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News Roundup

A collection of vape and tobacco-harm reduction events from around the world

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Dr. Lion Shahab recently spoke about the truth behind vaping, essential given some of the things happening globally. India faces a proposal to ban online vape information, Shenzhen has banned vaping in public spaces and Hong Kong proposes fines for vendors. Despite this, tobacco-harm reduction is working in Japan and vaping helps US military personnel quit smoking.

Dr. Lion Shahab, an Associate Professor at University College London, recently informed the readers of News Medical that vaping is healthier than smoking cigarettes. “Studies have shown that, compared with cigarette smokers, users of e-cigarettes are exposed to much lower levels of harmful compounds that have been linked to subsequent disease such as cancer,” he said.

He pointed out that many fears come from the use of nicotine: “While addictive, [it] is a relatively harmless substance with little evidence for long-term adverse health effects based on studies that have looked at the use of nicotine replacement therapy and snus.”

Association Vapers India announced: “This is our submission to the IT ministry opposing the amendment which seeks to ban ENDS info online. We have contested the new rules on grounds they will be extremely detrimental to public health by preventing people from accessing life-saving information.”

The full letter below:

Shenzhen has banned vaping in all public spaces following problems with implementing its original regulations. The city has raised almost half a million pounds from fines, with just under half coming from individual vapers.

Deputies of the Shenzhen People’s Congress decided to build on this situation by changing the definition of what constitutes a smoke-free area. Vapers are now banned from vaping while queuing for buses, coaches, taxis, subways, ships and civil aircraft. They are also prohibited from vaping near subway entrances.

Vape vendors in nearby Hong Kong also face being almost £5000 poorer if they import or sell devices.

“We hope that, through the ban on import, sale and manufacture, these products will not be so easily available on the market. It will be an effective means to prevent most people from exposure to these products,” said Deputy Secretary for Food and Health Amy Yuen.

Speaking about the inane legislation, she added: “It may not be feasible if we ban the use of these products. We also don’t want to disturb people too much. Regardless, we know these new products… are harmful to people. We have to stop them from being available everywhere.”

This will not impact on businesses that import vape products for sale to the U.K.

Heated tobacco products have been hugely popular in Japan. Sales of cigarettes have fallen by 25% over the last two years. The Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association pointed out: “In Australia, sales are flat or increasing!”

David Janazzo, writing for the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, states: “The rate of change is unprecedented. Heated tobacco product sales are driving double-digit annual percentage declines in Japanese domestic cigarette volume … the trend is clear.”

US Military is witnessing similar success with vaping, although it doesn’t see it that way. “Among troops, vaping is now more popular than cigarettes,” says The Airforce Times.

While it notes “the rate of smoking among military service members has plummeted in recent years and now appears to be lower than the general civilian population at large,” it fails to recognise harm reduction at work and calls it “a potential health issue for Pentagon leadership to address.”

If only the Pentagon would listen to the likes of Dr. Lion Shahab.

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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