Tobacco Reporter https://tobaccoreporter.com Thu, 08 Dec 2022 18:47:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.0.2 https://tobaccoreporter.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/08/cropped-tr-square-32x32.png Tobacco Reporter https://tobaccoreporter.com 32 32 40097748 Delegates Urged to Consider Harm Reduction Ahead of COP10 https://tobaccoreporter.com/2022/12/08/delegates-urged-to-consider-harm-reduction-ahead-of-cop10/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=delegates-urged-to-consider-harm-reduction-ahead-of-cop10 Thu, 08 Dec 2022 18:44:03 +0000 https://tobaccoreporter.com/?p=94501 Smokers have the right to access less harmful nicotine products, activist write in a message to health leaders.

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Photo: lovelyday12

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Advocates’ (CAPHRA) nine member organisations have written to Framework Convention for Tobacco Control delegation heads from around the world, urging them to review the evidence that supports a tobacco harm reduction (THR) approach ahead of COP10.

With governments sending delegates to COP10 in November 2023, CAPHRA was keen to send leaders comprehensive reference material for their COP10 planning, submission writing and deliberations.

COP10 will held in Panama and is hosted by the World Health Organization’s FCTC.

‘We do this on behalf of the four million current users of safer nicotine products in the wider Asia Pacific region. As you are aware, our region bears the brunt of the harm and death from combustible and unsafe oral tobacco globally,’ said the letter.

The CAPHRA representatives reminded the health leaders that the FCTC has a mandate to pursue harm reduction as a core tobacco control policy.

“It has been known for decades that tar and carcinogens found in tobacco smoke, cause the death and disease associated with smoking, not nicotine. Research has proven that nicotine, while usually mildly addictive in the same way as caffeine, is not a health issue,” they wrote.  

The letter also called on delegates to deplore FCTC’s policy to conduct COP10 sessions behind closed doors.

“Delegates to COP10 should be representing the rights and aspirations of the citizens whose taxes are paying for their attendance, who expect them to speak on their behalf, acknowledge the science underpinning the harm reduction benefits of ENDS, and maintain democratic principles,” they wrote.

The CAPHRA representatives asked countries to take into account, when making their COP10 submissions, that consumers have the right to make choices that help them avoid adverse health outcomes. What’s more, people who smoke have the right to access less harmful nicotine products as alternatives to smoking.

The evidence-based documentation was wrapped up in a recently released white paper, titled “The Subversion of Public Health: Consumer Perspectives,” which was presented by CAPHRA executive co-ordinator Nancy Loucas at the Fifth Asia Harm Reduction Forum.

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New Genes Connected to Tobacco, Alcohol Addiction https://tobaccoreporter.com/2022/12/08/new-genes-connected-to-tobacco-alcohol-addiction/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=new-genes-connected-to-tobacco-alcohol-addiction Thu, 08 Dec 2022 16:29:08 +0000 https://tobaccoreporter.com/?p=94483 More robust and diverse data will help researchers develop predictive risk factor tools.

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Image: Vlad Kochelaevskiy

Over 2,300 genes are associated with alcohol and tobacco use, according to new Penn State research published in Nature.

“We’ve now identified more than 1,900 additional genes that are associated with alcohol and tobacco use behaviors,” said Dajiang Liu, professor and vice chair for research in the Department of Public Health Sciences. “A fifth of the samples used in our analysis were from non-European ancestries, which increases the relevance of these findings to a diverse population.”

About 400 genes were discovered in a previous research study.

“It is promising to see that the same genes are associated with addictive behaviors across ancestries,” said Liu in a statement. “Having more robust and diverse data will help us develop predictive risk factor tools that can be applied to all populations.”

Within two years to three years, according to Liu, using these genetic risk factor would be refined and become routine in care for individuals already identified as having increased risk for alcohol and tobacco use.

“This project leveraged large amounts of data to identify common genetic risk factors across diverse populations,” said Kevin Black, interim dean of the College of Medicine. “Using these findings to develop screening tools for diseases of despair is the kind of innovation that will help our college lead the way in using health informatics to contribute to health preservation and disease treatment in our communities.”

