News Roundup

Posted 17th January 2020 by Dave Cross
News of spice and cannabis problems in UK and the USA comes as billionaire Presidential runner Michael Bloomberg promises to ban all vaping if he becomes POTUS. But, in Spain, the head of Bellvitge Preventive Medicine defends vaping. Also, Linda Bauld and Suzi Gage point out it’s still safer than smoking.

One in five school-aged teens vape marijuana according to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers also claim that one in four teens try vaping with nicotine at least once as people try to vilify the harm reduction potential of vaping in the States.

Just before Christmas, a multi-agency panel in Greater Manchester warned that 17 teens had been admitted to hospital during 2019, after vaping a synthetic cannabis product known as ‘Spice’. Coordinator Michael Linnell said: “If they inhale spice they risk the very bad reaction we have now seen on at least a dozen occasions.”

These kinds of reports make getting out of bed in the morning a joyful experience for Michael Bloomberg. The Democratic U.S. presidential candidate announced this week that he intends to ban all vaping should he be elected.

“Today one in four high school students are addicted to vaping and it’s a brand new thing. It’s so bad,” said the duplicitous billionaire seeking to cash in on public ignorance and fear.

“President Trump promised to remove flavoured e-cigarettes from the market back in September, but instead he has bent over backwards to protect the tobacco lobby’s profits. We need a leader who will stand up to the industry and protect our children’s health.”

Set against the prevailing American wind of scientific illiteracy, Josep Maria Ramón, head of the Preventive Medicine service at Bellvitge Hospital in Barcelona, spoke out in favour of vaping and tobacco harm reduction.

He attacked Spain for being the “most belligerent” country in Europe in it’s approach to electronic cigarettes. He spoke about how legislators need to focus on promoting good science and called for more rigor in studies to combat the populist nonsense that surrounds vaping.

His comments reflect those recently made by Linda Bauld and Suzi Gage who pointed out that vaping is one of the biggest healthcare developments over the last decade. Speaking about the EVALI/synthetic cannabis problems, they said: “it became clear that it was not nicotine vaping that was implicated. Details were slow to emerge because the substances involved were in fact cartridges containing cannabis (primarily tetrahydrocannabinol or THC). These were often obtained on the illicit market, and in some cases being used by children. This meant users were reluctant to admit what they had vaped.”

“In the UK, vaping has been credited with contributing to recent reductions in smoking. Studies published in 2019 showed that e-cigarettes help smokers quit and can benefit cardiovascular health. Even in the US, recent research suggests any rise in youth vaping has coincided with sharp declines in young people smoking.”

Related:

  • Trends in Reported Marijuana Vaping Among US Adolescents, 2017-2019, Journal of the American Medical Association – [link]
  • Self-reported Marijuana Use in Electronic Cigarettes Among US Youth, 2017 to 2018, Journal of the American Medical Association – [link]
  • Bloomberg Vows to Ban Flavoured E-Cigarettes – [link]
  • El jefe de Medicina preventiva de Bellvitge defiende el ‘vapeo’ – [link]
  • E-cigarettes are still safer than smoking – [link]


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