Headlines: UK Chemist Slams Gov – New York E-Cig Ban – Vaping as a Cure – E-Liquids Seized – WHO Removes Mugabe – Korean E-Cig Tax – Vaper Expo 2017 – Australia Travel Warning for Vapers
UK Chemist Tells Government to ‘Make Up Its Mind On E-Cigs!’
Contrasting guidelines on the health benefits of switching from smoking to vaping are hurting those wishing to quit says a UK chemist.
Shamir Patel who works in Skelmersdale West Lancashire and home to one of the UK’s highest numbers of smokers says the UK governments advice to health professionals is a little vague to say the least.
He says that as a pharmacist he along with the areas GPs are unsure just how to help patients make the transition for smoking to vaping and wants the UK Government to be clear on how it stands:
I’m seeing more people attempting to quit smoking through the use of e-cigarettes and vaping, but the problem is conflicting guidance. It’s about time the Government made up its mind. As a pharmacist, what am I supposed to say to customers? I realize we don’t have enough evidence to say one way or the other, but at some point the Government needs to make up its mind and send a clear message.
The problem stems with the mixed messages given.
On one hand Public Health England has embraced e-cigs and have featured their use in the current Stoptober campaign – whilst the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence – NICE – is a little less enthusiastic stating:
…there is currently little evidence on the long-term benefits or harms of these products.
Mr Patel – a pro vaping pharmacist said:
We need people to stop. And all the information we have points to e-cigs being the most effective way to do that. As a pharmacist, I think it should be within our powers to offer advice and guidance on the best ways to quit.
On a personal level, if someone came to me asking for advice, I think I would rather direct them to e-cigarettes than gum and patches. I would then advise them to set a deadline for giving up smoking completely, including the use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices.
Let’s hope the UK Government’s new inquiry into vaping will give us all the answers we’re looking for.
New York Bans Vaping Indoors
Vapers in New York will no longer be able to vape in cafes – restaurants and bars as the Governor cracks down citing ‘health reasons’.
However one local doctor – Lila Abassi MD – has called Governor Andrew Cuomo a ‘public health enemy!’
The Governor formally signed in the new law this week which includes banning vaping in public indoor spaces and workplaces as well as other places people ‘congregate’.
This puts e-cigs into the same legislation as smoking and comes under the Clean Indoor Air Act.
Gov Cuomo said:
These products are marketed as a healthier alternative to cigarettes but the reality is they also carry long-term risks to the health of users and those around them. This measure closes another dangerous loophole in the law, creating a stronger, healthier New York for all.
Unsurprisingly the strong anti vaping group the American Cancer Society welcomed the news calling it a ‘common sense measure’ adding:
…it will protect the health of our children and our hospitality workers.
The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network said:
This legislation will protect New Yorkers from second hand exposure to nicotine and other potentially harmful chemicals found in these products. It will also help ensure that the public health benefits of smoke-free laws are not undermined.
The ban begins on November 22nd.
For such apparently intelligent groups I have to say they haven’t really looked into the evidence around the myth of passive vaping have they?
A point echoed by Dr. Lila Abassi, M.D. MPH who works at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn.
She responded to the ban via an excellent article in the American Council on Science and health saying:
Governor Cuomo’s move is about as anti-science as you can get. It is a real shame because the goal here should be smoking cessation for those who want to quit and harm reduction for those who won’t or can’t. It is impossible to say that any substance is without risk – heck, water can be deadly – should we ban that too?
My appeal to anyone supporting this misguided legislation is to pump the brakes and try to support the fact that users of e-cigarettes are really trying to be healthier. Quite frankly, I find vapers’ commitment to stay quit from combustible cigarettes a giant leap in favor of public health. Is it the perfect answer to quitting smoking? Probably not, but it’s a good one.
Can Vaping Cure Sore Throats?
According to new research vaping and e-cigs have a hidden health benefit that is just coming to light!
A new study by Dr Joanna Astrid Miler from the Glasgow based Centre for Substance Use Research says it could be the antimicrobial properties of propylene glycol [PG] that’s found in e-liquids that is killing off the bugs such as Streptococcus and Staphylococcus.
The researchers followed the case of a 26-year-old woman who had suffered chronic throat problems including tonsillitis for 9 years and all treatment had failed to help her.
Her partner quit smoking and took up vaping – which she then tried.
Within 3 months her condition had cleared!
The report said:
She has now been vaping for eight months and her tonsillitis has not recurred. She has not suffered a single respiratory infection or common cold. As this is a never-smoker, the improvements cannot be attributed to smoking cessation. One possible explanation is that the improvement was due to antimicrobial properties of propylene glycol.
Lead researcher Dr Miller said:
A trial of vaping zero-nicotine e-cigarettes in patients with recurrent throat infections could clarify whether this is an effect that could benefit others.
