An all-star panel of global public health experts came together in a hybrid event (click here) on 30th November to highlight the success that Sweden has achieved in reducing smoking rates to just 5%, and ensuring the lowest lung, oral, larynx, heart disease, stroke and COPD rates amongst men in Europe.
The panel also discussed the worldwide issues with the regulation and acceptance of snus and oral nicotine products, as well as the opportunities and practical ideas for how individuals, organizations and governments can create change through simple incentive schemes. Dr. Delon Human mentioned that if we applied the same principles and practices that governments used during the covid19 pandemic, we could save many lives in tobacco control through the acceptance and risk-proportionate regulation of snus and oral nicotine products. (Click here to keep up to date with the Swedish twitter campaign.)
The panel featured:
Dr. Derek Yach - Physician and global health consultant.
Professor Mihaela Răescu - Dentist and oral health expert.
Professor Karl Fagerström - Psychologist and inventor of the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence, which is a standard instrument for assessing the intensity of physical addiction to nicotine.
Dr. Anders Milton - Physician with extensive experience in public service, a highly sought-after consultant in the healthcare sector and a former chair of the World Medical Association (WMA).
Professor Solomon Rataemane - Professor of Psychiatry and expert in mood disorders.
Joseph Magero - Public policy professional and Chairman of Campaign for Safer Alternatives.
Lars Ramström - Former Director of the Institute for Tobacco Studies and oral nicotine / snus expert.
Dr. Delon Human - Physician and global public health consultant.
Dr. Kgosi Letlape - Physician and health care leader from South Africa.
To read the latest press release from the event click here.
To read more about the oral nicotine commission and snus, click here
The Institute for Addiction Research (ISFF) organised the 5th specialist conference on October 12th, 2022.
The 5th conference is about the ambitious goal of reducing the smoking prevalence in the adult population to below 5% by 2040 (currently 32%): Which strategies can lead to the fact that this goal is also achieved?
They invited speakers who spoke on the following topics (click HERE for the playlist);
"... and if we make it...? What is to be expected for morbidity/mortality with low smoking prevalence, when are relief effects likely to occur?”
Recent developments: RESET (a framework for tobacco harm reduction products)
Workplace health promotion / smoking cessation
Nicotine – to blame for everything? About misunderstandings and facts about the premature mortality of smokers
Now it's getting tasteless - debate about flavors - what we know, what we should know
Flavors: Relevance from a consumer perspective
Smoking movers, non-smoking magistrates - social and health inequalities in smoking prevalence
The RauS study - variety of individual strategies from tobacco addiction
Position paper 2.0
Click on the video below to watch Dr. Delon Human discussing the RESET framework for THR.
To access more resources about tobacco harm reduction click HERE.
To read our E-Book, click HERE.
A new study published in Addiction (by the society for the Study of Addiction) has found significant harm reduction when switching from smoking to vaping or dual use. Following a systematic review, this secondary analysis incorporated nine studies from Greece, Italy, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States. It features 1,299 adult participants who smoked combustible cigarettes (CC), switched completely from smoking CC to electronic cigarettes (EC), or who switched to using both CC and EC (dual users).
In a secondary analysis, researchers work with previously collected existing data (secondary data) to perform a new study. This allows researchers to work with large data sets, as they can work with data from multiple studies. A systematic review uses all the existing research and also secondary research (research on research). A high-quality systematic review is one of the most reliable sources of evidence to guide clinical practice, as it delivers a meticulous summary of the available primary research in response to a research question.
Measurements for the study were conducted using carbon monoxide (CO) and other biomarkers. Biomarkers (biological markers) are biological molecules found in body fluids or tissues that signal a normal or abnormal process or a condition or disease. Measuring biomarkers enabled the researchers to indicate how biomarkers of harm change based on participants’ smoking/vaping behaviour.
The study found exhaled CO (eCO) to be lower in participants who switched to EC completely than those who smoke CC or are dual users. eCO was also significantly lower in dual users than in CC only participants. 13 biomarkers were measured to compare EC versus CC – of these, 12 were lower in the EC groups. 25 biomarkers were measured when comparing EC to CC and dual use – of these, the results were lower for EC groups for 12 measures and for dual use groups for 5 measures.
