ACOSH Advocacy in Action - 19 September

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.

E-cigarettes linked to severe lung illness

The Chief Medical Officer and State and Territory Chief Health Officers released a statement this week about e-cigarettes and an emerging link between their use and lung disease.

“All Australian governments are united in maintaining a precautionary approach to the marketing and use of e-cigarettes. There is growing evidence implicating e-cigarettes in a range of harms to individual and population health.  E-cigarettes are relatively new products and the long-term safety and health effects associated with their use and exposure to second-hand vapour are unknown.”



US teen e-cigarette use doubles since 2017

Data from the 2019 Monitoring the Future Survey shows a significant increase in past month vaping of nicotine among US high school students since 2018.

In 2019, the prevalence of past month nicotine vaping was more than 1 in 4 students in 12th grade; 1 in 5 in 10th grade, and 1 in 11 in eighth grade.

“With 25% of 12th graders, 20% of 10th graders and 9% of eighth-graders now vaping nicotine within the past month, the use of these devices has become a public health crisis,” said NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow. “These products introduce the highly addictive chemical nicotine to these young people and their developing brains, and I fear we are only beginning to learn the possible health risks and outcomes for youth.”



Federal Health Minister urged to maintain firm stance on e-cigarettes

In a presentation to the WA State Environmental Health Australia Conference last Friday in Fremantle, the Australian Council on Smoking and Health urged Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt to maintain his stance of a precautionary approach to e-cigarettes in Australia.

“Strong evidence is accumulating that using e-cigarettes can have serious immediate health effects including respiratory disease and cardiovascular disease. And there is growing concern about their effects on health,” said Maurice Swanson, Chief Executive, Australian Council on Smoking and Health.



US health agencies recommend ‘stop vaping’ as they investigate recent deaths

“As of Friday last week, there have been more than 450 possible cases of lung illness associated with using e-cigarettes reported to the US Centre for Disease Control, which also recommended people consider not using e-cigarettes while they investigate.

“CDC, 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 severe pulmonary disease associated with e-cigarette product (devices, liquids, refill pods, and/or cartridges) use,” the CDC said.

“This investigation is ongoing and has not identified a cause, but all reported cases have a history of using e-cigarette products.”

See also
7th person has died from vaping-related causes –

After vaping-related illness, teen now has lungs like ‘a 70-year-old’s’ – CNN Health

Vaping’s Plausible Deniability Is Going Up in Smoke – The Atlantic

Canada’s first vaping-related illness reported in London, Ont. – The Globe and Mail



Put your claims to the test, Aussie vaping companies told

“Cancer Council Australia Tobacco Issues Committee Chair Libbby Jardine told that in Australia, e-liquid and e-cigarette manufacturers had so far avoided subjecting their products to an acceptable level of public health scrutiny, despite commonly claiming they had the health benefit of helping people quit smoking.

“In Australia, if you want to market and sell a product which you claim has therapeutic benefits, such as helping people quit smoking, it’s stock standard public health process that these products need to go through the TGA for them to authorise, or otherwise,” Ms Jardine said.

“And to our knowledge to date, no e-cigarette manufacturer or company has made an application to the TGA.”

See also
Vaping likely has dangers that could take years for scientists to even know about – The Conversation



New York first state to enact ban of flavored e-cigarettes amid deaths linked to vaping

New York became the first state in the country to ban flavored electronic cigarettes as hundreds of people have reported vaping-related illnesses, which have been linked to seven deaths.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the decision to ban the flavored e-cigarettes on Tuesday as part of a series of efforts to combat the increase in young people using vape products. Cuomo said in a statement that it was “undeniable” that flavors like bubblegum and cotton candy are deliberately designed to target youths.

“New York is not waiting for the federal government to act, and by banning flavored e-cigarettes we are safeguarding the public health and helping prevent countless young people from forming costly, unhealthy and potentially deadly life-long habits,” Cuomo said.

