This week has been a bit light on exciting news, but let's dive into what was happening. International vape laws are all over the place, higher nicotine is facing some pushback in the EU, Norway's health minister comes out in support of freedom of choice, and accurate info on nicotine improves quality of life.
International Vaping Laws
The global vaping laws seem to be all over the place and a lot of countries are leaning towards one of the extremes with regards to vaping products. Let's have a look at what's been happening around the globe this week.
A reprieve on Quebec anti-vaping laws
Over in Canada, new anti-vaping laws have been critized by some, and now a judge has struck down some of these in a ruling.
Two of the main problems with these new laws was a ban on advertising as well as the inability for vape shops (and clinics) to show customers how these devices work.
Quebec Superior Court Justice Daniel Dumais has ruled that the state goverment must revise the law and remove these offending sections.
While this is good news for Canada, they are far from being in the clear - anti-vaping lobby groups are set to appeal this judgement. Watch this space.
New Mexico prepares for vape ban and new taxes
In the US, New Mexico is preparing to tighten restrictions on vaping products, implementing bans on where you can vape, as well as new taxes. All of these making it harder for people to switch from smoking to vaping.
In June, vaping will be illegal anywhere smoking is illegal - this is not such a bad thing though, as a smoker will be used to these rules already.
In July, a new 12.5% tax will be added to the price of ejuices. This could have been way worse, as a 76% tax (3x higher than on tobacco products) is being proposed by the American Cancer Society.
On the other side, a flavour ban and over-21 age restriction has been defeated, for now.
The EU fights against high nicotine levels
Vaping companies, include JUUL Labs, are challenging the 20mg/ml nicotine limit in the EU. According to these vape companies, higher nicotine pod systems are more effective at helping people quit smoking - and they have scientific proof.
The notion here is that vaping higher nicotine means a vaper requires less vapour to have the same effect, thus minimizing their exposre to other potentially harmful components (such as flavourings).
The EU regulators are, at this time, opposing any change in the law.
Read the second linked article below for more on this story.
US schools wasting resources on anti-vaping campaigns
Public funded schools in Massachusetts are spending money and resources trying to combat the so called "teen vaping epidemic". Statistics continue to show that most US teens don't become regular vapers after trying an e-cig, and most of those who are regular users were already smokers.
Some of these schools have been removing toilet doors to prevent vaping in there, and others have spent thousands on expensive vaping detectors. Anti-vaping lectures are also being introduced.
China working on new vaping regulations
China has filed a new set of regulatory standards with the World Trade Organization, but has yet to give any indication of when these new reguations would be adopted.
Most vaping products, and a large quantity of vaping liquids, are manufactured in China. The bulk of these products are exported, since China has restricted vaping to protect the state's monopoly on tobacco sales. They have not however placed any restrictions on exports since it is a valuable source if income.
Norway's new health minister is shaking things up
The new health minister in Norway, Sylvi Listhaug, has said in an interview that she thinks people should smoke, drink and eat what they want.
I think people should be allowed to smoke, drink and eat as much red meat as they like. The government may provide information, but I think people in general know what is healthy and what is not.
This interview was published three days after she took over the ministry. Historically she's been know for her controversial comments. These remarks were obviously critisized and called damaging.
I fear that this will set public health efforts back for decades, and that this will compromise the general understanding among Norwegians of the health consequences of tobacco and alcohol use.
It will be interesting to see what kind of effect she will have on vaping regulations in the country.
Accurate Info about Nicotine Improves Quality of Life
The Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) announced that they found evidence of an "epidemic" of misinformation regarding consumers' understanding of vaping products and nicotine.
SFATA believes that while the FDA is busy giving adults and teens an epidemic of misinformation, Public Health England, the national health organization of the U.K., has truthful data showing that 'vaping may be contributing to 20,000 U.K. smokers quitting every year'
Nicotine is treated differently to other illicit and previously-illict substances. Harm reduction strategies is supported when dealing with marijuanna, psychedelics and other susbstances. Nicotine harm reduction products are, however, being shunned.
Charles Gardner, the director of the Health Science and Technology for the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, calls the current spate of misinformation in the US a troubling one.
Giving smokers accurate information on relative risks helps them make informed choices for their own health. If they make the right choices, they can reduce their health risks substantially. On a population level, this means far fewer people suffering from preventable smoking-related disease and death. The outcome will be an improved quality of life for millions of people.
A recently published study, from Epidemiology, concluded the following:
This modeling suggested that a fairly permissive regulatory environment around vaporized nicotine products achieves net health gain and cost savings, albeit with wide uncertainty
Read the full text here: