Harm Reduction Campaign

Vaping: The next best alternative

Israr Hasan for DOT : [2] Smoking is a common habit here in Bangladesh, affecting everyone from teenagers to senior citizens. In order to reduce the harm caused by cigarettes, many young people are shifting to e-cigarettes or vapes, credited as one of the most effective quit smoking tools we’ve seen. E-cigarettes are available everywhere in Bangladesh from small street corner shops to e-commerce sites as they grow in high demand.

[3] That said, the Bangladesh government has recently stated that it is working to stop the production and consumption of e-cigarettes in the country. This proposal would be disastrous for adult consumers who want a less risky alternative. Bangladesh is thus set to follow India’s example, which last year banned e-cigarettes in response to what they had called an “epidemic”. This coincides with the goal of making the country tobacco-free by 2040, which to the outside eye appears to be more of an emergency than a grand vision.

[4] Once again, here we see the government meddling in a way that is harmful to consumers. Vaping is seen as the best alternative because it generally acts as a legitimate quitting tool and is significantly less harmful than conventional cigarettes to consumers.

[5] Vapes do not require fire that needs to be lit and hence, no combustion takes place. Consequently, there is no smoke, tar, carbon monoxide, and no risk of passive smoking is associated with it making it environmentally friendly, as third parties are not affected.

[6] In Bangladesh, there seems to be a severe lack of information on vaping, but plenty of misinformation. As in many cases, it is better to leave consumers to choose their own method of quitting tobacco rather than having a top-down decision.

[7] Allowing the use of vapes as a less harmful alternative can help large numbers of smokers quit. Vaping can help Bangladesh achieve its vision of becoming tobacco-free by 2040, but there should be an organic framework where market forces do the work rather than constant governmental instructions.

Israr Hasan is a policy fellow at the Consumer Choice Center

Originally published here.

U.S. Regulators Struggle With Flavored E-liquid Rules

The vapor industry continues to face several regulatory challenges. One of the most challenging of those is the seemingly never-ending battle against flavor bans for e-liquids. As most any vaper will tell you, flavors are instrumental in keeping former smokers from returning to combustible cigarettes. However, flavors are also what many industry regulators and anti-vapor advocates say lure youth to try vaping.

During Vape Live, a three-day virtual trade show and seminar hosted by Ireland-based Vapouround magazine, flavors and flavor bans in the United States, the world’s largest vapor market, were trending topics. Carlo Infurna Wangüemert, a vapor market analyst with ECigIntelligence, a regulatory research resource for the e-cigarette and tobacco alternatives industry, discussed recent market trends and the factors that are influencing the U.S. vapor market.

Wangüemert said that several factors are affecting the U.S. market: the e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury (EVALI) scare, the Covid-19 pandemic and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) premarket tobacco product applications (PMTAs). He said that Covid-19 didn’t impact market growth as much as it impacted consumer behavior.

“We’ve seen a reduction of purchasing occasions and an increase of basket sizes [during the Covid-19 crisis],” he said. “We’ve also observed consumers buying a lot before the crisis in order to have enough stock in case of lockdowns, and it might also have affected the supply side as many independent shops had to close or have suffered an important drop of sales.”

Concerning supplies, Wangüemert sees the PMTAs drastically reducing the amount of variety on the market as many brands will try to keep their offerings as simple as possible. Before the FDA’s ban on prefilled flavored vape pods, those products represented half of the U.S. vapor market. Now, there is a rise in disposable e-cigarettes and refillable pod systems, according to Wangüemert. He said that this has led to several innovations in flavor output, such as better coils in open pod systems.

“Basically, hardware manufacturers are trying to develop new features and improving the functionality of their devices to make them small but complex enough to cover all vapers’ needs,” said Wangüemert, citing innovations that allow vapers to change temperature or change from mouth-to-lung to direct-to-lung with just one button as examples.

