Menthol Cigarettes More Dangerous than Flavored E-Cigarettes

Most recently, like others in the media, I have written about what we know about the potential deadly effects of smoking flavored e-cigarettes. It seems that each day we hear news of yet another young person whose life is cut short following their “dabbling’ with vaping e-cigarettes. An outbreak of a vaping-related illness in the US has left hundreds sick and some dead. The Surgeon General has reported that besides nicotine, e-cigarettes can contain harmful and potentially harmful ingredients, including: ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs; flavorings such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds; heavy metals, such as nickel,

Doctors seek tighter federal regulation on vaping

Leading medical organizations urged Congress and the Trump administration to increase the regulation of vaping products on Wednesday. The American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Physicians want more e-cigarette regulation because they're worried about the short- and long-term health consequences of vaping, especially for children. They asked Congress and the administration to ban flavored vaping products, including mint and menthol flavors, and raise the national age to buy tobacco and e-cigarettes to 21. The group also wants stricter regulation of marketing practices that target children, and to tax e-cigarettes like tobacco products. "We

A hefty tobacco tax increase will raise revenue and improve health

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni will have his hands full in his mini-budget speech today, October 30, if he plans on delivering any roadmap to turn around the country’s underperforming state-owned enterprises. The medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) is the point of the financial year where the National Treasury re-evaluates its spending priorities for the year. Excise tax increases are only announced during the finance minister’s Budget speech in February each year but the decision about how much the annual excise tax will increase by is taken during the period of the policy statement. Today, Mboweni delivers his second policy statement at a time when cash-strapped Eskom requires anoth

SA has little capacity to fend off tobacco lobby, report finds

There is an irreconcilable conflict of interest between the tobacco industry and public health, says report. SA has extremely limited capacity to fend off the influence of the tobacco industry, according to an international report released on Thursday. The report sounds a warning to the government as the health department gears up to tighten oversight of the sector with the draft Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill. The bill, which seeks to tighten loopholes in the law and bring e-cigarettes into the regulatory net, was released for public comment in 2018 and is being considered by the state law adviser. The revised bill is then expected to be referred to cabinet

34 deaths and 1604 cases of lung illness related to e-cigarette use in the United States

As of October 22, 2019, 1,604* cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) have been reported to CDC from 49 states (all except Alaska), the District of Columbia, and 1 U.S. territory. Thirty-four deaths have been confirmed in 24 states Latest outbreak information is updated every Thursday. About Patient Exposure:All EVALI patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette, or vaping, products.THC is present in most of the samples tested by FDA to date, and most patients report a history of using THC-containing products.The latest national and state findings suggest products containing THC, particularly those obtained off the street or from other informal s

Birmingham City Council passes 100-block ‘health district’ smoking ban

An Alabama city council has approved an ordinance prohibiting smoking in a 100-block zone around schools and health facilities. Al.Com reports Birmingham City Council unanimously approved the rule last week. It’ll go into effect on Dec. 1. The ordinance says the no-smoking zone will be called the “health district” and will cover the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Children’s Hospital and Veteran’s Administration Medical Center. The council banned smoking in most places in 2012 and gave violators a fine. Council President Valerie Abbott says she’s worried about enforcing the ordinance but Health Officer and CEO of the Jefferson County Department of Health Mark Wilson says a few “gentle r

First case of e-cigarette lung disease reported in Argentina

This news article published on October 23, 2019 in Argentina reporta a man 30 years old who is in the hospital with a lung disease similar to the one seen in the US, Britian, Japan and elsewhere: The article is in Spanish. Here is the translation from Google translate: Electronic cigarette: confirm the first serious case A young man presented a rare condition associated with vaping and was admitted. The man presented a "alveolar proteinosis" picture. It is a rare disease that can cause complications and leave sequelae. For the first time in Argentina a man had to be admitted for a condition caused by

Even short-term e-cigarette use can cause inflammation

E-cigarette use has risen at concerning levels among both smokers and non-smokers and now researchers from the Ohio State University have found that even short-term vaping could cause cellular inflammation in never-smoker adults. Using a procedure called bronchoscopy to test for inflammation and smoking-related effects, researchers reported a measurable increase in inflammation after four weeks of e-cigarette use without nicotine or flavours. The study suggested that even short-term usage could result in inflammatory changes at a cellular level. "Through the randomised clinical trial of healthy never-smokers over a month, we found that an increase in urinary propylene glycol, a marker of inh

Big Tobacco uses dirty tricks to contest draft bill

A new study on tobacco industry influence, “The Crooked Nine” report, released by the international watchdog group Stopping Tobacco Organisations and Products (STOP), outlines the dirty tricks the tobacco industry has used to oppose health policies around the world. These tactics include building alliances and front groups, trying to weaken the public health community, disputing public health facts, producing and promoting misleading research, lobbying, influencing high-level policies, litigation, facilitating smuggling, and seeking to improve its reputation. Nearly all of these tactics have been used in South Africa to fight previous regulations and to try and defeat the Control of Tobacco

California bans smoking and vaping on state beaches and at state parks, effective in 2020

California continues to lead the country by example and is heading toward becoming a smoke- and vape-free state. Beginning Jan.1, 2020, smoking and vaping will be illegal on all state beaches and state parks in California. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the new restrictions into law on Oct. 11. State Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, and Assemblymember Marc Levine, D-Greenbrae, attempted to put this law into place previously, but former governor Jerry Brown vetoed it three times. The new rules apply to tobacco smoking and vaping as well as marijuana. The public will be allowed to smoke or vape in the parking lots and roads outside of state parks and beaches. Affected Monterey County locations where smo

