European survey: 80 percent of vapers stopped smoking completely

More than 80 percent of smokers who switched to e-cigarettes have completely stopped smoking. Around 65 percent of vapers in Europe use fruit or sweet liquids. These are two important results of a survey carried out by the European Independent Vape Alliance (IEVA). More than 3,300 european e-cigarette users took part.

The European survey shows: E-cigarettes are a widely used method in Europe to stop tobacco use. 81 percent of vapers have completely stopped using tobacco. Further twelve percent have reduced smoking with the help of e-cigarettes.

86 percent of the participants assume that e-cigarettes are less harmful for them than tobacco cigarettes. Only two percent think e-cigarettes are equal or more harmful compared to combustible cigarettes. The British government agency Public Health England estimates that e-cigarettes are 95 percent less harmful than tobacco cigarettes. [1]

Importance of flavors
The variety of flavors seems to be one of the most important reasons for vapers to use e-cigarettes. 40 percent of them use fruit flavored liquids and 25 percent prefer other sweet flavors. A good third of vapers select tobacco-flavored liquids (35 percent).
IEVA asked the participants how they would react if all liquid flavors except tobacco flavors were banned. Result: Only 20 percent of vapers would switch to tobacco flavors. Negative effects of a flavor ban: 31 percent stated that they would buy other liquid flavors on the black market. 9 percent would even start smoking again.

Dustin Dahlmann, President of IEVA: “Our survey confirms previous research that e-cigarette flavors are crucial for adult smokers. A flavor ban must be avoided at all costs, because it would lead many vapers to buy unregulated products on the black market or to start smoking again. And this would endanger the great opportunity that many more smokers will stop smoking with the help of the e-cigarette.” [2, 3, 4]

Sources
[1] „Evidence review of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products“, Public Health England, 2018
[2] „Role of sweet and other flavours in liking and disliking of electronic cigarettes“, Seattle, 2016
[3] „Reasons for using flavored liquids among electronic cigarette users: A concept mapping study“, Virginia, 2016
[4] „Electronic cigarette liquid and device parameters and aerosol characteristics: A survey of regular users“, Lexington, 2018

Irish Vape Vendors Association Launch General Election Manifesto

In the run up to General Election 2020, the Irish Vape Vendors Association (IVVA) have launched their manifesto. This manifesto will be be sent to all political parties.

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in Ireland with almost 6,000 smokers dying each year from smoking related diseases. There is never a situation where it is better to smoke than it is to vape, and we know since 2016 that vaping is at least 95 per cent less harmful than smoking, according to Public Health England (PHE) and the Royal College of Physicians.

There is a vibrant independent vape industry in Ireland providing vaping consumers with a wide range of quality vape products. These shops are helping smokers make the switch to vaping and helping smokers become smoke free on a daily basis, with no cost to the state.

In this manifesto, we set out the significant potential that vaping offers to improve public health and save the taxpayer money whilst at the same time providing employment and tax monies to the exchequer.

Click here to Download IVVA General Election Manifesto (PDF)

expert reaction to World Health Organisation Q&A on electronic cigarettes



from Science Media Centre – https://www.sciencemediacentre.org/expert-reaction-to-world-health-organisation-qa-on-electronic-cigarettes/

The World Health Organisation (WHO) have run a Q&A via their website on electronic cigarettes.

Dr Nick Hopkinson, Reader in Respiratory Medicine at the National Heart and Lung Institute Imperial College London, said:

“We know that e-cigarettes are substantially safer than smoking, because the toxic substances present in cigarette smoke are either completely absent, or present at much lower levels.

“Evidence from randomised controlled trials shows clearly that e-cigarettes can help smokers to quit.

“Smokers who switch completely to vaping will gain a significant health benefit. Long term use of e-cigarettes is not completely harmless, so people who vape should aim to quit that too, though not at the expense of going back to smoking.