Refillable pod systems are the fastest-growing trend in the vapor industry, according to ECigIntelligence data. This is because they offer a larger selection of flavored e-liquids. Prefilled pods, however, are dropping because the only available flavors, tobacco and menthol, generate less complexity.

“Prefilled pods … show fairly well how regulation can have an impact on the market,” he said. “This ban is fully enforced online as only those two flavors are offered currently. We’ve observed an ongoing drop in the complexity of their flavors. Tobacco is [now] probably the most important flavor in prefilled pods.”

The U.S. market has also seen a surge in nicotine strengths, brought on mostly by the growing popularity of nicotine salts. Wangüemert said that nicotine salt-based e-liquids have been continually gaining ground during the last three years to the detriment of freebase liquids. “However, it is also interesting to point out that the average nicotine strength of nicotine salts is slowly going down,” he said.

Fruit flavors are also steadily rising in the U.S. market, according to Wangüemert. He said that fruit e-liquids, dessert and candy flavors all consume the Top 5 positions in flavors for e-liquid sales in 2020. “For the fruit category, which is mainly tropical fruits, mainly mango, are the ones helping the most in the growth of that category,” he said, adding that beverage flavors are also growing quickly, with lemonades experiencing a substantial amount of growth. “This might also be linked to the popularity of fruits, as lemonades are likely to contain them,” he explained.

Looking at tobacco and menthol flavors, Wangüemert explained that e-liquids containing tobacco generally have tobacco as the main flavor. However, menthol is much more popular as a complement to other flavors, such as fruit.

“Only 13 percent of the products that contain menthol have menthol as the main flavor. But [for] the other 87 percent, menthol is a complement or a cooling agent, being particularly popular in the fruit category,” he said. “Of course, these 87 percent of e-liquids that contain menthol that do not have it as the main flavor are more subject to potential bans than menthol-only flavors, which have been already excluded. However, our 2019 vape shop survey points out that menthol and tobacco represent just a small percentage of vape store revenues, meaning that flavor bans at the state level or even the consequences of the PMTA might strongly reduce their income and the vaping market in general as the offerings and variety of e-liquids were strongly reduced.”

Also speaking during Vape Live, Yael Ossowski, deputy director for the Consumer Choice Center (CCC), a consumer advocacy group, said that flavor bans in many U.S. states have had a major impact on the growth of the vapor market. States with strict flavor bans have seen major declines, with many vapers in those states returning to combustible products.

This prompted his organization to rank states by vaping regulations and the impact those regulations had on the vapor market. The group looked at how all 50 states confronted flavor restrictions, taxes and whether the state allowed for online sales. The CCC gave each state a number of points depending upon how much consumers were subject to the criteria. States that scored between 0–10 points received an F, 11–20 points received a C and 21–30 points received an A.

The states best suited for vaping were colored green on the corresponding chart while the worst states were colored red and middle-ground states were colored yellow. “For green states, we’ve got South Carolina, Georgia; we’ve got Iowa, Virginia, Florida, Texas and Oregon. You’ll notice, obviously, the red states, the places where we’re dealing with partial flavor bans, high taxes, shipping restrictions, there’s six of them.

Places like California, New York. You have New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Illinois,” said Ossowski.  “Now we have our states in yellow. These are places that had a flavor ban in the past, and perhaps they’ve gotten rid of it, or it has not yet come into force. You have some taxation. It’s probably a bit more moderate than definitely those red states. And it has fewer shipping restrictions. People are able to order their vaping products online.”

One of the worst states, New York, has a tax rate of 20 percent of the retail price. Online sales are banned and all flavored products, except tobacco and menthol, are banned. These states, with low rankings, are also prone to other negatives for the vapor market, such as a growing black market, according to Ossowski.

California also has a statewide ban that is supposed to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. California also has several cities, such as San Francisco, that have banned vapor products entirely. It should be noted that, in California, flavor bans typically are only focused on nicotine vapor products, not marijuana vapor products. This is especially puzzling since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that the EVALI lung disease scare was caused by black market marijuana vapor products, not nicotine products.

