Research done by the University College London has found that smokers could stand to save an average of £780 a year by switching to e-cigarettes. Aside from being endorsed by Public Health England and the NHS as being a safer alternative to smoking, the savings smokers could make is a strong motivating factor. With your average smoker spending in the realm of £1200 a year, vapers on average spend around £417 – a collective saving of approximately £15 a week. Vaping was also found to be the most affordable nicotine replacement over patches and gum.
England’s Chief Medical Officer wants e-cigarette use banned in public spaces so they can only be used in people’s homes. Dame Sally commented that e-cigarettes are “clearly much safer than tobacco smoking and they have become a much-liked way of stopping smoking.” but raised concerns over their safety and lack of long term research. This puts her at odds with the NHS and Public Health England, who have both endorsed vaping as a safer alternative – the key word being safer. While e-cigarettes don’t carry zero risk, banning them in public may force transitioning smokers to go back to cigarettes when they aren’t in the comfort of their own homes.
Research recently released by ASH indicates a drop in the number of teenagers trying e-cigarettes in the UK. There was a slight drop in the number of youths aged 11 – 18 who had vaping, going from 16% in 2018 to 15.4% this year. Unfortunately, there was an increase in the number of teenagers who perceived vaping to be equally as harmful as cigarettes – increasing from 15% in 2015 to 30% in 2019. However, unlike the States only 0.5% of those who had tried e-cigarettes did so because it “looked cool” while the majority had tried one just to know what it was like. This suggests the image associated with vaping in the UK is significantly different amongst the youth in America where they’d dubbed teen vaping as an “epidemic.”
With around 27% of the French population still smoking on a daily basis, France is making changes to reduce this rate by banning smoking in certain public places. The capital has seen smoking being banned in 51 gardens and parks – which collectively make up around 10% of the green space in Paris. Many major cities in France are now also banning smoking on their beaches which will also reduce waste left behind as well as discouraging smoking.
American made vaping giant Juul are planning to open retail stores. With an existing 76% market share in the US, their first stores would be based in Texas – specifically Dallas and Houston. They’d have a strict 21 age restriction as well as limiting the number of kits and pods any one person could purchase – the same policy they employ with their online store. Juul are also considering stores in South Korea as a part of the first roll-out. It’s a first for the online-distributor, while they currently sell throughout convenience stores and dedicated vape shops it would be a new step for the Juul empire.
After last months court case which saw the FDA being sued for their delays in e-cigarette testing, they’ve now released guidelines for manufacturers. The key components are testing e-liquids, battery safety and second hand accidental nicotine exposure. Documents and information released included information regarding pre-market testing and approval, nicotine regulation and a tobacco youth prevention plan.
San Francisco is set to place a blanket ban on the purchase and sale of e-cigarettes, with mayor London Breed needing to sign legislation in the next 10 days. Breed has indicated she will more than likely do so and 7 months to the day after she’s signed the ban will come into full effect. San Francisco would be the first US city to place an outright ban on the sale and purchase of e-cigarettes, making it illegal even to purchase from an out of city online vendor and have it delivered to a home address. It’s likely e-cigarette manufacturers will take the case to court. One of the most likely brands to do so would be Juul who have their headquarters in San Francisco, particularly considering their plans to begin opening retail stores in America.
After considering Tobacco 21 last month, Texas has officially signed Senate Bill 21 to join the ranks of many other states in raising the legal smoking age to 21. The exception is for military personnel who will still be able to purchase e-cigarettes and cigarettes at the Federal government approved age of 18. Texas is another state in a growing list to have increased the legal tobacco age, which includes vaping products, in recent months.
Another state looking to join Tobacco 21 is Ohio. However, anti-nicotine groups including the American Cancer Society are opposing it. While this might seem counter-intuitive, they believe the initiative punishes those with a nicotine dependency rather than retailers selling to underage customers. Many underage tobacco users (of which e-cigarettes are included in this classification) get theirs from the internet, friends and stores with poor age verification. It will also penalise those under the age of 21 who are either already addicted or trying to quit with the use of a vape.
Despite initial concern over the safety of vaping, New Zealand have now changed their stance and are promoting it as a viable option to quit for smokers. Health Minister Jenny Salesa states:
“Many people miss the nicotine when they quit smoking. Vaping can replace this nicotine but without the toxins found in cigarette smoke. The combustion of the chemicals found in cigarette smoke is what causes almost all of the harm from tobacco.” This month saw the release of a new website with information about how smokers can use vaping to their benefit. Maori women in particular were a target for the campaign with 32.5 percent of Maori women being regular smokers compared with the country’s total rate of 13.8 percent.