ACOSH Advocacy in Action - 23 January


Welcome to the second edition of the ACOSH Advocacy in Action e-bulletin for 2020. 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.

Tobacco giants lobby PM and key MPs with pro-vaping message

“International tobacco companies have sought meetings with the Prime Minister and leading cabinet members in an effort to overturn Australia’s ban on nicotine vaping.

Correspondence obtained by the ABC reveals that in 2019 Philip Morris sent meeting requests and pro-vaping letters to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Health Minister Greg Hunt and Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt, among others.

The ABC is not aware any meetings with the three ministers took place, but health groups are troubled by the tobacco industry’s continued efforts to influence Australian health policy.”



Political donations undermine democracy

The Queensland parliament is currently considering a Bill that may restrict political donations.

Cancer Council Queensland, the Heart Foundation and the Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH) have provided a submission recommending that the Bill be amended to prohibit political donations from the tobacco industry in Queensland.

Political donations from the tobacco industry are only prohibited in the state of New South Wales.



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

• As of January 14, 2020, a total of 2,668 hospitalized EVALI [e-cigarette, or vaping, produce use-associated lung injury] cases or deaths have been reported to CDC from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories (Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands). Sixty deaths have been confirmed in 27 states and the District of Columbia.

• Emergency department (ED) visits related to e-cigarette, or vaping, products continue to decline, after sharply increasing in August 2019 and peaking in September.

• National and state data from patient reports and product sample testing suggest tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing e-cigarette, or vaping, products, particularly from informal sources like friends, family, or in-person or online dealers, are linked to most EVALI  cases and play a major role in the outbreak.

• 82% of hospitalized patients with data on substance use reported using THC-containing products; 33% reported exclusive use of THC-containing products (as of January 14, 2020).

• Vitamin E acetate is also strongly linked to the EVALI outbreak. However, evidence is not sufficient to rule out the contribution of other chemicals of concern, including chemicals in either THC or non-THC products, in some of the reported EVALI cases.



The EVALI and Youth Vaping Epidemics — Implications for Public Health

“…The United States is seeing what can be considered two distinct but related epidemics connected with vaping: the recent outbreak of lung injuries and the continued surge in use by young people. The implementation of interventions aimed at curbing these epidemics should take into consideration their underlying drivers.

“The EVALI [e-cigarette, or vaping, produce use-associated lung injury] and youth vaping epidemics warrant immediate and decisive action to protect public health. The use of vaping products among young people is unsafe, regardless of whether they contain nicotine or THC. Both marijuana use and nicotine use can harm brain development through young adulthood; starting to use these substances at a younger age also increases the risk of tobacco and cannabis use disorders later in life.The risks posed by these products are further compounded by the emergence of EVALI.”



FDA’s Juul Inquiry Found Consumers Had 2,600 Health Complaints

Juul Labs Inc. received roughly 2,600 complaints about adverse health effects related to its e-cigarette during its first three years in operation, with customers citing issues such as burning sensations in the lungs, blistered lips and vomiting, according to an internal report by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


Electronic Cigarettes And Cardiovascular Risk: Science, Policy And The Cost Of Certainty

“It often takes time to accumulate enough evidence to deem causal hypotheses plausible truths. Since the introduction of e-cigarettes about a decade ago, studies assessing their potential health effects have resulted in a weak evidence base for causal links to several important clinical outcomes. Specifically, according to the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s summary of available evidence on e-cigarettes and their health consequences, there is insufficient evidence to conclude whether e-cigarette use is associated with increased risk of clinical cardiovascular disease (CVD). This lack of evidence, unfortunately, may easily be misconstrued by consumers as an absence of harm. As a result, the direction of e-cigarette regulatory policy and healthcare recommendations remains subject to seemingly endless controversy and debate.”


Electronic Cigarette and JUUL Use Among Adolescents and Young Adults

Conclusions and Relevance  This study found that the e-cigarette device JUUL appears to be associated with the youth e-cigarette epidemic, attracting new users and facilitating frequent use with their highly addictive nicotine content and appealing flavors. Findings of this study underscore the critical need for increased e-cigarette product regulation at the federal, state, and local levels.”


Smoking increases risk of complications after surgery, joint WHO study finds

“Led by the University of Newcastle, the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA), the findings in the WHO Tobacco Knowledge Summary on Tobacco Postsurgical Outcomes provide good incentive for smokers to quit – quitting approximately four weeks before surgery lowers risk of complication and yields better results six months post-operation.

For each additional week smoking was quit before surgery, a patient showed a 19% improved outcome after surgery.”



Smoking causes cancer in a lot of places – including the butt

The Cancer Council WA’s Make Smoking History campaign poster has featured on the cover of the latest edition of the Tobacco Control journal.

Make Smoking History is a leading smoking and health campaign that over the years has produced many hard-hitting and effective TV advertisements and other materials.



Tobacco Control Tweet of the Week – Any bin will do

“Best possible use for the home filing system, as pioneered by others” said @DrOliviaDoll1

Philip Morris has submitted an application to the Advisory Committee on Chemicals Scheduling (ACCS), calling for laws to be amended to allow the sale of heated tobacco products (HTPs) in Australia.

The TGA has requested submissions (Item 3.1 – Nicotine) on this application from Philip Morris to be received by 10 February 2020.

See also
Heated tobacco products (HTPs) information sheet – World Health Organization

From the archives

Another of the many full page press advertisements placed by the tobacco industry to defeat the 1983 Government Bill to prohibit tobacco advertising in WA – this one focusing on the purported impact on small businesses.

The tobacco industry claimed that the impact of the proposed legislation would “… be more like living in Russia than good old Western Australia.”



Tobacco Control News

‘Expensive as silver’: warnings criminals will cash in on cigarette price hikes – The Age

Vaping made me realise addiction forces you to confront how pathetic and powerless you are – The Guardian

Factors that influence smokers’ and ex-smokers’ use of IQOS: a qualitative study of IQOS users and ex-users in the UK – Tobacco Control

Vaping: a valuable tool to quit smoking or growing public health concern? – ABC Focus with Jessica Strutt

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