Tag Archives: e-cigarettes

Vape Products Banned From All Pharmacies In New York’s Capital

(DCNF/The Daily Vaper)— Harm reduction advocates are criticizing lawmakers in New York state for conflating combustible tobacco with vaping in their latest effort to restrict access.

The Albany County Legislature voted 26-11 Monday to ban the sale of all tobacco and nicotine products from certain grocery stores and all pharmacies in Albany and surrounding communities. Albany County Legislator Paul Miller, author of the ban, claims the move is in the interest of public health, suggesting liquid nicotine and vapor products pose the same health harms as tobacco, reported WRGB Albany.

Stores have several months to evaluate their products to comply with the ban and will face fines ranging from $50 for a first offense to $500 for every subsequent violation. (RELATED: Experts Warn NY Vaping Ban Will Lead To Higher Smoking Rates, More Tobacco Deaths)

“We aren’t outlawing tobacco in the county, but we are saying that we want to reduce the number of people that get addicted to cigarettes and nicotine,”said Miller, according to WRGB Albany.

Ample research proves that vaping devices drastically reduce the harm caused by cigarettes, because the majority of cancer-causing chemicals are released through combustion of tobacco. Public health experts agree that efforts to reduce tobacco use are admirable; however, they argue those efforts are bolstered, not undermined, by vaping devices.

Smokers who switch to a less harmful vapor product already find themselves heavily restricted in the state. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law on Oct. 23 amending New York state’s tobacco laws to include e-cigarettes, claiming it was to protect public health.

Charles Hughes, a policy analyst at the Manhattan Institute, previously argued the amendment will have the opposite effect on public health because it restricts use of the products to areas where smoking is allowed. Smokers may be less likely to ever attempt quitting with a vape if the products are relegated to the status of combustible cigarettes, Hughes argued in an October editorial in Economics 21.

“Failing to recognize the differences between conventional cigarettes and e-cigarettes could slow the rate at which people shift away from conventional cigarettes,” Hughes warned.

He pointed to a study released Oct. 2, 2017 by the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center, which shows that, even in a worst case scenario, if vaping were to largely replace smoking, roughly 1.6 million smokers would avoid premature death and collectively add 20.8 million extra years to their lives.

In the best case scenario, roughly 6.6. million smokers would avoid premature death and collectively add 86.7 million extra years to their lives if vaping replaced smoking.

Harm reduction advocates say instead of alarmism over the alleged threats posed by vapor products, users should be taught about the relative risks of those products when compared to smoking.

Written by Steve Birr: Follow Steve on Twitter.


This article was republished with permission from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

HuffPo Scrambles To Fix E-Cig Story Amid Torrent Of Criticism

By Guy Bentley – The Huffington Post has made a series of corrections to an error-strewn video featuring Dr. Margaret Cuomo, sister of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, claiming e-cigarettes are just as dangerous as tobacco cigarettes.

The video published Monday stirred up a torrent of criticism from scientists, doctors, and the public. Cuomo, who fails to cite any evidence during the course of the video, puts forward one of the most radical and as of yet unsupported views about the risks of e-cigarettes.

The Daily Caller News Foundation published a story on the video’s inaccuracies, complete with expert and academic commentary that refuted several obvious falsehoods. (RELATED: Experts Come Out Of The Woodwork To Slam Gov. Cuomo’s Sister For HuffPo Video About E-Cigs)

Here’s how HuffPo scrambled to correct its video, and how it has failed to correct Cuomo’s most controversial assertion.

The Controversy

After releasing the video Monday morning, there was a backlash on social media over its inaccuracies. “Because of their chemical composition e-cigarettes are at least as harmful to your health as regular tobacco cigarettes are,” says Cuomo in the opening line.

Fortunately, experts were quick to discredit Cuomo’s argument. “All the available research to date suggests that although there are toxicants in e-cigarettes, they are at far lower levels than in smoked tobacco,” said Professor Linda Bauld, Professor of Health Policy, University of Stirling; Deputy Director, UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies.

“E-cigarettes contain many harmful chemicals that tobacco cigarettes do not contain such as formaldehyde, benzene, propylene glycol, and metals like cadmium, nickel, and tin,” Cuomo went on to say. As anyone with the ability to navigate a search engine can discover, tobacco cigarettes contain all of but one of these chemicals.

The video was later ripped from the site but put back up on Wednesday morning. According to HuffPo, the video was taken down to make a minor alteration.

“A previous version of this video misidentified one of the chemicals in the e-cigarette smoke as tin; it is zinc,” a correction note beneath the video states. But this change was just the start of HuffPo’s backtracking.

