CASAA Newsletter – April 2018

CALLS TO ACTION

RESEARCH


US Vapor Flavors Survey – FDA Flavors ANPRM

1 week ago

In March, the FDA published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding standards for flavored vapor products. An ANPRM is the beginning of the rule making process and serves as an opportunity for all stakeholders to provide feedback to the agency by way of comments and scientific studies.

As part of the effort to address some of the questions posed by the FDA in the ANPRM regarding flavored vapor products, Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos has developed a survey. The data collected will provide valuable information about patterns of e-cigarette use with a focus on the role that flavors play.

Please take time today (approximately 20 minutes) to complete this survey.

Click Here to Take The Survey!


FDA



TOBACCO 21


9 hours ago

(Update – 04.12.18) The proposal to raise the tobacco and vapor purchase age to 21 remains on the city council agenda. As of the April 9th meeting, the proposal was included as part of a committee report. According to a local news report, city lawmakers remain concerned about the unintended consequences of raising the purchase age for all tobacco products. …

Read More »


8 hours ago

(Update – 04.12.18) SB 164, which would raise the minimum legal purchase age from 18 to 21 for ALL tobacco and vapor products, was voted out of the Committee on Public Health with a favorable recommendation. The vote was 22 – 4 in support of the bill. Currently, SB 164 is on the calendar for the full Senate where it …

Read More »


INDOOR BANS


3 days ago

Every 20 years, the state of Florida convenes a Constitutional Revision Commission (CRC) to consider possible amendments to the state’s constitution and put them to the voters to decide. In 1998, this process was used to pass an unpopular statewide anti-smoking law that prohibited smoking in workplaces. In 2018, much like 1998, a similar proposal would ban vaping in the …

Read More »


FLAVOR BANS



TAXES


4 days ago

(Update – 04.09.18) HB 922, which would impose a 46% wholesale tax on vapor products, has been scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 15 minutes after floor (1:00 PM) Senate Committee on Finance Room 6 115 State Street Montpelier, VT 05633   Please note: This is not a public hearing. Spoken testimony is being accepted by invitation …

Read More »


2 weeks ago

RHODE ISLAND VAPOR TAX Update – 03.26.18 (House Finance Committee Hearing) Last week’s meeting that was cancelled due to weather is rescheduled for Wednesday, March 28, 2018 Rise of the House (4:30 PM) Room 35 – State House   The committee will be hearing testimony regarding Governor Gina Raimondo’s proposal to impose an outrageous 80% wholesale tax on vapor products …

Read More »


3 weeks ago

On March 13th, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced his budget proposal for FY 2019. The governor’s first budget includes a new 75% wholesale tax on vapor products and a tax hike for smokeless tobacco raising it from 30% to 68% of wholesale. CASAA has been informed that the rates for these taxes come from bills in the House (A.1586) …

Read More »


ENDED CALLS TO ACTION


2 weeks ago

(Update – 04.02.18) In typical down-to-the-wire fashion, the New York legislature passed a budget for FY 2019 last week. The budget does NOT include a new tax on vapor products! Special thanks are in order to everyone who took a moment to contact their officials urging them to remove the governor’s proposed tax on vaping. Also thanks to the NYSVA …

Read More »


Did you find this newsletter informative? Please consider making a donation to CASAA. We rely on contributions to provide timely information and engagements to help protect everyone’s access to life-saving, low-risk nicotine and tobacco products. Didn’t get the CASAA newsletter in your email? Sign up here.

CASAA is 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization. While CASAA is a non-profit organization and pays no income taxes on the donations it receives, contributions or gifts to CASAA are not deductible by the donor as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.

This article was originally published at CASAA
Author: KNoll-Marsh

Posted in All posts, CASAA Newsletter, e cigarettes, News, news-all, newsletter, Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on CASAA Newsletter – April 2018

Tobacco Harm Reduction Expert Fact Checks UCSF “Gateway” study

Dr. Brad Rodu

Dr. Brad Rodu, a renowned Professor of Medicine at the University of Louisville who holds an endowed chair in tobacco harm reduction research, has called for the retraction of a Pediatrics article by University of California San Francisco’s Benjamin W. Chaffee, Shannon Lea Watkins, and Stanton A. Glantz.

The article claims that “Among adolescent cigarette experimenters, using e-cigarettes was positively and independently associated with progression to current established smoking.”

“The findings and the claim are false,” wrote Dr. Rodu. “In their analysis, the authors ignore the fact that their study group consisted entirely of experimental smokers with widely varied experience….”

“When we added lifetime cigarette consumption (LCC),” Dr. Rodu explained, “the positive results for e-cigarettes essentially disappeared, negating Chaffee’s core claim.”

“Their study should be retracted.”

Read the full story and see the results of Dr. Rodu’s analysis on his blog, Tobacco Truth, here and here.

This article was originally published at CASAA
Author: KNoll-Marsh

Posted in All posts, e cigarettes, News, news-all, Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on Tobacco Harm Reduction Expert Fact Checks UCSF “Gateway” study

CASAA Announces 2018 Board Election Results

CASAA’s leadership team, as confirmed at our last board meeting:

Alex Clark, Executive Director

Bruce Nye, President of the Board

Jennifer Berger-Coleman, Vice President of the Board and Director of Community Outreach

Karen Carey, Secretary and Treasurer of the Board

Julie Woessner, National Policy Director and Board Member

Brian Carter, Director of Scientific Communications and Board Member

Doug Carter, Information Systems Administrator

Kristin Noll-Marsh, Member Coordinator (Staff)

Elaine Keller, Board Member

Jan Johnson, Board Member

Ron Ward, Board Member

Jim McDonald, Board Member

We hope you will all join us in welcoming Jim McDonald to the CASAA leadership team and in wishing Bruce and Jennifer the best in their new roles

This article was originally published at CASAA
Author: KNoll-Marsh

Posted in All posts, e cigarettes, News, news-all, Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on CASAA Announces 2018 Board Election Results

ECigIntelligence User Survey 2018

In November of 2017, CASAA assisted ECigIntelligence in conducting a focused survey of vapers. The integrity of ECigIntelligence was verified, as was the purpose and scope of the survey, and the survey was circulated to our members via email.As a part of our diligence to our members, CASAA is publishing the relevant results to educate and advocate for our members.

Our members continue to provide some of the most comprehensive and meaningful information on vaping. We are grateful to everyone who took the time to help provide this information that can be used by CASAA and others in our advocacy efforts.

As in the previous year’s survey, the typical respondent was male around 35-39 years old. Young adults (18-24) made up only 10% of respondents. Those who took the survey were mostly advanced open-system users.

The trend between years shows a 4% increase in the number of respondents who consider themselves ex-smokers, while there is a 3% decrease in the number of non-smokers initiating vapor product use. The number of “dual users”, the majority of whom are transitioning from smoking to vaping, has remained steady. For 2018, the market segment was further refined and shows that the majority of respondents (97-99%) prefer basic open systems or advanced open systems. Also new this year is the addition of the Open Pod / Ultra portable segment, which accounts for half of the remaining users surveyed.

For 2018, the survey explored a key area of interest in usage patterns that had not been captured before – those users who stopped or dramatically cut down on use of vapor products. While understandably a small segment of the respondents (1.36%), it is an important element in the effectiveness of vapor products that often goes unnoticed. Of those respondents who vape less than once a month if at all, 40% would not go back to, or increase, vaping as they have successfully quit both smoking and nicotine dependence. Note that less than 2% of those who vape infrequently or not at all returned to smoking.

Countering the idea that advertising is attracting more users, key motivation to try vaping remains feedback from friends/family and seeing others using the products, accounting for 52% of the reasons given. The key reason to continue vaping is still to help stop smoking entirely or to remain smoke-free (75%).

In this slide we see, once again, that the majority of vapers are ex-smokers (81%). Countering the argument that dual-use is growing, we also find that of the 19% who dual-use, more than 73% of them successfully transition from smoking to the exclusive use of vapor products.

Exploring this transition from dual-use to exclusive-use, the average length of time before dual-use becomes exclusive-use is less than 2 years (1.58 years average). This phenomena remains fairly consistent across time, gender, age, and location, with only a 1-2 month difference overall.

As potential regulation of nicotine and flavors looms, the survey takes a further look at the DIY market. While it is too early to identify clear trends, more than 1 in 6 of the vapers surveyed are creating their own e-liquids at home.

Key motivations for DIY vapers surveyed is the ability to customize flavors and nicotine strength and to save money. Notably, 80% felt that DIY was an important or very important safeguard against government regulation.

