Sep 28, 2019

E-cigarettes embraced in U.K. while U.S. cracks down

Photo: Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty Images

While the U.S. cracks down on vaping amid a growing number of cases of mysterious lung illnesses, the U.K. has increasingly welcomed and promoted e-cigarettes as an alternative to traditional smoking, AP's Maria Cheng reports from London.

The state of play: The Royal College of Physicians has been telling doctors to promote e-cigarettes "as widely as possible" to people trying to quit tobacco. The CDC recommends that cigarette smokers in the U.S. consider finding an alternative besides e-cigarettes — especially those with THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana.

The big picture: At least 30 countries have instituted outright bans on e-cigarettes, most recently in India. Several countries in Europe, including Austria Belgium, Germany and Italy, have strict regulations and classify vapes under the same umbrella as tobacco products, per the AP

  • A British health official told the AP that the CDC's advisory is "complete madness," adding: "The reality with smoking is, if you tell people to stop vaping, they will go back to tobacco and tobacco kills."

The bottom line: The U.S. was slow to regulate e-cigarettes and now faces a teen vaping epidemic, in addition to a dozen deaths associated with e-cigarette use.

Go deeper: Revenue from marijuana vaping products dips 15% amid health fears

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Regulatory gaps are exacerbating the youth vaping crisis

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The delay in implementing comprehensive regulations for e-cigarettes has contributed to a growing crisis of vaping-related illnesses and deaths across the U.S. and poses particular risks to young adults.

The big picture: E-cigarette use by American teenagers has surged, and the dangers are heightened by unsafe black market vaping devices and THC cartridges. But a recent flurry of regulatory activity by states looks set to continue, with federal action following shortly.

Go deeperArrowOct 11, 2019

Study: Flavored tobacco products are a gateway to regular use

First use of flavored e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah, and smokeless tobacco products can place young adults and adults at risk of regular tobacco use. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Youths and young adults are likely to continue using various tobacco products after trying flavored products like menthol or mint, according to a new study from JAMA Network.

Driving the news: Popular e-cigarette startup Juul announced last week a halt in its flavored vape products, signaling further cooperation with the FDA. Juul banned all flavors except mint, its most popular flavor.

Go deeperArrowOct 23, 2019

Los Angeles County bans flavored tobacco

A vaping store in Los Angeles County. Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, and urged California Gov. Gavin Newsom to enact a statewide vaping ban, per City News Service via L.A. Times.

The big picture: Local and state authorities are banning vaping products across the country as the Trump administration prepares a federal ban on most flavored e-cigarettes. There have been 16 vaping-related deaths so far, and at least 805 confirmed and probable cases of lung injury.

Go deeperArrowOct 2, 2019