See also
Michigan Joins New York in Banning Sale of Flavored E-cigarettes Amid Vaping Health Concerns



Vaping can be deadly: as an imaging scientist I fear the impact on people’s lungs

“A recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine on 53 confirmed cases of young e-cigarette users hospitalised with severe lung toxicity and injury clearly shows that this is the case. The average age of these patients was 19.

A relatively short history of vaping has led to hospitalisation, weeks of intensive care, lung failure, the urgent need for a heart-lung bypass machine and then, after all attempts have failed, needless deaths in otherwise healthy young people.

As a lung-imaging scientist, I develop new ways to see inside the chest so that lung abnormalities can be easily measured and monitored in patients.

I see the devastating effects inside the lungs of cigarette and cannabis smokers. I also see how the airways are destroyed and how millions of air sacs appear demolished or completely wiped out, all of which results in severe breathlessness, miserable quality of life and then death.”



In California, Juul’s problems are only beginning

SAN FRANCISCO — Several California cities are swiftly moving beyond flavored vape bans to outlaw e-cigarette sales entirely, following in the footsteps of Juul’s hometown of San Francisco.

It’s a sign that the Trump administration’s crackdown on the fast-growing vaping industry could be just the start of its problems.

San Francisco was the first of three California cities to ban e-cigarettes altogether. About two dozen other California cities have banned flavored vapes, and states and communities across the country are following suit as the Trump administration moves to take the products off the market.

Juul already has spent more than $4.5 million trying to convince voters to overturn San Francisco’s first-in-the-nation e-cigarette ban with a November ballot initiative. It’s working on a repeal effort of a similar measure in a smaller nearby city.

See also
FDA warns JUUL Labs for marketing unauthorized modified risk tobacco products, including in outreach to youth – US FDA

Teen with vape-related lung illness sues e-cigarette maker Juul Labs – CBS News

Connecticut Man Sues Juul Labs Over Nicotine-Induced Anxiety From E-Cigarettes –

Juul raises $325 million despite growing health and legal concerns with vaping – CBS News



Juul Takes a Hit After a Long Year

“In a testament to the reality that not all press is good press, as the public’s awareness of Juul has grown, so too has the scrutiny. Six percent of the 3,901 U.S. adults who were polled from July 12-31, 2018, held an unfavorable opinion of Juul, a figure that soared to 33 percent in 6,355 survey responses collected Aug. 12-Sept. 12, 2019. That uptick in negative views came as the share of Americans who’d never heard of the company dropped from nearly 80 percent to 37 percent over the same time frame.”


Big tobacco’s stake in the NZ dating scene

Global tobacco corporations are running immense marketing campaigns to grow their shares of New Zealand’s market for cigarette alternatives. To do so, they’re exploiting a regulatory grey zone to advertise to young Kiwis – including through previously unreported advertising on Tinder, the youth-focused dating app.

“And still we hear the “we’ve changed” nonsense from Big Tobacco and its allies. Excellent comments from leading researchers Richard Edwards and Janet Hoek,” said Dr Oliva Doll DCS



Push to ban smoking in Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall

“Part of Melbourne’s CBD could soon be completely smoke-free thanks to a push to ban the habit in the city’s Bourke Street Mall.

The radical move comes after a report to Melbourne City Council revealed overwhelming support for the new rule.

Under the proposed plan, the part of Bourke Street in between Elizabeth Street and Russell Place would become a no-smoking zone, including all footpaths, tramways and roads.”



Tackling Indonesia’s smoking addiction a ‘double-edged sword’

“Walking through rural Indonesia, it’s not uncommon to see primary school children smoking cigarettes.

It’s just one part of an epidemic in a country where nearly 70 per cent of all men and one in five children aged between 13 and 15 smoke, according to official data.

Indonesia has one of the highest smoking rates in the world and a tobacco industry that continues to thrive as the number of smokers decreases globally.”



Thailand first in Asia to roll out plain cigarette packaging

“Thailand rolled out plain cigarette packaging on Tuesday (Sep 10), the first country in Asia to introduce what activists say is an effective way to reduce the appeal of smoking.

