Clear The Air News Tobacco Blog Rotating Header Image

E-cigarettes

Towards a smoke-free world? Philip Morris International’s new Foundation is not credible

Download (PDF, 256KB)

Tobacco control: a Foundation too far?

Download (PDF, 44KB)

Commentary on the launch of the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World

September 2017 saw the launch of the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, which describes itself as “an independent, non-profit organization created to accelerate global efforts to reduce health impacts and deaths from smoking, with the goal of ultimately eliminating smoking worldwide”.

http://blogs.bmj.com/tc/2017/10/13/commentary-on-the-launch-of-the-foundation-for-a-smoke-free-world/

The creation of such an organization would usually be a matter for celebration among the tobacco control community and especially for the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the United Nations tobacco control treaty, whose Secretariat I lead.

And yet this is not good news. The Foundation is currently 100% funded by Philip Morris International (PMI). The company has already pledged around US$1 billion for the period of 12 years or around US$80 million a year. To put that in context, this is more than eight times greater than the entire WHO FCTC annual budget.

The Foundation claims that its funding source doesn’t matter, since its bylaws prohibit tobacco industry interference, and safeguard against conflicts of interest, thereby guaranteeing its independence. We are asked to believe that this industry-funded organization will simply ignore the commercial interests of its paymaster. We are asked to believe this where the organization is established to work on specific issues of interest to PMI, where that work may promote other products that contain nicotine and have the ability to sustain addiction, and where the paymaster can decide not to continue funding the organization from one year to another. How can masters of this Foundation that claim to be independent be unaware of PMI’s lobbying strategies, and ensure that their Foundation is not inadvertently supporting bad public health policy?

The establishment of the Foundation ties into a broader PMI strategy to ensure that there is little or no regulation on new tobacco products PMI is producing. It also fits into the tobacco industry’s corporate social responsibility schemes. Such projects are designed to mislead or confuse public opinion. They are the anti-truth.

How do we know? Reams of research and legal documents on tobacco industry behaviour confirm that the Foundation’s public statements fit seamlessly into the tobacco industry’s strategy, which is to sell new products while continuing to sell cigarettes. Over decades, tobacco industry dollars have funded influence buying, covert activities and scientific misrepresentation. Industry money has never advanced the cause of public health, as is made clear in excruciating detail by the millions of tobacco industry documents. These reveal, for example, that firms have “sought to influence debate by buying up scientists on a spectacular scale.”

PMI recently rejected an appeal from 120 Organisations asking it to halt the production of cigarettes. To make it plain, if the company were serious about making the world smoke-free they should immediately stop fighting, in several countries, tobacco control measures to implement the Framework Convention.

This Foundation fits within a broader strategy of PMI attempting to present itself as a “stakeholder” in tobacco control. Some examples of these initiatives include PMI Impact,which claims to counter the illicit trade in tobacco products but in fact serves to slow and disrupt the entry into force of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products. Another tobacco industry initiative, which PMI co-funds, is the Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing Foundation (ECLT). With little impact on reducing child labour on tobacco in low and middle income countries, this Foundation detracts from implementation of Article 17 of the WHO FCTC, which calls upon governments to support tobacco workers and growers to switch to alternative sustainable livelihoods.

Taken as a whole, the tobacco industry’s corporate social responsibility programmes are an abomination, which seek to give the impression of action on important issues, while boosting its own profits and hiding its own role in creating problems.

Parties to the WHO FCTC have pledged, through Article 5.3 of the treaty, to resist tobacco industry interference. In a 2016 ruling against the tobacco industry, a senior English judge accurately summarised this key Article and its Guidelines : “[T]he tobacco industry should be treated as having adopted a deliberate policy of subverting public health policy through, inter alia, the deployment of its substantial capital and organisational resources to generate evidence designed to contradict the established policy consensus… that this evidence is unreliable, i.e. false.”

WHO FCTC Parties should therefore adopt legislation or rules to implement Article 5.3 and ensure they do not promote, participate in or endorse tobacco industry involvement, directly or through these “foundations”, in initiatives related to tobacco control. No government and no reputable academic, research or public health organisation should partner with PMI’s new foundation.

It is already clear that this tobacco industry-funded Foundation fits a long-established and sinister pattern of corporate chicanery. The industry’s aim, after all, is not to help its customers but to profit from them.

The tobacco industry’s new “partnerships” with supposedly independent organizations do constitute a serious threat, but we have a response to hand.

It’s called the WHO FCTC, and it’s the true foundation for a smoke-free world.

