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April Roundup

May 17, 2018
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Happy Vapril everyone! And a happy Vapril it was, with Switzerland finally legalising e-cigarettes! Meanwhile, UK Pharmacy Minister ponders the benefits of promoting e-cigarettes as a smoking alternative on cigarette packs and the prestigious Duke University in the US bans smoking – but not vaping – on campus!

 

Happy days in Switzerland! Switzerland’s Federal Administrative Court (FAC) has finally overturned the ban on the sale of electronic smoking products that nicotine. The decision was a direct response to an appeal on the ban imposed by the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office. E-cigarettes are legally sold elsewhere in the European Union.

“The FAC’s decision on Tuesday authorizes with immediate effect the import and sale of flacons of liquid with nicotine for e-cigarettes,” said Judith Deflorin of Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office.

 

With current research all pointing towards e-cigarettes being significantly healthier alternartive to traditional cigarettes, the government had already been making moves towards authorizing electronic products that contain nicotine. According to polls, 0.7% of Swiss nationals used e-cigarettes or vaping products in 2016 – a small jump from 0.4% in 2013. We’re sure to see that number climb significantly now that e-cigarettes have been legalised.

 

Back in the UK, British Pharmacy Minister Steve Brine has suggested he is seriously considering the suggestion that cigarette packets may be a great place to market e-cigarettes as a less risky alternative.

 

The proposal was made by MP Stephen Metcalfe at a House of Commons Science and Technology Committee hearing on e-cigarettes.

Under current law, it is not allowed to place promotional material on cigarettes packets but Brine mused it was something worth looking into. It would be a “no brainer”, said Brine, to place the e-cigarette marketing on cigarette packs to promote them as an alternative to smoking and a means by which to quit.

 

During the hearing, Committee chair Norman Lamb also stated that despite smoking being the biggest cause for dimished life expectancy for people with mental health issues, it’s been demonstrated that only one third of NHS mental health trusts had banned e-cigarettes. pointed out that despite smoking being the single biggest cause of inequality of life.

“To get smoke-free, it’s about trusts ending the culture around smoking — cigarette smoking is seen as a reward where individuals will interact in a way they wouldn’t otherwise,” said Brine.

 

Over the pond, Duke University in North Caroline adopts a new policy to go smoke free on campus! As part of their commitment to “The Healthy Duke Initiative” which promotes a healthy environment for living and working, their entire grounds and properties will be entirely smoke free by the start of July 2020.

 

The policy’s focus is on the prohibition of all tobacco products which includes cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos and hookahs. But – hurrah – it will not prohibit “non-combustible” forms of smoking such as e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco or any nicotine therapy products. After long engagement with students, faculty and staff of the establishment, the decision was made that Duke University would benefit from going entirely smoke free! And in addition to banning smoking anywhere on site, the stores on campus will not be selling any more tobacco products as soon as July of this year.

 

Duke University is not the first college or university to adopt a smoke-free policy will be joining many other colleges and universities across the world. With research suggesting nearly two thirds of smokers will die from a smoking-related illness, it seems crazy to ever have allowed it in academic environments to begin with. Anything that makes smoking harder to do can only be considered a positive thing and making it more of a challenge to smoke (i.e. walking 15 minutes outside of campus) may not cause people to quit altogether but it will certainly cause them to cut down in any case!

 

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