ACOSH Advocacy in Action - 14 November

Welcome to the latest edition of the ACOSH Advocacy in Action e-bulletin for 2019. We aim to provide topical information on advocacy for tobacco control in Western Australia, Nationally and around the world. Please forward to others who may be interested. Thank you for your support.

The work of ACOSH is generously supported by Healthway and Lotterywest.


2019 Dr Bob Elphick Medal Presentation

The 2019 Dr Bob Elphick Medal presentation will be held on Friday, 6 December 2019, 7:30 am at the Matilda Bay Restaurant.

The medal commemorates the exceptional achievements of former ACOSH President, Dr Bob Elphick, and is awarded annually to a person or organisation that has made an outstanding contribution to tobacco control in Western Australia or Nationally.

Please save the date and RSVP (with any dietary requirements) to Lucy Scott at


Outbreak of Lung Injury Associated with the Use of E-Cigarette, or Vaping, Products – US CDC

Updated November 8, 2019

CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state and local health departments, and other clinical and public health partners are investigating a multistate outbreak of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI).

What is new

“Recent CDC laboratory testing of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid samples (or samples of fluid collected from the lungs) from 29 patients with EVALI submitted to CDC from 10 states found vitamin E acetate in all of the BAL fluid samples.  Vitamin E acetate is used as an additive in the production of e-cigarette, or vaping, products. This is the first time that we have detected a potential chemical of concern in biologic samples from patients with these lung injuries.

What we don’t know

“No one compound or ingredient has emerged as the cause of these illnesses to date; and it may be that there is more than one cause of this outbreak. Many different substances and product sources are still under investigation.

While it appears that vitamin E acetate is associated with EVALI, evidence is not yet sufficient to rule out contribution of other chemicals of concern to EVALI.”

About the Outbreak:

“As of November 5, 2019, 2,051* cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) have been reported to CDC from 49 states (all except Alaska), the District of Columbia, and 1 U.S. territory.

Thirty-nine deaths have been confirmed in 24 states and the District of Columbia (as of November 5, 2019).

Latest outbreak information is updated every Thursday.”




Life-threatening lung inflammation linked to vaping nicotine e-cigs in 16-year-old in England

“Despite the continuing happy talk coming out of our colleagues in England that the epidemic of serious lung illness in e-cigarette users is a US-phenomenon, BMJ’s  Archives of Disease in Childhood just published a case report, “Life-threatening hypersensitivity pneumonitis secondary to e-cigarettes.”   The youth used nicotine e-cigarettes,” said Professor Stanton Glantz, UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.


Guidance for public officials on interacting with the tobacco industry

This document is for public officials who interact with the tobacco industry. It contains the legal framework placed on public agencies and officials under Article 5.3 of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

“Excellent Guidance for public officials on interacting with the tobacco industry that kills over 20,000 Australians ever year!” said Maurice Swanson, Chief Executive, Australian Council on Smoking and Health.



‘Win for lobbyists’: number of sponsored passes for parliament doubles in seven years

“The number of lobbyists with unfettered access to the halls of Parliament House to see politicians, staffers and journalists under the sponsored passholder scheme has nearly doubled in the last seven years, Guardian Australia has learned.”

Maurice Swanson, Chief Executive, Australian Council on Smoking and Health, expressed his concern about the increase in the number of lobbyists operating across the Federal parliament.

“Big Tobacco, Big Alcohol and Big Gambling would be loving this outcome – it gives them direct access to policymakers,” said Mr Swanson.



Naomi Oreskes: ‘Discrediting science is a political strategy’

“In her new book Why Trust Science? Naomi Oreskes, professor of the history of science at Harvard University, argues that if more people heard scientists talk personally about their values, it would help turn back the creeping tide of anti-science sentiment. The former geologist recently gave evidence both to a US House of Representatives subcommittee hearing, “Examining the Oil Industry’s Efforts to Suppress the Truth about Climate Change”, and a Senate Democrats special committee hearing looking at “Dark Money and Barriers to Climate Action”.”


Abrupt versus gradual smoking cessation

“A Cochrane review has been conducted assessing the effects of reduction-to-quit interventions on long-term smoking cessation. There was moderate-certainty evidence that neither reduction-to-quit, nor abrupt quitting interventions resulted in a superior long-term quit rate when compared with one another. People who cut down their smoking while using varenicline or nicotine replacement therapy may be more likely to quit than people who cut down without using medicine. Face-to-face support while cutting down smoking may help more people quit than if they are given self-help materials.” – Tobacco in Australia Facts & Issues


Cardiovascular risk of electronic cigarettes: a review of preclinical and clinical studies

Key points
· E-cigarette use has increased dramatically in the past decade, particularly among teens and young adults.· The general public perception is that e-cigarettes are harm-free and safer alternatives to traditional tobacco cigarettes.

