News Roundup

Posted 29th March 2019 by Dave Cross
Brad Rodu says the vaping 'Epidemic' doesn't hold up to inspection. R Street Institute’s Marc Hyden argues that imposing taxes on vaping punishes people for improving their behaviour. Research says the last cigarette smoked in England will be in Derby. An article on Rice Media highlights Singapore’s hypocrisy in banning vaping. Paddy Costall, a trustee of the New Nicotine Alliance and director of Knowledge Action Change speaks to Regulator Watch about “die-hard tobacco controllers”.

Following the FDA’s announcement that “closed system e-cigs may have no redeeming public health value”, Clive Bates said the FDA had gone “beyond the evidence”, and Michelle Minton added, “The FDA has lost its collective mind”.

Brad Rodu, professor of medicine at the University of Louisville, responded with a fantastic article on Real Clear Politics: “Federal data reveals important information, however, that conflicts with the FDA announcement and the perception that teen vaping is a pervasive problem.”

“The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2017 National Youth Tobacco Survey shows that only about 12 percent of American high school students used e-cigarettes in the past month.”

“Even if the CDC’s observation – based on unpublished data – is correct about a vaping increase in 2018, it doesn’t confirm an epidemic. Nearly 70 percent of the students who vape – but do not smoke – used e-cigarettes five days or less during that 30-day period, a pattern called ‘party’ or ‘weekend’ vaping, not regular, daily consumption.”

He says the FDA has been exaggerating the danger through data-manipulation and called it “egregious”. Equally shocking is the push to impose huge levels of taxation on vape products in certain American states. Marc Hyden cites a recently drafted bill in Mississippi, and says it is the equivalent of “dissuading people from using seatbelts”.

Using the cloak of teen epidemics, Senator David Blount has proposed “a special new tax on alternative nicotine products, including e-cigarette liquids”. Hyden writes: “Hood’s well-intentioned recommendation and Blount’s bill are not the answer Mississippians need. Treating e-cigarettes like other tobacco products will have unintended consequences that harm public health.”

He refers to Public Health England’s findings on vaping, and adds that even the former surgeon general and the American Cancer Society acknowledged, “E-cigarettes present a reduced health risk.”

As vaping continues to displace cigarette smoking in England, a study funded by Philip Morris found that (if trends persist) Bristol would be the first city to have no smokers. Bristol will be smoke-free by 2024 and Derby will contain the last remaining English smoker in 2050.

Smoking may be banned in certain areas in Singapore, but it remains possible to buy and use cigarettes. What you can’t do is swap over to a reduced harm product because vape and heat-not-burn devices are banned.

The Rice Media article points out the e-cigarettes are “wrongfully labelled a ‘gateway drug’.”

“I fully understand that the youth of today represent our future. However, like everything else, we can regulate alternative tobacco products like we already do cigarettes and alcohol. Even in those cases, underage consumption is still a problem. Yet no one has banned them.”

The problem in Singapore, as elsewhere, is the collection of “die-hard tobacco controllers” that Paddy Costall speaks about in the video below:

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