Exploring device usage a bit further, six segments have been identified. The majority of vapers (5,696 of 6,448 or 88%) were either new, or experienced, advanced-open-system users. Of the remaining 22%, the majority were on a journey from closed systems to basic open systems.

This last slide shows that there are key motivators in the journey to becoming an experienced vaper. Closed-system users typically find cost a sufficient motivation to move to open systems. For both the new-to-basic and new-to-advanced, the key motivating factor is the vaping experience (appearance/flavor), with the differences centering on cost/ease of use for experienced basic-system users, while experienced advanced-system users are motivated by customizing their experience.

CASAA thanks our members who took the time to answer the survey and ECigIntelligence for its work in providing this important data.

This article was originally published at CASAA
Author: Bruce Nye

Posted in All posts, CASAA Survey, consumers, demographics, dual-use, e cigarettes, ecig, flavors, News, Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News, vapor | Comments Off on ECigIntelligence User Survey 2018

Congress votes to fund scared-straight campaign from CDC, but leaves smokers and vapers out in the cold.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 (“the omnibus budget bill”) has been nearly six months in the making. And when all of the pieces were laid together–all 2200+ pages of it–the bill made its way through Congress and onto President Trump’s desk in just two days. The bill mentions “Food and Drug Administration” 12 times and “tobacco” 23 times, but language regarding modernizing the predicate date for products recently deemed to be tobacco by the FDA is absent. In other words, Section 753 (aka the Cole-Bishop amendment) of the Agricultural Appropriations bill has been left out.

With campaign season right around the corner, the omnibus budget bill is likely to be the last major piece of legislation to make its way through Congress in 2018. This, of course, means we can expect the same continuing resolution (CR) dance in September when Congress is supposed to come back to the trough for FY 2019 funding.

Where does vaping go from here?

For now, we must focus on dealing directly with the FDA, which has authority to establish new rules and standards for products the agency has deemed to be tobacco. Case in point: The FDA recently announced its advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding nicotine content in cigarettes and another proposal to establish rules for flavored tobacco and vapor products.

The comment process is open to all and CASAA is encouraging our members to participate.

We encourage you to share your story about what role flavored vapor and smokeless tobacco products play in helping you live smoke-free.The ANPRM poses a set of specific questions to stakeholders, policy makers, and scientists, which we will be reviewing in order to offer specific guidance to our members for submitting additional comments. (You may submit as many comments as you wish.)

Points to think about and include in your comments:

  • Why you decided to try a smoke-free product.
  • What role did the flavor play in your motivation to try?
  • What flavors do you use regularly and how often do you switch between flavors?
  • How long have you been smoke-free or, if you are still smoking, how much have you reduced?
  • Did you use cigarettes and smoke-free products for a period of time (“dual use”) before completely switching to a smoke-free product?

You can access the docket and add your voice by clicking here.

Comments are being accepted until June 19th, 2018.

—-

This article was originally published at CASAA
Author: Alex Clark

Posted in All posts, ANPRM, Cole-Bishop, e cigarettes, FDA deeming, FDA-CTA-current, FED-CTA-current, flavors, News, Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on Congress votes to fund scared-straight campaign from CDC, but leaves smokers and vapers out in the cold.

Tobacco (and Vapor) 21 looses steam in Washington State

(Update – 03.09.18)

For the second year in a row, the Washington State Legislature has failed to advance a bill that would raise the minimum purchase age for tobacco and vapor products to 21. Thanks to participation from consumers and advocates on the ground, smokers in Washington will continue to have access to low-risk alternatives to smoking, at least for the next year.

A special thank you is in order for Washington’s Pink Lung Brigade who have worked cooperatively with CASAA to keep our members informed and engaged. THANK YOU!!

Although we are concluding this call to action as successful, we are mindful that the discussion about Tobacco 21 in Washington continues. As noted during a committee hearing last year by Representative Paul Harris (R-H017 and HB 1054’s main sponsor), enacting tobacco (and vapor) 21 would create a revenue issue for the state. As a remedy, Rep. Harris is also sponsoring legislation (HB 2165) that would make up the difference by enacting a 60% tax on vapor products.