· In contrast, there is growing evidence that e-cigarettes and their aerosol constituents, nicotine, carbonyl compounds, particulate matter, metals, and flavourings, can have adverse effects on the cardiovascular system.

· While there is paucity of data, recent studies have also suggested that e-cigarette use is associated with inflammation, oxidative stress, and haemodynamic imbalance leading to increased cardiovascular diseases risk.

· Additional experimental and clinical studies investigating acute and chronic use of e-cigarettes are needed to establish their cardiovascular safety profile and their potential as a smoking cessation aid.”



More than half of teens who vape use Juul and its mint pods are No. 1 flavor in high school, new studies show

“More than half of teenagers who vape use Juul e-cigarettes, and its mint pods are the No. 1 flavor favored by high school kids, according to two new studies published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The studies come amid a spike in teen use of e-cigarettes that’s prompted the Trump administration to draft new rules temporarily removing all flavored e-cigarettes from the market until the Food and Drug Administration, which helped fund the studies, can review their safety.”

See also
e-Cigarette Use Among Youth in the United States, 2019 – JAMA Network

Flavors of e-Cigarettes Used by Youths in the United States – JAMA Network



Pathology of Vaping-Associated Lung Injury – NEJM

“We reviewed lung biopsies from 17 patients (13 men; median age, 35 years [range, 19–67]), all of whom had a history of vaping (71% with marijuana or cannabis oils) and were clinically suspected to have vaping-associated lung injury.

“… In all cases, histopathological findings showed patterns of acute lung injury, including acute fibrinous pneumonitis, diffuse alveolar damage, or organizing pneumonia, usually bronchiolocentric and accompanied by bronchiolitis.

“… Although it is difficult to discount the potential role of lipid, we believe that the histologic changes instead suggest that vaping-associated lung injury represents a form of airway-centered chemical pneumonitis from one or more inhaled toxic substances rather than exogenous lipoid pneumonia as such, but the agents responsible remain unknown.”



Works by eminent psychologist who doubted smoking caused cancer are “unsafe,” finds inquiry

“The work of one of the most famous and influential British psychologists of all time, Hans Eysenck, is under a cloud following an investigation by King’s College London, which has found 26 of his published papers “unsafe”.

King’s says the results and conclusions of the papers “were not considered scientifically rigorous” by its committee of inquiry. Prof Sir Robert Lechler, the provost at King’s, has contacted the editors of the 11 journals where the papers appeared, recommending they should be retracted.

Eysenck, who died in 1997, published prolifically and wrote many well-known books, holding controversial views on a number of subjects, including race and IQ. The investigation centred on research that claimed personality played a bigger part in people’s chances of dying from cancer or heart disease than smoking.”



Public health advocates cheer House’s proposed flavored tobacco ban, despite warnings about black market sales

“BOSTON — Public health advocates on Tuesday cheered the emergence of a House bill that would ban the sale of flavored tobacco products and tax e-cigarettes, despite warnings by some with ties to the industry that a ban could lead to a larger black market.

“There’s two factors that primarily influence whether kids use tobacco — one is the availability of flavors and the other is price,” said Kevin O’Flaherty, director of advocacy for the Northeast region of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.”



Philip Morris International’s use of Facebook to undermine Australian tobacco control laws

“Philip Morris International’s Facebook page is being used as a platform to lobby for relaxation of current Australian tobacco control laws. A content analysis found 64% of posts from April 30 to May 30 in 2019 focused on Australian vaping product laws, arguing for current laws to be relaxed or weakened. This strategy is near identical to previous efforts from the tobacco industry attempting to weaken health regulations, and attempting to gain a seat at the policy table” – Tobacco in Australia: Facts & Issues


Vaping is just as harmful to human health as cigarettes, and even has the potential to cause lung cancer, scientists at the University of Tasmania have found.

Key points:
·  An Australian study found cigarettes and vaping are equally toxic to the lungs
·  Scientist Sukhwinder Sohal said GPs should not recommend vaping to patients
· Dr Brad McKay said he would support someone vaping if they had tried everything else to quit smoking without successThe world-first study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, compared cigarettes and vaping on human cells, and found both equally toxic to the lungs.

“When we stimulate the cells with these new gadgets, they switch on to produce cancer-related proteins,” Dr Sukhwinder Sohal, from the University of Tasmania, said.



From the Archives

The Only Dags need Fags anti-smoking campaign directed at children was conducted by the Health Promotion Services branch Health Department of Western Australia in 1985.

A primary objective of the campaign was to denormalise smoking among children.

Tobacco Control News

Prevalence and characteristics of tobacco purchases in convenience stores: results of a postpurchase intercept survey in Dunedin, New Zealand – BMJ Tobacco Control

Juul names new CFO amid management shake-up, several top executives are out – CNBC

Scientists Are Working Overtime to Debunk the Vaping Scare – Bloomberg

Juul announces layoffs amid ongoing vaping concerns – CBS News

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