Stop The War On Nicotine Paper Published

Tobacco controllers have turned from attacking tobacco to focus on all forms of nicotine use, two organisations, the Consumer Choice Centre and the World Vapers’ Alliance, have published a paper calling for the end to the war on nicotine – arguing for evidence-based approaches in Europe and globally.

The Consumer Choice Centre and the World Vapers’ Alliance say that vaping and other alternative nicotine products such as nicotine pouches have been recognised as far less harmful than smoking, “yet their lifesaving qualities continuously come under fire for a variety of reasons.”

They argue that prohibitionists have decided that vaping needs to be attacked because it looks like smoking and there is nicotine contained within e-liquid.

Read the full article here

To Tackle Smoking, South Africa Should Embrace, Not Tax, Vaping

In December 2021, the National Treasury published a proposal to tax electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems in South Africa. The Treasury points to the increased consumption of these products among youth worldwide and their potential to undermine tobacco control efforts. Based on the Treasury’s calculations, the total excise duty would range from R 33.30 to R 346.00, dependent on volume and nicotine strength.

The proposal mirrors anti-vaping efforts spearheaded by the World Health Organisation and lacks understanding of harm reduction. The vaping tax would deprive South African smokers of the opportunity to quit, and drive current vapers back to combustible tobacco consumption.

A snap survey conducted by the Vaping Saved My Life (VSML) consumer group in South Africa interviewed 1480 vapers in the country, and the results are staggering. 26.6 per cent of vapers would go back to smoking, and another 26.2 per cent would get their e-liquids from informal sources.

By introducing the tax, the South African government will further extend the list of its unsuccessful anti-smoking policies. To curb smoking, the South African government has been using conventional tobacco control measures such as advertising restrictions, smoke-free areas, and taxes. In 2020, a temporary ban on the sales of cigarettes was introduced. These restrictions rest on the dangerous assumption that complete abstinence is possible and that it can be achieved by drastically reducing access to tobacco products.

Such an approach has not proven to be effective–neither in South Africa, nor anywhere else in the world. A 2021 Tax Justice SA (TJSA) report found that 2 out of 3 cigarettes sold in South Africa are illicit. In Ireland and the UK, where the price of cigarettes is also very high, the effects are the same. These unintended consequences of tobacco control are traceable across the board, and are predictable.

A more sensible solution would be to abandon the pursuit of complete abstinence and embrace harm reduction. As Dr Tyndall, Professor UBC School of Population & Public Health, explains, “starting with abstinence is like asking a new diabetic to quit sugar or a severe asthmatic to start running marathons or a depressed person to just be happy.”

Harm reduction is, first and foremost, humane as it recognises that addiction is complex, and it is almost impossible to quit at the whim of the government. For that reason, vaping was welcomed by smokers as a safer alternative. The diversity of vape flavours allows vapers to experiment and move away from smoking entirely. Flavoured vaping devices were found to be associated with an 230% increase in the odds of adult smoking cessation.

The youth vaping pandemic is often used as a means to undermine vaping. But, in fact, between 2019 and 2021, the use of electronic cigarettes among US teens dropped by more than 50 percent from 27.5% to 11.3%.

Commenting on the effects of the proposed vaping tax, Kurt Yeo, co-founder of the VSML, said: “VSML believes implementing any tax on safer alternatives will have devastating, yet predictable consequences to existing users of ENDs products and smokers wishing to quit.”

Michael Landl, director of the World Vaper Alliance, a global vapers’ movement, added that “the tax on vaping products will harm public health in South Africa. People who want to stay away from cigarettes or switch should not be abused as a source of funding for the state’s budget crisis.”

If the South African government really wants to help reduce the smoking rates, it should abstain from taxing vaping products, or keep the tax rate as low as possible. Smokers, especially those who smoke heavily, should be encouraged to switch to safer alternatives, and the ineffective and dangerous abstinence WHO-inspired ideology should be abandoned. Vaping saves lives, and let’s hope the South African government learns that lesson before it’s too late.