This secondary analysis confirms that exclusive EC use is associated with lower levels of biomarkers of harm than the exclusive use of CC or dual use. This supports the broad scientific consensus that the greatest health improvements come from ceasing the use of CC completely, and that (although not completely without risk) EC is a reduced-risk alternative that offers harm reduction benefits. An analysis such as this study not only informs debates concerning the potential harms and benefits of dual use but also illustrates the changes a smoker might expect if they switched completely to ECs or dual use.
Access www.tobaccoharmreduction.net to learn more about tobacco harm reduction.
THR.net sat down with Michelle Minton of the Reason Foundation for the latest #WomenInTHR episode, in honour of World Mental Health Day in October. We discussed the topics listed below (click on each one to watch the clips):
Click on this link here to access our YouTube channel with mini clips for small and digestible videos.
Click below to watch the part called > “Mental Health Disorders and The Benefits of Nicotine”
Approximately 30% of adults between 15-64 are current smokers in Spain - shows the latest available data. There is a well-funded and vocal abstinence-only tobacco control establishment in Spain, and it seems to do its utmost to fight tobacco harm reduction.
Clive Bates’ latest blog post with text, commentary and a 2 minute video explaining THR is well worth a read/listen and can be found here: A powerful declaration makes a compelling case for tobacco harm reduction. His tweet is here.
The international letter can be found here: Less Harm: international declaration for a smoke-free Spain (PDF)
“So this is a call for the government to pay a little less attention to them and to reflect more on the opportunity to do better through THR.” says Clive. “Tireless work and energy from Carmen Escrig to pull this together and kudos to the Plataforma para la reducción del daño por tabaquismo.”
October is Mental Health Awareness Month. We take this time of year to acknowledge the widespread concerns among the general public, including mental health which is a crucial piece of the puzzle that makes up an individual's overall health and wellness.
Of the general population, only a minority are smokers. In a population of those with a history of depression and a propensity for recurrent depression, a majority are smokers.
Smoking rates among people with mental health disorders are disproportionately higher than average country smoking rates across the globe. The association between cigarette smoking and mental health conditions becomes stronger relative to the severity of the mental health condition, with the highest levels of smoking found in psychiatric inpatients.
Nicotine has mood-altering effects that put people with mental disorders at higher risk of smoking and nicotine addiction. Many of them associate smoking cigarettes with stress relief and relaxation.
Important to note, individuals with mental health conditions die on average 10–20 years earlier than the general population, and smoking is the single largest factor accounting for this difference.
One in every two people who smoke (including those with mental health issues) will die of a smoking-related illness. But many think quitting will worsen their mental health problems or impact their social lives and friendships.
In most cases, people with mental illness lack access to cessation aids to help them quit. This makes it even more challenging for them to quit smoking.
Stopping smoking suddenly through willpower alone or cold turkey is the least effective way to quit. It’s a well-known fact that quitting smoking improves one’s physical health. A recent Cochrane systematic review shows that stopping smoking is linked to improved mental health. The review summarizes evidence from 102 observational studies involving over 165,900 people.
Action to reduce smoking among people with mental health challenges should be a high priority, whether through nicotine replacement therapy or safer nicotine products. No other action would do more to reduce the life expectancy gap among this group.
Pragmatic approaches are absolutely essential to improve outcomes. The lack of cessation services in many low and middle-income countries makes the scale of the task to reduce smoking among people with mental health challenges inherently complex.
With current tobacco control strategies showing meagre results and NRTs unaffordable to most smokers with mental health challenges, the introduction of accessible, market-driven harm reduction measures into the mix is a vital way forward. Reduced-risk products can significantly lower smoking rates among individuals with mental health challenges.
In line with the mental health awareness month, smokers should quit smoking to protect their mental health. Looking to the future, an approach to reducing smoking among persons with mental health issues that includes a wide range of safer nicotine products would provide governments with the tools to significantly improve health outcomes at a minimal cost.