“Products on sale in the UK are regulated by the MHRA and have to meet the requirements of the EU tobacco products directive which limits their contents, strength and advertising.”

Prof Peter Hajek, Director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), said:

“The WHO has a history of anti-vaping activism that is damaging their reputation. This document is particularly malign.

“Practically all the factual statements in it are wrong. There is no evidence that vaping is ‘highly addictive’ – less than 1% of non-smokers become regular vapers.  Vaping does not lead young people to smoking – smoking among young people is at all time low.  There is no evidence that vaping increases risk of heart disease or that could have any effect at all on bystanders’ health. The US outbreak of lung injuries is due to contaminants in illegal marijuana cartridges and has nothing to do with nicotine vaping. There is clear evidence that e-cigarettes help smokers quit.

“The authors of this document should take responsibility for using blatant misinformation that is likely to to prevent smokers from switching to a much less risky alternative.”

Prof John Britton, Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco & Alcohol Studies and Consultant in Respiratory Medicine, University of Nottingham, said:

“This WHO briefing is misleading on several counts.  It implies that vaping nicotine is the cause of the 2019 US outbreak of severe lung disease, when it was in fact vaping cannabis products.  It says that there is no strong evidence that vaping is an effective means of quitting smoking, when in fact there is clinical trial evidence of the highest standard demonstrating that vaping is more effective than the nicotine replacement therapies that the WHO endorse.  It responds to the question of whether e-cigarettes are more dangerous than tobacco cigarettes by suggesting that we don’t know, when in fact they are clearly less harmful.  In these ways alone, the WHO misrepresents the available scientific evidence.”

https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/e-cigarettes-how-risky-are-they

All our previous output on this subject can be seen at this weblink: https://www.sciencemediacentre.org/tag/smoking/



Long-term smokers who start vaping see health benefits within a month

From New Scientist – November 15, 2019

Long-term smokers who switched to vaping were halfway towards achieving the vascular health of a non-smoker within a month, a study has found. Researchers from the University of Dundee, UK, said they discovered a “clear early benefit” in switching from smoking to vaping, in the largest clinical trial to date.

Those who ditched cigarettes and vaped instead saw their blood vessel function increase by around 1.5 percentage points within four weeks compared with those who continued smoking.

The researchers said they didn’t know whether this benefit would be sustained, with more research needed into the long-term implications of vaping. They also warned that vaping isn’t safe, merely “less harmful” than smoking.

But they said that if this improvement were sustained into the long-term, those who switched would have at least a 13 per cent reduced risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks.

The study recruited 114 adults in the UK who had smoked at least 15 cigarettes a day for at least two years and were free from established cardiovascular disease.

Forty continued smoking tobacco cigarettes, 37 switched to e-cigarettes with nicotine and 37 switched to e-cigarettes without.

The researchers measured shifts in blood vessel function – the earliest detectable change to cardiovascular health – through a test known as flow mediated dilation (FMD) that assesses how far a blood vessel opens. They used another test to measure the vessels’ stiffness.

Overall, the groups who switched to e-cigarettes experienced a 1.49 percentage point improvement in their vascular function compared with those who continued smoking.

Separate research has shown that for every 1 percentage point improvement in vascular health, 13 per cent fewer cardiovascular events occur over the long-term.


Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2223624-long-term-smokers-who-start-vaping-see-health-benefits-within-a-month


expert reaction to study looking at e-cigarette vapour and vascular effects in mice and smokers

Research, published in the European Heart Journal, reports on the relationship between e-cigarette use and damage to the brain, blood vessels, and lungs.  Experts from Science Media Centre react to the study.

