A new US bill will tax e-cigarettes to pay for anti-vaping campaigns

Known as the “Providing Resources to End the Vaping Epidemic Now for Teenagers (Prevent) Act,” this new bill aims to curb the “rise” in youth vaping by providing youth education about the dangers of e-cigarette use through the use of vital resources that can be used by students, parents and school personnel. 

Introduced by Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) and Pete King (R-N.Y.), this legislation would require e-cigarette companies to foot the bill, instead of the taxpayers or consumers. According to the lawmakers, the estimated fees imposed on manufacturers and importers would amount to approximately $200 million. These funds would then be directed to the CDC and FDA to create anti-vaping educational programs.  

The measure would require school prevention programs to train their own personnel to properly identify and prevent youth vaping. The training would also instruct personnel on how to conduct social media and marketing campaigns to educate students on the health risks of e-cigarettes and to treat addicting nicotine addictions.  

*https://www.vapingpost.com/2020/01/22/new-us-bill-taxes-e-cigs-to-pay-for-anti-vaping-campaigns/*

University of Toronto researchers receive over $4 million to curb vaping and smoking 

The Federal government will invest over $4 million in two University of Toronto-led projects that would aim to curb “old and new nicotine problems.” 

The first of these projects will focus on higher-than-average smoking rates in the LGBTQ community, and will receive $2.8 million. The second project aims to curb youth vaping, as well as vaping among young adults. The second project will receive $1.3 million over three years. 

According to Robert Schwartz, a professor at U of T’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health and a senior scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, vaping has undone the years of progress towards getting people to quit nicotine. Schwartz went on to say “in 2020, we’re dealing with what appears to be a whole new generation of young people who have become addicted to nicotine.”

*https://www.utoronto.ca/news/u-t-researchers-receive-4-million-federal-funding-help-curb-smoking-vaping*

Trump expresses regret over his involvement in e-cigarette policies 

In a recent impromptu Oval Office phone call with Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, President Trump stated: “I should never have done that f—ing vaping thing.” This was later confirmed by two sources who claimed the call was made over speakerphone. 

According to the sources, this call was made in regards to health care as a 2020 issue and the ongoing youth vaping “crisis.” During the call, while Trump was expressing his regret over vaping policies, Azar was defending the vaping policy. While Trump did not condemn the flavour ban, he did express regret in his personal involvement in the vaping policy.  

*https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-regrets-vaping-policy-vape-ban-personally-involved-azar-2020-1*

U.K. vaping researchers push back against WHO warnings and criticisms 

Earlier this week, the World Health Organization released new warnings about vaping which expressed reservations about the value of e-cigarettes and grave concerns over the risks they pose. According to the WHO, “there is no doubt” that these products “are harmful to health and are not safe, but it is too early to provide a clear answer on the long-term impact of using them or being exposed to them.” The WHO also suggested “there is not enough evidence to support the use of these products for smoking cessation,” and urged smokers to disregard vaping when trying to quit and to instead utilize nicotine patches or gum, or other tools such as hotlines or counsellors.

In response to these statements, several U.K-based health groups have responded negatively and have criticized the WHO for its outdated stance on vaping. According to Peter Hajek, director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London, “The WHO has a history of anti-vaping activism that is damaging their reputation. This document is particularly malign.” 

Hajek went on to state “There is no evidence that vaping is ‘highly addictive… Less than 1% of non-smokers become regular vapers. Vaping does not lead young people to smoking—smoking among young people is at [an] all-time low. … There is clear evidence that e-cigarettes help smokers quit.”  

*https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/01/who-warning-vaping-draws-harsh-response-uk-researchers*

A major vaping study rejects youth vaping epidemic

In an annual study, conducted by the University of Auckland and Action for Smokefree 2025, almost 30,000 Year 10 students (aged 14 to 15) were surveyed about the use of e-cigarettes and/or vapes. 

In the study, only 3.1% of Year 10 students admitted to vaping daily, while 37.3% have tried an e-cigarette, even just a puff, up from 20.8 percent in 2014. Furthermore, over 95% of who smoked daily had tried vaping, compared to the 25% who never smoked tobacco.   

According to Dr. Natalie Walker, an associate professor from the University of Auckland and the lead author of the study, these findings are in line with other youth vaping surveys and “do not support the idea of a so-called youth vaping epidemic in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

Walker went on to state that “despite increases in experimentation, it is encouraging that daily use remains low, especially for non-smokers.” Ultimately, this survey shows that despite what some anti-vaping pundits may claim, young people are not frequently vaping, and the majority of vapers are generally former/current smokers. 

*https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/407958/smoking-study-rejects-so-called-youth-vaping-epidemic*

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