When speaking in support of his tax bill, Rep. Harris is one of the few lawmakers who has publicly admitted that what is he proposing is “really all about the money.” While we can certainly appreciate his candid assessment, the fact remains that Washington is rejecting Tobacco 21 for fiscal reasons rather than recognizing the consequences of restricting access to and misleading consumers about safer alternatives to smoking–also a fiscal concern.

Representative Harris, although misguided, is very passionate about protecting young people. Advocates in Washington can expect to see the Tobacco 21 and accompanying tax bill resurface in future legislative sessions. CASAA urges our members to remain vigilant and continue the dialogue with lawmakers about the benefits of harm reduction.

Thank you for your participation!



Did you find this update helpful? Please consider making a donation to CASAA. We rely on contributions to provide timely information and engagements to help protect everyone’s access to life-saving, low-risk nicotine and tobacco products.
CASAA is 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization. While CASAA is a non-profit organization and pays no income taxes on the donations it receives, contributions or gifts to CASAA are not deductible by the donor as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.

This article was originally published at CASAA
Author: Alex Clark

Posted in All posts, e cigarettes, News, Smokeless Tobacco, Tobacco 21, Vaping, Vaping News, Washington | Comments Off on Tobacco (and Vapor) 21 looses steam in Washington State

CASAA Newsletter – March 2018

Welcome back to CASAA’s Newsletter. We know it’s been several months since we last sent this out, but we are once again able to devote resources to delivering this to your inbox monthly. We hope you’ll find our March update useful and informative.

On a personal note, February marked my five-year anniversary of switching to vapor products and becoming smoke-free. As some may remember, 2013 marked the start of vaping’s meteoric rise in popularity. In fact, between 2013 and 2015, CASAA membership skyrocketed as consumers became aware of the regulatory threat from the FDA and state laws that jeopardize our access to these life-saving products.

On Thursday, March 1, I had the opportunity to provide written testimony on behalf of CASAA to the Rhode Island Senate Health and Human Services committee regarding a bill (SB 2228) that would include vaping in the state’s existing indoor clean air law. It dawned on me that my vaperversary (as we are fond of calling it) is an annual opportunity to share my story and my passion for protecting access to smoke-free alternatives with lawmakers. It’s the perfect opportunity for you, too.

Hopefully, by now, you are aware of CASAA’s Testimonials Project–if you haven’t already added your story, please take a moment this weekend to add your voice. The Testimonials Project is a valuable tool that CASAA uses for advocacy purposes and can even be an incredible resource for research. But sharing your story isn’t limited to a collection on the internet or even as a mention among friends. In addition to sharing your smoke-free journey with us, I want to take this opportunity to encourage all of our members to share your smoke-free anniversary with lawmakers, every year.

You can find an up-to-date list of your state and federal officials and their contact information at www.THRvoter.org. 2018 is an election year, so please take advantage of the voter registration tools on the site as well.

If you don’t have a smoke-free anniversary coming up soon–and even if you do–please add your story to an email to congress urging them to support modernizing the predicate date for vapor products. You can take action at www.August8th.org.

Thank you for your support and participation!

Alex Clark

CEO, CASAA

________________________________________

NEWS

ACS to Clinicians: Vaping is an acceptable last resort…

…but we still want it regulated like cigarettes. — In February, The American Cancer Society (ACS) published a partial change in their position on the role that vapor products can play in helping people quit smoking. By way of summary, ACS has updated their advice to clinicians regarding vapor products by recommending that “clinicians support all attempts to quit the …

Read More »

CASAA files Amicus Brief in Nicopure/R2B FDA Deeming Rule Challenge

– Washington D.C.

Last year, Nicopure Labs and The Right to be Smoke-Free Coalition (“R2B”) sued the FDA, arguing against portions of the Tobacco Control Act and the FDA’s Deeming Rule as they are being applied to vapor products. The court ruled in favor of the FDA at that time, so the plaintiffs filed an appeal in the D.C. Court …

Read More »

Real World Evidence Doesn’t Support Pneumonia Concerns

– London, UK

Contrary to the headlines, a recent study published in the European Respiratory Journal offers no proof that vaping causes, or significantly increases, the risk of getting pneumonia. In fact, vaping may even decrease the risk in many users, who otherwise would be smoking. While the research suggests that vaping might increase the risk of pneumonia-related bacteria “sticking” …

Read More »

Public Health England Reaffirms Support of Vaping

-London, U.K.