“There is a lot of work that has been done by some very enterprising young journalists that kind of details everything with the black market when it comes to flavored vaping products. And that’s only just now burgeoning up in New York,” Ossowski explained. “There could be a lot more on this. We’re going to see. There’s not the biggest mainstream coverage on this.”

One of the main reasons that the CCC compiled the data and ranked the states is that the consumer group doesn’t want other states to follow behind states like California and Illinois by banning or restricting flavored vapor products. Ossowski said that these bans are detrimental to public health.

“It’s very dangerous. And in a way, by making it more expensive and pushing people often to the illegal market, not only are you seeing your price go higher, you’re also making it more difficult for people to acquire the products that they have transitioned away from tobacco to use. And we thought we’d actually be saving their lives and improving their lives. But what we see more often than not is that legislators make it harder,” he said. “They make it more difficult, and they actually put way more cumbersome barriers in the way so that you and I cannot access those products. We really do need to concentrate on laws, on policies, on studies, on figuring out who are the legislative champions that we can turn to in state legislatures or in the federal bureaucracy to be able to ensure that we have better laws that will enable harm reduction, that will enable us to continue to have vaping products for sale.”

Originally published here.

Ignore company sob stories and raise tobacco tax, Putrajaya told

a close up of a person holding a piece of food: A former health ministry official says corruption among enforcement officials was behind the black market in cigarettes.

PETALING JAYA: A former health ministry official has urged the government to start increasing tobacco taxes again, saying it is the most effective way to discourage smoking.

Tobacco control expert Dr Zarihah Mohd Zain, who helped draw up smoking regulations in Malaysia, urged the government to increase the tax five-fold.

She said the government should ignore the “sob stories” of cigarette-makers. The companies had fooled the government into not increasing the tobacco tax for the past five years, in order to counter the sale of cheaper, smuggled cigarettes, she said.

“If we start increasing the tax again, it would lead to higher prices of tobacco products, a good way to reduce demand for smokers,” she told FMT.

“For the last five years that the government did not increase the tax, did it manage to solve the smuggling problem? Not at all,” she said. “In fact, that is just how the tobacco industry fooled the government.”

Zarihah said she believed the main cause of black market cigarettes was corruption among enforcement officers who allowed the illegal products to enter the country.

She said the government should simultaneously end the sale of duty-free cigarettes and start investigating enforcement officers for corruption.

Zarihah said that although the tobacco industry generates revenue for the country, the government is also burdened to cover the cost of smoking cessation programmes. “It is just not worth it. The government needs to realise that this industry is a revenue drainer for Malaysia,” she said.

Health minister Dr Adham Baba told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that the government may consider using cigarette and tobacco duties to fund anti-smoking programmes. He said there were an estimated 4.8 million smokers in the country, amounting to 21% of the population.

The Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations has welcomed higher tobacco taxes to cover healthcare costs as practised elsewhere and recommended by the World Health Organization.

“Tax collected should be used to provide smoking cessation programmes. Mortality and sickness due to tobacco smoke is a drain on healthcare cost and national productivity,”said Fomca tobacco control co-ordinator Muhammad Sha’ani Abdullah.

In July this year, a global consumer advocacy group Consumer Choice Centre warned that the sale and purchase of smuggled cigarettes — which can cost only a third of the price of the legal stuff — will continue to grow barring changes to local tobacco taxes.

CCC said black market cigarettes had captured 60% of the market, catering to an estimated 5 million smokers in Malaysia.

A total of 22,000 smokers had been treated under the smoking cessation programme so far, and the government spent RM2.8 million on the programme last year alone.

Originally published here.

To beat cancer in Europe, let’s give vaping a chance

The European Union’s Beating Cancer plan is our once-in-a-generation opportunity to tackle cancer by embracing innovation and consumer choice.