Click here to read all expert reaction – https://www.sciencemediacentre.org/expert-reaction-to-study-looking-at-e-cigarette-vapour-and-vascular-effects-in-mice-and-smokers/

Prof Peter Hajek, Director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit, Queen Mary University of London, said:

“The authors detected two effects.  In human smokers, nicotine from e-cigarettes produced a typical acute stimulant effect, also seen after drinking coffee, that on its own signals no danger.  In mice and in tissue samples, acrolein, a chemical that can be generated when e-liquid is fried, had more damaging effects.  This however is not relevant for human vapers.  Frying e-liquid produces this chemical, but this also produces aversive taste that vapers avoid.  Human vapers have acrolein levels that are similar to non-smokers and much lower than in smokers.”

Prof Ajay Shah, Head of School of Cardiovascular Medicine & Sciences, and BHF Professor of Cardiology, King’s College London, said:

“This study convincingly shows that the use of e-cigarettes in people who are cigarette smokers causes a short-term additional impairment of the function of the inner lining of blood vessels – the endothelium.  It is recognised that persistent abnormal function of the endothelium predisposes in the long-term (several years) to furring up of the arteries which can lead to heart attacks or stroke.  The effect here of an e-cigarette vaping episode on the endothelium is similar to the short-term effects of cigarette smoking, high cholesterol or diabetes, but whether it would have similar long-term detrimental effects on health cannot be determined from this study.  It is important to note that the researchers did not study the effects of e-cigarettes on healthy non-smokers but only in people who regularly smoke cigarettes and whose endothelium may already be slightly abnormal – so we cannot fully extrapolate these results to non-smokers.  They also only studied the effects of one episode of vaping.

“The second part of the study was to expose mice to e-cigarette vapour for up to five days and assess the impact on vessels, the lungs and the brain.  The researchers found evidence of some damage to all these organs but these results are less straightforward to extrapolate to humans, and the researchers did not include all the appropriate control groups to improve confidence in this result.  The conclusions from the animal studies regarding possible effects on the lungs and brain therefore require further research in people to assess if the same happens in humans.  However, it is quite clear that e-cigarettes appear to cause potentially harmful effects on the endothelium in people who are regular cigarette vapers, indicating that they are not harmless.”

Click here to read all expert reaction – https://www.sciencemediacentre.org/expert-reaction-to-study-looking-at-e-cigarette-vapour-and-vascular-effects-in-mice-and-smokers/

Vaping illness, deaths likely very rare beyond U.S., experts say

LONDON (Reuters) – E-cigarette or vaping-linked lung injuries that have killed 29 and sickened more than 1,000 people in the United States are likely to be rare in Britain and other countries where the suspect products are not widely used, specialists said on Monday.

Read full article on Reuters

Experts in toxicology and addiction said they are sure that the 1,299 confirmed and probable American cases of serious lung injuries linked to vaping are “a U.S.-specific phenomenon,” and there is no evidence of a similar pattern of illness in Britain or elsewhere.

“What’s happening in the U.S. is not happening here (in Britain), nor is it happening in any other countries where vaping is common,” said John Britton, a professor and respiratory medicine consultant and director of the UK Centre for Tobacco & Alcohol Studies at Nottingham University.

“It’s a localised problem,” he told a London briefing.

U.S. investigators and health officials have said there may be more than one cause for the cases of vaping lung illness. They have also pointed to vaping oils containing THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, as being especially risky.

In Britain, which currently has 3.6 million regular e-cigarette users, such oils are banned and advertising of vapes is much more tightly regulated than in the United States, said Ann McNeill, a professor of tobacco addiction at the Institute of Psychiatry Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London.

Read full article on Reuters

IVVA Backs EU Vaping is NOT Tobacco Campaign

Vaping is under threat. We need vapers in Ireland to tell the European Commission that vaping products are not the same as tobacco products and should be taken out of the EU Tobacco Products Directive.

IVVA member shops will have petitions for signing, available in their shops over the coming days / weeks. Additionally, you may also sign the online petition here – https://vapingisnottobacco.eu

This European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) enables like-minded citizens from across the European Union to demand regulatory change from the European Commission. The ECI gives you – the citizen – a greater say in laws that affect your daily life. We need one million signatures (8,000 from Ireland) to create this change.