Public Health England (PHE) has released its latest annual report on e-cigarettes, again stating that vaping poses only a fraction of the health risk of tobacco smoking and should be encouraged among smokers. A key finding of the PHE report was that “there is much public misunderstanding about nicotine. Less than 10% of adults understand that most of …

Read More »

Multiple Vape Shops File Against FDA

-Washington D.C.

Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), a donor-supported organization that has successfully litigated for limited government, private property rights, and free enterprise, announced Tuesday that it would be representing several small vape shop owners in lawsuits filed against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The filed complaints object to the FDA “Deeming Rule” that requires the nearly impossible Premarket Approval …

Read More »

More misleading headlines about vaping

– New York City, New York

A poorly designed mouse study from the New York University School of Medicine in New York City is causing news outlets around the world to falsely report that the use of vapor products increases the risk of cancer and heart disease. “In medical science, mouse studies are of very limited use in determining effects …

Read More »

FDA ends nicotine addiction experiment on squirrel monkeys

Earlier this month, the FDA announced it was permanently ending nicotine addiction experiments on monkeys that were part of the agency’s potential effort to force cigarette manufacturers to lower the nicotine content of their products. In a November 2017 letter to Commissioner Gottlieb, CASAA commended this decision and urged the FDA not to resume these misguided studies or rely on …

Read More »

CASAA Addressed TPSAC Regarding Modified Risk Product

–Silver Spring, MD

On January 24-25, 2018, the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) will discuss modified risk tobacco product applications (MRTPAs), submitted by Philip Morris Products S.A. for the IQOS Heatsticks systems. TPSAC reviews and evaluates safety, dependence, and health issues relating to tobacco products and provides appropriate advice, information and recommendations to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs. …

Read More »

CASAA to FDA’s TPSAC: PMI’s modified risk claims should go further!

Full text of statement below. Please note that a portion of our statement was omitted during the presentation due to time constraints. In the interest of transparency, we have included the omitted COI statement here. January 25, 2018 Testimony Delivered to FDA Tobacco Product Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) RE: PMI IQOS Modified Risk Tobacco Application – – Members of the …

Read More »

Modernize the Predicate Date for Vapor Products!

By January 19th, Congress will need to come up with a plan to continue funding the government. This could be just another continuing resolution or we could be looking at real budget talks happening in the coming weeks. In either case, today, we have an opportunity to urge support for predicate date change language in the appropriations side of the …

Read More »

CASAA Submits Comment to OMB Regarding CDC Campaign

Focus put on misleading “Tips From Smokers” campaign In October 2017 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) submitted an information collection request titled “National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System” to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. The OMB subsequently requested comment from the public to determine whether or not the collection and evaluation of …

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CALLS TO ACTION

US – Modernize the Predicate Date for Vapor Products!

Budget negotiations are happening right now and we only have a short time to make an impression. This is the time to reach out to Congress and urge them to support us.

By March 22nd, Congress will need …

Read More »

WA – Stop Tobacco (and Vaping) 21!

SB 6048, which would raise the minimum legal age to purchase ALL tobacco and vapor products, is scheduled for a public hearing on Thursday, February 22, 2018 (agenda) 3:30 PM Senate Committee on Ways & Means (committee page) Please make plans to attend this hearing. Even if you do not plan to speak your presence is important as it demonstrates …

Read More »

UT – Stop an outrageous tax on vaping!

(Estimated end of legislative session on March 8th)

(Update – 02.22.18) On Wednesday, February 21st, the House Revenue and Taxation Committee gave a favorable recommendation to HB 88 and voted it on to the next legislative step. The favorable vote came after the bill was amended to change the proposed tax rate for vapor products from 86% to 29% of wholesale.   But this is still an unjustifiable …

Read More »

Mankato, MN rejects Tobacco (and Vapor) 21. Help us say Thank You!

(Update 02.14.18) On Monday, February 12th, the Mankato City Council narrowly rejected an ordinance that would raise the age to purchase all tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21-years-old by a 4 to 3 vote. North Mankato’s plans to implement Tobacco (and Vapor) 21 may also be affected by this decision. The ordinance was set to go into effect …

Read More »

MD – Stop Tobacco and Vapor 21!