Dr Da Costa e Silva is the Head of the WHO FCTC Secretariat.

Public smoking in Santa Monica

Yuri was visiting Santa Monica recently and took a stroll down the Third Street Promenade. He paused for a moment to light up a cigarette, and exhaled a plume of smoke.

http://smdp.com/public-smoking-in-santa-monica/162863

Yuri was startled when another pedestrian tapped him on the shoulder and pointed at a nearby “No Smoking” sign.

He hastily put out his cigarette and carried the butt to a nearby trash can.

Yuri was surprised that he couldn’t smoke outside, but he wanted to obey the law and avoid bothering other visitors.
Yuri had just gotten a crash course in Santa Monica’s smoking law.

Santa Monica has long been on the forefront of protecting residents and visitors from secondhand smoke. Twenty years ago it was the first city to prosecute bars for allowing patrons to smoke.

Now, both smoking and vaping (e-cigarettes) are prohibited not only on the Third Street Promenade, but in most public places:

parks

beaches

the Santa Monica Pier

outdoor dining areas

farmer’s markets

Outdoor Service Areas (bus stops, ATMs, and anywhere else people wait for services)

It’s also unlawful to smoke or vape within 20 feet of doors or open windows of buildings that are open to the public. (This includes all businesses and basically all places other than private residences.)

Smoking in these public areas is a criminal infraction, punishable by a $100 base fine plus penalties for the first offense; $200 base fine for the second offense within one year; and $500 base fine for all subsequent violations within one year.

Santa Monica also prohibits smoking in common areas of all multi-unit housing (both apartments and condos), and inside units for all residents who moved in after November 22, 2012.

While marijuana is now legal in California, it’s still unlawful to smoke it in public, or anywhere else that tobacco is prohibited.

Smoking marijuana in public is punishable by a $100 base fine, or a $250 base fine if it’s a place where tobacco smoking is forbidden.

There are additional penalties for smoking pot within 1,000 feet of schools, daycare centers and youth centers while children are present, unless it’s in a private residence.

So where is it OK to smoke? There are still plenty of areas where smoking is allowed. These include sidewalks and other public places where it isn’t expressly prohibited – so long as it’s not within 20 feet of doors or open windows.

It’s also allowed in single-family homes, and inside apartments or condos that were occupied before November 22, 2012 (unless the unit was designated as non-smoking).

If you have questions or need information about smoking laws in Santa Monica, please call the City Attorney’s Office at (310) 458-8336 or visit smconsumer.org.

The Consumer Protection Division of the City Attorney’s Office enforces the law and educates the public about tenants’ rights, fair housing, consumer protection and other issues. They can be reached at 310-458-8336 or smconsumer.org.

Ban on vaping proposed

Download (PDF, 40KB)

Global tobacco giant Philip Morris commits to a ‘smoke-free’ future in Australia

TOBACCO giant Philip Morris will on Thursday commit to a “smoke-free” Australia in a push to legalise reduced-risk alternatives to replace cigarettes.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/global-tobacco-giant-philip-morris-commits-to-a-smokefree-future-in-australia/news-story/110c8a659e56980e5b6aa16c9c9fe19c

The company will tell a federal parliamentary inquiry on electronic cigarettes that technology has rapidly transformed its business away from cigarettes in favour of smoke-free alternatives.

E-cigarettes containing nicotine are not regulated as therapeutic goods in Australia and cannot be legally imported for personal use.

Australian medicines regulator the Therapeutic Goods Administration does not support the use of electronic cigarettes.

Philip Morris scientific affairs fellow Maurice Smith said every level of the global company was committed to “transitioning away” from cigarettes “as soon as possible” — a process it has already begun in 30 countries.

Mr Smith will tell the hearing in Melbourne that more than three million smokers worldwide — and more than 8000 smokers a day — had switched to Philip Morris’s IQOS, which heats tobacco rather than burning it.

He said the rapid consumer acceptance had made it possible for cigarette smoking to become obsolete.

The product has already captured 10 per cent of its worldwide market.

“Ironically, although many share our vision of a smoke-free Australia, the law in Australia, unique in the world, requires that all tobacco products must be smoked,” Mr Smith said.

While the Council of Australia has conceded e-cigarettes are “probably less harmful to health” than traditional cigarettes, it says and the short- and long-term health effects are not yet known.

It says claims e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking are “unsubstantiated” and unfair to consumers.

