An unbalanced consideration of the risks and benefits of e-cigarettes

Several people have asked me what I thought of the recent essay by Balfour et al and a group of former presidents of the Society for Nicotine and Tobacco Research, “Balancing consideration of the risks and benefits of e-cigarettes,” that argues that concerns over youth e-cigarette use needs to be “better balanced” against the valueContinue reading “An unbalanced consideration of the risks and benefits of e-cigarettes”

FDA’s recent press release raises 3 issues on how CTP is judging e-cigs

On August 26, 2021, FDA denied marketing orders for around 55,000 flavored e-cigarettes because the manufacturers had not made the case that authorizing the sale of these products was “appropriate for the protection of public health,” the standard in the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act that gave the FDA jurisdiction over tobaccoContinue reading “FDA’s recent press release raises 3 issues on how CTP is judging e-cigs”

Youth who use heated tobacco products have a much harder time quitting cigarettes

Philip Morris won FDA authorization for its heated tobacco product (HTP) IQOS without addressing the effects it would have on youth. FDA also allowed PM to promote IQOS’ “reduced exposure” claim based on the assumption that people would “switch completely” from combusted cigarettes to IQOS. An important new study from Hong Kong draws both assumptionsContinue reading “Youth who use heated tobacco products have a much harder time quitting cigarettes”

New WHO report highlights falling cigarette use and challenges that new tobacco products pose to public health and implementation of the FCTC

On July 27, 2021 the WHO released the WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic 2021: addressing new and emerging products, its eighth such report. The good news is that it documents solid progress in reducing tobacco use. After over a century of growth, “between 2007 and 2019, smoking rates decreased from a global averageContinue reading “New WHO report highlights falling cigarette use and challenges that new tobacco products pose to public health and implementation of the FCTC”

More details on how menthol helps Big Tobacco keep kids hooked

Keeping menthol in cigarettes (and other tobacco products) has been a priority for the tobacco companies ever since they got it exempted from the characterizing flavor ban in the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act that gave the FDA jurisdiction over tobacco products. The already-strong case for banning menthol just got stronger withContinue reading “More details on how menthol helps Big Tobacco keep kids hooked”

We know a lot about how e-cigarettes cause disease

The evidence on the health effects of e-cigarettes was the subject of two recently published reviews that focus on cardiovascular, pulmonary and immunologic effects of e-cigarettes. These reviews complement earlier reviews on the pulmonary effects of e-cigarettes, e-cigarettes and smoking cessation, and the gateway effect for smoking among youth and young adults. Taken together theseContinue reading “We know a lot about how e-cigarettes cause disease”

CDC’s new mask guidance and why FDA CTP should not assume e-cigs help smokers quit in the real world

On May 13, 2021 the CDC lifted most restrictions on the use of masks for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (two weeks after the second shot for Pfizer or Moderna and 1 week after J&J). While some people thought this was a political decision, CDC Director Walensky explained in detail that real world experience showedContinue reading “CDC’s new mask guidance and why FDA CTP should not assume e-cigs help smokers quit in the real world”

Ecigs double risk of relapse among former smokers

Most of the discussion of the effects of e-cigarette use on smoking has focused on their gateway effect among youth (they are) and whether e-cigs help smokers quit (as consumer products they do not) . There has been much less attention to how e-cigarettes affect the risk of relapse among former smokers. But now thereContinue reading “Ecigs double risk of relapse among former smokers”

California ban on flavored tobacco products will save lives & money, create jobs

Last year the California legislature passed SB793, which ended the sale of almost all flavored tobacco products. Led by RJ Reynolds and Philip Morris, the multinational tobacco companies spent over $20 million collecting signatures to force a referendum on the law. Forcing a referendum is an established tobacco industry strategy to shift the field ofContinue reading “California ban on flavored tobacco products will save lives & money, create jobs”

UK study shows nondaily ecig use associated with significantly less quitting cigs

A recent paper published in Addiction, “The effectiveness of using e-cigarettes for quitting smoking compared to other cessation methods among adults in the United Kingdom,” found that the odds of 30 day smoking cessation among smokers motivated to quit were cut by a factor or 4 among nondaily e-cig users compared to people who didContinue reading “UK study shows nondaily ecig use associated with significantly less quitting cigs”