ASH Daily News for 26 June 2019



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UK

  • NHS in North East will support vaping as a way to quit smoking

International

  • San Francisco becomes first US city to ban e-cigarettes
  • Germany: Low nicotine tobacco plant developed

UK

NHS in North East will support vaping as a way to quit smoking

The NHS Northern Cancer Alliance has provided new recommendations for NHS Trusts to adopt a harm reduction approach to e-cigarettes. Dr Tony Branson, clinical lead for the Northern Cancer Alliance, said: “With e-cigarettes there is no smoke, no tar and no carbon monoxide. E-cigarettes are now proving more popular and it important that we get across to patients the short-term and longer-term health benefits from quitting smoking tobacco.”

The recommendations include:

  • Patients should be advised that e-cigarettes are deemed to be substantially less harmful than smoking and switching completely from tobacco to e-cigarettes will substantially reduce health risks.
  • E-cigarette use does not meet the definition of smoking and there is no evidence of harm from exposure to second hand vape.
  • E-cigarettes are almost exclusively used by smokers and ex-smokers to help smokers stop smoking and stay smokefree. Vapers should not be required to use the same space as smokers.

Source: Hartlepool Mail, 25 June 2019

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International

San Francisco becomes first US city to ban e-cigarettes

San Francisco has become the first US city to ban sales of e-cigarettes. Officials on Tuesday voted to ban stores selling e-cigarettes or vaporisers and made it illegal for online retailers to deliver to addresses in the city. The Californian city is home to Juul Labs, the most popular e-cigarette producer in the US.

San Francisco’s mayor, London Breed, has 10 days to sign off the legislation, but has indicated that she will support the ban. The law would be enforced seven months from that date, although there have been reports manufacturers could mount a legal challenge.

Earlier this year the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the national regulator, issued proposed guidelines giving companies until 2021 to apply to have their e-cigarette products evaluated. A deadline had initially been set for August 2018, but the agency later said that more preparation time was needed.

Source: BBC News, 26 June 2019

See also:
Sky News: San Francisco to ban sale of e-cigarettes
The Guardian: San Francisco becomes first US city to ban sale of e-cigarettes
The Telegraph: San Francisco becomes first US city to ban sale of e-cigarettes
The Times: San Francisco bans sale of e cigarettes

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Germany: Low nicotine tobacco plant developed

A genetically edited tobacco plant created using the CRISPR gene editing technique has the lowest ever amount of nicotine recorded. It could boost efforts to reduce nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels, as the US has suggested it will.

Felix Stehle and Julia Schachtsiek at the Technical University of Dortmund in Germany used CRISPR to disable six enzymes involved in the production of nicotine in the tobacco plant. They started with a strain that usually contains 16 milligrams of nicotine per gram of dry tobacco, but their gene-edited version has just 0.04 milligrams of nicotine per gram – a reduction of 99.7%.

Low-nicotine cigarettes are just as dangerous as normal ones because the other substances in tobacco damage the lungs and cause cancer. However, such cigarettes could reduce the risk of people becoming addicted and help them give up, according to a 2015 report by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Source: New Scientist (Paywall), 25 June 2019

See also:
WHO: Report on the Scientific Basis of Tobacco Product Regulation: Fifth Report of a WHO Study Group 989

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