This study (published by the National Library of Medicine) is amongst a few that have considered the impact of e-cigarette flavors on smoking cessation outcomes. This study examines the effects of e-cigarette use and e-cigarette flavors on quit attempts and the quit success rate of smokers.
Review written by Joseph Magero, of Campaign for Safer Alternatives / CASA
New research from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London has found that the use of electronic cigarettes rather than traditional cigarettes leads to a substantial reduction in exposure to toxicants that cause cancer, lung disease, and cardiovascular disease.
The systematic review, commissioned by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities in the Department of Health and Social Care, represents the most comprehensive review of the risks of vaping to date. The findings were; while vaping is not risk-free (particularly for people who have never smoked), it poses a small fraction of the health risks of smoking in the short to medium term.
It is the eighth successive time that a review commissioned by the main public health body in England, the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, has found that electronic cigarette use is far less risky than cigarette smoking.
In the report, researchers expressed concern that “around two-thirds of adult smokers, who would benefit from switching to electronic cigarettes, have no idea that vaping is less harmful”.
Perceptions about the relative harms of tobacco smoking and vaping among smokers are out of line with current evidence. An exploration of the available studies found that levels of tobacco-specific nitrosamines, volatile organic compounds, and other toxicants implicated in the main diseases caused by smoking were significantly lower in e-cigarette users. Among e-cigarette users, overall levels of nicotine were lower or similar to cigarette smokers.
The levels of exposure to cancer-causing and other toxicants are drastically lower in people who use electronic cigarettes compared with those who smoke traditional cigarettes. Helping people switch from smoking to vaping should be considered a priority if Governments are to achieve a smoke-free world in our lifetime. The evidence has strengthened and shows that e-cigarettes have the potential to reduce the harm caused by smoking. We must educate people about the reduced risk of alternative products such as electronic cigarettes.
On September 28th, a new Asia Harm Reduction Alliance platform was launched, to bring together consumers, policymakers, and harm reduction experts in the health care community in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East region.
Dr. Marewa Glover, Director, Centre of Research Excellence: Indigenous Sovereignty & Smoking, New Zealand, is featured on the site as one of the champions of the platform, along with six other health experts. Dr. Marewa Glover quotes:
“There are compassionate and more cost-effective ways to reduce smoking prevalence. One of these is to encourage switching to a low-risk alternative. The use of e-cigarettes (vaping) has been found to be more effective than nicotine replacement therapy in enabling people to quit smoking”
To read more and visit the website, click here.
Authored by Joseph Magero of CASA.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs)—including cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, and cancer—account for about 60% of global deaths, mostly in low and middle-income countries. Smoking and tobacco use accounts for a sixth of these deaths.
Cigarette smoking is a major risk factor for noncommunicable diseases such as chronic respiratory diseases, cancer, heart disease and stroke, as well as a factor for some communicable diseases such as tuberculosis. Evidence obtained shows that important benefits of reducing smoking accrue quickly; a reduction in tobacco use rapidly decreases NCDs and healthcare costs.
Click HERE to read the full article.
A new video campaign by the Queensland Government uses public money to highlight incorrect information about vaping. Dr Colin Mendelsohn’s series, Dr Col’s Vape Truths, is set to put a stop to this spread of incorrect information.
A series of eight misinformed videos(1) have been released on the Queensland Government website. The series shows well-known science commentator Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki stating incorrect information about vaping. The videos focus on vaping ingredients (citing them as “toxic”), allege that vape clouds cause cancer, and state that vaping can seriously impact on your breathing. There is, however, no reputable scientific research to demonstrate or prove Dr Kruszelnicki’s assertions.
Dr. Colin Mendelsohn, who has been working in tobacco treatment for 40 years, has responded to this misinformation campaign by creating eight videos of his own to provide correct information(2). Dr. Mendelsohn points out that vapour is far less toxic than smoke, the risk of cancer from vaping is much lower than from smoking, and that vaping nicotine does not cause serious damage to the lungs.
“Australia’s overall smoking rate has barely budged in recent years, while New Zealand’s has halved in the past decade. New Zealand is promoting vaping as an effective smoking cessation tool while Australia’s ‘quit or die’ approach to tobacco control is failing its 2.3 million smokers badly.”
