tih Ntiabang, regional coordinator (Africa programs) for Africa for the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, said: “Ethiopia drafts stringiest tobacco control laws that will restrict the tobacco industry from having any interference and interaction with Government officials mainly responsible for the adoption of public health policy and implementations.”

Harm reduction advocate Joseph Magero laments the influence the Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids (CTFK) has exerted in the nation: “This is simply due to the resistance of safer alternatives by tobacco control. A lot of which is misinformed. Nobody wants to dialog because CTFK controls this region & they have said no!”




 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, motorbikes, and dog walker
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