ASH Daily News for 15 November 2019



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UK

  • Wales: E-cigarettes most popular quitting aid

International

  • Vaping increased by 14% in the US last year as cigarette smoking fell to an all-time low for the second year in a row
  • Belgian of 18 died after vaping cannabis
  • Study: Juul gives vapers a hit of nicotine that is similar to cigarettes and much stronger than the dose in other e-cigarettes

Link of the week

  • ASH Briefing: electronic cigarettes

UK

Wales: E-cigarettes most popular quitting aid

E-cigarettes are now the most popular tool to quit smoking in Wales. In the past year, more than twice as many Welsh smokers chose e-cigarettes as their quit smoking aid, compared to patches or gum, and 50% of vapers have quit smoking entirely.

Suzanne Cass, CEO of ASH Wales (Action on Smoking and Health) has said that “as an alternative, vaping is far less harmful” [than smoking]. However, she was clear that vaping should only be used as a way to quit smoking.

“We need to make sure we are focused on driving down the people who smoke in Wales rather than reducing the number of people who vape”.

ITV Wales spoke to a manager of a vape shop, Anthony Pitt, who was confident that the UK regulations are safe. He said that vaping products are registered with The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

He added: “If there are any issues with the [vape] liquids they just don’t land on the shelves.”

Source: ITV News, 14 November 2019

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International

Vaping increased by 14% in the US last year as cigarette smoking fell to an all-time low for the second year in a row

E-cigarette use continues rise in the US as smoking rates fall to a record low for the second year in a row, a new report finds. Only 13.7% of American adults smoked cigarettes in 2018, according to new figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday.

This is down from 14% in 2017 and a 67% decline from the 42.4% of adults that smoked in 1965. This is alongside an increase in e-cigarette use of 14% between 2017 and 2018, from 2.8% in 2017 to 3.2%.

For the report, the CDC looked at data from last year’s National Health Interview Survey, which included more than 25,000 participants aged 18 and older. Results showed that 49.1 million Americans – about 20% – are currently using one or more forms of either tobacco or vaping products. The top five were: cigarettes at 13.7%, cigars at 3.9%, e-cigarettes at 3.2%, smokeless tobacco at 2.4% and pipes at one percent.

Source: Daily Mail, 14 November 2019

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Belgian of 18 died after vaping cannabis

Raphaël Pauwaert, a young man of 18, died after a month of vaping an e-cigarette with a CBD filling, the non-psychoactive substance of cannabis.

The lung specialist at UZ Leuven, Kristiaan Nackaerts, commenting on the death from pneumonia, probably caused by the use of a cannabis product in an e-cigarette, warns e-cigarette users against vaping cannabis products with an e-cigarette. The European Association of Pulmonologists is arguing for a general ban on e-cigarettes, but the Flemish Association for Respiratory Healthcare and Tuberculosis Control (VRGT) does not argue for a complete ban. “We do not recommend using the e-cigarette except in the context of stopping smoking. But even when stopping smoking, the e-cigarette should be a second-choice treatment, after nicotine replacement products”.

Minister of Health Maggie De Block is investigating the case. “At the moment there is insufficient data available to draw conclusions”.

Source: VRT NWS (Dutch), 14 November 2019

Editorial note:
Nicotine containing products are regulated by the EU, which requires basic safety standards, bans use of vitamins such as vitamin e acetate which is linked to the spate of deaths from vaping in the US. Non-nicotine containing products, for example e-cigarettes containing CBD rather than nicotine are not regulated. The product implicated in this death was not a nicotine containing product.

See also:
Daily Mail: Man, 18, becomes the first person in Belgium to die from vaping after e-cigarette is blamed for his severe pneumonia

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Study: Juul gives vapers a hit of nicotine that is similar to cigarettes and much stronger than the dose in other e-cigarettes

Juul e-cigarettes deliver up to 16-times more nicotine than similar devices, according to a new study which is currently unpublished.

Researchers at Pennsylvania State College of Medicine found that Juul e-cigarettes deliver more nicotine in a shorter period of time than either similarly shaped, older e-cigarettes or more powerful ‘push-button’ devices, in a small study with 6 participants. The study authors say that Juul’s nicotine ‘hit’ is about comparable to that of a cigarette.

The research team recruited six people who were experienced e-cigarette users. Each person had to take about 30 puffs on their Juuls over the course of 10 minutes. On average, they found that within 8.7 minutes, the vapers’ hit their maximum blood levels of nicotine.

It is difficult to make a direct comparison to similar experiments designed using cigarette smoking, as smokers are typically asked to take about 10 drags in five minutes (rather than 30 in 10). But at four minutes, the blood serum level of a smoker tracks closely with that of a Juul user, said study co-author Dr Jonathan Foulds.

Source: Daily Mail, 14 November 2019

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Link of the week

ASH Briefing: electronic cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes are marketed as a cheaper, safer alternative to conventional cigarettes. As they do not produce smoke, research suggests that electronic cigarettes are relatively harmless in comparison with smoking. This briefing reviews the safety of e-cigarettes and how effective they are as an aid to stopping smoking.

View Briefing