We therefore call upon European regulators to take vaping products out of the Tobacco Products Directive and to create a proportionate and evidence-based regulatory environment that:

  1. Allows smokers to have access to accurate and credible information about the relative safety of vaping versus smoking
  2. Allows smokers to have access to vaping products that can effectively help them to reduce and replace smoking.
  3. Allows flavoured vaping liquids
  4. Prevents access by young people to vaping products
  5. Reduces risks for consumers of vaping products by introducing robust product quality, manufacturing and safety standards
  6. Ensures responsible marketing for vaping products that does not target youth:


Sign online at https://vapingisnottobacco.eu/en/take_action/

Popularity of vaping not leading to more teen smoking

from Irish Times – read full article here https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/popularity-of-vaping-not-leading-to-more-teen-smokers

Proportion of teens saying it is okay to try a cigarette down from 70% in 1999 to 27% in 2015

Growth in the use of e-cigarettes has not led to more young people taking up tobacco smoking, new research suggests.

The latest in a string of studies on a subject that continues to divide opinion found perceptions against tobacco smoking have hardened in recent years, although it does not establish The results of ‘Have e-cigarettes re-normalised or displaced youth smoking?’ were published in Tobacco Control by the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Researchers analysed national UK survey responses from school children between the ages of 13 and 15 since 1998. In particular, they looked at the period between 2011 and 2015 when e-cigarette use proliferated.

from Irish Times – read full article here https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/popularity-of-vaping-not-leading-to-more-teen-smokers

E-cigarettes ‘much better for quitting smoking’

from BBC – https://www.bbc.com/news/health-47041111

E-cigarettes are almost twice as effective as nicotine replacements for helping smokers quit, a study suggests.

A trial found 18% of smokers who used them to quit remained smoke-free after a year, compared with 9.9% of those using nicotine-replacement treatments.

The study of 886 smokers is the first to test how effective modern e-cigarettes are for quitting.

Researchers hope their findings will lead to vaping devices being routinely offered by stop-smoking services.

Public Health England has already called for e-cigarettes to be made available on the NHS within five years, pointing to a body of research that suggests they are at least 95% less harmful than cigarettes.

However, up until now there had been a shortage of evidence on how effective they were as stop-smoking tools.

Lead researcher Prof Peter Hajek, from Queen Mary University of London, said: “Although a large number of smokers report that they have quit smoking successfully with the help of e-cigarettes, health professionals have been reluctant to recommend their use because of the lack of clear evidence from randomised controlled trials.

“This is now likely to change.”

read full article at – https://www.bbc.com/news/health-47041111

Vapers rise ‘to more than three million’ in Britain

from BBC – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-45513762

The number of vapers in Great Britain has topped three million for the first time – four times the number in 2012, according to a survey by Action on Smoking and Health.

Most use e-cigarettes because they have quit smoking and 40% are smokers who are trying to give up.

The estimations are based on a survey of 12,000 British adults.

But a “worrying” belief that vaping is as bad as smoking still exists, a King’s College London analysis found.

Earlier this year, Public Health England said e-cigarettes should be made available on prescription because of how successful they were in helping people give up smoking.

And a report by MPs in August said rules around e-cigarettes should be relaxed and their use on public transport debated.

Ash, the public health charity, said this survey suggested smokers were getting the message that switching to vaping could improve their health.

It estimates a 10% rise in e-cigarette users between 2017 and 2018, up from 2.9 to 3.2 million.

But there are still some smokers – about a third – who have never tried one.

Alison Cook, director of policy at the British Lung Foundation, said: “It’s really encouraging to see smokers using e-cigarettes to help them quit the much more harmful practice of smoking.”

She said doctors and pharmacists “should be very clear with people that there is a range of products available and that they can try vaping as a way to stop smoking”.

read full article – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-45513762