Opinion: Inconsistent regulators risk stifling UK vaping industry
Gillian Golden, chief executive of the Independent British Vape Trade Association, discusses the impact of regulation on the UK vaping industry
Independent vaping companies, free from ownership or control by the tobacco or pharmaceutical industries, make up 90% of what is one of the fastest growing industries in Britain. UK vaping businesses are known globally for their innovation and product stewardship, and locally, independent vape shops are one of the few areas of positive growth on British high streets.
On average, members of the Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA) have seen a 24% reduction in business since the regulations were fully implemented in May 2017, forcing some businesses to close. While we are not happy with the current set of restrictions placed on the UK’s vape industry, the IBVTA is not anti-regulation, and has worked proactively to ensure that members comply with the relevant regulations. However, the lax attitudes from some enforcement bodies has meant that non-compliance, particularly online, has given a competitive advantage to manufacturers and sellers which aren’t following the most recent legislation.
Our report, “The State of Compliance – One year on from the TRPR”, which launched in parliament this week, should serve as a wake-up call. We must review the inclusion of vaping in the TRPR at the earliest possible opportunity, and introduce proportionate, risk-based, vape-specific legislation which allows as many smokers as possible switch away from smoking.
Source: City AM, 7 June
See also: IBVTA: The State of Compliance
Opinion: The impact of NICE on cardiovascular disease prevention
Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director Health and Social Care at NICE, looks into what can be done to decrease cardiovascular disease nationally and how to prevent missed opportunities in the future.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) accounts for just over a quarter of deaths and affects around 7 million people in the UK. Risk factors for CVD include smoking, obesity, mental illness, physical inactivity, and long-term factors like diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. These can all be addressed with the right care and support.
For example, data from the Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF) shows smoking levels in 2016 fell to 15.5% of the adult population. To encourage this, we recommend offering patients in hospitals, mental health, and maternity services advice on quitting. But despite an audit of 15,000 patients finding that of the 73% that had their smoking status recorded, only 28% were asked if they would like to quit. This suggests key opportunities are being missed to further tackle smoking rates.
Source: National Health Executive, 6 June 2018
Japanese study: Children who were exposed to cigarettes in the womb and as babies are more than twice as likely to be deaf
A study conducted by Kyoto University has found that exposure to cigarette smoke in pregnancy and as newborns raises the risk of hearing problems by 2.4 times. Three-year-olds exposed within the first four months of life are 30% more at risk of deafness and children are 26% more at risk if their mothers smoked during their pregnancies.
Study author Dr Koji Kawakami, Kyoto University, said: “Although public health guidelines already discourage smoking during pregnancy and in front of children, some women still smoke during pregnancy and many young children are exposed to second-hand smoke.
This study clearly shows that preventing exposure to tobacco smoke during pregnancy and postnatally may reduce the risk of hearing problems in children.”
Source: Daily Mail, 6 June 2018
San Francisco approves ban on menthol cigarettes and flavoured e-cigarette liquids
San Francisco residents have overwhelmingly voted to uphold a ban on all flavoured tobacco, alongside flavoured e-cigarette liquids.
The city’s supervisors approved the measure last summer, but tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds and a coalition of businesses and industry associations challenged it. Nearly 70% of voters supported the ban, according to San Francisco’s election results.
Tuesday’s vote ends a campaign that pitted Big Tobacco against former New York mayor and billionaire philanthropist Michael Bloomberg and public health groups. R.J. Reynolds, the maker of best-selling menthol cigarette brand Newport, poured more than $11.6 million into the effort. Bloomberg donated $1.8 million of the $2.3 million raised by supporters of the ban.
Source: CNBC, 6 June 2018
China: Beijing’s smoking population drops by 200,000
The number of smokers in Beijing has dropped by about 200,000, three years after the city adopted its strictest tobacco control regulations, the municipal health authority said Wednesday.
The adult smoking rate in Beijing is now 22.3%, or 3.99 million smokers. This means there are 200,000 fewer smokers than in 2015, the city’s commission for health improvement said.
A total of 61 hospitals have opened smoking cessation clinics. The number of tobacco control volunteers has approached 15,000 citywide. Around 1,600 departments and over 7,300 individuals have been found to violate tobacco control regulations.
Source: Xinhua Net, 6 June 2018