By following the footsteps of the UK, France, Australia, and New Zealand, we can further achieve our goals by endorsing vaping as a harm reduction tool with incredible potential to help reduce health-associated risks. By doing so, the EU could ensure a better future for smokers.

It has been stressed many times that vaping has been proven to be 95% less harmful than smoking. And yet, despite the sound evidence at hand, anti-vaping rhetoric persists and continues to win the hearts and minds of European policymakers. However, in order to develop the most efficient and effective policies to tackle cancer, it is crucial to stay open-minded, and we should always be led by science over ideology.

Smoking-induced cancer takes nearly 700,000 lives every year in the EU, and various marketing schemes and branding restrictions haven’t succeeded in reducing these numbers. When conventional methods don’t work, innovation in the form of vaping must be embraced.

Unlike traditional cigarettes that create more than 7,000 chemicals when burned, 69 of which have been identified as potential carcinogens, vape liquids’ compounds are common food ingredients deemed safe and not harmful by regulatory bodies including the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Moreover, when compared to other alternatives in getting people to quit, including Nicotine Replace Therapy (NRT) patches and drugs, vaping has been found to be twice as effective.  

Vaping has the potential to drive down smoking-induced cancer rates significantly. The cancer risk of vaping relative to smoking is 0.4% according to a study conducted by the University of St. Andrews. The additional lifetime cancer risk for an e-cigarette user is 0,0095% compared to 2,4% of a smoker found by the same study. At present,t the European Union has 140 million smokers and many of them struggle to quit. Therefore, we need every possible method available to them to make quitting easier. We must expand their choices.

Consumer choice is more than an empty economic term: it is an essential part of our individual pursuit of what we perceive to be best for us, and the ability to do so voluntarily. The Europe Beating Cancer plan is a chance for Europe to inform smokers about vaping and how it can assist them in their efforts to quit. Another important part of the plan should be to actively encourage smokers to switch to vaping and guarantee access to vaping products for adults. 

Since it is impossible to change consumers’ smoking behaviour with a stick – not least because it is inhumane to disregard our freedom to choose – we need to go with encouragement and correct information as our main strategy. 

Creating and sustaining conditions under which adult smokers are able to switch to healthier options such as e-cigarettes is not only a forward-looking solution but also the one that would demonstrate the European Commission’s commitment to tackling cancer without undermining consumer choice. Europe’s Beating Cancer plan should become not just a policy roadmap, but also manifest Europe’s openness to innovation and recognition of freedom as the highest value. Smokers and future generations would be eternally grateful.

Originally published here.

Vape shop operators: A tax on our products amid Covid-19 pandemic will kill business

Vaping has become a lifestyle in Malaysia. ― Pictures by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 ― The vape culture in Malaysia has seen tremendous growth since its introduction here about nine years ago. It has been reported that the value of the vaping market here is estimated at RM2 billion.

An estimated one million people smoke e-cigarettes or vapes in Malaysia and most rely on their neighbourhood vape shop for their “juice” or vape liquids. There are a myriad of choices of brands and flavours as Malaysia is one of the leading producers of vape liquids worldwide.

Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz, in his maiden Budget speech on November 6, proposed imposing excise duty on electronic, non-electronic cigarette devices and vape liquids beginning January 2021.

He said the government will impose excise duty at a rate of 10 per cent on all types of electronic and non-electronic cigarette devices, as well as 40 sen per ml (millimetre) when it comes to the sale of vape liquids. 

Mohd Hiekal bin Rosli, 39, owner of Molek Vape says the proposed tax on vape liquids is too steep.
Mohd Hiekal bin Rosli, 39, owner of Molek Vape says the proposed tax on vape liquids is too steep.

Malay Mail spoke to several e-cigarette and vape shop operators to find out what they think about this new vape tax. The consensus seems to be that the timing is wrong as everybody is still reeling from the devastating economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

They suggested that the government postpone the imposition of the tax to a later date.

