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Vaping Ban

Vaping Caused So Many Accidents the Navy Decided to Ban It

The men and women serving in the military have stressful jobs, and they all need to find ways to decompress. But if you’re a member of the Navy it looks like one of your recreational activities is off-limits, at least temporarily.

Bad news smokers: the Navy has banned vaping. Vaping on United States military ships and equipment has been problematic enough for concerns to make their way to the top of the naval totem pole. As of May 14, sailors will be banned from vaping on ships, subs, planes, boats, and all other official naval equipment.

The commanders of the U.S. Fleet Forces and U.S. Pacific Fleet provided a statement detailing the justification for the decision, saying, “The Fleet commanders implemented this policy to protect the safety and welfare of Sailors and to protect the ships, submarines, aircraft and equipment.”

If you’re immersed in Navy culture, this has been a topic of great debate for some time. The Naval Safety Center called e-cigarettes a “significant and unacceptable risk” in 2016, following a series of accidents involving the devices, and a memo from the Navy revealed at least 15 incidents —referred to officially as “mishaps”— in a span of eight months. In comparison to other lithium-ion devices, the Naval Safety Center pegged e-cigarettes in a class of their own because of their propensity to explode when dropped.

Some of the incidents are almost too crazy to be believed. In one issue of the Naval magazine Sea Compass, a story was shared of an incident with an e-cigarette that caused the total destruction of a car and first-degree burns on one of the passengers. It concluded with this passage:

This dramatically increases the risk of an explosion and a fire with disastrous consequences. All it takes is for one careless Sailor to mishandle a lithium ion battery, or to buy a cheap battery for their vape, and a statistically rare event can become a reality.

The higher-ups in the Navy looked at incidents like these and decided it was time to take the decision out of the hands of their sailors. They claim the ban will “remain in effect until a final determination can be made following a thorough analysis.”

Sailors will still be allowed to smoke real cigarettes in the designated smoke deck area, so smoking hasn’t been totally eliminated. But if vaping is near and dear to your heart, don’t enlist in the Navy any time soon.

U.S. Navy Bans E-Cigarettes After Multiple Sailors Suffer Serious Burns From Exploding Batteries

The United States Navy has placed an indefinite ban on the use of electronic cigarettes aboard its ships, submarines and aircraft after multiple sailors suffered serious injuries from the device batteries exploding and catching fire.

In a statement Friday, the U.S. Fleet Forces Public Affairs said that the policy had been implemented “to protect the safety and welfare of sailors and to protect the ships, submarines, aircraft and equipment.”

The ban, which will go into effect May 14 and “remain in effect until a final determination can be made following a thorough analysis,” will apply to the use of e-cigarettes by any personnel on Navy craft or equipment.

“This new policy is in response to continued reports of explosions of ENDS [Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems] due to the overheating of lithium-ion batteries,” the statement continued. “Multiple Sailors have suffered serious injuries from these devices, to include first- and second-degree burns and facial disfigurement. In these cases, injuries resulted from battery explosions during ENDS use, charging, replacement, or inadvertent contact with a metal object while transporting.”

A memo from the Navy last September outlined the growing problem of vaping onboard Navy vessels and aircraft. The document stated that there had been 15 “mishaps” between October 2015 and June 2016, resulting in injuries to navy personnel or material damage to equipment.

Of the recent incidents, two required firefighting equipment to be used, with one resulting in an aircraft having to return to base due to smoke in the cargo section of the aircraft. Another ten occurred while the e-cigarette was in the pocket of a Navy sailor, which typically led to their clothing catching fire and first and second-degree burns on their legs and torso. Two further battery explosions happened when the e-cigarette was in the individual’s mouth, leading to facial and dental injuries.

After May 15, sailors will only be allowed to vape on shore in designated smoking areas.

The Navy is far from alone in experiencing problems with e-cigarettes. A man who suffered similar burns when an e-cigarette battery caught fire in his pocket at New York City’s Grand Central Terminal filed a lawsuit this week against the manufacturers of the device.