CAPHRA further stated that “Australia is falling further behind the Asia Pacific region, with the Philippines the latest country to regulate the importation, manufacture, sale, packaging, distribution, and use of vaping.”(3)
Australia is, in fact, the only Western democracy that requires users to have a nicotine prescription to vape (3), while every year around 20,500 Australians lose their lives to smoking, accounting for 13% of deaths in Australia (4).
Hopefully, Dr Col’s Vape Truths will be successful in combating the misperceptions of the public and health workers about nicotine and vaping. As a harm reduction tool, these videos are underpinned by research that shows the health benefits gained when smokers switch to vaping (5).
(1) Queensland Government. Vape truths: Dr Karl's vape truths [Internet]. c2022 [updated 2022 Jun; cited 2022 Aug 22 ]. Available from https://www.vapetruths.initiatives.qld.gov.au/dr-karls-vape-truths.
(2) Dr Colin Mendelsohn. Dr Col’s vape truths. [Internet]. c2022 [updated 2022; cited 2022 Aug 22] https://colinmendelsohn.com.au/dr-cols-vape-truths/
(3) Planet of the Vapes. Aussie propaganda exposed. [Internet]. c2022 [updated 2022 Aug 15; cited 2022 Aug 22] https://www.planetofthevapes.co.uk/news/vaping-news/2022-08-15_aussie-propaganda-exposed.html
(4) Australian Bureau of Statistics. Pandemic insights into Australian smokers, 2020-21. [Internet]. c.2021 [updated 2021 Oct 12; cited 2022 Aug 22] https://www.abs.gov.au/articles/pandemic-insights-australian-smokers-2020-21#:~:text=Tobacco%20smoking%20is%20one%20of,Australia%20in%202018%5B1%5D
(5) Polosa R, Rodu B, Caponnetto P, Maglia M. A fresh look at tobacco harm reduction: The case for the electronic cigarette. Harm Reduction Journal [serial online]. [cited 2022 Aug 22]; 10(19). Available from: Springer Nature
A study carried out by a leading institution investigates the potential impact of reducing the restrictions on vaping products on public health in Australia. The accepted manuscript, which is published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, was authored by leading researchers Professors David Levy, Coral Gartner, Ron Borland and Michael Cummings.
Click here to read the full article.
To access our e - book click here.
THR.net were recently joined by Romanian Dental Professor Mihaela Răescu on a webinar, in which she speaks candidly about the main issues surrounding THR in Dentistry, improving oral health in smokers using tobacco harm reduction, the dental benefits of switching to heated tobacco products, and research areas she would like to pursue in tobacco harm reduction.
Click below to watch the full webinar, and click HERE to view some mini clips!
We were joined by Michelle Minton, nicotine researcher and policy analyst to discuss key topics in tobacco harm reduction. We talked about things like: the unspoken benefits of tobacco and nicotine, the truth about vaping and popcorn lung and how narratives can prevent people from objectively looking at evidence.
To see some mini clips from the webinar, click HERE.
Or click below to watch the full webinar on our YouTube Channel.
As the world marks International Youth Day today, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime calls on the youth to take charge of their health and future. Drug use among young adults has been linked to negative health and social outcomes in later years.
Harm reduction, or minimization, refers to a philosophy and set of practices that acknowledge that substance use – be it alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes – is a part of life. It aims to reduce the negative harmful effects of substance use, rather than simply ignoring or condemning it.
Click HERE to read the full article on Youth and Harm Reduction.
We had the privilege of sitting down with Amanda Wheeler, to discuss important issues in tobacco harm reduction, such as: how do we correct misinformation in this space? What benefit has Juul had in converting people from smoking to vaping? What role do flavours play in harm reduction?
To see some mini clips from the webinar, click HERE.
Or click below to watch the full webinar on our YouTube Channel.
“The availability of nicotine with minimal harm justifies a complete rethink of our approach to this legal recreational drug.”
