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Vaping

VAPING HYSTERIA WILL MEAN MORE TOBACCO DEATHS

When products could save lives, it’s important for people to be informed about those benefits, along with the risks.

When products could save lives, it’s important for people to be informed about those benefits, along with the risks. Conversely, it’s harmful and immoral to spread misinformation that negatively affects public perception of life-saving products and discourages their use. Consider, for example, the unscientific, ideology-driven campaign against e-cigarettes, which deliver nicotine through vapor rather than smoke.

There is overwhelming scientific evidence that it’s best to quit nicotine use entirely. And kids shouldn’t vape. But some 34 million adults still smoke in the U.S., so we must offer them more-appealing, lower-risk alternatives than currently available pharmaceutical products which are largely ineffective.

Switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes causes a significant reduction in risk, in the range of 95%, according to Public Health England. Former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb properly emphasized that “the overwhelming amount of death and disease attributable to tobacco is caused by addiction to cigarettes — the only legal consumer product that, when used as intended, will kill half of all long-term users.”

And yet we are seeing a virtual war on vaping products, including San Francisco’s outright ban on e-cigarettes (but, incredibly, not on tobacco-containing cigarettes); Vermont’s new 92% tax on e-cigarettes; and the FDA’s barrage of taxpayer-funded TV ads that emphasize the addictive properties of nicotine in e-cigarettes — which are primarily nicotine-delivery devices — while failing to mention that they don’t contain the tars, smoke, or other lethal combustion products from burning tobacco.

Such analysis is the essence of comparative risk-assessment — taking into consideration not only a given intervention, but the alternatives. For example, many chemotherapeutic drugs for cancer are toxic and have serious side effects, but they are acceptable to patients and regulators if the alternative is an early death.

The most recent and alarming phenomenon is allegations that “vaping” is causing serious lung disease in teens. News reports detail the illness and quickly pivot to quotes from anti-e-cigarette activists about the dangers of nicotine e-cigarettes such as Juul.

However, many, if not all, of the people who have become ill with “serious lung disease” are using illicit drugs with a vaporizer. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, in their four-patient cluster, who are hospitalized at Children’s Minnesota Hospital, “use of both nicotine and marijuana-based products were reported.”

Thus, it appears that these illnesses have nothing to do with vaping nicotine, other than the fact that many users of illicit drugs (that are often contaminated with toxic psychoactive substances) also use vaporizers. Another example is that, reportedly, all of the dozen cases in Wisconsin of patients hospitalized with severe pulmonary injuries were reportedly “dabbing” — vaping THC (tetrohydrocanninoid) oil, which is derived from marijuana, and the purity of which is uncertain.

Blaming E-Cigarettes For Street Drugs’ Harm

Kids shouldn’t vape. But there is no evidence that the use of unadulterated commercial products that deliver nicotine is responsible for the spate of recently reported serious acute health effects.

If the illnesses had been related to the most widely used nicotine contained in e-cigarettes, we’d expect to see a relatively even geographical distribution of effects, especially since products like Juul are standardized and subjected to audited quality control lab testing. But we’re not seeing that.

Instead, we’re seeing clusters, which suggests that any genuine incidents are related to contaminated batches of street drugs — which are widely consumed via vaporizers. According to a just-released report from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, 7.5 million people 12 years old and older in the U.S. have been diagnosed with dependence or abuse of illicit drugs in the past year.

But that’s not stopping e-cigarette opponents from trying to score political points by mischaracterizing the problem by conflating e-cigarettes with street drugs. And health reporters have been all too eager to comply, rather than challenge their assertions. The same with regulators.

The FDA calls its irresponsible, unscientific anti-vaping media blitz “The Real Cost Campaign.” We think evaluating the real costs is a good thing. But what are the real costs of misleading people about the risks of e-cigarettes, especially in cases like the Wisconsin cluster?

First, adult smokers will be less likely to switch from smoking to vaping because of an unfounded fear of contracting “serious lung disease.” This alone stinks worse than Wisconsin’s most pungent cheese.

The not-so-hidden agenda behind the scare is to fool lawmakers into thinking e-cigarettes are as dangerous (or even more dangerous) than cigarettes, causing them to regulate these lower-risk alternatives inappropriately. This, too, will prevent smokers from quitting.

And finally, by attacking the e-cigarette bogeyman with malicious innuendo or outright lies, we’ll miss the opportunity to address the use of the dangerous street drugs that are actually causing acute illness. Going after standardized nicotine vapes for causing acute lung disease is like O.J. Simpson trying to find the real killer.

Anti-vaping activists regularly dredge up new scares about e-cigarettes, whether it is discredited allegations of popcorn lungheart attacks, or toxic amounts of formaldehyde,   But the people and organizations hyping the exaggerated or imaginary risks are never held accountable. Perhaps that shouldn’t be a surprise, since while everything around us seems to change, there’s one constant in journalism: If it bleeds, it leads.