 

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Cancer Society Concerned About Nicotine Pouches https://tobaccoreporter.com/2022/12/08/cancer-society-concerned-about-nicotine-pouches/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=cancer-society-concerned-about-nicotine-pouches Thu, 08 Dec 2022 15:48:00 +0000 https://tobaccoreporter.com/?p=94493 Focusing on the addictive properties of nicotine, the group wants to warn consumers of health effects.

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Photo: Andrii

The American Cancer Society is concerned about the growing popularity of nicotine pouches.

Overall U.S. sales of nicotine pouches increased during 2019–2022, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open. The data also showed sales of 8 mg nicotine concentration level (highest available) products rose more rapidly than those with different concentration levels.

“Our findings are important as nicotine is a highly addictive substance. The growing popularity of nicotine pouches may increase the risk of children finding these products to be attractive and risk-averse health outcomes and addiction to nicotine,” said Nigar Nargis, senior scientific director of tobacco control research at the American Cancer Society and senior author of the study, in a statement. “Health campaigns warning of potential adverse health outcomes of nicotine pouches are needed.”

Study authors analyzed data comprising weekly Nielsen IQ Retail Scanner point of purchase sales from August 2019 through March 2022, for 2,182 local trade areas in the contiguous 48 states and Washington, D.C. Sales trends of four nicotine pouch brands (Zyn, Rogue, On! and Velo) were analyzed.

The results showed overall sales increased from 126.06 million units from August to December 2019 to 808.14 million units from January to March 2022. Zyn (58.8 percent) led the overall unit share followed by On! (24.6 percent), Velo (12.1 percent) and Rogue (4.8 percent) during the study period. Zyn sales peaked in September 2021 and increased more than other brands from October 2021 to March 2022; however, Rogue sales increased more rapidly than all other brands.

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BAT Reports Continued Gains in Noncombustibles https://tobaccoreporter.com/2022/12/08/bat-reports-continued-gains-in-noncombustibles/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bat-reports-continued-gains-in-noncombustibles Thu, 08 Dec 2022 14:41:12 +0000 https://tobaccoreporter.com/?p=94453 The New Category business has become a significant contributor to group performance, according to the company.

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Photo: BAT

BAT gained 3.2 million consumers within its noncombustible business during the first nine months of 2022, thanks in part to new product launches and geographic expansion, CEO Jack Bowles wrote in a trading update.

The New Category business continues to drive strong volume, revenue and market share growth and has become a significant contributor to group performance, according to BAT.

The global value share of Vuse vapor cigarettes reached 35.7 percent in key vapor markets by September 2022, up 2.2 percentage points over full-year 2021. In the U.S., the brand extended its leadership position by 6.8 percentage points, achieving a total value share of 39.3 percent.

BAT’s Glo tobacco-heating product (THP) increased its category volume share by 1.6 percentage points in key THP markets to reach 19.5 percent by September 2022. In Europe, Glo achieved a 20.4 percent volume share in key THP markets, up 4 percentage points. In Japan, Hyper drove Glo’s total nicotine volume share up 50 base points versus 2021 to reach a share of 7.3 percent.

BAT’s Velo modern oral brand reached a volume market share in Europe of 69.1 percent.

Meanwhile, BAT reported a flat combustible cigarette value share, with gains in the United States, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East offset by declines in the company’s Americas, Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe regions. In the U.S., BAT begun new sales strategies in the second half to offset “early signs of accelerated downtrading,” according to Bowles.

BAT reiterated its guidance for mid-single percentage growth in adjusted earnings per share at constant currency this year. Price increases and marketing campaigns should offset higher raw material prices, according to the company.

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Judge Blocks FDA Graphic Health Warnings https://tobaccoreporter.com/2022/12/08/judge-blocks-fda-graphic-health-warnings/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=judge-blocks-fda-graphic-health-warnings Thu, 08 Dec 2022 13:36:04 +0000 https://tobaccoreporter.com/?p=94443 The government has not shown that the labels are necessary in light of other options, according to the ruling.