SB 456 would raise the age to purchase ALL tobacco and vapor products to 21-years-old. This bill is scheduled for a public hearing on Thursday, February 15, 2018 Senate Finance Committee 1:00 PM 3 East Miller Senate Building 11 Bladen Street Annapolis, MD 21401 Please make plans to attend this hearing. Even if you do not plan to speak your …

Read More »

IL – Three bills would deny adult access to life-saving vapor products!

(Update – 02.08.16) Three bills that would raise the age to purchase vapor products and other low-risk tobacco products to 21-years-old are moving on to second and third readings in the house and senate. We need your help to stop these bills from going any further. Please take action now by sending a message to your lawmakers urging them to …

Read More »

NY – Rockland County – Stop Tobacco & Vapor 21!

(Update – 02.07.18) After hearing comments from the public at Tuesday night’s hearing, the Rockland Co. Legislature has scheduled a vote for the Tobacco 21 law on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Please continue to reach out to county lawmakers and urge them to oppose this misguided regulation. Take Action – Send a Message Legislators’ phone numbers and email addresses are …

Read More »

IN – Lafayette – Stop an indoor vaping ban!

(Concluded – Ordinance Passed)

(Update – 03.06.18)

On Monday, the Lafayette City Council voted to adopt the ordinance which bans vaping in the same places where smoking is prohibited. Although this concludes CASAA’s engagement on this ordinance, Lafayette residents are encouraged to continue voicing their opposition…

Read More »

WA – Stop vaping taxes!

HB 2165, which would add a 60% tax on the sale of vapor products, is moving quickly to the floor of the Washington House of Representatives. While most consumers will feel this increase in the form of a wholesale tax (paid by the distributor when they purchase products from manufacturers), consumers who shop online will, effectively, pay a 60% sales …

Read More »

This article was originally published at CASAA
Author: Alex Clark

Posted in All posts, CASAA Newsletter, e cigarettes, News, Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on CASAA Newsletter – March 2018

ACS to Clinicians: Vaping is an acceptable last resort…

…but we still want it regulated like cigarettes.

In February, The American Cancer Society (ACS) published a partial change in their position on the role that vapor products can play in helping people quit smoking. By way of summary, ACS has updated their advice to clinicians regarding vapor products by recommending that “clinicians support all attempts to quit the use of combustible tobacco,” even if it involves vaping. Patients having limited or no success with other quit methods, or are resistant to using FDA approved cessation products, “should be encouraged to switch to the least harmful form of tobacco product possible.”

CASAA acknowledges that ACS’s updated position on vaping is a very small step in the right direction and appreciates that, as supporting evidence continues to emerge, they are willing to adjust their messaging to medical professionals. But when considering the entirety of ACS’s statement, it is clear that the organization is not offering an endorsement of harm reduction. Instead, the ACS continues to advocate for policies that regulate smoke-free products just like cigarettes. “The difference between the ACS message then and now is that vaping was simply bad, bad, bad; now vapor products would be good, if they weren’t bad, bad, bad. Clearly we still have a long way to go before the ACS catches up with the available science.” said Bruce Nye,RN – CASAA Board Vice-President.

As CASAA explains on its tobacco harm reduction web page:

“It is widely acknowledged that discontinuation of all tobacco products confers the greatest lowering of risk. However, approved smoking cessation methods have a 90% failure rate, when used as directed. In addition, there is a considerable population of smokers who are unable or unwilling to achieve abstinence. Harm reduction is likely of substantial benefit to these smokers and public health. Providing reduced-harm alternatives to smokers is likely to result in lower total population risk than pursuing abstinence-only policies.”

Put simply, harm reduction is all about empowering consumers to choose safer alternatives to products which are known to be hazardous rather than pushing or shaming people into abstinence.

While the ACS goes a very short distance toward acknowledging that vapor products are a less harmful substitution for smoking, they continue their campaign of exclusively negative information about vaping. By presenting information about smoke-free alternatives as an equivalent risk to smoking, they reinforce their position that complete tobacco and nicotine cessation is the only acceptable goal. Moreover, this update fails to acknowledge that smokeless tobacco products such as Swedish snus and moist snuff (which actually contain tobacco) are also very low-risk alternatives to smoking. If there is any acceptance of tobacco harm reduction in ACS’s updated position, it seems to be limited to products that ACS would like to ultimately see regulated as a medicine and marketed strictly as a means to ending nicotine use altogether.

