Vaping Weekly: NHS to begin e-cigarette trial in A&E departments

Welcome to the very first edition of This Week in Vaping: a new regular blog format designed to keep you updated with all of the biggest vaping news developments which affect vapers and the vaping industry.

 

NHS to begin world-leading e-cigarette trial in UK A&E departments

The UK has been a world leader in tobacco harm reduction for several years now, with prominent health bodies such as Public Health England repeatedly advising that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking combustible cigarettes.

Despite this progressive stance on next-generation nicotine, introducing vaping devices to the NHS is a slow process, but efforts to tackle smoking rates in the UK are now accelerating, as the government aims to reach its 2030 smoke-free goal.

This year, the NHS will begin trials, led by the University of East Anglia in Norfolk, London, Leicester and Edinburgh. During the trial, starting Autumn 2021, some smokers in emergency departments will be supplied with vaping starter kits and given support, before being asked if they still smoke one, three and six months later.

Although we won’t see results of the trial published for some time, this is still hugely encouraging news for vaping in the UK. If the trial can demonstrate that vaping is an effective smoking cessation tool, we may see further utilization of vaping devices by the NHS in the future.

John Dunne, Director General of the UKVIA, said: “This is a hugely significant moment in the history of vaping and harm reduction. For the first time, following years of research and campaigning, we are finally at the point where the NHS looks to be fully embracing vaping and acknowledging its important role as the number one quit method.”

 

Global Forum on Nicotine (GFN21) calls for submissions

The eighth installment of the Global Forum on Nicotine (GFN) takes place in Liverpool, England, on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th June. Founded in 2014, with 200 delegates from 26 countries, GFN is the leading international conference focusing on the role of safer nicotine products that help people switch from smoking.

This year, conference organizers are inviting contributors to create five-minute presentations, sharing news and information about nicotine, dubbed “GFN Fives”. Presentations are welcomed within a variety of multimedia formats, including PowerPoint video presentations, descriptive videos, new science and technology demonstrations, interviews, and animations.

Would you like to find out more about GFN Fives?

👉 Full Briefing of GFN Fives & Examples

 

FDA attempts to clarify confusion over PMTA enforcement

FDA’s Pre-market Tobacco Application (PMTA) regulations have long been seen as the most fundamental change to the vaping industry in the U.S.

After several years of court appeals and lobbying from pro and anti-vaping organizations, manufacturers were given until September 9 2020 to make submissions for a PMTA. Any vaping product intended to be used with nicotine cannot legally be sold in the U.S. without obtaining a PMTA after September 9, 2021.

Due to the significant expense, complex guidelines and length of the process, many manufacturers were left confused as to when enforcement would begin. This problem was exacerbated by an unexpectedly massive number of applications. According to attorney Azim Chowdhury: “CTP Director Mitch Zeller said that FDA anticipated getting about 6,000 applications, and they wound up getting literally millions,”.

Due to protestations from FDA about the timeline of realistically assessing PMTAs, Judge Paul Grimm agreed that manufacturers who submitted by the deadline would be granted a one-year extension to sell their products, while they were under review, with further extensions possible on a case-by-case basis.

Unfortunately, due to the unexpectedly large number of applications, the FDA Centre for Tobacco Products (CTP) has been severely delayed in informing applicants of where they stand. This has led to some manufacturers being informed that they are being granted a “one-year extension” mistakenly.

In some cases, the manufacturer’s PMTAs may not be processed by September 9, 2021, due to the sheer volume. In these instances, it is not clear if further case-by-case basis extensions will be possible. Due to increasing concern over conflicting information, the FDA sent an email to all PMTA applicants on April 29, 2020, clarifying that the existing one-year extension would only apply until September 9, 2021. The agency has still not clearly explained what will happen to applicants who are not processed by this date. You can find the full timeline of this latest development in the PMTA saga here.

 

Finland plans tighter tobacco regulations

A new report by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) assessed the use of cigarettes, snus and e-cigarettes from 2000 to 2019. The data indicates a reduction in the use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes and an increase in the consumption of snus.

Even though cigarette consumption is in decline, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has announced proposals that will increase restrictions on public smoking, beginning January 1, 2022. If approved, these proposals would include restrictions on smoking in places such as bus stops, beaches, playgrounds and outdoor terraces.

The proposals also include new plain packaging regulations, which would remove brand names and logos from tobacco packaging, starting in 2023.

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