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October 30th, 2015:

Study Links E-cigarette Use To Problematic Drinking

E-cigarettes are marketed as a “healthy” alternative to traditional cigarettes. However, a new study published in the journal Addictive Behaviors suggests that use of e-cigarettes might be linked to problematic drinking and vice versa.

A team of researchers at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in the U.S. said that it is important to assess and understand the knock-out effects of e-cigarettes during safety analysis than to just look at its direct health impact.

E-cigarettes were originally developed to mimic the effect of traditional cigarettes. Even though it gives its users the same look and feel of smoking a real cigarette, e-cigarette is actually a support device for the users who wish to quit smoking.

The number of e-cigarette users has dramatically increased in the recent past. Due to an increase in the number of users, researchers around the world have been trying to look at its health effects. However, the recent research carried out by the Indianapolis researchers looked at the secondary effects of using an e-cigarette.

During the study, the researchers questioned two groups of 692 and 714 people who drink alcohol. The researchers used a modified version of the Nicotine and Other Substance Interaction Expectancy Questionnaire (NOSIE) to assess whether the subjects were likely to use e-cigarettes and alcohol together.

The researchers found that e-cigarette users were more likely to drink problematically than non-users. In addition, subjects who used e-cigarette and alcohol together were more likely to drink more.

The researchers concluded that people using e-cigarettes might be missing on the benefits of quitting the practice. Smoking cessation takes place in people who drink less alcohol. However, the researchers said that with e-cigarettes, this might never come true.

“By replacing smoking with the e-cigarette use, it could be that you’re at risk of continuing behaviors you don’t want to continue. This is particularly serious for people with alcohol addiction – using e-cigarettes could make it harder to stop drinking,” said lead author Alexandra Hershberger, in a statement.

For big marijuana, Grit win means money in the bank

Those with a stake in cannabis-related companies weren’t just hoping the Liberals would win the federal election, they were banking on it.

Legalized marijuana could be a budding into big business in Canada if the party follows through on its much-publicized campaign pledge, with one analysis projecting a $5 billion market for recreational weed.

The same analysis paints a picture of the path legalization will take, at first mimicking alcohol sales, then becoming subject to potential takeovers by Big Tobacco — a scenario that has long worried critics of Justin Trudeau’s legalization plan.

In a report published the morning after the Liberals cruised to a majority win at the polls, Bay St. investment dealer Dundee Capital Markets valued the current medicinal marijuana market at $80 million, projecting that number to balloon to $1.2 billion by 2024, with the number of licensed patients expected to increase tenfold over the next decade to as many as 450,000 cannabis card-carrying Canadians.

The market projection for recreational weed ranges from $1.5 billion to $5 billion annually.

And the biggest winners on election night, according to the report, were the pot producers already licensed to grow medical cannabis.

Chief among those is Canopy Growth Corp., which operates the Tweed plant in Smiths Falls as part of three properties totalling 500,000 sq. ft. of prime growing space, and the first licensed grower to go public on the stock exchange.

Current Liberal Party of Canada chief financial officer Chuck Rifici is the co-founder and former CEO of the company, and remains its largest shareholder.

The 7.8 million shares Rifici owns in the company netted him a cool $5 million in the days immediately following the election.

A federal Liberal party spokesman said he was not aware of any other high-level Liberal staffers or MPs with an ownership stake in marijuana companies.

A few notable politicians have previously jumped into the pot game shortly after leaving politics.

Former Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman sits on the board of medical marijuana company Thelon Capital, and David Caplan, his successor on the province’s health file, left Queen’s Park to join Nutritional High, a Toronto-based company developing edible cannabis products for the booming U.S. market in states where recreational weed is already legal.

The Dundee report said while the outgoing Conservative government established the current medicinal marijuana network in Canada, the legalization of recreational weed would have been “highly unlikely” had the Conservatives kept power.

But the report could also provide opponents with fodder, predicting Big Tobacco is “the likely candidate to take over large (medicinal marijuana) companies after recreational legalization has been rolled out.”

Dundee believes a “tipping point” could occur if tobacco companies are allowed to distribute marijuana, saying Big Tobacco has a “comparable” business model, the capability to market nationally, growing and manufacturing experience, and the need for new revenue streams.

“It’s no secret that Big Tobacco is hurting,” Salz wrote.

Canopy stock, which had been sluggish since its initial public offering in April 2014, has now been rising steadily since election night.

The report called Canopy “arguably the strongest and most recognizable potential ‘recreational’ brand in the industry,” and noted its “tremendous expansion potential” when advising investors to buy stock.—-Recreational????


But Canopy bested even Dundee’s forecasts, trading around $2.00 on Oct. 19, and peaking at $2.72 by Friday’s closing bell.

“The markets have performed extremely well, even from about a week before the election when it looked like the Liberals were pulling away,” said Salz, with cannabis-related stocks rallying between 20-30% in the days following the election. “The stocks have retained their gains and they’re trading better than they ever have, and there’s a lot more interest in the (marijuana) space ever since this election.”

Salz believes once legalized recreational marijuana becomes a reality — with the firm estimating that day is likely still 18 months to two years away — the markets will rally once again.

“Once you have more of a path towards a framework (of legal marijuana), the impact on these companies will be quite material, and the stocks will trade again on that,” said Salz.

Canopy hasn’t been resting on its laurels, instead following the post-election buzz with a series of announcements. Subsidiary Tweed announced it will sponsor the 2015 High Times Cannabis Cup in Jamaica, another country experiencing sweeping reforms to marijuana laws, and also launched a face-to-face customer service centre for inquiring Canadians. Last week, the company announced a $12.5 million equity deal with Dundee.


When It Comes to E-Cigarettes, U.S. Adults Have Far Less Interest Than Teens

Teens may prefer electronic cigarettes to regular cigarettes, but the same is not true for their parents. A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that 12.6% of U.S. adults have tried an e-cigarette at least once, and 3.7% use them on a regular basis.

That’s far less than the 15.2% of American adults who smoke traditional cigarettes. It’s also well below the 13.4% of high school students who currently use of e-cigarettes.

The new figures, based on data from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey, offer the first comprehensive look at the popularity of electronic cigarettes among U.S. adults. The battery-powered devices vaporize a flavored nicotine solution that can be inhaled like a tobacco cigarette.

Public health experts worry that the largely unregulated devices will get teens hooked on nicotine, increasing the odds that they will become tobacco smokers. But many adults who already smoke have turned to e-cigarettes to wean themselves off regular cigarettes. Some studies offer support for the idea of using e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation device.

The new CDC data reveal that for adults, e-cigarettes are indeed much more popular among current smokers and recent former smokers than among nonsmokers and people who haven’t smoked in years.

Nearly half — 48% — of current smokers told interviewers they had tried an electronic cigarette, and 16% of them continued to use them. Acceptance was even higher among those who quit smoking in the last year: 55% had tried an e-cigarette at least once, and 22% used them regularly, according to the study.

In contrast, only 9% of longtime former smokers had tried electronic cigarettes, and 2.3% still used them. Among people who never smoked traditional cigarettes, 3.2% had tried e-cigarettes and 0.4% used them regularly.

When the researchers focused on current smokers, they found that current use of e-cigarettes was nearly twice as high among those who tried to quit in the last year (20%) than among those who had not made a recent attempt to quit (12%).

The new data also reveal that younger adults were more likely to have tried e-cigarettes than older ones. The highest rate of e-cigarette experimentation — 22% — was seen among people between the ages of 18 and 24. At the other end of the spectrum, fewer than 4% of senior citizens said they had tried vaping.

Few adults in any age group became regular e-cigarette users, the researchers found. Repeated use was reported by 5.1% of 18- to 24-year-olds, 4.7% of 25- to 44-year-olds, 3.5% of 45- to 64-year-olds, and 1.4% of those ages 65 and older.

Men (14%) were more likely than women (11%) to have tried electronic cigarettes, but both genders were about equally likely to keep using them.

White adults (15%) were more likely to have vaped at least once than were Latinos (9%), African Americans (7%) and Asian Americans (6%). However, the highest rate of experimentation (20%) was among the group labeled American Indians and Alaska Natives. A similar pattern was seen among repeat users of e-cigarettes.

Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said the most alarming number in the report was that among the youngest adults who had never smoked a regular cigarette, 9.7% had tried electronic cigarettes.

“This finding raises concerns that e-cigarettes may be introducing a generation of young nonsmokers to nicotine addiction,” he said in a statement.

The study was published Wednesday by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

2nd Florida man burned by E-cig blast

(WBBH) – A Cape Coral, Florida man is recovering from third degree burns after an e-cigarette exploded in his pocket.

It’s the second incident of its kind in recent days.

Earlier this week, a Naples man suffered burns to his face and lungs when his e-cigarette exploded.

“The gentleman who witnessed it said it sounded like three M-80s went off in my pocket,” Randall Cales says.

Cales said when he heard and felt the burning sensation he didn’t realize it was the e-cigarette in his pocket that had exploded.

“I actually thought I was getting shot because of the burn and the sound,” he said.