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News Roundup

A collection of topical vape-related stories covering electronic cigarettes, harm reduction and tobacco cessation

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US politicians again refused to allow young soldiers to access harm reduction products. In Belgium, researchers have found yet more evidence that switching to vaping helps smokers quit. The American Council on Science and Health has decried public health’s black and white thinking in the United States. Meanwhile, despite continuing its crusade against vaping because “it’s not proven to be safe”, the U.S. drug regulator is allowing manufacturers to increase impurity levels in varenicline (the smoking cessation drug).

Servicemembers under 21 years old would once again be allowed to buy and use tobacco products on military bases under a proposal being pushed by a Republican senator this week,” reported the Military Times.

American soldiers are allowed to lay down their lives or risk life-changing injuries, but the military and government decided that those under the age of 21 were no longer allowed access to reduced harm products such as ecigs.

The situation looked set for change as a change was proposed as part of the new authorization bill. Unfortunately, the measure failed to gain support in the Senate Armed Services Committee and the ridiculous situation persists.

The idiocy is accentuated in a new study from a Flemish team including expert Frank Baeyens. The team compared smokers quitting by switching to vapes with those going cold turkey or using common pharmaceutical cessation products.

They found: “One third of all participants achieved smoking abstinence 7 months after the quit date, with e-cigarette users having higher chances to be smoking abstinent at the final session compared to NRT users.”

The American Council on Science and Health recognises vaping’s potential to help Americans quit but are being blocked “by several claims that don't stand up to scrutiny”.

These claims include the “teen epidemic” and that flavoured e-liquids target teens.

Some teenagers do vape…But the numbers are declining,” the Council says. On top of that, it points out that the figures include ever-users who have only vaped once. “Additionally, most teens who use e-cigarettes are ex-smokers.”

And on flavours, it’s a “completely nonsensical charge”.

It's like saying Ruth's Chris steak house developed a dessert menu ‘calculated to introduce’ sweets to diabetics, especially children. I mean, why else would a fancy restaurant serve ‘chocolate sin cake’ or ‘warm apple crumb tart’? They must know diabetic children like sugary treats!”

And while public health ties itself in knots over bogus claims about vaping, The Food and Drug Administration is allowing varenicline manufacturers to increase impurities from 37 nanograms to 185 nanograms per day – a 500% increase.

Their statement will come as great relief to all and reaffirms that American public health officials really do value smoker lives above industry profits and state tax revenue: “The health benefits of stopping smoking outweigh the cancer risk from the nitrosamine impurity in varenicline.”

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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