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Canadian doctors call for authorization of sales of e-cigarettes with nicotine

| March 27, 2014

A group of doctors, professors and health advocates are calling on the Canadian federal government to authorize the sale in Canada of e-cigarettes containing nicotine.

Writing in The Gazette on behalf of the group, Gaston Ostiguy said e-cigarettes offered a safer and more acceptable alternative to regular cigarettes for smokers to appease their addiction.

No doubt, tremendous strides had been made over the years to impose a strict regulatory framework on regular cigarettes, he said, and more could be done. But it was wishful thinking that one day nicotine use would be eradicated. The vast majority of smokers wanted to quit, but studies showed that only 10 percent of them were still abstinent after trying to quit during the previous year.

“In such a context, we believe that the time has come for tobacco control to move beyond the usual approaches of education, total nicotine cessation and prevention,” Ostiguy said. “In a landmark report published in 2007, the Royal College of Physicians makes a compelling case why harm reduction should no longer be ignored by health authorities to lower the death and disease caused by tobacco use.”

Ostiguy’s piece is at http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/time+authorize+sale+electronic+cigarettes/9655937/story.html.

Challenge to public-place e-cigarette ban

| March 27, 2014

New York City’s ban on e-cigarettes is being challenged by a smokers’ rights group that filed a lawsuit on Tuesday seeking to overturn the legislation, according to a story by Mara Gay for The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition.

E-cigarettes were added to the city’s 2002 Smoke-Free Air Act, which originally had banned tobacco smoking in public places.

An attorney for the plaintiffs said there was no tobacco-industry or e-cigarette-industry involvement in the lawsuit.

The story is at http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304179704579461514072087696?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304179704579461514072087696.html.

U.K. doctors want “progressive prohibition”

| March 27, 2014

Leading U.K. doctors have called for a ban on cigarette sales to people born after 2000: a program of “progressive prohibition” aimed at curbing smoking-related deaths, according to a story by Ben Lazarus for The Telegraph.

At the British Medical Association’s annual public health medicine conference, the doctors urged the BMA to lobby for a complete ban on the sale of cigarettes to anyone born in this century.

But Ian Kennedy, a public health medicine registrar, questioned whether banning cigarettes for a certain section of the population was a sustainable policy, and asked why 13- to 14-year-olds were being targeted.

Lazarus’ story is at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10722727/Ban-sale-of-cigarettes-to-anyone-born-after-2000-doctors-say.html.

Legacy panel to discuss harm reduction

| March 26, 2014

The U.S.-based anti-tobacco organization Legacy is due to host a live webcast of a panel discussion addressing key findings in the 2014 U.S. Surgeon General’s report on the health consequences of smoking.

Legacy says the discussions will include how it might be possible, innovatively and more rapidly than presently is the case, to end the premature deaths caused specifically by cigarette smoking, since it is the burning of tobacco that produces the most lethal toxins.

“The burden of death and disease from tobacco use in the United States is overwhelmingly caused by cigarettes and other combusted tobacco products; rapid elimination of their use will dramatically reduce this burden …,” according to the surgeon general’s report. [However] “the promotion of non-combustible products is much more likely to provide public health benefits only in an environment where the appeal, accessibility, promotion, and use of cigarettes and other combusted tobacco products are being rapidly reduced.”

The “Warner Series” panel discussion will consider ways to speed the end of combustible cigarettes and the role that alternative products such as e-cigarettes could play in ending cigarette smoking.

The live webcast, which will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on March 31, will be at www.legacyforhealth.org/warnerseries.

Speakers for nicotine forum announced

| March 26, 2014

A list of speakers has been announced by the organizers of The First Global Forum on Nicotine, which is due to take place at the Marriott Hotel, Warsaw, Poland, on June 27–28.

The forum, which will be staged by KAC, is set to examine the current state of the debate about the use of nicotine across the globe; critically examine the science relating to the safety and use of nicotine; allow politicians, scientists, manufacturers, distributors and consumers to exchange views; and facilitate the development of links to enable ongoing dialogue between different sectors.

Speakers will include:

  • Professor Riccardo Polosa (Italy)
  • Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos (Greece)
  • Dr. Maciej Goniewicz (USA)
  • Professor Andrzej Sobczak (Poland)
  • Dr. Lynne Dawkins (UK)
  • Professor Gerry Stimson (UK)
  • Professor Peter Hajek (UK)
  • Professor Karl Lund (Norway)
  • Hazel Mabe (Germany)
  • Robert Mrówczyński (Poland)
  • Cynthia Cabrera (USA)
  • Dr. Mirosław Dworniczak (Poland)
  • Dr. Delon Human (Switzerland)
  • Leon Kosmider (Poland)
  • Lou Ritter (USA)
  • Dr. Jacques le Houezec (France)
  • Dr. Karl Fagerström (Sweden)
  • Clive Bates (UK)

More details about the speakers are at http://gfn.net.co/programme.

Korea tobacco lawsuit could be delayed

| March 26, 2014

South Korea’s National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) seems to be rethinking its proposed tobacco-company lawsuit.

According to a story in the Korea Times, the NHIS said on Jan. 16 that it would decide the details of its compensation suit against KT&G and other tobacco manufacturers at a board meeting on Jan. 24.

And in a story filed after the board meeting, the Times said the NHIS had decided to file a damages suit against KT&G and other tobacco companies seeking up to WON333 billion.

The decision to go ahead with the claim was made despite the fact that the Ministry of Health and Welfare opposed the suit.

Yesterday, a story in The Korea Economic Daily said the NHIS was poised to launch its suit, but it mentioned only KT&G, not other tobacco companies, and the amount of compensation to be claimed was still to be determined—somewhere between WON53.7 billion and WON230.2 billion.

There even seemed to be some doubt about whether the suit would go ahead, at least anytime soon.

Ahn Sun-young, legal counsel at NHIS, said the lawsuit would be launched within the next month at the latest. However, he added that the suit might be delayed because the government was not enthusiastic about its prospects.

And recently the Ministry of Strategy and Finance expressed doubts about the litigation. “Although fully in agreement with the principle, the National Health Insurance Service will have a hard time to prove criminal intent on the part of the tobacco company,” the ministry was quoted as saying.

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