Mohd Hiekal bin Rosli, owner of Molek Vape Store on Jalan Ipoh, said that while he welcomes the tax as it will help regulate the industry, the government skipped a few steps when tabling this ruling.

“An Act should be put in place first and they should streamline the issuing of licences for vapes and all its related products. Right now, the health ministry doesn’t even issue licenses.

“How can you impose tax for something that people cannot get a licence to sell in the first place?” he questioned.

Vape users have a choice of different brands of liquids in different flavours.
Vape users have a choice of different brands of liquids in different flavours.

All nicotine products fall under the purview of the Poisons Act 1952, and no licence has been issued by the health ministry for vaping products in the country.

Hiekal added that while the 10 per cent excise duty on e-cigarettes and vaping devices is fair, the 40 sen per ml on vape liquids is a bit much, sharing that the price hike after the tax for liquids would be a deterrent.

“Forty sen per ml is actually quite high. Most vape juices I sell come either in 10ml, 30ml or 60ml boxes; imagine one 60ml bottle costs an average RM40, and at 40 sen per ml, that brings the total price to an additional RM24 on top of the price of the juice itself.

“We are afraid that the tax may chase away what remains of my customers ― some who face rough conditions because of the economy right now during Covid-19. Push it back until the coast is clear, then implement it by all means,” he said.

Although Hiekal thinks the 40 sen per ml tax on vape liquids is quite high, checks on a similar tax on vape liquids in other countries shows this is actually quite low.

Lokman Hakim bin Mohd Yusof, 25, runs Puppetborn Vape in Kampung Baru worries that his customers will return to smoking cigarettes.
Lokman Hakim bin Mohd Yusof, 25, runs Puppetborn Vape in Kampung Baru worries that his customers will return to smoking cigarettes.

At the corner of Jalan Raja Abdullah and Jalan Raja Muda Musa in Kampung Baru is Puppetborn Vape Store. Run by 25-year-old Lokman Hakim bin Mohd Yusof, this little vape store supplies Kampung Baru and its close neighbours with their e-cigarette and vaping needs.

Lokman shared that vaping is a lifestyle, just like smoking. And like cigarettes, no matter how high the tax, there will always be a demand.

“A lot of my customers switched over to vapes because one, it’s healthier than smoking cigarettes, and two, it’s cheaper! What’s going to stop those who switched from cigarettes to vapes to switch back, because it’s going to be almost the same price!,” he exclaimed as two of his customers nearby chuckled on hearing the dismay in his voice.

He added that while he agrees the implementation of a tax is a good thing for the country’s economy, the government should consider waiting until after the Covid-19 pandemic is over to impose the tax.

“Right now, I still have demand for vapes and its products but I know if they implement it before Covid-19 is over, we’re going to have a hard time surviving. Those big chains will nonetheless survive, but us small shops who serve a small neighbourhood… we won’t,” he added.

Amir Abdullah, store manager of NCIG Hartamas, says the business is still trying to recover after the many lockdowns.
Amir Abdullah, store manager of NCIG Hartamas, says the business is still trying to recover after the many lockdowns.

Amir Abdulah, store manager of NCiG’s flagship store in Desa Sri Hartamas, said that the company’s vision of helping people quit cigarettes may be impaired as the taxes may drive away customers.

“Here at NCiG, our motto is to improve the quality of life for smokers and their families by putting an end to cigarette addiction forever, by encouraging the use of e-cigarettes which have less toxins and chemicals compared to cigarettes, and are less harmful overall.

“The implementation of the tax may chase away some of our clients who have been trying to live a healthier life,”he shared.

Amir fears the implementation of the tax will just push people back to smoking cigarettes, as the pricing will be almost equivalent.