The latest article by Clive Bates of Counterfactual Consulting in the tobacco reporter magazine provides some interesting insights into his views on the weirdness of why low risk nicotine products are being demonised and compared with class A drugs such as heroin or cocaine. Clive discusses the benefits of nicotine, from improved cognition and focus to reducing stress and anxiety, and asks the question: why are we not re-looking at nicotine and considering that its use is not all that harmful? What if the real problem was always the inhalation of toxic smoke while trying to consume nicotine for its benefits?
Clive discusses the several forms that this ‘weirdness of harms’ takes when it comes to this low – risk drug.
On 14 July 2022, a Malaysia press release reported that the draft of the proposed Tobacco and Smoking Control Bill had been approved by the Cabinet. Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said: “The Bill was approved by Cabinet yesterday. So I will be sending it to Parliament for this session". The proposed Bill contains provisions to prohibit the sale of cigarettes, tobacco, and vape products to those born after 2005.
13 public health experts were prompted to respond to this proposed legislation, and they started by applauding the government’s efforts to strengthen the prevention and control of combustible tobacco-related disease and premature death. However, they warned of the unintended consequences of regulating non-combustible, reduced-risk products in the same way as combustible cigarettes. They emphasised two important points about ENDS:
In this letter sent to the Malaysian PM and Cabinet, the experts urged them to support smokers by encouraging a mass switch from high-risk cigarettes to low-risk ENDS by using risk-proportionate regulation, thus accelerating the end of the epidemic of smoking-related disease. Read the full letter here.
A letter from an international group of health leaders, from the EU, North and South America, Africa and Asia has been submitted to the Bangladesh Minister of Health, calling for the Ministry to consider not prohibiting the use of smoke free nicotine-based alternatives to combustible cigarettes and to use evidence-based regulatory policy to do more to protect the health of Bangladesh's 164,7 million people. In particular, the 34,7% of adults in Bangladesh who still consume combustible cigarettes. The experts have called on the Bangladesh government to support smokers by encouraging a mass switch from high-risk cigarettes to low-risk ENDS and accelerating the end of the epidemic of smoking-related disease.
Click here to read the letter.
The call was made by public health experts gathered at the ninth edition of the Global Forum on Nicotine, held in Warsaw this month.
The Global Forum on Nicotine (GFN) is an annual event that has been held since 2014 in the form of an international conference focusing on the future of nicotine products, their legal regulations and the impact of these products on public health. Hosting hundreds of public health experts, nicotine consumers and activists from across the world, the event’s theme was ‘tobacco harm reduction is here for good’.
The forum’s theme explained that tobacco harm reduction through safer nicotine products can hasten the end of smoking, and calls for government stakeholders to explore the science behind this approach. Policy and regulatory changes are needed in order to maximize its potential and the barriers to its implementation around the world.
Countries applying progressive tobacco harm reduction policies are witnessing a significant fall in smoking rates. Whereas those following the World Health Organization’s (MPOWER) guidance continue to experience excessive smoking-related illnesses and deaths.
A new study (conducted by Dr. Lars M. Ramström) launched at the forum shows implementation of the World Health Organization’s tobacco control measures known as MPOWER has no clear association with low-levels of tobacco-related mortality.
Instead, the independent research by the renowned tobacco dependence researcher, shows that switching from smoking to Swedish-style snus, a safer nicotine product, is a more effective strategy to reduce the harms caused by tobacco.
Presented to hundreds of delegates, as well as over 50 international experts on tobacco and nicotine science, the new findings by Dr. Lars Ramström provide further evidence that the World Health Organization must embrace tobacco harm reduction as part of its global tobacco control strategy by supporting the use of safer nicotine alternatives to quit smoking.
There are 1,1 billion smokers worldwide and combustible tobacco products continue to kill more than 8 million of its consumers per year. Although most smokers want to quit, only 4% succeed. For those adult smokers who are unwilling or unable to quit smoking, non-combustible, nicotine-based alternative products now offer a "fire-escape". These products represent "Harm reduction strategies", envisioned in Article 1(d) of the WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). What are the regulatory hurdles to accelerating tobacco harm reduction, as adjuvant to tobacco control? What regulatory principles need to be established, scaled and leveraged to save more lives of adult smokers? How can we harness harm reduction innovation to make preventive tobacco control more efficient, and free up resources for global healthcare?
