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November 19th, 2015:

Electronic Cigarette Use and Respiratory Symptoms in Chinese Adolescents in Hong Kong

This study investigates the association between e-cigarette use and respiratory systems in Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong.

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are increasingly used, but their health effects remain unclear. The primary ingredients of e-cigarette liquid, propylene glycol and flavoring chemicals (eg, diacetyl or diketone), are respiratory irritants and harmful to the lungs.1 Well-documented respiratory toxicants, such as particulate matters, volatile organic compounds, and metals, were found in e-cigarette aerosol, although in lower concentrations than conventional cigarettes.2 Short-term adverse effects of airway resistance and inflammation have been observed in adults, but null associations were also reported.3 Children are particularly vulnerable to respiratory pollutants, yet, to our knowledge, no study has evaluated the respiratory effects of e-cigarettes in children. We assessed the association between e-cigarette use and respiratory symptoms in Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong.


E-cigarette explosions prompt three lawsuits in California


Vicente Garza was getting ready for bed in his Bakersfield home when he decided to use an electronic cigarette.

He lifted the device to his mouth, pushed the vapor button and started to inhale. Then it exploded near his face, badly burning his mouth and dominant left hand, which was holding the device. Doctors amputated Garza’s left index finger, and he had to undergo immediate surgery on his tongue after the Oct. 16 incident. He still can barely eat.

Garza’s attorney, Gregory L. Bentley, said Thursday that he had filed a product liability lawsuit against the e-cigarette’s manufacturer and designer, Flawless Vapes & Supplies, LLC; the Bakersfield store where Garza bought the battery and device, Luxor Cafe & Vape Lounge; and the Bakersfield store where he bought his e-cigarette charger, Vape Fame.

“I never in my life thought that something like this would happen,” Garza, 23, said at a Glendale news conference Thursday.

Garza’s is one of three e-cigarette explosion lawsuits filed by Bentley this week in Kern and Orange counties.

“E-cigarette explosions are becoming all too common as this industry is taking off,” Bentley said. “Consumers have the right to expect that products have been properly designed, manufactured and tested for safety before they are put into the marketplace.”

The suits allege the e-cigarettes and their components, including lithium ion batteries and chargers, were unsafe and that the businesses in the supply chains failed to properly warn of the defects.

Employees at Luxor Cafe & Vape Lounge and Vape Fame said they were unaware of Garza’s lawsuit. Other defendants in his and the other suits could not be reached for comment.

E-cigarettes constitute a multibillion-dollar industry, with millions of users, according to a 2014 report on e-cigarette fires and explosions by the U.S. Fire Administration. The report said e-cigarettes use lithium ion batteries that include flammable liquid electrolytes that can explode when they overheat, such as when they receive too much voltage while charging.

Despite huge sales, the fledgling industry is largely unregulated, with few safeguards for consumer protection, Bentley said.

In September, a Riverside County Superior Court jury awarded a client of Bentley’s, Jennifer Ries, nearly $1.9 million after she sued the distributor, wholesaler and store where she bought vaping devices that exploded. She was badly burned after a charging e-cigarette battery caught fire in her car. Bentley said that was the first e-cigarette explosion lawsuit to be tried in the country and that his phone has since been ringing nonstop with similar cases.

Bentley this week filed a suit in Kern County on behalf of Bakersfield resident Gregory Phillips, Jr., whose leg was burned in September when an e-cigarette battery exploded in his pocket. He required skin grafts. Phillips is suing the device’s seller, Bakersfield store Cigarette World 4.

Bentley also filed suit this week in Orange County Superior Court on behalf of retired former Los Angeles Galaxy soccer player Daniel Califf. In February, Califf was using an e-cigarette when it exploded near his face, blasting a large hole in his cheek. It gave him a concussion and set the room on fire, the suit alleges. Califf is suing the distributor of one of the device’s components, Washington-based UVAPER Inc., and the seller, Newport Beach-based 32nd Street Vapors, which closed but is now doing business as R&D Creations, according to the attorney

Health group sues e-cigarette makers

An environmental group on Thursday announced it has filed lawsuits in California against 15 leading tobacco and electronic cigarette companies for manufacturing products that allegedly contain high levels of cancer-causing chemicals.

The companies being sued by the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) include R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company for its Vuse brand, Fontem Ventures/Imperial Tobacco for its Blu brand, and NJoy. CEH said it conducted independent tests and found dangerous levels of formaldehyde and acetaldehyde in products purchased between February and October. The chemicals have been linked to cancer, birth defects and infertility.

Under California’s strong Proposition 65 consumer protection law, companies must warn consumers when their products expose users to chemicals that can cause cancer and/or birth defects.
CEH said that when companies are forced to change their products to meet California laws, the changes benefit consumers nationwide.

The group said it’s also initiated legal action against four e-cigarette companies, including Logic, a division of Japan Tobacco, and Fin, a division of Electronic Cigarettes International. Prop 65 requires companies be given a 60-day notice before filing suit.

Tobacco Tactics – Plain Packaging Opposition in Ireland

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Tobacco Tactics – FCTC Compliance in Africa

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Tobacco Tactics – International Tax and Investment Center

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The smoke-free legislation in Hong Kong: its impact on mortality



To examine trends in deaths for conditions associated with secondhand smoke exposure over the years prior to and following the implementation of a smoke-free policy in Hong Kong.


Time-series study.


Death registration data from Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government Census and Statistics Department.


All deaths registered from 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2011.

Main outcome measures

Deaths for conditions associated with passive smoking include cardiovascular disease (CVD), respiratory disease and other causes.


There was a decline in the annual proportional change for ischaemic heart disease (IHD), acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and CVD mortality in the year after the intervention for all ages and those aged 65 years or older. There were also clear declines in the cool season peaks for these three conditions in the first postintervention year. There was a further drop in the cool season peak for AMI among all ages in the year after the exemptions ceased. No declines in annual proportional change or changes in seasonal peaks of mortality were found for any of the control conditions.


The findings in this study add to the evidence base, as summarised in the Surgeon General’s report, extending the impact of effective smoke-free legislation to those aged 65 years or older and to cerebrovascular events in younger age groups. They also reinforced the need for comprehensive, enforced and effective smoke-free laws if the full extent of the health gains are to be achieved.