From 2009 to January 2016, the Food and Drug Administration recorded 134 incidents in the U.S. of e-cigarette batteries catching fire, exploding or overheating. The FDA will host a public workshop on safety concerns surrounding the devices next week.

Cancer Activists Push Bill to Hike Legal Age to Buy Tobacco

Over 100 cancer patients, survivors and their families from across Massachusetts are planning to gather at the Statehouse to press lawmakers to support efforts to protect young people from nicotine addiction.

At the top of the agenda is a bill that would increase the legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.

The legislation would also include e-cigarettes in the smoke-free workplace law and ban the sale of tobacco products in facilities that provide health care, such as pharmacies.

About 95 percent of adults who smoke started by age 21.

More than 140 communities in the Commonwealth have passed regulations raising the purchase age from 18 to 21, including Falmouth, Mashpee, Yarmouth, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham and Provincetown.

The Board of Health in Harwich will hold a public hearing April 11 to discuss a proposed regulation change to increase the legal age to 21. The board could vote on the measure that night.

Wednesday’s visit to Beacon Hill is part of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s annual lobby day.

This year, an estimated 37,000 Massachusetts residents will be diagnosed with cancer. An estimated 12,600 will die from the disease.

Slovenia adopts plain packaging

Congratulations to SFP Coalition Partners No excuse Slovenia and Slovenian Coalition for Public Health, Environment and Tobacco Control for their tireless advocacy to support this legislation in the last year.

On 15 February the Slovenian Parliament adopted the draft law proposed by the government without a single vote against. Plain packaging is expected to enter into force in 2020.

Briefly, the new Slovenian Tobacco law includes:

– Plain packaging (65% coverage with health warnings and quitting information)
– Introduction of license for selling tobacco products,
– Total display and Tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS) ban
– Prohibition of selling tobacco products with aromas and other additives
– Prohibition of smoking in cars with a minor present
– Prohibition of smoking indoors including E-cigarettes
– Mystery shopping/test purchasing by underage,
– Measures of prevention of illicit trade

State’s High Court Rules NYC Tobacco Laws Apply to E-Cigarettes

Vapers will have to follow the same laws as smokers following a ruling by the State Supreme Court.

The court dismissed a lawsuit filed by a smoker’s rights group to overturn the city’s ban on electronic cigarettes in the same places where traditional cigarettes are banned.

The devices do not use tobacco, but instead use a liquid containing nicotine and other ingredients that users inhale as vapor.

Supporters of e-cigarettes say the devices help more smokers away from tobacco, and that the ban will make their lives more difficult.

But anti-smoking activists say e-cigarettes can actually lead young people toward using tobacco.

Total smoking, e-cigarette ban in all public places: HPA

HPA announces law to expand ban on smoking to all bars, nightclubs, cigar lounges, including e-cigarettes

The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) announced today a proposed law to expand the recent ban on smoking in public places to bars, nightclubs, cigar lounges, and this will include e-cigarettes with violators subject to a fine of up to NT$10,000 (US$312).

Under the current regulations, smoking is banned in public places. However, there is an exception to this law for hotels, shopping malls, restaurants and other indoor public spaces that have independent air conditioning systems or rooms that have been partitioned for smoking, as well as cigar lounges and bars after 9 p.m.

Lo Su- ying (羅素英), head of the HPA’s Health Education and Tobacco Control Division, told CNA today that the proposed amendment to the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act to remove smoking rooms will not only apply to bars, nightclubs and cigar lounges, but also electronic cigarettes a will be included, with the devices banned from public areas and not to be sold to those under 18 years of age.

Lo explained that studies have found that designated smoking rooms cannot effectively eliminate the release of second-hand smoke. The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) has found that there is “no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke,” therefore the government plans to require 100 percent smoke-free environments in all indoor workplaces and indoor public places.

As for e-cigarettes, Lo said the draft of the law states electronic devices that release smoke that contain nicotine, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, or other substances harmful to human health are to be banned.