Originally published here

Usa, dopo venti anni torna a salire il tasso dei fumatori

Molto male. Poco piacevole inversione di tendenza negli Stati Uniti d’America.
Negli States, infatti, per la prima volta dopo circa venti anni, si sta assistendo ad una risalita nei numeri dei fumatori.
Questo quanto emerge nel raffronto tra i dati dei consumi di sigarette relativi all’anno 2020 e quelli dell’anno precedente.
Il numero complessivo di bionde vendute nel territorio Usa, ovvero 203,7 miliardi di pezzi nel 2020, è cresciuto di 0,8 miliardi di unità (corrispondente allo 0,4%) rispetto al 2019.

Ed è, come detto, la prima volta che ciò si verifica da vent’anni a questa parte.
“Gli americani – fa presente Yaël Ossowski, numero due del Consumer Choice Center –
potrebbero aver fatto uso di un maggior numero sigarette per una moltitudine di motivi che potrebbero coincidere con lo stress causato dalla pandemia, con le risposte del Governo alla pandemia o, ancora, con la perdita di posti di lavoro.
O, forse, tutto questo si spiega perché è stato detto loro ripetutamente, da prestigiosi fonti di salute pubblica e organi di stampa, che lo svapo, un’alternativa che milioni di consumatori adulti stanno ora utilizzando per smettere di fumare, è altrettanto pericoloso del fumo.
Qualunque sia la motivazione, è certo che la tendenza di calo si sia arrestata.
E questo è un problema che non può che riguardare tutti noi”.

Read the full article here

Rokok, Vape, dan Perang Terhadap Nikotin

Rokok merupakan salah satu masalah kesehatan publik terbesar yang hingga saat ini masih terus dihadapi oleh berbagai negara di dunia, termasuk juga Indonesia. Negara kita merupakan salah satu negara dengan jumlah populasi perokok terbesar di dunia. Indonesia merupakan negara dengan jumlah populasi perokok ketiga terbesar di dunia setelah China dan India, dengan prevelensi 33,8%, atau 65,7 juta penduduk (jpnn.com, 29/4/2021).

Jumlah tersebut tentu merupakan angka yang sangat tinggi dan bukan masalah yang kecil. Tingginya jumlah perokok di Indonesia tentunya merupakan masalah kesehatan publik yang sangat besar. Tingginya angka perokok di Indonesia tentu menjadi penyebab berbagai penyakit kronis, seperti kanker, dan serangan jantung.

Rokok tidak bisa dipungkiri merupakan produk yang sangat berbahaya dan mengandung banyak bahan beracun. Untuk itu, tidak sedikit negara di dunia menerapkan berbagai kebijakan untuk menanggulangi konsumsi rokok, mulai dari kebijakan yang mengurangi insentif seseorang untuk mengkonsumsi rokok, hingga pelarangan total seluruh produksi dan konsumsi rokok.

Indonesia sendiri juga menerapkan beberapa kebijakan yang bertujuan untuk memitigasi dampak yang sangat negatif dari rokok. Salah satu kebijakan tersebut yang adalah melalui pengenaan cukai rokok yang tinggi terhadap produk-produk tembakau, untuk mengurangi insentif seseorang untuk merokok, karena harganya yang akan semakin mahal.

Salah satu aspek yang sangat berbahaya dari rokok yang tidak bisa kita pungkiri adalah rokok dapat menyebabkan para konsumennya mengalami kecanduan yang menyebabkan mereka sangat sulit untuk menghentikan kebiasaannya. Salah satu zat dalam rokok yang dikaitkan dengan perilaku kecanduan tersebut adalah nikotin yang terkandung di dalam rokok konvensional yang dibakar.

Untuk itu, berbagai pemerintah di dunia banyak mengeluarkan kebijakan yang bukan hanya dalam bentuk “perang terhadap rokok”, tetapi juga “perang terhadap nikotin” secara umum. Dengan demikian, produk-produk yang kerap menjadi sasaran dari kebijakan yang ditujukan untuk “memitigasi” dampak yang sangat berbahaya dari rokok tersebut bukan hanya dikenakan terhadap rokok konvensional yang dibakar, tetapi juga produk-produk alternatif lain yang mengandung nikotin, salah satunya adalah rokok elektronik atau yang juga dikenal dengan nama vape.