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Was legal ist soll beworben werden dürfen

Die Bundesministerin für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft Julia Klöckner (CDU) will ein Werbeverbot für Tabak- und E-Zigaretten das noch weiter geht als bisherige Vorschläge der Union.

Was wird auf Straßenplakaten heutzutage beworben? Limonade, Schokolade, Lebensversicherungen, Bankkonten, Medikamente, Bier, Autos. Wer falsch mit diesen Produkten umgeht kann sich selbst oder sein Vermögen in Gefahr bringen. Aus diesem Grund werden Alternativen, die mehr Sicherheit bieten ebenfalls beworben: Limonade ohne Zucker, fettarme Schokolade, Versicherungsvergleichportale, Anwälte, die bei Klagen gegen Banken helfen, alkoholfreies Bier, oder Autos mit neuen und besseren Airbags.

Bei Zigaretten ist es gleich. Tabak, der sicherlich ungesund sein kann, darf in Deutschland beworben werden. Verbraucher wissen, dass Tabak ungesund ist, und seit mehreren Jahren wird darauf mit Warnhinweisen und Schockbildern aufmerksam gemacht. Sicherere Alternativen gibt es auch. Wir wissen dass E-Zigaretten (deren Konsum als “vaping” beschrieben wird) 95% weniger gesundheitsschädlich sind als gewöhnliche Zigaretten.

Gerade Großbritannien zeigt, dass eine liberale Dampfpolitik die klassische Zigarette besser abgewöhnt als zum Beispiel Nikotinpflaster. Zwischen 2011 und 2017 ist die Raucherzahl in Großbritannien von 19,8% auf 14,9% gesunken. Gleichzeitig stieg die Zahl der E-Zigarettennutzer. Fast die Hälfte dieser Verbraucher nutzen E-Zigaretten als Mittel zur Rauchentwöhnung. Viele Raucher in Deutschland kennen diese Alternative allerdings nicht. Ihnen kann man mit Werbung einen weniger schädlichen Weg zeigen Nikotin zu konsumieren.

Bundesministerin Klöckner scheint das anders zu sehen. Sie argumentiert für ein Tabak-Werbeverbot das nikotinhaltige E-Zigaretten einschließt. Verboten solle auch Tabakwerbung im Kino vor Filmen ab 18. Dies würde eine radikale Änderung bedeuten, die die Wahlfreiheit einschränkt, und die als Rückschlag der bislang eher liberalen Vaping-Politik in Deutschland gelten würde.

Wenn man in Deutschland mehr “Vaper” sieht als in einigen anderen Ländern, kann es daran liegen, dass Deutschland eines der Länder ist, die bisher einen lockeren Regulierungsansatz für E-Zigaretten verfolgen. Andere liberale Länder sind Schweden, Großbritannien und Tschechien, so der Nanny State Index des Institute of Economic Affairs in London. In Deutschland gibt es keine Regelung für den Konsum von E-Zigaretten in der Öffentlichkeit. Dies macht den Switch von der normalen Zigarette zur elektrischen Alternative einfacher und bequemer, was Leben rettet. Dazu gibt es keine besonderen Steuern auf diese Produkte und keine Regeln für den grenzüberschreitenden Verkauf. Jetzt bei der Werbung einzuknicken wäre eine schlechte Nachricht für Verbraucher.

Die restriktivsten Länder in puncto  E-Zigaretten sind dagegen Finnland und Ungarn, die den Konsum stark besteuern und regulieren. Die Europäische Union selbst hat auch damit begonnen, überstrengere Regeln für das Vaping zu sinnieren. So hat die EU ein begrenztes Behältervolumen, die Größe der Nachfüllpackungen und deren Potenz stärker reguliert. Außerdem wurden “kindersichere Verpackungen” vorgeschrieben und Hersteller regelmäßig überprüft. Regulierungen gibt es also bereits, auch für Kindersicherheit.

Das Argument von Bundesministerin Klöckner dass die Nutzung von E-Zigaretten rückwirkend als “Gateway” zur konventionellen Zigaretten führen kann genießt derweil sehr wenig wissenschaftliche Rückendeckung.

Wissenschaftler sehen das Vaping insgesamt deutlich positiver. Ja, E-Zigaretten enthalten noch immer Nikotin, das süchtig machen kann. Das ist derweil auch der Fall für Koffein. Nikotin selbst verursacht jedoch keinen Krebs. Durch den Wechsel von Zigaretten auf E-Zigaretten reduzieren Vaper ihre Belastung durch viele andere schädliche Giftstoffe im Rauch, einschließlich bekannter Karzinogene, auf eine drastische und schnelle Art und Weise.