A 2020 report by an American advocacy group, the Consumer Choice Center, recently debunked the common belief that “vaping is the gateway to smoking for adults and adolescents” but instead is designed to offer smokers a safer way to consume nicotine and divert them from traditional and harmful tobacco consumption.

Amir added that he fears that it is too soon for such a tax as most operators are barely hanging on due to the devastating effects of the pandemic, and that the market needs more time to recover first.

“We need time to recover, we were closed for a month before this because of Covid-19, and have yet to recover from that lost time,” he said.

Customers buying vaping products inside a vape shop in Kuala Lumpur.

Originally published here.

Report: Vaping is a gateway out of smoking

Contrary to what many detractors say, vaping is less harmful than smoking. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — A 2020 report by an American advocacy group, the Consumer Choice Center, debunks the common belief that “vaping is the gateway to smoking for adults and adolescents.”

Titled “Vaping and the Gateway Myth”, the report highlighted findings that vaping is 95 per cent less harmful than smoking.

It also presents a viewpoint that vaping actually helps conventional smokers “divert from traditional and harmful tobacco consumption.”

The report also emphasises that vaping products were designed to offer smokers a safer way to consume nicotine, with the target being adult smokers.

The British National Health Service has already said nicotine, on its own, is relatively harmless and adds that “almost all of the harm from smoking comes from the thousands of other chemicals in tobacco smoke, many of which are toxic.”

The Consumer Choice Center report also cites a study conducted by University College London in 2019 which analysed data from over 50,000 smokers from 2006 to 2017.

It was found that vaping products were positively associated with the quit success rate; every one per cent rise in the use of vaping products associated with a 0.06 per cent increase in the quit success rate.

In a speech at the European Parliament in February this year, Joachim Schüz, head of Environment and Radiation at WHO’s cancer research agency said vaping is “no way as harmful” as smoking cigarettes and could even help heavy smokers quit.

What’s more, the Malaysian tobacco industry sees the new “vaping tax” to be introduced in 2021 on all electronic cigarette devices including vape and vaping liquids as a positive one as this means vaping products will be regulated.

In Malaysia, the number of smokers has dropped by 1.5 percentage points in 2019 according to the Ministry of Health’s National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019.

While it is unclear if this can be attributed to a switch to vaping, the same report shows five per cent of Malaysians use vaping products.

The effectiveness of vaping as a smoking cessation tool seems to be encouraging and efforts to frame vaping as a gateway to smoking do not seem to stand up to close scrutiny.

Originally published here.

Vape penyelesaian bagi penghisap rokok?

“SAYA seorang perokok lebih daripada 20 tahun. Saya cuba pelbagai cara untuk berhenti merokok tetapi tidak berjaya sehingga saya cuba menghisap vape. Dalam tempoh tiga minggu, ini saya berjaya berhenti merokok,” kata Fairuz yang merupakan pengguna vape atau rokok elektronik.

Daripada pengalamannya itu, Fairuz yakin bahawa dengan menghisap vape boleh membantu perokok mengatasi sindrom ketagihan nikotin dalam tubuh mereka.

Katanya, sebotol cecair perisa (flavour) iaitu bahan utama yang digunakan dalam dalam rokok elektronik itu boleh bertahan selama tiga minggu dengan harga RM24, berbanding rokok berjenama terkenal berharga RM17 yang hanya mampu bertahan selama dua hari.

Menteri Kewangan, Senator Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz pada Belanjawan 2021 mengumumkan duti eksais akan dikenakan terhadap semua jenis peranti rokok elektronik dan bukan eletronik termasuk vape sebanyak 10 peratus mulai 1 Januari 2021.

Cecair perisa juga akan dikenakan duti eksais sebanyak 40 sen per milimeter. Bagi banyak pihak, pengumuman itu adalah satu langkah positif bagi industri tembakau tempatan kerana pengenalan cukai itu bermakna produk vape akan dikawal selia. Di Malaysia, jumlah perokok sedia ada telah merosot sedikit iaitu sebanyak 1.5 peratus kepada 21.3 peratus pada tahun 2019, menurut Tinjauan Kebangsaan Kesihatan dan Morbiditi (NHMS) 2019 anjuran Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM).