Tidak sedikit pula negara-negara yang menerapkan kebijakan “perang terhadap vape” secara keras, bahkan lebih keras daripada terhadap rokok konvensional yang dibakar. Australia misalnya, melarang kegiatan jual beli rokok elektronik tanpa resep dokter. Ini berarti, sebagian besar masyarakat Australia tidak akan bisa untuk mengkonsumsi rokok elektronik (abc.net.au, 8/9/2021).

Indonesia sendiri menerapkan kebijakan vape atau rokok elektronik tidak seketat dengan aturan yang diberlakukan di Australia. Salah satu bentuk kebijakan regulasi terhadap rokok elektornik atau vape yang diberlakukan di Indonesia adalah pengenaan cukai terhadap produk-produk rokok elektronik tersebut.

Namun, bukan berarti lantas tidak ada pihak-pihak yang memiliki keinginan untuk mengetatkan aturan tersebut. Beberapa kelompok dan organisasi di Indonesia misalnya, menginginkan agar produk-produk vape atau rokok elektronik untuk dilarang secara total di negara kita. Beberapa organisasi tersebut diantaranya adalah Ikatan Dokter Indonesia (IDI) dan juga Lembaga Perlindungan Anak Indonesia (LPAI) (mediaindonesia.com, 26/9/2019).

Tetapi pendekatan tersebut bukanlah sesuatu yang tepat. Menyatakan perang terhadap rokok elektronik merupakan langkah yang kontra produktif untuk mengurangi dampak negatif dari rokok. Tidak bisa dipungkiri bahwa rokok merupakan produk yang sangat membahayakan kesehatan karena mengandung bahan beracun, namun bukan berarti melarang total produk-produk alternatif seperti rokok elektronik menjadi solusinya.

Salah satu aspek yang membuat sebagian kalangan menganggap bahwa rokok elektronik dengan rokok konvensional yang dibakar tidak jauh berbeda adalah kedua produk tersebut sama-sama mengandung nikotin. Padahal, yang membuat rokok konvensional sangat berbahaya bukan semata-mata karena nikotin yang terkandung di dalamnya, melainkan berbagai zat beracun yang bisa menyebabkan berbagai penyakit kronis, seperti kanker dan serangan jantung (Consumer Choice Center, 2021).

Oleh karena itu, melarang produk vape, atau juga produk-produk nikotin lainnya seperti permen karet nikotin, justru akan sangat merugikan khususnya para perokok rokok konvensional yang dibakar. Hal ini dikarenakan mereka menjadi tidak memiliki alternatif produk-produk lainnya. Nikotin memang dapat membuat kecanduan, dan orang-orang yang tidak merokok memang sebaiknya tidak memulai untuk mengkonsumsi rokok. Tetapi, mereka yang sudah terlanjur kecanduan merokok harus diberikan kesempatan untuk memilih produk lain yang bisa membantu mereka untuk menghentikan kebiasaannya tersebut.

Selain itu, sangat penting juga bagi kita untuk kembali berkaca kepada sejarah, bahwa kebijakan prohibisi produk-produk apapun niscaya akan menemui kegagalan. Kebijakan pelarangan produk-produk tertentu, sepeerti minuman beralkohol dan termasuk juga produk-produk nikotin, akan memunculkan pasar gelap yang tentunya akan menguntungkan berbagai organisasi kriminal.

Sebaiknya, nikotin diperlakukan sama dengan hal-hal lain seperti kafein, yang banyak digunakan oleh konsumen untuk rekreasi. Yang dibutuhkan adalah regulasi yang tepat, yang dapat meminimalisir dampak negatif dari zat-zat tersebut, dan bukan pelarangan total yang sangat kontra produktif.

Originally published here

Smoking is up for the first time in a generation. The public health lobby is to blame

By Yaël Ossowski

It often takes a long time for health policy influencers, advocates, and proponents to admit fault. 

When it is about topics such as diet fads, saturated fats, food pyramids, and sugar consumption, long-held consensus beliefs and government actions later proved erroneous have had a lasting negative impact.

