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Nicotine Science and Policy - Daily Digest - Mon, 12 January 2015

The surging popularity of electronic cigarettes has prompted calls for regulation, bans, or prescriptions on the NHS. Now a group of users say that the controversial devices need something more important: an etiquette guide. With about two million people using e-cigarettes, confusion over the rules on “vaping” in restaurants, offices and on public transport is rife, with some prohibiting it and others unclear. 


Since 1970, the television airwaves have been clear of pro-smoking advertisements. That is, until recently, when the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services began running a television spot that undoubtedly promotes smoking by strongly discouraging smokers who might otherwise quit from using electronic cigarettes. The commercial will likely also cause ex-smokers who have quit via electronic cigarettes to return to cigarette smoking.


Across the four medical centers, researchers recruited a total of 1,246 treatment-seeking smokers. Testing the metabolisms of the participants, the researchers sorted the participants into two groups - 662 people were "slow metabolizers" and 584 people were considered to be "normal metabolizers." The team found that, among the normal metabolizers, nearly 40% of varenicline users had not relapsed, compared with 22% of patch users. [...]


The tobacco landscape is changing right in front of our eyes. The slowdowns in the tobacco industry, increasing health consciousness among consumers, and higher taxes have hurt volumes. In addition, a rise in the number of people quitting smoking has also been impacting volume growth. According to a report by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking among US adults declined from 20.9% in 2005 to 17.8% in 2013.


What a topsy-turvy world we live in: The only groups opposed to keeping kids away from e-cigarettes are the so-called “public health” groups. If we can agree that youngsters and e-cigarettes shouldn’t mix — at least not freely — under what misguided precept of “health” can groups such as the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association [...] stump legislators far and wide, calling for a veto of any bill to ban such sales? 


Vapor from electronic cigarettes may increase young people's risk of respiratory infections, whether or not it contains nicotine, a new laboratory study has found. The vapor triggered a strong immune response in epithelial cells, which are cells that line the inside of the lung and protect the organ from harm, said lead author Dr. Qun Wu, a lung disease researcher at National Jewish Health in Denver.


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