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OWN #9 | 3-9 June 2019

Bit of a light news week, especially in the aftermath of World No Tobacco Day. First up is a piece on the war on drugs, nicotine and youth vaping. Next up, in a bizarre twist, big tobacco would like you to "stop smoking". And finally, Beverly Hills becomes the first American city to outright ban the sale of cigarettes, vaping devices and e-liquids. Off we go...

The War or Nicotine

America loves wars. They've shown this time and again - the war on drugs, the war on terror, the war in the middle east...the list goes on and on. So it comes as no real surprise that they are in the process of waging a war on nicotine and, by extension, vaping.

This is not really a news article, but rather a look at the effect of the "war on nicotine and vaping".

With the rise in popularity of vaping, it was inevitable that there would be push-back. First it got classified as an "epidemic" - who wouldn't get behind a fight against an epidemic? This was achieved by declaring vaping among the youth an epidemic.

Vaping is now construed as something far more wicked than underaged drinking or the use of illicit substances.

Now consider this statement, which is not the first of it's kind in recent times. Underage drinking and or hard drug use, which has very serious dangers and consequences is currently less of concern than underage vaping. It boggles the mind.

Furthermore, it seems that the "epidemic" was based on data that when further analyzed showed most minors are just experimenting - they're not hardcore users.

National health data do show increases in e-cigarette use among minors, but further analysis reveals that a very, very small population show symptoms of aggressive nicotine use addiction. Out of all the data, most minors who have reported e-cigarette use are just general cases of experimentation.

However, there is a moral panic that seems to justify any and all means as fair game when it comes to limiting vaping - even for those who would truly benefit from it.

Similar to the "tough on crime" sentiments of the war on drugs, there seems to be a rising "tough on nicotine" sentiment in the war on nicotine.

The result is that minors caught in possession of nicotine could be held criminally liable and tried in juvenile court. This will most likely not end well.

Read the full article here:

Big tobacco wants you to stop smoking, not by vaping though

Phillip Morris, the owners of Marlboro cigarettes, has decided that the planet should be completely smoke-free. They've been working for 3 years on heat not burn products to replace cigarettes and also provided the original seed money for the Smoke-Free World non-profit organization.

Here comes the good part. The FDA, the same organization that is desperately trying to snuff out the vaping industry, has approved the IQOS for sale in the US.

The FDA, however, is not saying that the product is safe to use ("All tobacco products can be potentially harmful to your health and lead to addiction," the FDA warned). It agrees, though, that from a scientific point of view, the IQOS product does however produce lower levels of toxins than traditional smoke-based cigarettes.

So, scientifically speaking, heating tobacco instead of burning it is safer - of course it is. Problem is, the FDA doesn't seem to share that view when it comes to products that don't even contain tobacco at all - such as e-liquids used for vaping.

Funny old world, isn't it. Read the full article here:

Beverly Hills bans selling of cigarettes and vaping products

From 2021, many stores in Beverly Hills will no longer carry any tobacco products - which include cigarettes, cigars, dissolvable products, electronic cigarettes, chewing tobacco and water pipes.

Under the new ruling, establishments such as gas stations, convenience stores and pharmacies will no longer be permitted to carry the items, and hotels can only deliver tobacco products via room service.

This is not new for Beverly Hills, who previously banned flavoured tobacco in 2018 as well as being the first US city to ban smoking in restaurants.

Lili Bosse, a Beverly Hills city council member, told USA Today the measure isn't meant to infringe on the rights of tobacco users: "People's right to smoke is obviously something we hold sacred. What we're saying is we're not going to take part in selling it. They are not going to buy it in our city."

And there you have it - it's not meant to deter smoking, just make it harder to get. Full article below:

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