But nothing has been more egregious and harmful in our current age than the public health lobby’s persistent denialism of the harm reduction value of nicotine vaping products and other alternatives to cigarettes.

That denialism has come in many forms: public information campaigns demonizing vaping devices, misinformation on lung illnesses caused by tainted cannabis cartridges, bans, restrictions, and taxes on flavored nicotine products (especially those without tobacco), Kafkaesque market authorization applications handled by the drug regulators, and a never-ending crusade to deny adult consumers from having access to life-saving products because of illicit and risky behavior by teens.

These public health bodies, anti-smoking groups, and allied journalists, whatever their intent, have sought to convince the public that not only is smoking bad and dangerous — an easy admission — but also that alternative nicotine devices like vaping products, nicotine pouches, and heated tobacco are just as or even riskier than a pack of smokes.

Those conclusions are easily debunked by the millions of passionate vapers who have long since put down cigarettes and taken up customized tanks, vaporizers, and flavored liquids that give them a familiar nicotine sensation without the tar and combustible byproducts of tobacco.

David Butow for Rolling Stone

The public health mission to muddy the popular perception of nicotine alternatives such as vaping — even though it is scientifically proven to be 95% less harmful than cigarettes — is causing actual damage to American public health. And now we have the proof.

That proof is found both in the increased sales of cigarettes nationwide and also in a highly concentrated study on teen smoking in a jurisdiction where flavored nicotine vaping was outlawed.

According to the sales figures collected by the Federal Trade Commission for its 2020 Cigarette Report, Americans bought more cigarettes in 2020 than they have in more than a generation.

“The total number of cigarettes reported sold by the major manufacturers, 203.7 billion units in 2020, increased by 0.8 billion units (0.4 percent) from 2019, the first increase in cigarettes sold in twenty years,” cites the report.

Americans could be buying more cigarettes for a multitude of reasons: lockdowns, stress from both the pandemic and the government responses to the pandemic, job losses, closed schools, and more. Or perhaps because they’ve been told repeatedly by trusted public health sources and news outlets that vaping, an alternative that millions of adult consumers are now using to quit smoking, is just as dangerous.

Whatever your conclusion, the trend that lowered the percentage of US smokers down to 14 percent in 2019 (when the last complete nationwide survey was completed) is halting. And that should concern us all.

We see anecdotal echoes of this in a recent style piece in the New York Times, highlighting the “comeback” of cigarettes among the bourgeois hipster crowd in Brooklyn, New York. 

“I switched back to cigarettes because I thought it would be healthier than Juuling,” claimed one woman. It seems the public health lobbies have done their job.

On the more evidentiary side, an extensive May 2021 article published in JAMA Pediatrics found that after San Francisco’s ban on flavored vaping and tobacco products, more teens took up smoking.

“San Francisco’s ban on flavored tobacco product sales was associated with increased smoking among minor high school students relative to other school districts,” concludes the paper.

As tobacco harm reduction advocates have claimed for several years, the persistent public health campaigns, echoed by headline-grabbing media outlets, to demonize and restrict access to vaping has led to a predictable rise in smoking rates, both among adults and teens.

Whatever your view on whether vaping devices, heated tobacco, snus, or nicotine pouches are the most attractive and effective gateway away from smoking, this recent uptick in smoking demonstrates actual harms result when politically-charged health lobbies seek to extinguish market alternatives. And we must ask why they persist.

The opposition of these groups, along with affiliated journalists and researchers, to the rise of nicotine alternatives may have less to do with quantitative questions of science and health and more to do with how these products were created and are delivered: by entrepreneurs providing solutions in the market.

These entrepreneurs are vape shop owners, makers of vape liquids, gas station owners, vaping technology firms, tobacco firms pivoting to alternative products, and an entire creative class of vaping influencers both on and offline who are trying to give smokers a second chance at a long life. These are the true heroes of harm reduction in the 21st century.

The fact that spontaneous markets can deliver helpful and healthier solutions because of consumer demand, rather than by edicts, funding, and programs directly controlled by public health bureaucracies and agencies, runs counter to much of the ideology in the tobacco control space. 