Lo pointed out that e-cigarettes are a growing global health hazard and out of fear that minors will be exposed to such products, these devices will be banned in public places and no one will be allowed to advertise or supply electronic cigarettes to people under the age of 18.

The HPA announced that the draft will have a 60-day preview period during which members from all walks of life of the public can put forth their suggestions to the Executive Yuan and the Legislative Yuan to consider. Once the measure passes, smoking of cigarettes and e-cigarettes will be banned in all public places, and violators will be subject to a fine of up to NT$10,000.

On Jan.1 , a complete ban on smoking at bus stops was instituted for 1,150 waiting areas at 932 bus stops in Taipei City, with violators subject to a maximum fine of NT$10,000 (US$314).

Austrian Families Minister wants smoking ban for under-18s

Austria’s Minister for Families, Sophie Karmasin, wants to ban smoking for young people under the age of 18. Currently, smoking is legal in Austria from the age of 16.

Austria has one of the highest rates of smoking among teenagers and young adults in Europe, with 52 percent of men aged 18 to 28 smoking, and 34 percent of women.

Only Greeks, Bulgarians and Latvians smoke more than Austrians, according to a 2012 Eurobarometer study.

Austria is one of the last countries to allow smoking from the age of 16. Karmasin told the Austria Press Agency that she has already been in talks with Austria’s provincial governors on changing the law as part of the Youth Protection Act.

A survey by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that 27 percent of Austrian 15-year-olds smoke at least once a week, more frequently than any other children in the OECD area – something Karmasin said was “unacceptable”.

She said that a ban on smoking for under-18s would send an important signal, although she didn’t elaborate on what the consequences would be for those who break the law.

Austria is one of the countries in western Europe where cigarettes are cheapest. The country has a deeply entrenched smoking culture, and a general ban on smoking in cafes and restaurants doesn’t come into force until May 2018. Meanwhile, there is a ban on vaping products for people under 18.

Karmasin tried to bring in a smoking ban for under-18s two years ago, but it was shot down by Vice Chancellor and ÖVP head Reinhold Mitterlehner. He said such a measure was “not necessary”. However, Karmasin is optimistic that she can get the backing for a ban this year, and said that the “health argument” trumps all others.

HKU researchers call for total ban on e-cigarettes

Researchers at the University of Hong Kong called for a total ban on the sale of electronic or e-cigarettes on Thursday, warning that they pose a very dangerous health risk, and may entice young children to start smoking.

They interviewed 469 smokers under 25 who had called the university’s smoking cessation hotline, and found children as young as 12 had tried e-cigarettes.

The researchers said e-cigarettes “tend to attract young people much more than adults, and there is actually strong evidence – not from Hong Kong yet, but from other countries – that many non-smoking young people started with e-cigarettes before becoming regular conventional cigarette smokers”.

WHO advises UK to ban vaping in public spaces

The UK, a country renowned for leading the way in endorsing vaping products as smoking cessation tools, and achieving a great outcome as a result, is told by the WHO to reconsider its position instead of being given a well deserved pat on the back.

After Public Health England had released a scientific report which found vaping to be at least 95% safer than smoking, the United Kingdom has been promoting vaping products as healthier alternatives to tobacco cigarettes, and offering them as smoking cessation tools. Since vaping mimics the action of smoking, it has been found that e-cigarettes are the preferred Nicotine Replacement Therapy of smokers.

This has resulted in the UK reporting the lowest numbers of smokers ever recorded, with a recent study finding that 18,000 smokers have given up smoking in the UK thanks to the devices. In line with this Public Health England has issued reports saying that public spaces should have designated vaping spaces, so that vapers are not forced to vape in smoking areas, and their efforts to quit cigarettes are not compromised.

WHO ignores evidence about e-cigarettes

But according to an article published by the Daily Mail, instead of commending the country’s efforts, the World Health Organization has issued an advice to ban the products from public spaces. This plea was issued right before the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, (FCTC), taking place this week in Delhi, India, hence heated discussions related to the matter are to be expected at the convention.