As vaping-linked deaths rise to 33, officials are still seeking answers

Lung illnesses and deaths linked to vaping nationwide have continued to rise as federal health officials expand lab testing to understand the mysterious afflictions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. As of Oct. 15, the CDC has confirmed 33 deaths among 1,479 lung injuries associated with the use of e-cigarettes — up from at least 1,299 cases and 26 deaths announced last week. The cases span every state but Alaska, as well as the District of Columbia and one U.S. territory. The rapidly rising fatality numbers since the first death was reported in August have helped fuel a crackdown on battery-powered devices that simulate smoking. Health advocates have long raised

Juul halts all U.S. sales of many flavored nicotine liquids

E-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc said on Thursday it will completely halt U.S. sales of all flavors except tobacco, mint and menthol, as the company faces heightened scrutiny from regulators, lawmakers and state attorneys general over the appeal of its nicotine products to teenagers. Thursday’s move, which ends online sales, means Juul’s mango, fruit, creme and cucumber nicotine pod flavors will no longer be available for sale anywhere in the United States. The company last year pulled those flavors from retail stores but continued to sell them on its website with what the company said were “strict age-verification controls.” Juul’s new chief executive, K.C. Crosthwaite, a veteran of Marlboro

E-cigarette sales slow amidst health concerns

E-cigarette sales in recent weeks grew by the slowest rate in more than a year and a half amid public health warnings over vaping, while cigarette sales declines eased slightly in the past month, according to industry data. Sales of e-cigarettes grew by 25.5% in the four weeks ended Oct. 5 compared with the same period a year ago, Cowen analyst Vivien Azer wrote, citing data from Nielsen. It’s a significant slowdown from the monthly growth rates of more than 50% that the e-cigarette category has seen since at least August 2018. The slowing growth of e-cigarettes comes as U.S. regulators are expected to halt sales of flavored vaping products to address concerns they’re marketed to underage sm

UC Riverside Researchers Show Thirdhand Smoke Exposure Damages Human Cells July 10, 2019

Researchers at University of California, Riverside, found cellular damage in healthy non-smoking adults after just three hours of exposure to thirdhand smoke. This is the first study to show a direct effect of thirdhand smoke on cells in humans. Thirdhand smoke can damage epithelial cells in the respiratory system by stressing cells and causing them to fight for survival, a research team led by scientists at the University of California, Riverside, has found. The finding could assist physicians treating patients exposed to thirdhand smoke. “Our data show that cells in humans are affected by thirdhand smoke,” said Prue Talbot, who led the research. “The health effects of thirdhand smoke, ha

Statement on consumer warning to stop using THC vaping products amid ongoing investigation into lung

For Immediate Release: October 04, 2019 Statement From: Acting Commissioner of Food and Drugs - Food and Drug Administration Norman E. "Ned" Sharpless MD Over the past several weeks, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been working tirelessly along with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal, state and local partners to investigate the distressing incidents of severe lung injuries and deaths associated with the use of vaping products. The latest number of reported cases and deaths, released by the CDC yesterday, continues to underscore the need for us to gather critical information and provide consumers with actionable information to help best prote

New York identifies first e-cigarette-related death as Bronx teen

A 17-year-old from the Bronx has been identified as New York’s first vaping-related fatality. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the teen’s death on Tuesday, and called the rise in e-cigarette-linked illnesses a “public health crisis.” As of Monday, the state had received 110 reports of vaping-related illnesses, with patients ranging in age from 14 to 69. All reported using at least one vape product prior to becoming ill. The state has previously reported that at least one vape product containing vitamin E acetate has been linked to nearly every patient that submitted a product for testing. Vitamin E acetate is found in cannabis products, but federal health officials have declined to identify a par

A New Study Ties Vaping To Lung & Bladder Cancer In Mice

The first study definitively linking vaping to cancer was published yesterday. Researchers at New York University found a link between e-cigarette nicotine vapor and lung and bladder cancer in mice. During the study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), researchers exposed 40 mice to e-cigarette smoke with nicotine over the course of 54 weeks, and 20 mice to e-cigarette smoke without nicotine over the course of four years. Nine of the 40 mice (or 22.5%) exposed to nicotine developed lung adenocarcinomas, and 23 (or 57.5%) developed pre-cancerous lesions on their bladders. None of the mice exposed to e-cig s

Washington state orders emergency ban on flavored vape products

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has called for the state to impose an emergency ban on all flavored vaping products, including those that contain nicotine and THC. On Friday, Inslee announced the executive order that will direct the Washington State Department of Health to take several actions. The order "will ask the state board of health to adopt emergency rules to ban all flavored vapor products, including flavored THC products. I expect the board to take up this request and vote on it at their next meeting on October 9th," Inslee said during a press conference on Friday. "My executive order also directs the department and the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board to do the following: Fir

E-cigarette-related lung injury cases jump to 1,299; deaths rise to 26

The number of lung injury cases linked to vaping has jumped to 1,299 and deaths to 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday. The injury cases in the CDC's weekly report came from 49 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Island. The center said they involved "confirmed and probable" lung-injury cases. The 26 confirmed deaths were in 21 states: Alabama, California (3), Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia (2), Illinois, Indiana, Kansas (2), Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon (2), Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. Among 573 of the lung-injury cases, 76% reported using products containin