It is the former, therefore, that is the true American innovative spirit that has helped make this country so prosperous and competitive, while the latter has failed us again and again.

If we want to reclaim a true public health victory and help smokers quit to give them long and fruitful lives, it is time to cast aside this aversion to the innovations of the market. The future health of our nation depends on it.

Yaël Ossowski is deputy director at the Consumer Choice Center

6 Reasons Nicotine Is Not Your Enemy

This month’s Christmas festival has great news on public health. In countries that encouraged and accepted tobacco harm reduction policies, the number of smokers has dropped significantly.

In the UK, for example, smoking levels have dropped by 25% since 2013 (when e-cigarettes became popular). Over the past four years in Japan, cigarette sales have fallen by 34%, while sales of reduced-harm alternatives such as heat-not-burn tobacco surged to 30% in 2019.

This was achieved because people who usually look for nicotine do so in a harmless way.

But while these numbers are important wins for consumers, the entire army of nicotine’s unscientific scapegoats undermines their success. This approach has dire consequences: fewer people switch to less harmful alternatives such as vaping, nicotine pouches, or heat-not-burn tobacco devices.

In the Philippines, additional categories of harm reduction are being legalized, but still failing to achieve the widespread adoption required.

Read the full article here

Consumer expert cites 6 reasons why nicotine is not the enemy

In this month of Christmas festivities, we have great news on the public health front: in countries that have encouraged and embraced a policy of tobacco harm reduction, the number of smokers has decreased significantly.

In the UK, for example, smoking levels have fallen by 25 per cent since 2013 (the time when vaping became popular). Over the last four years In Japan, cigarette sales have fallen by 34 per cent while sales of harm-reducing alternatives such as heat-not-burn jumped to 30 per cent in 2019.

This has been achieved because those who usually seek out nicotine are doing so in a less harmful way.

However, even though these numbers are a significant victory for consumers, an entire legion of unscientific scapegoating of nicotine undermines these successes. This approach has dire consequences: fewer people switch to less harmful alternatives, such as vaping, nicotine pouches, or heat-not-burn devices.

In the Phillippines, there has been progress on legalising additional categories of harm reduction, but we still have not been able to achieve the broad adoption necessary.

As such, here are six reasons that we must stop demonising nicotine.

People consume nicotine but die from smoking

We shouldn’t encourage people to start using nicotine. But health authorities must stop preventing smokers from switching to vaping and other alternatives. According to the British National Health Service, “Although nicotine is an addictive substance in cigarettes, it is relatively harmless in itself. Almost all the harm from smoking comes from thousands of other chemicals in tobacco smoke, many of which are toxic.”

Nicotine in patches and chewing gums is not a problem, so it should not be considered a problem in vapes

The Royal College of Physicians in the United Kingdom summarised the role of vaping as a method of delivering nicotine as follows: “Electronic cigarettes meet many of the criteria of an ideal product to reduce tobacco harm. Although the delivery of nicotine from e-cigarettes depends on several factors, […], they may contain a high dose of nicotine, but do not have harmful components of tobacco smoke […] “.

Nicotine addiction is complex, and prohibitions cannot effectively tackle it

Nicotine causes the release of dopamine, which contributes to tobacco addiction. But this may not be the only reason why so many people can not quit smoking. If nicotine was the sole cause of smoking addiction, every smoker who uses nicotine patches should have quit smoking immediately. But we know that’s not the case.

A study published in 2015 in the scientific journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that the potential dependence on nicotine is very low in the absence of tobacco smoke. That means that most vapers experience much less addiction pressure than tobacco smokers.

Nicotine has medical benefits

Research in the 1960s showed that smokers had lower levels of Parkinson’s disease, and recent studies have established nicotine as a cause. The result found that “men who did not smoke but used snus (a type of smokeless tobacco) had a significantly lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.” One of the reasons for that is nicotine’s positive cognitive effect, which has been revealed in a host of studies.