The real concern is that smokers increasingly believe the inaccurate reports that vaping is as dangerous as smoking and are more likely to continue to smoke.
Professor Kevin Fenton, national director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England
Amongst the points mentioned by the WHO was the infamous ‘gateway’ theory on how youths may be lured into vaping with the candy flavoured e-liquids to then end up hooked on Nicotine and eventually start smoking, a theory that has been proven unsound from several studies. Another point was mentioned how certain metals such as chromium found in e-liquid vapor can supposedly cause more harm than the smoke emitted from tobacco cigarettes.

UK to keep proceeding towards harm reduction

In reply to the WHO’s plea, Professor Kevin Fenton, national director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England, said that the PHE will continue to monitor the evidence, adding: “The evidence remains clear, with PHE’s most recent review and the Royal College of Physicians both finding that while not completely risk-free, vaping carries a fraction of the risk of smoking – around 95% less harmful”, and concluded by stating “The real concern is that smokers increasingly believe the inaccurate reports that vaping is as dangerous as smoking and are more likely to continue to smoke.”

Ban e-cigarettes from public places, say world health chiefs

Britain is told to outlaw the increasingly popular vaping devices from schools, hospitals and buses amid health concerns

• The WHO is calling for countries to look at a ban due to ‘passive vaping’
• It has been linked to lung damage, heart complications and stillbirths
• Move echoes call from the BMA, which said e-cigarettes should be banned
• WHO’s stance will be controversial among many, including British medics

Britain is being asked by the world’s leading health watchdogs to consider banning electronic cigarettes from public places.

Countries could ban e-cigarettes from all public places where smoking is not allowed, a World Health Organisation report says.

Such a ban would outlaw the increasingly popular vaping devices from schools, hospitals and public transport in the same way as tobacco.

The WHO is calling on countries to look at this because of the dangers of ‘passive vaping’, which growing evidence has linked to lung damage, heart complications and stillbirth in pregnant women.

The move echoes calls from the BMA, which says e-cigarettes should be banned from pubs and restaurants because of just such dangers. The WHO is also supporting potential cigarette-style health warnings about the chemicals e-cigarettes include and information on the danger of addiction.

Its advice, issued before a major meeting on tobacco control in India next week, is expected to stoke a row between health experts.

There is some evidence linking e-cigarettes to cancer and fears they act as a gateway to smoking tobacco.

But British doctors are already using e-cigarettes to help people quit tobacco, with support from Public Health England, if the devices are licensed, to prescribe them on the NHS.

The WHO’s report sums up the latest scientific evidence ahead of next week’s meeting of 180 countries signed up to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Dr Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva, head of the WHO convention secretariat, said: ‘So far there is a clear understanding that e-cigarettes should be regulated. They should not be promoted among young people and pregnant women and other specific groups. They should not be promoted widely – there should be restrictions and regulations.’

The WHO’s stance will be controversial among those – including British medics – who see e-cigarettes as helpful in getting smokers to quit.

A recent study found around 18,000 people in England last year may have given up cigarettes by vaping, which provides nicotine without the tobacco linked to lung cancer.

But the WHO says this is undermined by the number of young people being ‘recruited’ into nicotine dependency by taking up e-cigarettes. It suggests countries consider banning the flavouring of e-cigarettes whose bubblegum and fruit varieties have raised concerns they may be appealing to children. It also says they should not be sold or advertised to young people.

The WHO also highlights health fears over liquid nicotine vapour. It says metals, including lead, chromium and nickel, have been found in e-cigarettes at higher levels than ordinary cigarettes, while nicotine itself may act as a ‘tumour promoter’ in people with cancer, or cause heart disease.

But Professor Kevin Fenton, national director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England, said it will continue to monitor the evidence.

He added: ‘The evidence remains clear, with PHE’s most recent review and the Royal College of Physicians both finding that while not completely risk-free, vaping carries a fraction of the risk of smoking – around 95% less harmful.

‘The real concern is that smokers increasingly believe the inaccurate reports that vaping is as dangerous as smoking and are more likely to continue to smoke.’