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Image: FDA

A federal judge has blocked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from enforcing a rule requiring tobacco manufacturers to print graphic warning labels on their products, citing the companies’ First Amendment rights, reports Law360.

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 instructs the FDA to create visual health warnings, but the D.C. Circuit in 2012 blocked the agency’s first attempt, saying that regulators had not convincingly demonstrated that the warnings would actually reduce smoking.

In March 2020, the FDA released the final rule requiring new graphic warnings for cigarettes that feature some of the lesser known but still serious health risks of smoking, such as diabetes, on the top half of the front and back of cigarette packages and at least 20 percent of the area on the top of cigarette advertisements.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., ITG Brands and Liggett Group filed a First Amendment challenge in April 2020. The rule was set to take effect in November 2023 after it was repeatedly pushed back by court.

In a lengthy opinion issued Dec. 7, U.S. District Judge J. Campbell Barker of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas vacated the FDA’s rule after finding that the required label statements and graphic images are not narrowly tailored to the agency’s interest in promoting public awareness of the health risks of smoking.

“The government has not shown that compelling these large, graphic warnings is necessary in light of other options,” the judge said, noting that the government could put more effort into public awareness campaigns.

Public health campaigners were aghast. “Today’s decision by a federal judge to block implementation of graphic cigarette warnings ordered by the Food and Drug Administration is wrong on the law, inconsistent with decades of precedent and harms public health,” read a joint statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Cancer Society, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and Truth Initiative.

“We urge the justice department to appeal this decision, and we are confident that the FDA’s warnings will ultimately be upheld by a higher court.”

The health groups also noted that the U.S. had fallen behind other countries with its tobacco control policies. Prior to 2009, when Congress passed the Tobacco Control Act, only 18 countries required graphic warnings for tobacco products, they pointed out. Today, more than 120 countries require them.

 

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Bristol Mayor Vetoes ‘Navy Cut’ Road https://tobaccoreporter.com/2022/12/08/bristol-mayor-vetoes-navy-cut-road/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bristol-mayor-vetoes-navy-cut-road Thu, 08 Dec 2022 11:15:00 +0000 https://tobaccoreporter.com/?p=94474 The city manager does not want to honor a cigarette previously produced by Imperial locally.

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Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees vetoed naming a South Bristol road after a tobacco product following pushback from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), reports Bristol Live.

The road was set to be named Navy Cut Road after a brand produced by the Imperial Brands tobacco factory that formerly occupied that area. After ASH said that was “morally unacceptable,” however, Rees vetoed the name in favor of naming the road after Florence Mills Brown, the first female lord mayor.

Councilor Richard Eddy criticized the move, saying that Mayor Rees is “imposing” his will on the citizens of the area.

“Having served on Bristol City Council for 30 years, it does not escape me that, contrary to all previous practice, your team is not seeking the views of my local community and its elected councilors on a proposed street-naming within my neighborhood,” Eddy wrote in an email.

“Whilst I’m sure former Lord Mayor Florence Brown was a creditworthy woman, why name a road here after a Labour politician, who represented two wards miles away in North Bristol and has no discernible links to Bishopsworth?

“This is not just a small disagreement over street naming in a southern city suburb, but it goes to the heart of the debate about whether Bristol should be ruled by one man with a ‘God complex’ or whether local communities and their duly elected councilors should determine their own destinies.”

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Juul Settles More than 5,000 Lawsuits https://tobaccoreporter.com/2022/12/07/juul-settles-more-than-5000-lawsuits/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=juul-settles-more-than-5000-lawsuits Wed, 07 Dec 2022 12:03:59 +0000 https://tobaccoreporter.com/?p=94377 The deal resolves much of the legal uncertainty surrounding the vapor company.