We were joined for a virtual dialogue by a distinguished panel of harm reduction experts;
The RESET framework was discussed by the panel. The below information shines some light on what exactly this framework entails:
R = Risk - based regulation (labelling, packaging, promotion)
E = Ensuring intended use (prevent youth access, safety)
S = Safety and Quality (ingredients, product standards, testing + conformity with chemical and electronic regulation)
E = Environmental Considerations (lifecycle of ENDS, regulating environmental impact, align with ESG standards)
T = Traceability and Fiscal Policies (regulation ensuring product authenticity throughout supply chain, risk-proportionate fiscal polices)
The webinar recording can be seen here.
This month, we mark three important events: International Harm Reduction Day on 7 May, World Vape Day on 30 May and World No Tobacco Day on 31 May. In spite of the dualistic impression one derives from the war-like language that often mars discussion between ‘tobacco control’ and ‘tobacco harm reduction’ (THR) communities, they actually share a common goal: to minimise tobacco-related disease and premature death. This misrepresentation of facts is squandering the opportunity to help millions of smokers switch to much less harmful products, such as nicotine vapes and pouches. Herein lies the difference in approach amongst THR advocates; backed by evidence and pragmatism, THR supports the provision, rather than prohibition, of safer alternatives to those who are struggling to quit cigarettes.
[Read our full article] on the six ways in which harm reduction differs to prohibition.
Call for evidence deadline: 17th June
The EU commission would like to hear your views on the modern ways to manage and curb smoking addiction. Future tobacco regulation must be based on sound data and evidence to ensure risk – proportionate regulation is adopted for new product categories.
The Commission will evaluate the tobacco control legislative framework, namely the promotion, sponsorship, product regulation and advertising, in the broader context of other related tobacco control policies. This comes in response to the rapid rise of recent technological advancements in emerging products.
This evaluation will assess to what extent the framework has fulfilled its goals and whether it is able to support a ‘Tobacco-Free Generation’ by 2040, as announced in the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.
Dr Mendelsohn’s book provides a comprehensive and practical how-to guide for smokers considering vaping as a safer alternative to smoking, but it also delves into a deeper analysis into societal beliefs around vaping. In Part 3 (‘Controversies and Solutions’), Dr Mendelsohn dissects how we have reached a point in the debate where an appreciation of the scientific evidence supporting vaping is not enough to overcome the vehement backlash: “Much of the opposition is not about the evidence. It is driven more by hidden ideological, moral, political, and other agendas. [Part 3] explores how anti-vaping groups defend the indefensible and justify their position without the support of science”.
Click here to read the full review.
Enlightening interview with Dr Derek Yach by Taco Tuinstra from Tobacco Reporter, in which Dr Yach explains how the innovation of THR represents the single most impactful public health opportunity. In his remarks, he described how independently verifying the science underpinning reduced-risk products transformed his thinking with regards to engaging with industry:
"The history of distrust is very deep, and very difficult to overcome. In my mind, the way I overcame it was by actually looking at the science, and looking at the evidence, and realising that the benefits for public health were so big that I needed to overcome my initial concerns.
It doesn’t require you trusting industry to move ahead, it requires you verifying what they are saying they are doing: verify the quality of the science, verify it in terms of long-term studies, look at the genomics, the metabolomics, the epidemiological and clinical studies. There’s no trust involved in that - just an independent ability to judge the science." - Dr Derek Yach
Full interview HERE 👇
AHRA (Africa Harm Reduction Alliance) hosted a Twitter Chat with the prominent THR advocate Aishat Alaran (@alaranaishat) to learn more about one of the women behind the Campaign for Safer Alternatives (C.A.S.A) organisation. Aishat spoke openly and candidly about why it is important to have equal representation of females and males in THR, saying that ‘smoking is not limited to one gender, so the fight to reduce smoking should not be restricted to a single gender’.
She also told AHRA about her mother, who has constantly been a source of inspiration for her, “She sets positive examples for me that constantly reminds me to strive to become the best version of myself.”
