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03 September 2021

UK

Teenage boy falls ill after vaping mixture of CBD and THC

E-cigarettes: misconceptions about their dangers may be preventing people from quitting smoking

Sajid Javid calls for 2% rise in national insurance to fund social care

International

'Polluter pays': French tobacco firms to fund cigarette butt clear-up

Juul hooked an entire generation on nicotine - can it redeem its image?

Links of the Week

NCSCT Briefing on Combination Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

CABIN Webinar: Second-hand Smoke in Africa

UK

Teenage boy falls ill after vaping mixture of CBD and THC

 

Police have warned parents about a dangerous new vape mixture which has already left one boy debilitated. It is believed that the teenage boy, from the North East, vaped a mixture of CBD and THC oil, which has been said to cause a variety of side effects.

Police officers say that they have already seized a large quantity of the dull yellow liquid, which is being sold in spot bottles, as they warn parents and young people about the risks of vaping the mixture. Teesside Live says that the teenager was at home at the time and able to get help quickly.


Source: Mirror, 2 September 2021

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E-cigarettes: misconceptions about their dangers may be preventing people from quitting smoking

 

Dr Jamie Hartmann-Boyce writes that widespread misconceptions about the dangers of e-cigarettes may mean many are missing out on their value as a quitting aid.

Hartmann-Boyce points out that concerns about e-cigarettes heightened in 2019 when a lung condition surfaced that primarily affected young people, particularly those who vaped. The condition was even named e-cigarettes or vaping-use-associated lung injury, or Evali for short. We now know that Evali is not caused by regulated commercial nicotine e-cigarettes but by products sold as THC-containing e-liquids which were cut dangerously.

Hartmann-Boyce writes that despite statements from Public Health England and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that e-cigarettes have the potential to benefit smokers who switch to vaping, lingering concerns about the dangers of e-cigarettes, in part because of Evali, are still discouraging smokers from switching. In recent surveys, nearly half of US and a third of British respondents considered nicotine e-cigarettes to be as harmful as cigarettes, if not more harmful.

Research shows that these concerns are misplaced. Nicotine containing e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking and may be more effective than nicotine-replacement therapy. People using e-cigarettes to quit smoking are no more likely to experience serious health issues and e-cigarettes pose fewer risks to bystanders than smoking cigarettes.

Hartmann-Boyce acknowledges that e-cigarettes are not completely risk-free and evidence around them is still evolving. That being said, Hartmann-Boyce concludes that smokers have a right to receive accurate, evidence-based information about vaping – and that means educating them about what we know so far, that e-cigarettes can be an effective way to quit smoking and are less harmful than smoking.
 
 
Source:  The Conversation, 2 September 2021

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Sajid Javid calls for 2% rise in national insurance to fund social care

 

The Times has been told that Health Secretary Sajid Javid has pushed for a 2% increase in national insurance amid a cabinet split over funding for the NHS and social care. The Government is preparing to announce its tax plans for the funding of social care and the NHS backlog as early as next week.

Plans to raise tax will mean about 25 million people paying extra. However, Javid is concerned that a proposed 1% increase in national insurance for employers and employees to raise about £10 billion would not be enough. Two senior Government sources say he had pushed for a 2% rise in the summer.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is arguing against any increase of more than 1%. Five cabinet members have already said that they will oppose an increase because of their view that young people should not bear the costs of social care for older people. Johnson, Javid, and Sunak had been preparing to announce a 1% rise to fund social care in July but were forced to self-isolate due to COVID-19.

NHS leaders said they would need the whole £10 billion likely to be raised by a 1% increase for treating the NHS backlog of more than five million patients. The chancellor is thought to have offered an increase of about £5 billion a year to the NHS, half of their ask.

This has alarmed social care leaders who fear missing out in a shared funding deal with the NHS. Ministers plan to promise that social care’s share will gradually increase with Johnson thought to favour plans to cap costs at £50,000 per person to avoid families having to sell their home. However, social care leaders fear it will prove politically impossible to take money away from the NHS. Social care leaders want improved staff pay, a package that is also likely to cost about £10 billion.