Chairman of the parliamentary Standing Committee for Health, Aged Care and Sport Trent Zimmerman, said it was important for politicians to query the implications of the growing body of research on the health impacts of e-cigarettes.

Phillip Morris has pledged $US80 million a year until 2030 to develop alternative measures to reduce the harm caused by smoking.

The research is headed by former World Health Organisation cabinet director, Dr Derek Yach.

rob.harris@news.com.au

Investors Demand Action from Hollywood on Smoking in Youth-Rated Films

Download (PDF, 40KB)

FDA Trouble Ahead For Vaporizer Stocks?

Download (PDF, 148KB)

Scientist explains how nicotine in just one e-cigarette can cause changes to the heart

Electronic cigarettes have become popular over the last couple of years as devices that help smokers quit smoking. Also called e-cigarettes, vapourisers or simply vapes, the nifty gadgets do not contain tobacco, which is known to release several carcinogenic compounds upon combustion. However, e-cigarettes do contain nicotine, which, several doctors and public health specialists fear is equally detrimental to health.

https://scroll.in/pulse/852074/video-scientist-explains-how-nicotine-in-just-one-e-cigarette-can-cause-changes-to-the-heart

Many such experts wants e-cigarettes banned or strictly regulated because they fear the devices could draw teenagers and non-smokers into smoking.

In fact, a new study from the University of California, Los Angeles has found that nicotine in e-cigarettes can produce significant physiological changes. They showed that healthy non-smokers experienced elevated adrenaline levels after using just one e-cigarette.

The researchers had previously shown that chronic e-cigarette users have increased sympathetic nerve activity, which increases adrenaline directed to the heart and are more susceptible to oxidative stress. These are risks factors for heart attack.

The new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association aimed to find out whether these cardiac risk factors were caused by nicotine or something else associated with e-cigarette use.

Here Dr Holly R Middlekauff, senior study author and professor of cardiology and physiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, explains why even though e-cigarettes may help smokers quit tobacco, they can be harmful if used for prolonged periods of time.

E-Cigarettes Increase Vital Signs and Arterial Stiffness

By HospiMedica International staff writers

https://www.hospimedica.com/critical-care/articles/294770869/e-cigarettes-increase-vital-signs-and-arterial-stiffness.html

Significant increases in blood pressure (BP), heart rate, and arterial stiffness are seen in the first 30 minutes after smoking electronic-cigarettes containing nicotine, according to a new study.

Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet (KI; Solna, Sweden) recruited 15 young, healthy volunteers (average age 26, 59% female) who were seldom smokers–smoking a maximum of ten cigarettes a month–and who had not used e-cigarettes before the study. Study participants were randomized to use e-cigarettes with nicotine for 30 minutes on one of the study days, and e-cigarettes without nicotine on the other day. The researchers measured BP, heart rate, and arterial stiffness immediately after smoking the e-cigarettes, and then two and four hours later.

The results showed that in the first 30 minutes after smoking e-cigarettes containing nicotine, there was a significant increase in BP, heart rate, and arterial stiffness; no such effect was seen on heart rate and arterial stiffness in the volunteers who had smoked e-cigarettes without nicotine. Importantly, arterial stiffness increased around three-fold in those who were exposed to nicotine containing e-cigarettes. The study was presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress, held during September 2017 in Milan (Italy).

“The immediate increase in arterial stiffness that we saw is most likely attributed to nicotine; the increase was temporary. However, the same temporary effects on arterial stiffness have also been demonstrated following use of conventional cigarettes,” said senior author and study presenter Magnus Lundbäck, MD, PhD. “Therefore, we speculate that chronic exposure to e-cigarettes with nicotine may cause permanent effects on arterial stiffness in the long term.”

“The marketing campaigns of the e-cigarette industry target current cigarette smokers and offer a product for smoking cessation. However, several studies question the e-cigarette as a means of smoking cessation, and there is a high risk of double use, where people use both e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes,” concluded Dr. Lundbäck. “Furthermore, the e-cigarette industry also targets non-smokers with designs and flavors that appeal to a large crowd, even the very young, and that carry the risk of a lifelong nicotine addiction.”

Electronic cigarettes consist of a cartridge containing a liquid with a nicotine concentration of 11mg/ml and a battery powered heating element that evaporates the liquid, simulating the effect of smoking by producing an inhaled vapor that is less toxic than that of regular cigarettes. They were first developed by Herbert Gilbert in 1963, but the dawn of the modern e-cigarette is attributed to Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik, who introduced them as a smoking cessation device in 2004.