ASH Daily News for 14 November 2018



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UK

  • Study: Smokers who hang out with vapers are more likely to quit

International

  • USA: Juul will suspend selling most e-cigarette flavours in retail stores and halt social media promotions
  • Nigeria: Tobacco control alliance seeks 70% tax increase

Parliamentary Activity

  • Lords Question: Vaping

UK

Study: Smokers who hang out with vapers are more likely to quit

Smokers who spend time with people who use e-cigarettes are about 20% more likely to try to quit, according to research that allays fears that e-cigarettes will “renormalise” tobacco. Spending time with friends, family and colleagues who vape encourages smokers to try to give up by taking up e-cigarettes themselves, the study found.

Researchers at University College London looked at data on 12,800 smokers, a quarter of whom said they knew someone who regularly vaped. After adjusting for age and class, smokers who knew vapers were 21% more likely to have tried to quit recently and 17% more likely to say they were highly motivated to give up.

Kruti Shrotri, of Cancer Research UK, which funded the study, said: “As the number of people who use e-cigarettes to quit smoking rises, we hope that smokers who come into contact with them are spurred on to give up tobacco for good.”

See also: BMC Medicine, Are smokers who are regularly exposed to e-cigarette use by others more or less motivated to stop or to make a quit attempt? A cross-sectional and longitudinal survey

Source: The Times, 14 November 2018

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International

USA: Juul will suspend selling most e-cigarette flavours in retail stores and halt social media promotions

Juul Labs announced on Tuesday that it would suspend sales of most of its flavoured e-cigarette pods in retail stores and would discontinue its social media promotions.

The decision by the San Francisco-based company, which has more than 70% of the e-cigarette market share in the United States, is the most significant sign of retrenchment by an industry that set out to offer devices to help smokers quit but is now being blamed for a new public health problem: nicotine addiction among non-smoking teens.

Juul’s announcement has effectively undercut the Food and Drug Administration’s plan to unveil a series of measures aimed at curbing teenage vaping. The agency is expected later this week to announce a ban on sales of flavoured e-cigarettes in convenience stores and petrol stations and strengthening the requirements for age verification of online sales of e-cigarettes.

Source: New York Times, 13 November 2018

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Nigeria: Tobacco control alliance seeks 70% tax increase

The Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA) has urged the Federal Government to expedite action to incorporate tobacco control into its overall development agenda. The alliance recommended that a minimum of 70% tax be collected on tobacco products with the aim of driving down the numbers of smokers.

The announcement by the NTCA came at the end of a workshop on the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The workshop was held as part of the Nigeria Sustainable Development Agenda in Abuja, on Tuesday.

Source: Punch Nigeria, 14 November 2018

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Parliamentary Activity

Lords Question: Vaping

Lord Vaux of Harrowden
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have any plans to restrict or ban the advertising or sale of flavoured nicotine vaping fluids. I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper. In doing so, I declare that I hold shares in British American Tobacco, which are below the threshold for registration.

Lord O’Shaughnessy, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health and Social Care
My Lords, strong controls are already in place. Vaping fluids containing nicotine are regulated through the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, which include measures to restrict their use by children. The nicotine inhaling products regulations 2015 make it illegal to sell such liquids to anyone under the age of 18. The Advertising Standards Authority includes a provision in its codes to ensure that advertisers do not target or feature children.

Lord Vaux of Harrowden
I thank the Minister for his Answer. However, the regulations do not seem to be working. Flavours include bubble gum, sherbet lemon, unicorn blood and strawberry delight, and come in colourful packaging with cartoon characters and pictures of sweets, for use with high-tech shiny gadgets. It would be hard to design something that was more appealing to children. According to recent tests, four in 10 retailers are willing to sell without age restrictions. In the US, the FDA says that underage use has surged recently and reached epidemic proportions. Does the Minister agree with the commissioner of the FDA, who said:

“I believe certain flavors are one of the principal drivers of the youth appeal of these products”?

Will he please look again at the rules and how they are enforced, just as the US is now doing aggressively, before we too have an epidemic of childhood nicotine addiction?

Lord O’Shaughnessy, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health and Social Care
The FDA has certainly said that it is facing an epidemic of childhood use, but the numbers are quite stark in their difference. In America, many more young people use e-cigarettes compared to in this country, where only 2% of 11 to 18 year-olds are using once a week. Generally, those are young people who smoke already—around 7% of 15 year-olds smoke. America did not restrict tank sizes until recently, but we did; it did not restrict bottle sizes, but we did; it did not ban advertising, but we did; and it does not have restrictions on nicotine, but we do. We have a very sensible system. I am not complacent about the need to make sure that young people do not use, which we are not seeing yet, and there are severe restrictions and punishments for any retailer who sells such products to children.

Source: Hansard, 13 November 2018

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/lords/?id=2018-11-13a.1779.6&s=speaker%3A25717#g1779.7