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News Roundup

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

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India’s trade ministry admits it cannot impose a ban on electronic cigarette imports. A UK campaign to ban sale of cigarettes to under 21s gathers pace. Professor Robert West discusses insurance for vapers on BBC Radio 4. American cops visit schools to warn students about vaping. Seychelles is set to introduce new regulations legalising the sale of vapour products, and McLaren debuts e-cig branding in Bahrain.

In India, a leaked government document from India’s trade ministry shows it knows that calls for a full government ban on vape products has no legal support. The memo details how preventing the import of vaping kit runs contrary to the World Trade Organization the nation signed up to.

The revelation comes as great news to the Jubilant group. The organisation already holds the franchise for Dunkin’ Donuts and Domino’s Pizza, and is looking at importing JUUL’s products into India. The Department of Health is investigating how it can block JUUL coming to market, but JUUL s pressing ahead and has hired a raft of top executives with the intention of rolling out the brand later this year.

The U.K. All Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Smoking and Health has bowed to a campaign to increase the age of sale of tobacco products to 21. The proposal is "to discourage uptake by those most at risk".

Action on Smoking and Health’s Dr Nicholas Hopkinson said: “Smoking is a contagious habit, transmitted within peer groups. The age increase will protect younger children from exposure to older pupils who smoke."

Bob Blackman, chair of the APPG, believes: “Smoking remains the leading cause of premature death and health inequalities. Ratcheting up tobacco regulation further and faster is essential to achieve the Government's vision for prevention, to increase healthy life expectancy by five years by 2035 while reducing inequalities between the richest and poorest in society."

Radio 4’s You and Yours program invited professor Robert West on to discuss how vapers are treated as if they still smoked by the insurance industry: “They [vapers] are mostly former smokers, but therefore should be treated as former smokers instead of users of licenced nicotine products.”

“We have very good actuarial data on the life expectancy of someone who has stopped smoking. If you have only just stopped smoking then you carry a lot of the risk with you, but the longer you go without smoking then obviously the better things become.”

Professor West knocked back claims of harm from nicotine, pointed out the success of snus in Sweden, and pointed out that insurance companies ought to be undercutting competitors by offering lower cost policies. The full interview is linked below.

While the behaviour of the U.K. insurance sector isn’t illegal, the actions of South Dakota Highway Patrol ought to be. Sargent Isaac Kurtz has been visiting school to tell them that vaping “is highly addictive”, despite data showing that those American teens who do vape tend to use zero-nic liquids.

"The problem we are running into is, it's more addictive, especially for the young crowd, because of the nicotine content and the effects it has on the developing brain," he says.

Quite what qualifies a policeman to deliver medical advice has not been explained. "They don't care if it can cause cancer or harm your brain. They want your money."

Vaping was banned in the Seychelles, classified as “lookalike tobacco products” under the 2009 Tobacco Control Act. New regulations have updated the definition so that the sale, manufacture and distribution of vapour products is now legal.

Bharathi Viswanathan, Prevention and Control of Cardiovascular Diseases at the Seychelles Hospital, said: “[Vaping] is a good way to help smokers quit the habit and it is also less detrimental to health as it contains less nicotine and other harmful substances found in real cigarettes.”

Finally, poor Martin McKee has been getting very vexed about Vype, a British American Tobacco brand, being advertised on a Formula 1 car.

The sponsorship was seen for the first time on a McLaren at the Bahrain Grand Prix. BAT are planning on using the livery in all countries where it is legal to do so, with the brand removed from the car in other places.



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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