Tobacco News & Updates: Fall 2021
The latest tobacco industry news, policies and stories are here.
Inside this edition:
- What To Do If Your Kids Are Vaping
- FDA Vape Product Regulation Update: 30% of OKC Retailers Sold Vapes To Underage Users
- Marlboro Producer Buys Healthcare Company To Treat Lung Disease
Sting Investigation Reveals Lax Enforcement of Tobacco Age Requirements
The Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission (ABLE) has been busy cracking down on irresponsible tobacco retailers. As News 9 reports, many vaping retailers in the Oklahoma City metro are checking customer IDs, but not reading them – leading to illicit underage sales of tobacco and vaping products.
See what happens during an ABLE commission ride along.
College Is Underway. Are Your Kids Vaping?
It’s likely that your kids know about vaping — especially if they’ve recently gone away to college. As a parent, it may be a difficult reality to face, but it’s one that you should be ready to address.
Here are a few tips for talking to your kids about the risks of vaping.
Before you talk, know the facts. Nicotine is especially dangerous to young people because it alters the brain, making it harder to avoid addictive behaviors later in life, including smoking. In fact, young people who vape are 7 times more likely to transition to cigarettes than those who don’t vape.
While you talk, remain calm and open. To understand their perspective, think back to a time when you felt social pressure when you were young. Listen to what they say — their thoughts and opinions matter. More tips:
- Ask open-ended questions like “How do you feel about vaping?”
- Thank them for their honesty.
- Offer yourself as support and leave the door open for further conversation.
Get the entire conversation guide and make sure you know the signs of nicotine addiction.
FDA Vape Product Regulation Update
The FDA recently issued marketing denial orders to nearly 950,000 e-cigarette products. They found these applicants “lacked sufficient evidence that they have a benefit to adult smokers sufficient to overcome the public health threat posed by the well-documented, alarming levels of youth use of such products.”
The fight is just heating up. JUUL’s products remain on store shelves, despite being under intense FDA scrutiny.
In October, the FDA granted marketing approval for RJ Reynolds brand Vuse. According to their ruling, the FDA found these products offered a greater benefit to adult smokers who want to quit. By comparison, regulators saw little risk posed to young people. However, over 10 percent of high school students who vape use Vuse products, according to the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey.
Vape companies claim their products are designed to assist with tobacco cessation, but the youth vaping epidemic says otherwise. An FDA study found that nearly 80% of vape users between 12 and 17 use a flavored product.
Product bans are a major weapon in the fight to end youth vaping. The FDA’s continued evaluations could go a long way to preventing the next wave of nicotine addiction in our kids.
Marlboro Manufacturer Buys Health Care Company To Treat Lung Disease
This year, Philip Morris International, the company that manufactures Marlboro, has been on a serious buying spree. Since July, they’ve acquired three pharmaceutical companies as part of their new strategy dubbed “Beyond Nicotine.”
Vectura produces devices that treat respiratory illnesses such as COPD and asthma. Fertin Pharma, based in Denmark, makes medicinal chewing gum and US-based OtiTopic is developing an aerosol that treats heart attacks. These transactions raise some serious questions. Are these purchases the sign of something more nefarious to come?
Sarah Woolnough, chief executive of Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation points to a conflict of interest that is dizzyingly clear. To Woolnough, PMI is now incentivized to grow sales of their tobacco products and reap the rewards from customers seeking treatment for smoking-related illnesses.
“It’s like someone breaking your knees and then selling you the crutches,” says Ruth Tal-Singer, a scientist studying COPD who declined a recruitment offer to work for PMI. Now, having acquired vast amounts of intellectual property and R&D firepower, PMI seems positioned for something big.
Exactly what remains to be seen. If their history of deception is anything to go by, we can be sure these acquisitions aren’t in the public’s best interest.
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