Misconceptions about nicotine inhibit progress

Unfortunately, public perceptions of nicotine are distorted. 57 per cent of respondents of the US survey agreed with the statement that “nicotine in cigarettes is the substance that causes most cancers caused by smoking,” and even 80 per cent of doctors mistakenly believe that nicotine causes cancer. These misconceptions of the public and experts have negative consequences, as they distort the perception of vaping, which is 95 per cent less harmful than smoking.

A recent review of 755 case studies on the general effects of vaping concluded that only 37 “meet the exact criteria of scientific quality.”

Prohibition never works

History shows us that bans don’t work, and that is one of the most overlooked lessons. The alcohol ban in the United States was a complete catastrophe, which led to increased alcohol consumption, unsafe consumption, massive cartels. The same is true with recent pandemic-related restrictions on alcohol and tobacco in South Africa. The global war on drugs around the world has, in many ways, failed to achieve what it sought to do or even made the problem worse. In many cases, it has led to counterproductive policies. Therefore, it is fair to assume that the war on nicotine will have the same results.

Since smoking and smoking-induced diseases remain one of the challenges of humanity, it is essential to address them without ideological biases. Nicotine is not our enemy, and we cannot forget that.

Originally published here

Pentingnya Meninjau Ulang Kebijakan Cukai Vape di Indonesia

Industri vape merupakan salah satu sektor industri yang berkembang cukup pesat di Indonesia. Dari tahun ke tahun, jumlah pengguna dan nilai industri vape di negara kita terus meningkat.

Pada tahun 2020 misalnya, jumlah pengguna rokok elektronik atau vape di Indonesia mencapai 2,2 juta pengguna. Angka yang sangat tinggi ini juga dibarengi dengan jumlah penjual vape yang mencapai 5000 penjual di seluruh Indonesia, berdasarkan daria dari Asosiasi Personal Vaporizer Indonesia (APVI) (liputan6.com, 22/7/2020).

Jumlah yang tinggi ini merupakan peningkatan yang pesat dari tahun-tahun sebelumnya. Pada tahun 2018 misalnya, tercatat jumlah pengguna vape atau rokok elektronik di Indonesia mencapai 1,2 juta orang (industri.kontan.co.id, 22/3/2019).

Industri vape yang meningkat ini tentu juga berpotensi besar akan membawa manfaat ekonomi bagi banyak orang, salah satunya adalah membuka semakin banyak lapangan kerja. Dengan semakin berkembangnya industri ini, pembukaan lapangan kerja yang lebih banyak tentu akan sangat memberi manfaat bagi banyak orang.

Tetapi, tidak semua pihak menyambut positif fenomena ini. Tidak sedikit pula pihak-pihak yang memiliki sikap kekhawatiran dan juga pandangan yang sangat negatif melihat fenomena semakin meningkatnya pengguna vape di Indonesia, dan mengadvokasi berbagai kebijakan yang dianggap dapat menanggulangi fenomena tersebut.

Berbagai kebijakan ini ada berbagai macam bentuknya, mulai dari pelarangan total, sampai dengan berbagai kebijakan yang ditujukan untuk mengurangi insentif seseorang untuk menggunakan berbagai produk-produk rokok elektronik, salah satunya adalah menetapkan cukai untuk produk-produk rokok elektronik, untuk meningkatkan harga tersebut. Kebijakan ini misalnya, sudah diterapkan di negara kita pada tahun 2018 lalu.

Pada tahun 2018 misalnya, Pemerintah Indonesia melalui Direktorat Jenderal Bea dan Cukai menerapkan 57% cukai untuk produk-produk cairan vape. Hal ini dikarenakan para pengguna vape dianggap cenderung sebagai orang-orang yang berpenghasilan menengah ke atas, dan juga kebijakan etrsebut diberlakukan sebagai upaya pengendalian konsumsi, salah staunya adalah mencegah anak-anak untuk mengkonsumsi produk-produk tersebut. Selain itu, kebijakan cukai tersebut juga merupakan pengejewantahan dari Undang-Undang No 39 tahun 2007 tentang Cukai (cnbcindonesia.com, 9/1/2018).