Tidak jelas sama ada pengurangan bilangan perokok tembakau disebabkan oleh pertukaran kepada vape, memandangkan laporan sama menunjukkan sebanyak lima peratus rakyat Malaysia menggunakan produk vape termasuk Fairuz.

Bagaimanapun, kajian mendapati ada hubung kait positif antara pengurangan bilangan perokok tembakau dan penggunaan vape sejak ia diperkenalkan.

Dalam laporan bertajuk Vaping and the Gateway Myth oleh Consumer Choice Center, satu kajian telah dilaksanakan untuk menentukan sama ada penggunaan vape membantu perokok bertukar daripada produk tembakau.

Laporan tersebut mendapati penggunaan vape terbukti 95 peratus kurang berbahaya daripada merokok, malah produk vape diiktiraf oleh pelbagai badan kesihatan antarabangsa sebagai alternatif yang lebih selamat.

Laporan yang sama menambah bahawa produk vape telah direka untuk menawarkan cara yang lebih selamat kepada perokok untuk menggunakan nikotin, dengan perokok dewasa sebagai pasaran sasaran.

Menurut Perkhidmatan Kesihatan British, nikotin secara tersendiri tidak berbahaya. Menurutnya lagi, “Hampir semua kemudaratan merokok berpunca daripada beribu-ribu bahan kimia lain dalam asap tembakau, yang kebanyakannya toksik.”

Laporan tersebut juga menyebut satu kajian kendalian University College London pada tahun 2019 yang menganalisis data lebih daripada 50,000 perokok dari tahun 2006 hingga 2017.

Positif

Kajian mendapati bahawa penggunaan produk vape untuk berhenti merokok dikaitkan secara positif dengan kadar kejayaan berhenti merokok, dengan peningkatan 1 peratus penggunaan produk vape menghasilkan peningkatan 0.06 peratus dalam kejayaan berhenti merokok.

Penggunaan vape juga diiktiraf oleh Joachim Schüz, Ketua Alam Sekitar dan Radiasi di agensi penyelidikan kanser WHO, International Agency for Research on Cancer dalam ucapannya di Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, Parlimen Eropah pada Februari 2020.

Dalam laporannya, Joachim Schüz berkata, vape ‘sama sekali tidak’ sebahaya rokok tembakau dan boleh membantu perokok tegar berhenti merokok.

Keberkesanan vape sebagai alat berhenti merokok tidak boleh dinafikan kerana yang disasarkan adalah perokok dan bukan golongan yang tidak merokok.

Sebarang dakwaan yang menggambarkan penggunaan vape sebagai pembuka laluan kepada merokok adalah tidak berasas.

Cuma yang menjadi kebimbangan pengguna vape seperti Fairuz ialah kos yang semakin meningkat mulai tahun hadapan.

Originally published here.

Consumer Group Suggests Ways to Lower Youth Vaping

The Consumer Choice Center has released a new report that considers existing age restrictions on the sale of vaping products and then suggests several policies to reverse low enforcement rates of current rules.

To reduce the rate of vaping by youth, the Consumer Choice Center report recommends four actions:

  • Enforce strict age restrictions on vaping devices and liquids at the point of sale.
  • Use modern age-verification technology for online sales.
  • Learn from other industries such as alcohol and fireworks on how to improve compliance rates.
  • Retail and industry should be encouraged to be more proactive with the enforcement of rules.
  • Don’t punish legal adult vapers for the lack of enforcement of age restrictions.

Fred Roeder, health economist and author of the report, stated in an email that most countries have already drawn a line of when it is legal to vape (enacted age-to-purchase laws).