Scottish Trading Standards Seize E-Liquid
Despite warnings to Scottish retailers selling higher nicotine strengths than ‘allowed’ under the TPD they are still being sold.
And last week trading standards officers seized 200 packs of e-liquid all of them over the current ‘legal’ 20mg and others that were 9 months out of date.
A spokesman said:
Our Trading Standards team were disappointed to find that most retailers were still not following the legislation introduced earlier this year. The legislation exists for a reason – to make the sale of e-cigarettes as safe as possible. There was always going to be an initial phase where shop owners got used to the guidelines. But it is clear that more work needs to be done.
Anyone caught selling higher than the accepted strengths could face a £200 fine per offense to a max of £5000.
Trading Standards hasn’t released the actual strengths they ‘seized’ however the Daily Record headline ‘Illegal super-strength e-cigarettes seized in crackdown as shops targeted in undercover swoops’ was a little shall we say over the top.
I began vaping on 24mg and have to say I was one of those folks who was worried the current 20mg ruling might not be strong enough to get real heavy smokers their relatively harmless nic fix.
Mugabe Removed at WHO Ambassador
As we suggested last week Robert Mugabe has been removed as a goodwill ambassador for the World Health Organization.
The Zimbabwean president has an horrendous human rights record and regularly flies out of his own country for medical treatment for him and his family.
His appointment caused shock waves through the world’s health community with Cancer Research UK joining 27 other groups calling for his removal.
The statement said:
Given these systematic abuses and his approach to NCDs [none communicable diseases] and tobacco control in the past, NCD civil society present in Montevideo believe that President Mugabe’s appointment as WHO goodwill ambassador for NCDs cannot be justified.
Sadly WHO is still rather anti e-cigarettes and vaping and hell may have frozen over before they become more receptive to the benefits.
Korean E-Cig Tax Increase Planned
Bad news for vapers in South Korea as a new tax increase on e-cigarettes would almost double the price.
The Government recently voted to add 90% to the price of e-cigs and with heat not burn devices such as IQOS proving popular there are fear smokers will return to cigarettes.
However the proposal still has to pass the parliamentary plenary session and Minister of Strategy and Finance, Kim Dong-yeon said he was doubtful it would pass.
A spokesman for BAT said:
If the tax increases, it will have a huge impact on the cost, so we will have to think about increasing our prices as well.
Vaper Expo – the Return 2017
I’ve just spent two days at the NEC covering Vaper Expo and the full story will be up this coming week.
If I’m honest it wasn’t the best I’ve attended – it felt like we were crammed into a much smaller space with little if any seating areas.
But hey I’m an old bloke so I guess the younger ones didn’t mind being on their feet all day!
A lot of the big name brands were absent and it felt like more of a juice-fest than hardware show with little if any new products on view.
Indeed a couple of times I tried to find out about the new Aspire tank I was abruptly told they weren’t allowed to tell us anything and despite the staff all using the tank I was told NO PHOTOS!
I did get my hands on the new Augvape squonker and very nice it is too and we may be getting that in for review soon.
I met up with some old mates and indeed met a few new ones and special thanks to Abid from the excellent Pukka Juice for saving my vape set-up I’d left on his stand!
They’ve launched x3 new flavours and that review will be up soon.
And another big thank you to the guys at Rev Mods who gave me the retail versions of the Sport the Nitro and GTS mods – and I’m assured they have all the niggles ironed out and I’ll update the review next week.
OK as I said full story will be up soon as – I just need someone to rub my aching back and legs with rubbing oils lol – I really need to get fitter!
And Finally…UK Gov Warns Vapers Traveling to Australia
Thanks to vaping advocate and blogger Dick Puddlecote the UK’s Foreign Office has advised vapers traveling down under they could risk breaking the law.
Dick had noted the government website had warned travelers to Thailand that vaping was illegal in the country but NOT updated the info on Australia!
Maybe they were in cahoots and hoping to get a cut from all those lovely fines?
Anyway Dick contacted the FO who obliged and added albeit a vague warning:
The legality of using e-cigarettes in Australia differs between states. Liquid nicotine is classed as a poison and banned from sale nationwide, however some states allow importation for personal use and the use of e-cigarettes without nicotine. You should seek local advice on what restrictions are in place at your destination.
Dick said on his blog:
It’s not as strongly-worded as the warning for Thailand, but then no British tourist has been banged up yet. If/when that happens I guess they’ll upgrade the message.
I’m sure the Australian tourist board will be chuffed to bits with the new advice. “Come to Australia, you could be fined or arrested for quitting smoking” isn’t the kind of thing you see in their glossy holiday adverts, is it? But I feel certain they’re happy that potential tourists to their country are properly informed that they either smoke while they are over there or take a risk with the vape and gamble with their freedom and holiday money.
Strange times indeed…