Erik Befrits – Nicotine and Science Media Update December 18th 2014

THERE are few more reliable routes to an early grave than cigarette smoking. But despite the dangers, nicotine addicts find it almost impossible to kick the habit. Half of those who try to stop “cold turkey” will fail within a week. Fewer than 5% manage to stay clean for a year or more. Crutches such as nicotine patches or gum, which provide the drug without the cigarettes, can help—but only a little.


The report, Smokeless Tobacco and Public Health: A Global Perspective, is being released today by the CDC and the National Cancer Institute at the National Conference on Smoking or Health in Mumbai, India. Thirty-two leading experts from around the world contributed to the report. […] As the report explains, there is sufficient evidence to conclude that smokeless tobacco causes oral cancer, esophageal cancer, and pancreatic cancer in humans.


We are still waiting to hear whether the UK government will rule in that all tobacco products should be placed in standardised packaging. Jane Ellison, the under secretary of state for public health, has the power to introduce standardised packaging under Section 94 of the Children and Families Act 2014. Yet, despite two public consultations, […] the future for the branding of tobacco packs remains unclear.


A University of Alberta economics professor has discovered a link between contraband cigarette use and illicit drug use among Canadian teens. The study shows that 31 per cent of adolescent smokers in Canada between grades 9 and 12 use contraband tobacco and indicates that teens who smoke contraband tobacco are more likely to use illicit drugs. “The rate of illicit drug use among the contraband smokers is higher […]


The first legal cannabis e-cigarette could soon be landing on British soil. And when we say soon, we mean next Thursday – or so say the Metro. The company behind the cannabis e-cigarette, KanaVape, claims that the vaporiser is perfectly legal due to the lack of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is a chemical found in the drug. THC is known for its mind-altering effects and can induce hallucinations and a change in thinking, as well as cause delusions.


The challenges facing both companies are well known — the percentage of American smokers has declined from 42% in 1965 to 18% in 2012, according to the Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health. In response to this shrinking market, both companies slashed jobs, raised prices, and expanded into non-cigarette product categories to protect their bottom lines.



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