“We don’t face a lack of legislation but a lack of compliance with existing rules and regulations. We looked at similarly regulated industries such as alcohol and gambling and found that these tend to have smarter enforcement mechanisms,” he wrote “There are many innovative tools out there to ensure only adult customers can buy vaping products. Digital ID checks and industry initiatives to ID customers that look young are better ways to solve the problem than additional laws such as flavor bans.”

Originally published here.

Report: Vaping is a gateway out of smoking

Contrary to what many detractors say, vaping is less harmful than smoking. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — A 2020 report by an American advocacy group, the Consumer Choice Center, debunks the common belief that “vaping is the gateway to smoking for adults and adolescents.”

Titled “Vaping and the Gateway Myth”, the report highlighted findings that vaping is 95 per cent less harmful than smoking.

It also presents a viewpoint that vaping actually helps conventional smokers “divert from traditional and harmful tobacco consumption.”

The report also emphasises that vaping products were designed to offer smokers a safer way to consume nicotine, with the target being adult smokers.

The British National Health Service has already said nicotine, on its own, is relatively harmless and adds that “almost all of the harm from smoking comes from the thousands of other chemicals in tobacco smoke, many of which are toxic.”

The Consumer Choice Center report also cites a study conducted by University College London in 2019 which analysed data from over 50,000 smokers from 2006 to 2017.

It was found that vaping products were positively associated with the quit success rate; every one per cent rise in the use of vaping products associated with a 0.06 per cent increase in the quit success rate.

In a speech at the European Parliament in February this year, Joachim Schüz, head of Environment and Radiation at WHO’s cancer research agency said vaping is “no way as harmful” as smoking cigarettes and could even help heavy smokers quit.

What’s more, the Malaysian tobacco industry sees the new “vaping tax” to be introduced in 2021 on all electronic cigarette devices including vape and vaping liquids as a positive one as this means vaping products will be regulated.

In Malaysia, the number of smokers has dropped by 1.5 percentage points in 2019 according to the Ministry of Health’s National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019.

While it is unclear if this can be attributed to a switch to vaping, the same report shows five per cent of Malaysians use vaping products.

The effectiveness of vaping as a smoking cessation tool seems to be encouraging and efforts to frame vaping as a gateway to smoking do not seem to stand up to close scrutiny.

Originally published here.

Wielka Brytania bije kolejne rekordy w walce z nałogiem tytoniowym

Najnowsze badania YouGov zlecone przez Action on Smoking and Health w Wielkiej Brytanii dowiodły, że 58% dorosłych waperów to byli palacze a odsetek tych, którzy również są palaczami tytoniu, sukcesywnie spada i w tym roku osiągnął 38%.

Ponadto, 60% dorosłych użytkowników e-papierosów zadeklarowało, że głównym powodem, dla którego przerzucili się na vaping była troska o własne zdrowie.

Sceptycy próbują podważać badanie przedstawiając e-papierosy jako świeży produkt kierowany do konsumentów tytoniu otwierając w ten sposób nową drogę do uzależnienia.

Zupełnie innego zdania jest Maria Chaplia współpracowniczka ds. Europejskich w Consumer Choice Center, która mówi: „Tak jak substytuty cukru pomagają ludziom zmniejszyć spożycie cukru, tak e-papierosy pomagają ludziom rzucić palenie”, „Nie obwiniamy substytutów cukru za zwiększone spożycie cukru, ale zrobienie tego w przypadku e-papierosów wydaje się dopuszczalne”.

Pani Chaplia zwraca w swojej wypowiedzi na dość istotny aspekt, mianowicie zamiast skupić się na walce i ucieczce od tytoniowego uzależnienia za wszelką cenę, rozważmy zasadność stosowanych metod. Pamiętajmy, że co roku na świecie umiera 8 milionów palaczy dlatego każda szeroko rozpowszechniona metoda na zerwanie z nałogiem tytoniowym jest bardzo ważna i ma znaczenie.

Originally published here.

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