Werbeverbote lösen keine Probleme der Volksgesundheit, sie versuchen diese Probleme verschwinden zu lassen. Anstatt Verbraucher über existierende Produkte und deren sichereren Alternativen zu informieren, will die aktuelle Regierungsmehrheit ein bevormundendes System schaffen und  mit Verboten regieren. Wenn sie sich dazu entscheiden, dann werden Tabak und E-Zigaretten nicht ihr letztes Opfer sein.

Originally published here

POLL: US consumers want government to keep hands off the tech sector and embrace vaping

Washington, D.C., May 14, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Consumer Choice Center commissioned the polling institute Kantar to conduct an international consumer poll in four countries. In March 2019, a total of 8,166 adults in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Germany were asked about their views on government policies and consumer rights.Commenting on the findings featured below, Yaël Ossowski, Deputy Director at the Consumer Choice Center, said it was refreshing to see that American consumers are well aware of their freedom to choose, and of the benefits that follow from it.

Key findings:

— 3 out of 4 millennials think the government should take a step back when it comes to regulating the sharing and digital economy — 77 percent of Americans believe that governments should avoid intervening with these newer tech-enabled businesses (like Uber, Airbnb and Netflix) where possible to ensure consumers have the greatest possible choice of services. The 18-44 age group is more likely to agree — Two-thirds of people agree that they should have the freedom of choice to buy e-cigarettes if they believe they are a lower health risk to them than tobacco — 72 percent of Americans agree that in a democracy, the government should protect freedom of choice for consumers

— Younger age groups are more likely to agree that people should have the freedom of choice to buy e-cigarettes if they believe they are a lower health risk to them than tobacco

“While the mantra on Capitol Hill is to further regulate and intervene in the tech sector, consumers are overwhelming in favor of innovation and don’t want additional regulation,” said Ossowski. “Indeed, they want to ensure they have their freedom to choose respected.”

“In regard to e-cigarettes, it is clear that American consumers rejoice in their freedom to use vaping products to help them stop smoking. However, there’s still room for improvement. The FDA’s reluctance to embrace vaping technologies as a way to reduce harm is leaving millions of consumers behind. US consumers favor harm reduction, and this freedom should be embraced.

“We want to use the findings of this poll to prove that consumers are loud, proud, impactful, and should have their point of view heard. Consumers, contrary to voters, have to make choices every day, and those have an immediate tangible impact on each individual’s life. Policymakers simply can’t afford to be ignorant of consumer choice,” concluded Ossowski.

The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org.

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POLL: US consumers want government to keep hands off the tech sector and embrace vaping

Washington, D.C., May 14, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Consumer Choice Center commissioned the polling institute Kantar to conduct an international consumer poll in four countries. In March 2019, a total of 8,166 adults in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Germany were asked about their views on government policies and consumer rights.

Commenting on the findings featured below, Yaël Ossowski, Deputy Director at the Consumer Choice Center, said it was refreshing to see that American consumers are well aware of their freedom to choose, and of the benefits that follow from it.

Key findings:

  • 3 out of 4 millennials think the government should take a step back when it comes to regulating the sharing and digital economy
  • 77 percent of Americans believe that governments should avoid intervening with these newer tech-enabled businesses (like Uber, Airbnb and Netflix) where possible to ensure consumers have the greatest possible choice of services. The 18-44 age group is more likely to agree
  • Two-thirds of people agree that they should have the freedom of choice to buy e-cigarettes if they believe they are a lower health risk to them than tobacco
  • 72 percent of Americans agree that in a democracy, the government should protect freedom of choice for consumers
  • Younger age groups are more likely to agree that people should have the freedom of choice to buy e-cigarettes if they believe they are a lower health risk to them than tobacco

“While the mantra on Capitol Hill is to further regulate and intervene in the tech sector, consumers are overwhelming in favor of innovation and don’t want additional regulation,” said Ossowski. “Indeed, they want to ensure they have their freedom to choose respected.”

“In regard to e-cigarettes, it is clear that American consumers rejoice in their freedom to use vaping products to help them stop smoking. However, there’s still room for improvement. The FDA’s reluctance to embrace vaping technologies as a way to reduce harm is leaving millions of consumers behind. US consumers favor harm reduction, and this freedom should be embraced.

“We want to use the findings of this poll to prove that consumers are loud, proud, impactful, and should have their point of view heard. Consumers, contrary to voters, have to make choices every day, and those have an immediate tangible impact on each individual’s life. Policymakers simply can’t afford to be ignorant of consumer choice,” concluded Ossowski.

The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org.

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The EU’s war on harm reduction is in full swing

In 2020, the Netherlands will host the ninth conference of parties of the so-called WHO-FCTC treaty. During this conference, world leaders and public health advocates discuss the ways in which smoking prevalence can be curbed.

