Erik Befrits – Nicotine and Science Media update December 2nd 2014

The good news is that the smoking rate has hit a new low. It is now just under 18% of all adults – but the goal of a totally smokeless society is elusive. Epidemiologists estimate that if the smoking rate continues to decline at the current pace, it will take 40 years to halve again, and cigarettes will claim millions more lives. The immediate solution is to make it safer to use nicotine. […]


The Boulder (Colorado) City Council is considering legislation that would extend the city’s smoking ban to include parks and open spaces and ban vaping in all the places where smoking is banned. […] When the worst thing that can be said about the potential public health hazard of exposure to exhaled e-cigarette aerosol is that the aerosol has been shown to contain more than water, you know that you are dealing with a flimsy justification for this proposed policy.


The chief of China’s powerful tobacco monopoly on Monday pushed back against government efforts to curb smoking, a habit the World Health Organization says accounts for as many as a million deaths a year. In an interview with the Study Times, controlled by the ruling Communist Party, Ling Chengxing, director of the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration, said controls on tobacco should not take an “absolutist” or “expansionist” direction.


Lawmakers in Santa Fe recently considered a proposal to institute a tax on vapor products […] at the exorbitant rate of 4 cents per milligram nicotine — a level that would make many products more expensive than the real thing: toxic, deadly cigarettes. While this is being posited as a “public health” measure, it is in fact a money grab, the effect of which would be antithetical to both public health and New Mexico’s budgetary needs.


The first national survey covering electronic cigarettes has found up to a third of young Australian smokers are using the devices, as the NSW opposition calls for a state inquiry into their sale. The Queensland Parliament passed legislation last week that will regulate e-cigarettes in the same manner as cigarettes from January, including restrictions on sales to minors and no-smoking rules.


I attended Wells Fargo Securities’ “2nd Annual E-Cig Conference” last week, and if I had to describe the mood of the speakers it would be a cross between cautious optimism and deep frustration. […] Executives from the still-new industry happily talked about its rapid growth and their expectation that it would continue. Bonnie Herzog, who follows the industry for Wells Fargo, reiterated her belief that in 10 years, e-cigarette users will outnumber smokers.



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