Kebijakan cukai vape ini bagi sebagian kalngan dianggap sebagai sesuatu yang wajar, sebagai salah satu upaya untuk menanggulangi dan mengendalikan penggunaan dan konsumsi vape. Hal ini juga merupakan kebijakan yang sama diberlakukan ke berbagai produk-produk konsumsi lain yang dianggap memiliki dampak negatif bagi kesehatan, seperti rokok konvensional yang dibakar dan juga minuman beralkohol.

Meskipun demikian, masih terdapat masalah dari penerapan aturan cukai tersebut untuk produk-produk rokok elektronik. Salah satunya adalah penerapan kebiajkan cukai yang tidak sama dan setara antara dua produk rokok elektronik, yakni rokok elektronik yang sistemnya terbuka dan juga tertutup.

Singkatnya, vape dengan sistem terbuka mengizinkan penggunanya untuk memilih pilihan liquid lebih banyak dan dari berbagai produk yang tersedia. Sementara itu, vape dengan sistem tertutup untuk pilihan rasanya cenderung lebih sedikit, dan pilihannya hanya tersedia untuk pilihan yang disediakan oleh produsen vape tersebut. Tetapi keuntungannya, tidak seperti vape dengan sistem terbuka lebih simple untuk digunakan dan tidak perlu dibersihkan secara lebih sering dengan dibandingkan vape yang menggunakan sistem terbuka (breazy.com, 15/1/2019).

Kembali ke pembahasan mengenai cukai, dalam penerapannya di Indonesia, terjadi pembedaan yang signifikan antara cukai yang diberlakukan untuk vape dengan sistem yang terbuka dan sistem yang tertutup. Berdasarkan pernyataan dari Aliansi Pengusaha Penghantar Nikotin Elektronik Indonesia (APPNINDO), dalam penerapannya, regulasi dalam bentuk cukai untuk produk vape dengan sistem tertutup 11 kali lebih tinggi bila dibandingkan dengan vape yang menggunakan sistem terbuka (tribunnews.com, 16/9/2021).

Hal ini dikarenakan, cukai pada cairan vape dengan sistem terbuka dihitung berdasarkan mililiter cairan tersebut, sementara, vape dengan sistem tertutup menggunakan perhitungan berdasarkan per kontainer dari liquid vape tersebut. Akibatnya, dalam penerapannya, cukai vape dengan sistem kontainer yang tertutup ini menjadi sangat tinggi bila dibandingkan dengan vape dengan sistem yang terbuka (tribunnews.com, 16/9/2021).

Hal ini tentu merupakan sesuatu yang perlu dibenahi. Hal ini dikarenakan, berdasarkan keterangan dari APPNINDO, vape dengan sistem tertutup jauh lebih aman bagi konsumen dikarenakan konsumen hanya bisa menggunakan e-liquid atau cairan yang disediakan oleh produsen. Hal ini dapat mencegah kontaminasi dan pencampuran cairan vape dengan bahan-bahan lain yang sangat berbahaya, dan bisa menimbulkan penyakit berat hingga kehilangan nyawa (tribunnews.com, 16/9/2021).

Terlebih lagi, berdasarkan penelitian dari lembaga kesehatan publik Britania Raya, Public Health England (PHE), vape terbukti merupakan produk 95% lebih tidak harmful bila dibandingkan dengan rokok konvensional yang dibakar (gov.uk, 19/8/2015). Hal ini tentu merupakan berita yang sangat positif, terutama bagi para perkok yang ingin menghentikan kebiasaannya.

Sebagai penutup, untuk itu, perlibatan para pelaku industri vape atau rokok elektronik dalam pembuatan kebijakan regulasi produk ini oleh pemerintah dan pengambil kebijakan. adalah hal yang sangat penting. Jangan sampai, kebijakan yang tujuannya untuk melindungi masyarakat malah berbalik arah menjadi kebijakan yang tidak efisien yang justru akan merugikan konsumen, khususnya mereka yang ingin menghentikan kebiasaan merokoknya.