However, these same advocates haven’t just made their policies about actual tobacco, but also about vapour: innovative e-cigarette products come under fire, even though they are provenly less harmful and help those smokers who desire to quit. EU health commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis and the anti-tobacco European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP) are leading the charge in this fight.

In 2015, Public Health England reported that an independent review found that vaping is at least 95 per cent safer than conventional smoking. PHE confirmed this assessment in December last year.

As a result, the UK has made tobacco harm reduction a centrepiece of its policies to reduce the smoking rate, as opposed to calls for direct cessation, which are less effective.

This is also backed by current evidence: a study funded by the National Institute for Health Research UK, titled “A Randomized Trial of E-Cigarettes versus Nicotine-Replacement Therapy” in the New England Journal of Medicine, analysed the behaviour of almost 900 randomised smokers. The conclusion: e-cigarettes were more effective for smoking cessation than nicotine replacement therapy.

A public consultation by the Health Information and Quality Authority in Ireland found that e-cigarettes are used by a third of smokers as cessation tools, and are twice as effective as a placebo.

In an interview with Euractiv, EU health commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said the exact opposite, claiming that nicotine replacement therapy was the better alternative. Andriukaitis also defended his head of cabinet, who had come under fire for calling e-cigarettes poison. The most telling quote from the Lithuanian commissioner is this one: “My question to the industry is the following: is it harmful or not to smoke? Does it cause cancer or not? Harm is harm. No matter if it’s less or more.”

That statement should make one think: here’s a European commissioner who does not believe in different degrees of harm. By that standard, we could also equate the harmfulness of eating red meat with smoking cigarettes. Both can cause cancer – and who really cares about the degree of harm caused by one or the other?

This lobby against harm reduction is coordinated by organisations such as the ENSP, which is funded by the Health and Consumer Programmes 2014-2020 of the European Union. This means that the European commissioner funds an NGO that invites the commissioner to events and features him in news articles funded by the same NGO.

It looks as if the European commission has broad support for their positions, but in reality, they are using claqueurs, which is nothing short of deception.

Andriukaitis and the ENSP are trying to change the narrative on anti-tobacco policy by framing it as a human right, and by making false statements about the science surrounding harm reduction.

In fact, their approach to anti-tobacco policy is an almost religious “if there is smoke, there must be harm”. They push policies that restrict not only consumer choice but also access to products that help those who choose to quit with innovate new solutions.

As the scientific evidence in favour of harm reduction is growing by the day, the European commission is stubbornly defending its anti-scientific approach to smoking cessation.

Yes, consumers should be able to quit smoking in a way they see fit, and that suits their needs. Restricting innovation for the sake of increasing your bucket list of “things to ban next” is not only nonsensical, it’s bad for people’s health.

The European commission should instead follow the British National Health Service’s approach to smoking cessation.

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An FDA pod vape ban would only serve to harm consumers

Yaël Ossowski, Deputy Director of the Consumer Choice Center calls Gottlieb’s comments ridiculous, especially considering this would remove a product from the shelves that has become so important in helping smokers quit. “A proposal to ban pod-based vape devices is probably one of the most anti-consumer and anti-health initiatives proposed by this FDA,” said Ossowski. […]

FDA chief’s resignation casts cloud over vaping crackdown

“Dr. Gottlieb didn’t protect the public health by preventing youth initiation of e-cigarettes, and he didn’t do enough to help adult smokers quit,” said Jeff Stier, a senior fellow at the Consumer Choice Center, part of the coalition formed by Americans for Tax Reform. “The next FDA commissioner should follow the science and do everything […]

The Department of Health and Human Services and vaping: A tale of bootleggers and Baptists

Consumer Choice Center senior fellow Jeff Stier said virtually the same thing to a Washington Post reporter late last year. “The administration promised less regulation — without sacrificing protections,” said Stier, in response to Gottlieb’s release of the 2018 tobacco blueprint. “So if the FDA fails to meet both objectives — by announcing a heavy-handed regulatory plan — […]

FDA’s menthol ban and vaping restrictions will have consequences

CONTACT: Jeff Stier Senior Fellow Consumer Choice Center jstier@consumerchoicecenter.org FDA’s menthol ban and vaping restrictions will have consequences WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced severe sales and flavor restrictions on vaping products and introduced a new ban on menthol flavors in combustible tobacco products. Reacting to the news, Consumer Choice Center […]

FDA to target underage tobacco use in new effort

ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT GAZETTE: Gottlieb, in pursuing his tobacco strategy, is taking some flak from fellow conservatives. “The administration promised less regulation — without sacrificing protections,” said Jeff Stier, a senior fellow at the Consumer Choice Center. “So if the FDA fails to meet both objectives — by announcing a heavy-handed regulatory plan — President [Donald] […]

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