When asked how she pushes for systemic change around ideas that are new or not popular, she speaks candidly about what she feels needs to be done to “change the status quo”. She also cites another prominent THR advocate named Professor Marewa Glover as being another source of inspiration, especially when working under her leadership during a Tobacco harm Reduction Scholarship. Impressively, Professor Glover has 100 publications to her name.
Click HERE to access the new E – Book.
In a change that will favour vaping consumers today, Italy has adjusted its tax on e-liquids for the fourth time in four years.
The tax rate on e-liquids containing nicotine will decrease from €0.175 (U.S. equivalent: $0.19) per millilitre to €0.13, and the zero-nicotine e-liquid tax will fall from €0.13/mL to €0.08. The new, lower tax rates are in line with the levels set in 2021 (these levels had seen an increase in January 2022).
Italy has experienced a turbulent history when it comes to vaping products. In 2014, the Government made vapes as expensive as cigarettes, which meant that 75% of the ‘thriving’ vape industry had been wiped out. The tax was the highest in the EU, which almost doubled the price of e-liquid. This meant that vapers were now seeking the black market and some returned to smoking.
However, in 2019 the vaping community applied pressure to the Parliamentary legislators and they finally reduced the tax rate by 80%, to a far more reasonable €0.08 per mL for e-liquids containing nicotine, and €0.04 for nicotine-free e-juices. However, last year the legislators increased the tax yet again, only to (finally) reduce them today.
This is an opportunity for vapers to be heard before the anti-vaping policy is locked in for the rest of the decade.
The draft strategy lacks urgency. It sets a very modest goal of <10% adult daily smoking by 2025. In sharp contrast, New Zealand recently set a target of <5% daily adult smoking by 2025 for all population groups including Maori and Pacifica groups. Vaping is a key element of this plan.
Please make a submission before the deadline of 24 March 2022. More information about making a submission can be found HERE.
“The main element missing from the draft Strategy is tobacco harm reduction, ie the use of safer nicotine alternatives such as vaping, heated tobacco products, Swedish snus and nicotine pouches for smokers who are unable to quit with other methods”
Vaping is supported by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and Royal Australian College of General Practitioners for smokers who are unable to quit with conventional strategies. However, the draft strategy ignores their advice. In Australia it is easier to purchase a deadly cigarette than a far safer alternative.
Continuing the traditional 'quit or die' approach will result in a continuing sluggish decline in Australian smoking rates and another embarrassing failure to reach the smoking target. Smokers are being thrown under the bus. We need to do better.
The draft strategy sets out the Welsh Government’s vision for a smoke-free Wales by 2030, this means achieving a smoking prevalence rate in adults of 5% or less over the next eight years.
To support this ambition, they will be driving forward work across their three key themes of Reducing Inequalities, Future Generations and a Whole-System Approach for a Smoke-Free Wales.
The consultation will close on 31 March 2022. They want to hear views and get feedback on their plans for tobacco control in Wales from everyone affected by tobacco in Wales, including the public, young people and stakeholders.
They are also planning engagement events during the consultation period. If you would like to be involved, please contact them at: [email protected] for further details.
Government page to read more about the Consultation: HERE
How to respond
Submit your comments by 31 March 2022, in any of the following ways:
Complete our online form
Download, complete our response form and post to:
Risk Behaviours Team Welsh Government Cathays Park Cardiff CF10 3NQ
A group of world-renowned tobacco harm reduction experts spoke at the Africa Tobacco Harm Reduction Forum (ATHRF) a week ago, to discuss a potentially transformational product for the Africa market: #OralNicotine (Is it a gateway to a smoke-free Africa?).
Watch the full event recording HERE on the AHRA YouTube channel!
Misperceptions about the safety of vaping are rife; the misnomer of 'EVALI' is a major contributor. There is no evidence that anyone developed EVALI from nicotine #ecigs. Rather, it was illicit THC products containing Vit E Acetate.