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Photo: steheap

Juul Labs has settled more than 5,000 lawsuits covering more than 10,000 individual plaintiffs, reports The Wall Street Journal The deal resolves much of the legal uncertainty that had driven the company close to bankruptcy.

Juul announced on Dec. 6 it has secured an investment to cover the cost of the settlement. The company has been in talks with two early investors to fund a bailout  that would cover legal liabilities.

According to Juul CEO K.C. Crosthwaite, the settlement addresses the vast majority of outstanding litigation facing the company, including two pending bellwether trials that were set to go to court early next year, and four broad groups: personal-injury plaintiffs, Juul consumers, government entities such as school districts, and Native American tribes. Lawsuits brought by several attorneys general are pending. 

A pioneer in the vaping business, Juul Labs has gone from dominating the U.S. e-cigarette market to fighting for its survival in a relatively short time.

Following its initial success, the company quickly came under regulatory scrutiny over its marketing practices. Critics blame Juul Labs for contributing to an “epidemic” of underage vaping.

Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Juul over the past several years, alleging that the company marketed its e-cigarettes to children. Juul has said it never marketed to underage users.

In September, Juul Labs agreed to pay nearly $440 million to settle a two-year investigation by 33 U.S. states into the marketing of its vaping products.

Juul’s e-cigarettes were briefly banned in the U.S. in late June after the FDA concluded that the company had failed to show that the sale of its products would be appropriate for public health. But following an appeal, the health regulator put the ban on hold and agreed to an additional review of Juul’s marketing application.

In October, Juul published the details of its MDO appeal. In late September, Juul shareholder Altria Group exercised the option to be released from its noncompete deal with the e-cigarette maker.

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Companies to Post ‘Corrective Statements’ https://tobaccoreporter.com/2022/12/07/tobacco-companies-to-post-corrective-statements/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tobacco-companies-to-post-corrective-statements Wed, 07 Dec 2022 11:44:00 +0000 https://tobaccoreporter.com/?p=94403 The order will take effect July 1; firms will have three months to start posting the statements.

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Image: Wirestock | Adobe Stock

Tobacco companies will have to start displaying signs with “corrective” statements about the health effects and addictive nature of cigarettes at U.S. points of sale in the second half of 2023, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ), reports Fox News. A court order requiring the statements will take effect July 1, 2023, after which tobacco companies will have three months to start posting the statements for 21 months in English and Spanish.

The order “resolves the government’s long-running civil racketeering lawsuit against the largest United States cigarette companies,” according to the DOJ. The racketeering lawsuit was filed in 1999 and ended in 2005; however, the DOJ said the new court order is the last of several corrective remedies related to that case.

Altria Group, Philip Morris USA, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and four cigarette brands owned by ITG Brands are subject to the order. An estimated 200,000 of 300,000 retail stores in the U.S. that sell cigarettes have agreements with the tobacco companies. The order requires the companies to amend their agreements, requiring corrective statements to be placed at the stores on color signs that are eye-catching. Messaging will include adverse health effects of smoking, the addictive nature of nicotine and adverse health effects of secondhand smoke, among others.

“Justice Department attorneys have worked diligently for over 20 years to hold accountable the tobacco companies that defrauded consumers about the health risks of smoking,” said Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta. “Today’s resolution implements the last remedy of this litigation to ensure that consumers know the true dangers of the smoking products they may consider purchasing.”

“This is an important moment in the history of cancer control in the United States,” said William Klein, associate director of the National Cancer Institute’s behavioral research program. “Smoking causes about 30 percent of all cancer deaths in the United States, and therefore, the court-ordered corrective statements appearing at the point of cigarette sale will help support our mission to reduce the burden of cancer. We are grateful to our colleagues at the Department of Justice for having completed this significant work.”

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Sweden Approaching ‘Smoke-Free’ Goal https://tobaccoreporter.com/2022/12/07/sweden-approaching-smoke-free-goal/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=sweden-approaching-smoke-free-goal Wed, 07 Dec 2022 11:42:00 +0000 https://tobaccoreporter.com/?p=94432 Sweden’s smoking rates have plunged since the 1980s from 35 percent to below 6 percent.

