Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019
VAPING WEEKLY UPDATE PODCAST TRANSCRIPT
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Thanks for tuning in to this special edition! My name is Michael McGrady, your host, and the public policy columnist for the English edition of VapingPost.com. This is Vaping Weekly Update and here is the news that vapers, shop owners, and activists need to know for this week, published on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019.
To begin, quickly, Happy New Year! We wanted to say sorry for our brief hiatus over the Christmas holiday. As we advance into 2020, we just wanted to add that we have had amazing growth for the month that we’ve been live. Hundreds of listeners, within a short amount of time. Thank you!
Now here’s the news, ladies and gentlemen.
Rumors have circulated that the Trump administration is still considering a nationwide ban on flavored vapor products.
According to regulatory documents obtained by Vaping Post, the Food and Drug Administration has submitted a policy proposal that evaluates prospective actions of removing products from the nationwide market. Currently, this proposal is in the hands of regulators headquartered at the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
Trump appointee, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced a proposed ban on flavored e-cigarettes as a response to concerns over a rash of lung injuries linked to vaping and youth uptake. This was back in September, though. Since then, there has been little consensus among stakeholders on the best course of action.
In Florida, a vaping industry group has taken up the cause to ensure that Trump doesn’t implement a flavor ban. The Vapor Technology Association purchased a $100,000 media buy in West Palm Beach broadcasting an advertisement that critiques Trump’s lackadaisical stance on vaping.[Audio of VTA Advertisement]
The ad placement is interesting, too. Trump’s family owns the Mar-A-Lago resort, and he often spends much of his time at the resort which is located in West Palm Beach. Barring the clear ethical violations of constantly conducting official business at a family-owned business asset while being an elected official, the media buy was strategically aired on networks like CNN and Trump’s favorite network, Fox News.
Trump is also preparing for an impeachment trial before the U.S. Senate for high crimes of corruption. Most Americans believe that he is guilty. However, the result could end in acquittal because of near unified support of the president by the Republican majority currently holding the upper body of Congress.
In other policy news, the FDA officially implemented a higher legal tobacco purchase age after Trump signed a $1.4 trillion funding package featuring a bipartisan attachment of the proposal. The FDA made the policy effective meaning that people under the age of 21 are no longer allowed to purchase tobacco products in the United States.
I recently produced commentary for Vaping Post, highlighting the absurdity of Tobacco 21 policies without properly reforming criminal justice measures indicting youth for tobacco use. You can review this commentary article at vapingpost.com.
The FDA also announced that they have seized dozens of digital properties accused of distributing illicit THC vapor products. This action has been linked to the vaping epidemic classified as EVALI, according to the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In New York state, the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he will revert to bringing forward another attempt at vaping prohibitions across the state.
Elsewhere, a new law in the state of Nevada is due to enter force. Effective Jan. 1, the new law expands the state’s clean-air law that already restricts smoking to also prohibit the use of vaping products and electronic cigarettes in most public spaces and indoor places of employment.
New regulations at the state and local levels are also due to enter into force on Jan. 1 in thousands of jurisdictions across the country.
In business news, Instagram’s corporate parent, Facebook, announced that content creators and social media influencers are now banned from posting branded posts that contain content promoting vaping, tobacco products, and the use of weapons.
Meanwhile, Juul Labs is having an in-office vaping problem, according to a series of new reports from the Wall Street Journal. Former CEO Kevin Burns ordered employees of the company to stop vaping at work at the end of 2018. However, this latest round of reporting still highlights a corporate culture that is still undetermined.
Now, here is some brief legal news.
According to reports published across the wire services and Ballotpedia News, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on December 10 unanimously rejected an Administrative Procedure Act (or APA) challenge to the Food and Drug Administration’s process for approving new e-cigarette products.
An e-cigarette manufacturer joined with an e-cigarette advocacy group to sue the FDA, arguing that the agency violated the APA by not providing an easier pathway for new e-cigarette products to be approved for marketing and sale.
In international news, the World Health Organization released a year-end report indicating that international tobacco use is declining. 2020, according to the WHO, is a golden year for tobacco use reduction, meaning that millions continue to leave the drug and the delivery system. Between 2000 and 2019, it is reported that 60 million people have stopped smoking.
Industry advocates and public health personalities that support e-cigarettes as a harm reduction tool attribute these declines to the increase of e-cigarette use among adults and youth nicotine users. In the United States, for example, federal data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration points out that the increase in vaping in recent years directly impacts the reduction of smoking.
According to the latest WHO data, an overwhelming majority of countries around the world have worked to reduce smoking rates. Eygpt, Oman, and other Arab countries were the only places to feature tobacco use increases.
In Europe, Hungary’s government was also sued in the European judicial system by the European Commission, according to Vaping Post. Hungary has a lower e-cigarette excise tax that falls below the mandated excise standard set by the European Union.
In snus news, tobacco firm Imperial Brands recently published a literature review in the academic Harm Reduction Journal reiterating the harm reduction characteristics of oral tobacco like snus. This literature also calls on the European Union to legalize snus in the rest of the Euro bloc. Only Sweden and a few Scandanavian countries allow snus products in the E.U.
And, that’s the news.
Stayed tuned for our next Vaping Weekly Update and our upcoming Unfiltered interview with Marewa Glover, the director of the Centre of Research Excellence for Indigenous Sovereignty & Smoking, located in Auckland, New Zealand.
We want to thank you again for listening.
If you haven’t already, check out my latest interview with David Goerlitz, the Winston Man, in our first episode of Vaping Weekly Unfiltered.
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Vaping Weekly is created and hosted by Michael McGrady.
The editorial team for VapingPost.com also produces this show.
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Disclaimer: Before you go, let’s make a few things clear. This episode featured an advertisement produced and paid for by the Vapor Technology Association, or the VTA. We featured this as a part of the news report covering the topic and is no way an endorsement for or against the content of the advertisement. Vaping Post and the VTA are not affiliated by any means. Thank you.