Originally published here

Nicotin gây nghiện nhưng không phải nguyên nhân gây ung thư

Các chuyên gia cho rằng đã đến lúc chấm dứt tấn công vào nicotin mà thay vào đó cuộc chiến chống tác hại thuốc lá cần xác định rõ đâu mới là nguyên nhân gây ra các bệnh lý liên quan đến hút thuốc lá điếu.

Nghiện thuốc lá, không chỉ do nicotin

Năm 2011, một nghiên cứu trên chuột của Murphy và Maier đã gây bất ngờ cho giới khoa học, khi chứng minh rằng nicotin không phải là nguyên nhân gây ung thư như trước giờ mọi người vẫn lầm tưởng. Nghiên cứu cho thấy những chỉ số về đặc tính sinh ung thư ví dụ như số lượng u phổi ở những con chuột được sử dụng nicotin so với những con chuột trong nhóm còn lại không đem lại sự khác biệt có ý nghĩa thống kê.

Không ít người vẫn chưa biết nicotin cũng có trong cà chua, khoai tây, ớt đỏ, cà tím với hàm lượng rất nhỏ. Các nghiên cứu khoa học cho thấy nếu ăn 10 kg cà tím, lượng nicotin hấp thụ sẽ tương đương 1 điếu thuốc lá. Tuy nhiên do nicotin gắn liền với thuốc lá, nên phần lớn người ta vẫn “kết tội” nicotin là nguyên nhân gây ra các bệnh liên quan đến thuốc lá. Theo nghiên cứu của Viện Y tế và Chăm sóc Sức khoẻ Quốc gia Anh Quốc, các độc tố và chất gây ung thư trong khói thuốc lá mới là nguyên nhân chính gây ra bệnh tật và tử vong, không phải là do nicotin.

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End the War on Nicotine

Reducing the number of smokers remains public health priority for governments around the world. However, the war against nicotine prevents further progress.

The bad reputation of nicotine is getting in the way of providing smokers with a safer alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes. A new paper, published by the Consumer Choice Center, aims to debunk myths associated with nicotine and provide some more clarity around what nicotine actually is.

Smoking rates have been steadily declining but it is not thanks to tools applied by the governments,  but rather the innovative alternatives to smoking such as e-cigarettes, snus, etc. Unfortunately, rather than promote an alternative that is far less harmful and gives people a chance to live healthier and longer lives, public officials are waging a war on nicotine. This limits access to those life-saving alternatives. 

Contrary to popular belief, the harm from smoking comes from the thousands of other chemicals in tobacco smoke, many of which are toxic. And while nicotine is an addictive substance, it is relatively harmless and doesn’t increase the risk of serious illnesses (heart attack, stroke) or mortality.

Unlike vaping, conventional nicotine replacement therapies, such as patches, nasal sprays, gums are endorsed by public health bodies. Going against vape and snus just because it is a different way of consuming nicotine is inconsistent, to say the least. NRTs work for some people, but others prefer vaping, and it should be up to consumers to choose their preferred harm-reduction tool. Instead of limiting their choices, we should use all tools at our disposal to help smokers switch.  

Nicotine has been demonised for so long that the health benefits of nicotine consumption have been completely ignored. Research since the 1960’s has demonstrated that smokers show lower rates of Parkinson’s disease, and recently a study suggested the reason for this is nicotine. Another study suggests that nicotine has an appetite suppressing effect and therefore acts as a weight suppressant, and could be used to fight obesity Studies also suggest that nicotine can improve exercise endurance and strength. This explains why many professional athletes use nicotine to improve their performance.

Distorted perceptions about nicotine stand in the way of more smokers switching to less harmful ways of consuming nicotine. Many physicians falsely believe that nicotine is the substance causing cancer in patients. Public health advocates and health experts need to get educated on the topic and encourage smokers to switch to alternatives, such as vaping which is 95% less harmful than traditional cigarettes.  

Prohibition doesn’t work, as demonstrated by the American prohibition era and numerous other examples. Instead, it pushes consumers towards the black market where providing high quality products is not a priority.

Innovative nicotine products have the potential to save millions of lives around the world, and we should not allow misconceptions get in the way of the fight against smoking-induced diseases.

Read our new paper “Six reasons to stop the war on nicotine” to find out more on the topic

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