A Comedy Of Errors

HuffPo staff went back to look at the video when The Daily Caller News Foundation inquired about other inconsistencies, including the assertion that formaldehyde, benzene, propylene glycol, and metals like cadmium, nickel, and zinc are found in e-cigarettes and not in tobacco smoke.

Updated for the second time Thursday, HuffPo scrapped the section which stated e-cigarettes contain many chemicals that tobacco cigarettes don’t. HuffPo also cut out a part where Cuomo alleges “e-cigarettes will raise your risk for lung cancer, but also other cancers. Like liver cancer.”

“A reference to risks of cancer associated with e-cigarettes has also been removed; rather, some compounds found in e-cigarettes are associated with risks of cancer and liver disease,” HuffPo added to their first correction.

Instead, Cuomo now says, chemicals identified in e-cigarette vapor are “in many cases cancer-causing agents.” What Cuomo omits from her analysis is that the proportion of these chemicals in regular cigarettes dwarfs the quantities found in e-cigs by many times.

E-cigarettes need to be turned to such a high power setting to produce anything close to hazardous levels of formaldehyde, that it’s wildly unrealistic to assume that users would be exposed to them. These settings produce a burning condition known as a “dry puff,” an experience conventional users typically avoid.

To make the picture even more complicated, HuffPo has two different links to the video now, both with different headlines and explanatory paragraphs. But one of them was drastically altered following questioning from the DCNF. Here’s what the original headline and paragraph explaining the video said.

Screenshot HufPo
Screenshot HufPo

And here’s the second:

Screenshot HufPo
Screenshot HufPo

The canyon sized difference between the two headlines cannot be overstated. Equating e-cigarettes with regular cigarettes would mean vaping is one of the most dangerous, legal consumer activities one can undertake.

Few experts will assert e-cigarettes have zero risk and are totally safe. The relevant question for those using e-cigs to help them quit smoking is how much safer are they than traditional, combustion tobacco cigarettes.

Public Health England (PHE), an agency of the United Kingdom’s Department of Health provides a useful answer: E-cigarettes are 95 percent safer than tobacco and could be a “game-changer” for getting people to quit smoking.

The Response

HuffPo had no answers when it came to including citations or expert studies to back up Cuomo’s assertions in the video. Similarly, with regard to fact-checking procedures. HuffPo’s spokesperson only said, “We have updated the video to reflect corrections and have made note of them in both the video and article.”

The Biggest Error Remains

Even though there is as of yet, no scientific basis for her claim, HuffPo’s staff decided to leave the part of the video where she alleges e-cigs are just as harmful as regular cigarettes unchanged.

TheDCNF asked HuffPo if Dr. Cuomo would like to reply to any of the criticisms of her video. Cuomo has not responded.

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Utah Vapers Could Face 86 Percent Tax Bombshell

By Guy Bentley – Utah vapers could be hit with an 86.5 percent tax on e-cigarettes if a bill proposed Friday passes the state legislature.

State Rep. Paul Ray introduced the bill HB333, which would tax e-cigarettes at the same rate as other non-cigarette tobacco products, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

E-cigarettes “are not taxed now because they are relatively new and they have never been put into the tax code, or into any code, as a tobacco product,” said Ray. “It has nicotine in it, so it is a tobacco product.” E-cigarettes themselves do not contain any tobacco.

Ray claimed that e-cigarette producers are targeting children with certain fruit flavorings and said 10,000 high school students had signed a petition in favor of the bill. Health officials attacked the rising level of advertising from the e-cigarette industry.

Ray’s bill would use extra revenue from the tax to improve health care in rural areas. Lawmakers also are considering using such a tax to help fund expanding Medicaid to people uncovered in Utah, mostly targeting poor, rural areas, Ray said.

E-Cigarette advocates told The Salt Lake City Tribune the tax was not only disproportionate but also dangerous. Shilo Platts, with the Utah chapter of the Smoke-Free Trade Alternatives Association, said “seeking a punitive tax on vapor products is the wrong approach. It’s time Utah embraced harm-reduction, instead of a regressive tax that pushes vapers back to combustible tobacco or one that creates a black market.”

The proposed tax rise comes less than a week after an Oregon Democrat introduced a bill to raise the retail tax on e-cigarettes and e-liquids. Rep. Phil Barnhart is sponsoring House Bill 4062 which raises the retail tax by an eye-watering 50 percent. (RELATED: Mapped: States Most Vulnerable To E-Cigarette Taxes In 2016)

But the e-cigarette industry aren’t the only ones fighting against the new taxes. Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) are a staunch critic of anti-vaping movement and has launched a new website Stope Vape Taxes.


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