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Delon Human | Photo: Taco Tuinstra

Smoking in Sweden has fallen to 5.6 percent, making Sweden the only European nation close to reaching the smoke-free goal set by the EU ahead of the 2040 target, Swedish authorities confirmed, according to BusinessWire.

According to participants in an event organized by the Oral Nicotine Commission in Stockholm, Sweden is about to become the first country in the world to be defined as “smoke-free,” representing a share of less than 5 percent of the population smoking.

Sweden’s smoking rates have plunged since the 1980s from 35 percent to below 6 percent. The next lowest smoking rate in Europe is double that of Sweden’s, with the EU average sitting around 23 percent, four times higher than in Sweden.

“If all smokers in the world, some 1.1 billion people, would switch to one of [the] less harmful alternative smoke-free, nicotine-based products, it could prevent disease and save millions of lives worldwide. Sweden has found the fire escape for smokers. We need to work together to repeat the Swedish experience globally to save lives,” said Delon Human, president of Health Diplomats and organizer of the Oral Nicotine Commission event.

“The upcoming Swedish EU presidency is a great opportunity to share their 5 percent success story to other EU countries,” said Karl Fagerstrom, professor, at the event. “We hope that Sweden will be generous with sharing this know-how internationally.”

Speakers at the conference emphasized the need for sound evidence-based policy interventions in tobacco control.

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U.K. Smoking Levels at All Time Low https://tobaccoreporter.com/2022/12/07/u-k-smoking-levels-at-all-time-low/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=u-k-smoking-levels-at-all-time-low Wed, 07 Dec 2022 11:41:00 +0000 https://tobaccoreporter.com/?p=94387 Vaping played a major role in the decline, according to new government data.

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Photo: be free

U.K. smoking levels have fallen to just 13.3 percent—the lowest since records began—according to new government data that says vaping played a “major role” in the decline.

The latest data from The Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows that the smoking rate for 2021 is down from the previous low of 14 percent in 2020, which means that there are around 6.6 million smokers in the U.K.

The ONS said this was the lowest proportion of current smokers since records started in 2011 based on estimates from the Annual Population Survey.

The report said: “Vaping devices such as e-cigarettes have played a major role in the decrease in smoking prevalence in the U.K.

“In this bulletin, we have reported an increase in e-cigarette use, and organizations such as Action on Smoking Health (ASH) have reported similar increases in e-cigarettes (vapes) usage among adults in Great Britain.”

In the U.K. as a whole, 15.1 percent of men and 11.5 percent of women smoked, a trend which has been consistent since 2011.

The 25-34 age group had the highest proportion of current smokers (15.8 percent), while those aged 65 and over came in lowest (8 percent).

People without qualifications were more likely to be current smokers (28.2 percent) than those whose highest level of education was a degree or equivalent (6.6 percent).

Among respondents to the ONS survey, 7.7 percent said they currently used an e-cigarette daily or occasionally.

According to the authors, this equates to around 4 million adults in the population; an increase on the estimate from 2020, where 6.4 percent of people reported daily or occasional e-cigarette use.

This is absolutely fantastic news and I am delighted that the U.K.’s vaping industry is playing its part in making this happen.

John Dunne, director general, UKVIA

Tobacco harm reduction advocates were elated by the decline in smoking. “This is absolutely fantastic news and I am delighted that the U.K.’s vaping industry is playing its part in making this happen,” said John Dunne, director general of the U.K. Vaping Industry Association, in a statement.

“The government must now redouble its efforts to ensure that it gets its 2030 smoke-free ambitions back on track so that smoking can finally be consigned to history.”

Dunne said stakeholders should capitalize on the momentum by reaching out to remaining smokers and give them the facts that they need to make the switch to vaping. “We must allow vape companies to use agreed health claims and switching messages to encourage adult smokers to switch to e-cigarettes and make full use of the different methods of communication available to the government and public health bodies,” he said.

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