The ACS also fails to recognize dual use of smoke-free products and cigarettes as a transitory phase. As a practical matter, discouraging “dual use” presents smokers with a one-or-the-other decision. This is a source of grave concern because human nature often dictates that we stick with the devil we know. Instead, smokers need encouragement to explore smoke-free alternatives until they find what works best for them.

From an advocacy perspective, manufacturing fear about the alleged harm of dual use works to support calls for stricter regulation on where smoke-free products can be used. While, in reality, people who use smoke-free products are obviously compliant with most smoke-free air laws, the ACS and other anti-tobacco activists have convinced many lawmakers that these products exist mainly to “circumvent” place bans. This kind of messaging from ACS reinforces the belief that smokers and vapers are social deviants who need to be separated from the general population into designated areas. This narrative is part of an enduring shame offensive that the ACS has supported for decades.

Moving forward, we expect that as evidence continues to mount about the low risk of vaping and other smoke-free tobacco products, more organizations like ACS will publish their own updated positions. CASAA urges our members to read these updates with a critical eye for details. Are anti-smoking and anti-nicotine organizations really on your side, or are they moving the goalposts to support a prohibitionist agenda? Vapers might be living smoke-free, but the ACS is recommending to your doctor that “these individuals should be regularly advised to completely quit using all tobacco products.” And if the regular badgering from clinicians doesn’t convince you to quit, ACS will continue to devote resources to forcing people to change their minds.

—–

The American Cancer Society’s position statement regarding vaping and vapor products is available here.

CASAA’s Tobacco Harm Reduction webpage – Click here.

This article was originally published at CASAA
Author: Alex Clark

Posted in All posts, American Cancer Society, e cigarettes, FDA deeming, News, Smokeless Tobacco, Smoking Cessation, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on ACS to Clinicians: Vaping is an acceptable last resort…

CASAA files Amicus Brief in Nicopure/R2B FDA Deeming Rule Challenge

Washington D.C.

Last year, Nicopure Labs and The Right to be Smoke-Free Coalition (“R2B”) sued the FDA, arguing against portions of the Tobacco Control Act and the FDA’s Deeming Rule as they are being applied to vapor products. The court ruled in favor of the FDA at that time, so the plaintiffs filed an appeal in the D.C. Court of Appeals.

On appeal, Nicopure and R2B argue that “the Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP) provision of the TCA, as well as the ban on free samples of vapor products, (1) violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and (2) FDA was obligated to consider a less burdensome Premarket Tobacco Product Application (PMTA) process for vapor products while still protecting the public health.” A summary of these issues can be read here, and you can download the full brief here.

In support of that appeal, CASAA has filed an amicus brief with the court. An amicus brief is a legal document – filed by someone who is not a party to the action – that advises the court of relevant, additional information or arguments that they want the court to take into consideration. In this case, CASAA is not making any legal arguments, but instead providing additional information from the consumer perspective, such as how consumers use vapor products, the importance of sampling, and why it is critically important that consumers be able to receive basic, truthful information from vapor companies about, among other things, the low-risk nature of vapor products (something that the Tobacco Control Act prohibits). The full CASAA amicus brief can be read here.

Several other organizations and individuals listed below have also filed amicus briefs in the case. You can click the links below to read the individual brief or read a summary of the briefs on the Keller & Heckman website here.

  • The Washington Legal Foundation
  • NJOY
  • The State of Iowa
  • Clive Bates, Director of The Counterfactual and former Director of the UK’s primary anti-smoking non-profit Action on Smoking in Health, with public health advocates Philip Alcabes, Scott Ballin, Konstantinos Farsalinos, Bill Godshall, Jacques Le Houezec, Bernd Mayer, Jeff Nesbit, Joel Nitzkin, Riccardo Polosa, Sally L. Satel, Michael B. Siegel, Jeff Stier, and David Sweanor

This article was originally published at CASAA
Author: KNoll-Marsh

Posted in All posts, deeming, e cigarettes, FDA, News, news-all, Nicopure, R2B, Smokeless Tobacco, Vaping, Vaping News | Comments Off on CASAA files Amicus Brief in Nicopure/R2B FDA Deeming Rule Challenge

Real World Evidence Doesn’t Support Pneumonia Concerns

— London, UK

Contrary to the headlines, a recent study published in the European Respiratory Journal offers no proof that vaping causes, or significantly increases, the risk of getting pneumonia. In fact, vaping may even decrease the risk in many users, who otherwise would be smoking.