Source: The Times, 3 September 2021

See also: The Telegraph - Why the time has come for a new health and care premium

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International

'Polluter pays': French tobacco firms to fund cigarette butt clear-up

 

Tobacco firms in France will fund a new organisation to dispose of the waste created by their products. Alcome, the new ‘éco-organisme’ formed to tackle the problem of cigarette litter, will collect money from tobacco firms and distribute them to finance clean-up operations, install street ashtrays, and run public service advert campaigns. It aims to reduce the number of dropped butts by 40% within six years.

Each year, billions of butts find their way into the natural environment which allows harmful chemicals such as lead and arsenic to enter the soil in the decade that they take to decompose. The Ecology Ministry estimates that up to 25,000 tonnes are discarded per year in France.

Alcome spokeswoman Sofia Fardjallah said that the exact sum tobacco firms would be expected to pay will be based on studies determining the number of cigarette butts that are being improperly disposed of each year. Alcome believes that the cost of clean-up will not affect cigarette prices, Fardjallah added. Alcome is also hoping to raise public awareness about tobacco litter, running campaigns in busy areas such as beaches to encourage people to dispose of cigarettes responsibly.
 
 
Source: The Connexion France, 3 September 2021 

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Juul hooked an entire generation on nicotine - can it redeem its image?

 

Wudan Yan asks whether Juul will be able to revive its image, regain public trust, and reposition itself as a public health boon should the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve its application to continue selling Juul e-cigarettes on the US market next week.

Yan says that the current debate must be understood in the context of the development of the popularity of e-cigarettes in the US. E-cigarettes exploded because Juul, the market leader, drove marketing and advertising efforts which aimed to make e-cigarettes look cool for young people. Juul advertised on Nickelodeon, the Cartoon Network, and in teen magazines and pictured girls wearing high ponytails, crop tops, and distressed denim jeans holding Juul. Before spring 2018 Juul even sent representatives to schools who claimed, without evidence, that Juuls were safer than traditional cigarettes and described Juuls as the “iPhone of e-cigarettes” to students.

Alison Breland, co-lead for the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products at Virginia Commonwealth University, says that this framed negative perceptions of Juul which have lingered since. “They really went wrong with the marketing to children.” she says. “The aggressive marketing, marketing in schools, all the flavours – that’s their downfall. I don’t know how they’d recover from that.”

For its part, Juul insists that it is doing all it can to avoid kids using e-cigarettes. The company website has a section listing the measures it takes to prevent kids from using Juul and in May/June Juul paid the American Journal of Health Behavior $51,000 for a special issue of studies whose findings supported the health benefits of Juul and offered solutions to the risks of youth uptake. 

Yan concludes saying that Juul’s future in the US lays in the hands of the FDA, which has a near-impossible task to balance the impact Juul has had on underage nicotine use with the hopeful benefits of harm reduction from cigarettes.
 
 
Source: The Guardian, 2 September 2021

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Links of the Week

NCSCT Briefing on Combination Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

 

The National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT) has published an updated briefing on NRT. It is intended for commissioners, managers and staff of stop smoking services and summarises the latest evidence and practice guidance related to the use of combination NRT as an aid to stopping smoking.

It includes practice guidance for both the general population of smokers and pregnant women, as well as highly dependent smokers who often require higher doses of nicotine to effectively address urges to smoke and withdrawal symptoms. The briefing also includes what is known about combining NRT with vapes (e-cigarettes), varenicline (Champix) and bupropion (Zyban).
 

You can read the briefing below.

Read Briefing

CABIN Webinar: Second-hand Smoke in Africa

 

Cleaning the Air Better Indoors for Newborns (CABIN) is hosting a webinar on Wednesday 22 September 13.00 GMT. The webinar will hear from world experts on the current scale of second-hand smoke exposure in Africa, the health harms it causes, new ways to monitor second-hand smoke, and new ways to approach this vital problem. It will feature Professor Ellis Owusu-Dabo from KNUST, Ghana, Professor Aneesa Vanker from University of Cape Town, South Africa, and Dr Sean Semple of University of Stirling, Scotland. 

You can register for the webinar below.

Register for Webinar
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