In 2012, Australia became the first country to require tobacco products to be sold without colourful brand logos.

Thailand agreed last year to comply with the World Health Organisation guidelines, and packs officially showed up in stores Tuesday. Businesses have until Dec 8 to phase out stocks before facing fines of up to 40,000 baht (US$1,300).”

Singapore is set to implement similar restrictions on packaging next year.

See also
Leading cigarette maker to challenge arrival of neutral packaging in Belgium – Brussels Times



Cost-effectiveness of smoking cessation programs for hospitalized patients: a systematic review

Smoking cessation programs for hospitalised patients are cost-effective, according to strong evidence presented in a recent systematic review. The highest incremental cost- effectiveness ratios among the selected studies included (US$):
• $5593 per additional quit
• $10,550 per life year gained
• $5680 per quality-adjusted life year gained
The authors recommend policymakers provide hospitals with resources and strong incentives in order to promote wider implementation of smoking cessation programs.


Event invitation: Where next in tobacco control?

A free seminar with international guest speaker Professor Ruth Malone, University of California, San Francisco, editor-in-chief of the leading international tobacco control policy journal, Tobacco Control.

This event is being held on Monday 28 October at 9:00am – 12:00pm at Cullity Gallery (Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts), UWA.

Join us to hear international and national perspectives on future tobacco control strategies, product regulation, and highlights from the 2019 Oceania Tobacco Control Conference presented by Noni Walker, ACOSH Community Partnerships Director, Maurice Swanson ACOSH Chief Executive, Libby Jardine, Cancer Council WA Make Smoking History Manager, and Patricia Pearce, Aboriginal Health Council of WA Tackling Indigenous Smoking Coordinator.

Click here for more information and to register.

Event invitation: What a BMJ Editor REALLY wants – an inside view on maximising your publication

A workshop by Professor Ruth Malone, University of California, San Franscico, editor-in-chief of the international tobacco control policy journal, Tobacco Control, on how to get your paper published in a leading public health journal.

This event is being held on Tuesday 29 October at 12:00pm – 1:30pm at the Telethon Kids Institute.

Click here for more information and to register.

We’re quitting smoking, so why is Big Tobacco booming?

 An excellent explainer by The Guardian of Big Tobacco’s behind the scenes tactics.

See also
Big tobacco’s vaping pivot isn’t what it seems – Management Today



Quit for your pets

“When you smoke around your pets, they’re twice as likely to get cancer. Your best mate will follow you anywhere. Lead them well.”

New Zealand Quitline has released an emotive portrayal of the dangers of secondhand smoke on pets in its latest TV ad encouraging smokers to quit.

See more
Quitline NZ website



From the archives – Dr Dean Southwood an unsung hero

In the 1980s, the East Torrens District Cricket Club took a brave stand against tobacco company sponsorship of the game. The club made the decision to not accept money that was provided through tobacco sponsorship at the Australian Cricket Board level.

Through the hard work of current President Dr Dean Southwood, a South Australian ear, nose and throat surgeon, an Anti-Smoking Support Group was established to replace sponsorship previously provided through the Benson & Hedges cigarette brand.

Not long after this turbulent period for the club, tobacco sponsorship was banned through Government legislation, which is still the case today.

Tobacco Control News

India bans e-cigarette sales and says there’s an ‘epidemic’ of kids vaping – The Verge

Juul Labs opposes higher tax on e-cigarettes –

Vapers seek relief from nicotine addiction in — wait for it — cigarettes – NBC News

Legal Loophole Allowing Deadly Chemical To Be Imported Into Australia – 10Daily

Health organisations commend action on tobacco advertising by Andrews Government – Quit Victoria

E-cigarettes may damage the heart, scientists say, as they ask Public Health England to stop recommending vaping – The Telegraph

How I Went From Nonsmoker To Craven Juul Addict – Buzzfeed News

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