While the research suggests that vaping might increase the risk of pneumonia-related bacteria “sticking” to human and mouse cells, this is speculation and not real evidence. Even senior author Jonathan Grigg, MD, of Queen Mary University of London, admitted that the bacteria that causes pneumonia can be present in airways without causing illness. Curiously, researchers didn’t report whether or not the mice exposed to both vapor and the bacteria actually became sick with pneumonia more often than the mice that weren’t exposed to vapor. In fact, a recently published paper by the same researchers who had originally thought that the “stickiness” increased risk shows that it plays a negligible role in increasing the risk of pneumonia.

“Researchers need to come up with a model that predicts future risk for pneumonia, given all of the different factors that contribute to it,” said Dr. Brian Carter, CASAA’s Director of Scientific Communications. “Then, and only then, can the effect of vaping be accurately estimated in terms of risk.”

“Even if they have the data to do this enormous undertaking, it’s likely that any possible increased risk of pneumonia related to vapor products would be so small as to be inconsequential,” Dr. Carter said. “At the least, that’s the most reasonable conclusion given the small amount of data they’ve provided. These are highly dubious and unreplicated findings that haven’t been proven in real-world situations. It is grossly unethical to report these ‘speculations’ that the general public will likely take as fact.”

Additionally, the researchers did not comment on past studies of propylene glycol, a primary ingredient in vapor products. Studies as far back as the 1940’s through the present day have shown that propylene glycol in aerosol form is a potent antibacterial agent, with “pronounced effects on both pneumococci and hemolytic streptococci.” It was also found that “control tests showed that failure of the glycol-treated microorganisms to grow on the agar plates was due to actual death of the bacteria.” This antibacterial effect of propylene glycol on bacteria is an important question that researchers didn’t ask. Clearly, dead bacteria isn’t going to lead to an infection, regardless of how much of it “sticks.”

Researchers also cited several study limitations, including lack of data on whether the vapor “stickiness” actually would cause humans to get pneumonia. While there are several bacteria types that cause respiratory illness, the study reported on a single type of bacteria associated with pneumonia, Streptococcus pneumoniae, commonly referred to as pneumococcal bacteria. Moreover, they completely failed to account for the effect of immunization that is widely available for this particular cause of pneumonia, which has been shown to reduce the risk of getting this form of the disease dramatically in both smokers and non-smokers.

It is important to note that real-world statistics don’t support the concern that vaping might increase the incidence of pneumonia. “While many would ask that we compare the risk to smoking, it is important to compare this alleged risk to other more important risks that affect the population as a whole. When compared to these other risk factors, it becomes clear that any potential risk from vaping is negligible,” said Bruce Nye, RN, CASAA Board Vice-president. “E-cigarette use has been around for more than 10 years, yet the incidence of pneumonia from all causes has decreased, due in large part to the increased use of pneumonia vaccine and improved hygiene.”

As pointed out in the 2016 study, “Respiratory infections and pneumonia: potential benefits of switching from smoking to vaping” (David Campagna, et al.) “Despite millions of regular vapor users, there has been no evidence of new emerging pneumonia outbreaks in recent years, or reports of infectious pneumonia in the medical literature.” A quick review of FDA Medwatch reports (here and here) of adverse events possibly related to vapor products reveals only three mentions of pneumonia. Considering the fact that pneumonia is a common illness affecting approximately 3 million people a year in the United States, those three unconfirmed reports are more likely due to other well known factors.

“The researchers failed to note that there are no cases of pneumonia in someone using vapor products that did not have other, well known, causal factors present that on their own would be cause for the disease. Indeed, it appears that these researches have deliberately used data and speculation in order to discredit one of the most important low-risk alternatives to smoking.” said Nye.

Both Dr. Carter and Nye agree: “The effect of this type of unfounded pseudo-scientific scare tactic by press release discourages smokers from trying products with a vastly lower risk, leaving them to continue to smoke and placing them at higher risk for diseases, including pneumonia. This is ethically questionable, directly harmful to smokers, and goes against the goal of good public health practice.”

This article was originally published at CASAA
Author: KNoll-Marsh

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