A Minnesota bill would require schools to warn kids about vaping
Introduced by Rep. Heather Edelson, two bills are being introduced in a single session, both of which would change how youth vaping is being addressed in the state. The first of the bills would require schools to adopt an “evidence-based vaping prevention curriculum.” Within the bill, Edelson is requiring that all middle-schoolers are taught at least one lesson on vaping and how to prevent other kids from vaping. In addition to the “evidence-based vaping prevention curriculum,” Edelson is also pushing for $250,000 to be set aside for vaping prevention program grants.
The second of the two bills were introduced earlier by Edelson and it pushed to raise the purchasing age of tobacco products from 18 to 21. While Edelson is still in support of this bill, she introduced the following bill based on the notion that getting kids to stop vaping relies heavily on educating them on the facts surrounding vaping.
Edelson does not expect heavy pushback on both bills. The education already has bipartisan support in both the House and Senate and was passed in the House’s education policy committee and is already due for a first Senate hearing in the coming weeks.
Author of the retracted vaping study will fight retraction
Last week, we reported that the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA) recently retracted a study due to several inaccuracies found by various academic and medical researchers. When the study was first released, it equated vaping to heart attacks, a finding that was the main point of contention when various researchers found that many of the subjects were former or current smokers.
In response to the study’s retraction, one of the authors of the study, Stanton Glantz (Ph.D., a University of California San Francisco medical school professor) claims that they dealt with the concern by limiting their data to heart attacks that occurred after 2007 when vaping began in the United States. However, when the JAHA asked Glantz to verify their finding, the researchers claimed they no longer had access to the data.
In a recent blog post, Glantz accused the JAHA of caving “to pressure from e-cig interests.” He went on to accuse the JAHA of not adhering to the usual protocol when journal articles are questioned. He noted in his blog post that he still stands by the study and has threatened to sue the journal.
Senate bill 410 seeks to ban all flavoured vaping products in Maryland
Introduced by Maryland State Sens. Benjamin Kramer, James Rosapepe and Christopher West, bill 410 aims to ban all flavoured vaping products across the state. In addition to this proposed ban, earlier this month, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot banned the sale of disposable e-cigs, closing a loophole in the nationwide ban that exempted disposable products.
According to Senator Kramer, bill 410 would cover “any and all flavoured vaping products.” Kramer went on to add that “there’s a very fine line between menthol and mint flavouring and that line is way too fine.” A state task force has been assigned to e-cigarette regulations and they are expected to release a report and recommendations shortly.
A coalition of 39 states will investigate the marketing and sales of JUUL Labs
In response to the rise in “youth vaping,” a coalition of 39 states will look into the marketing and sales tactics used by JUUL Labs and whether the company made misleading claims about the nicotine content in its devices and whether the company targeted youths.
The multi-state investigation will be led by attorneys general from Connecticut, Florida, Nevada, Oregon and Texas. According to Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, “I will not prejudge where this investigation will lead, but we will follow every fact and are prepared to take strong action in conjunction with states across the nation to protect public health.”
In response to the concerns of government officials and others, JUUL has released a statement saying it has halted television, print, and digital advertising, as well as eliminating most of its flavours.
JUUL applies for a patent for an AI-powered e-cigarette to help users quit nicotine
According to The Logic, JUUL recently applied for a patent regarding a device that would supposedly be powered by artificial intelligence to help users end their dependency to nicotine. The AI technology would work by gradually restricting daily consumption and eventually weaning users off the product.
According to the patent application, the device would work “in communication” with an e-cigarette and would alternate between nicotine and a similar, non-nicotine product, such as citric acid. The patent goes on to describe “machine learning to adjust the delivery of nicotine and/or non-nicotine vaporizable material” based on the user’s behaviour.
The idea for an AI-powered e-cigarette has allegedly been floating around JUUL Labs for some time. In a 2018 interview with TechCrunch, James Monsees, JUUL’s co-founder and chief product officer, stated that the company was planning a smartphone-connected device that would authenticate users and help them quit if they wanted to.