The cost of this misinformation is that only 11.2% of respondents to the National Cancer Institute (NCI)'s 2020 HINTS survey said that e-cigarettes are safer than combustible cigarettes - a fact acknowledged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
75 public health experts, and Iowa's Attorney General Tom Miller, wrote to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in August 2021 petitioning for the lung injury to be renamed Adulterated THC Vaping Associated Lung Injury (ATHCVALI). This name communicates far more accurately to the public what health risks exist. However, the CDC has thus far declined to correct the misnomer of 'EVALI'.
One of the 75 public health experts, Michael Pesko (health economist at Georgia State University), said to reporter Marc Gunther: "The CDC made a gross error. The CDC's miscommunication is actually killing people, in my opinion."
The UK's Health Secretary, Sajid Javid MP, believes it is a “moral outrage” that England’s richest people are living for up to a decade longer on average than the poorest.
To help tackle this disparity, he is plotting a #vaping revolution, writes Caroline Wheeler in yesterday's edition of The Sunday Times.
"England will become the first country in the world to prescribe e-cigarettes on the NHS to help smokers quit as part of plans to increase life expectancy for the poorest.
Sajid Javid, the health secretary, believes it is a “moral outrage” that England’s richest people are living for up to a decade longer on average than the poorest.
He will announce plans to address the root causes when he unveils his health disparities white paper this spring. It is understood this will include a “vaping revolution” that will allow GPs to prescribe e-cigarettes on the NHS."
Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos’ multidimensional report on vaping flavours titled “The case for flavours in tobacco harm reduction to save lives” examines the science, consumer insights, risks and regulatory considerations relating to vaping flavours.
The review concludes that restrictions on vaping flavours would risk seriously reducing the life-saving potential of these innovative products.
Unfortunately, last week scaremongering headlines circulated worldwide, based on an abstract from an unpublished study. Subsequently it has been WITHDRAWN by the American Heart Association, who said: "This abstract will no longer be presented at Scientific Sessions 2021. Unfortunately, the researchers were not able to complete their presentation". The study claimed that e-cigarette users have a 15% higher risk of having a stroke at a younger age. However, after peer review and SCRUTINY of the data, this claim was shown to be methodologically flawed. Click HERE to read more on prominent experts' reaction to the flawed claim.
“People who regularly use vapes have much higher smoking cessation rates” explained Prof David Levy at the recent No Smoke Summit.
This is the key to the lifesaving potential of promoting nicotine vaping products to smokers who are struggling to quit cigarettes. Prof Levy’s newly published SAVM simulation model calculates deaths avoided and life years gained by 2060, if adult smokers switched to significantly less harmful vapes. The result? 1.8 million lives saved, and 38.9 million life years gained.
Click HERE to watch the Lives Saved video
In Germany’s population of 84 million, 1 in 4 people still smoke cigarettes. According to their ministry of health, smoking is the biggest preventable cause of death and disease in Germany. Meanwhile, there is mounting evidence that nicotine vaping products are significantly less harmful than combusted tobacco, and provide a viable escape route for smokers who want to quit, but can’t.
What would happen if Germany’s smokers switched to less harmful nicotine vaping products? At the No Smoke Summit in September 2021, Prof David Levy from Georgetown University explained with reference to his newly developed SAVM simulation model - 4.7 million life years saved, and 300,000 deaths avoided by 2060.
Click HERE to watch his presentation
Events which might help shape tobacco harm reduction (THR) science, policy, consumer engagement and products.
Recommended sites to learn more of tobacco control and harm reduction.
CANADA’S PROPOSED RESTRICTIONS ON FLAVOURS IN VAPING PRODUCTS COULD NEGATIVELY AFFECT MILLIONS OF ADULT SMOKERS, WARN INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS
Health Canada have sought comments on their proposed ban on vaping flavours, click below to read the comments.
WHO recognition of Tobacco Harm Reduction in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). FCTC is the global legal treaty used to shape tobacco control policy.
Several individual and organizational public health influencers impact the debate on tobacco harm reduction science and policy. Please note that there are no links between this website and the bloggers, and do let us know if there are any individuals or groups we should add.
The European Union TPD is the regulatory framework concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products. Novel products and electronic cigarette regulation are addressed in Articles 19 & 20.