Tobacco Asia

Volume 19, Number 5

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30 tobaccoasia E-CIGARETTE NEWS 电子烟新闻 UK First E-Cig Prescriptions Doctors will soon be able to hand out e-cigarettes to smokers who want to quit. They will be prescribed on the NHS for the first time in the coming year, but UK ministers are said to have tried to keep the move quiet over fears that doctors would be overrun by people demanding them. Public health minister Jane Ellison is said to have hoped that the government could keep the news under wraps until the e-cigarettes are available via prescrip- tion in 2016. Ellison had to reveal details of the e-cigarette plan after being asked a direct question by a member of parliament. She told him that the government believed "vaping" was "significantly less harmful than smok- ing" and added that medicinal license applications were "encouraged". According to Public Health England (PHE)At least 76,000 lives could be saved every year if all smokers switched to electronic cigarettes. At least 2.6 million people are believed to use e-cigarettes, assessed as 95% safer than tobacco, and almost half are ex-smokers. Making e-cigarettes available on the NHS is also expected to bring long-term health budget savings, and the move has even been welcomed by the anti-tobacco group ASH. The move followed last month's decision by the Medicines and Health- care products Regulatory Agency to license British American Tobacco's e-Voke. Cartridges used in the recharge- able devices contain pharmaceutical grade nicotine, according to British American Tobacco. Up until now doctors have been unable to recommend the devices because they were not properly licensed, unlike other nicotine replacement therapies such as gum, lozenges, and patches. Several firms are said to have already submitted licence applications to the drugs regulator. Canada Hundreds Protest Law Hundreds gathered outside Queen's Park in Toronto recently to protest a law that regulates electronic cigarettes. The crowd puffed on e-cigarettes and chanted "vaping is not smoking" and "the Smoke-Free Ontario Act has failed". They were there to protest the province's Electronic Cigarette Act, which passed in May. The act regulates where and how e-cigarettes can be sold and smoked, and it prevents "vape shops" from demonstrating how to use the devices.Proponents of e-cigarettes contend the devices are cleaner and healthier than traditional cigarettes. The rally was organized by Vapor Advocates of Ontario. US Lawsuit Against JT Settled Imperial Tobacco Group Plc's Fontem Ventures subsidiary recently announced that it had entered into a license agreement with Japan Tobacco Interna- tional (JTI) to settle a patent infringe- ment lawsuit over e-cigarette technology. The legal quarrel began last March, when Imperial filed eight patent infringement cases in the United States against its Japanese rival and other e-cigarette makers. The lawsuits followed Imperial's 2013 acquisition of global e-cigarette patents from Hong Kong-based Dragonite International, whose co-founder Hon Lik is credited with inventing e-cigarettes. Under the terms of this agreement, Fontem has granted Japan Tobacco a global licence to certain patents for e-cigarettes. The financial terms of the deal haven't been disclosed. Fontem has struck similar deals with the makers of the NJOY, 21st Century Smoke, and Vapin Plus brand e-cigarettes. Together with the JTI deal, these agreements cover three of the patent infringement cases filed by Imperial Tobacco last year. Fontem is the owner of blu, one of the leading e-cigarette brands in the US and the UK. New Zealand NZVA Supports Ministry The New Zealand Vaping Alliance (NZVA) recently called upon the Ministry of Health to stand by its 'draft' advice to healthcare workers about e-cigarettes and publicly release it in the interests of public health. "We support the comments made in the draft paper 'How healthcare workers may want to respond to questions from patients about electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes)' which we have seen as a result of it being posted on Twitter, and believe the ministry should back themselves and release the advice so patients can have accurate information on e-cigarettes," said Q.J. Satchell, president of the NZ Vaping Alliance. "We are very pleased to see the MOH publicly acknowledge – for the first time, the recent public health report from England on e-cigarettes. One of the lead authors of this authoritative and internationally acclaimed report was the ministry of health's very own clinical advisor Dr Hayden McRobbie." "NZVA recognizes that the 'advice' was in draft form, but believe that healthcare workers and vapers should be able to see this advice." said Satchell. "We believe the information contained in this 'advice' will be welcomed by the thousands of New Zealanders who are using e-cigarettes and vaping, and who are looking for information based on sound science and robust evidence – such as the public health report from England." "As such we will be posting it on our website as 'Advice to New Zealanders About E-cigarettes," said Satchell. "New Zealand needs a public debate on e-cigarettes and vaping and we call upon the government to hold a public inquiry into e-cigarettes that, like the UK government, allows the latest evidence to be put forward," Satchell said. Malaysia E-Cigs Help Politician Quit Malaysian politician Gooi Hsiao Leung recently told Malaysia's House of Representatives that vaping helped him give up smoking, a habit he said he had for over two decades. The lawmaker, who was making his case against the government's clampdown on the vape trade, used his experience as an example of the benefits of vaping. "I was [a] smoker myself, for more than 20 years," the Alor Setar MP said. "And I couldn't stop myself from smoking, I tried many ways to stop smoking… until I tried vape three months ago. "In three weeks, I stopped smoking. I even stopped vaping. So, I believe based on other researches and my own experience, vape can help smokers face their withdrawal symptoms and prevent them from returning to smoking." However, the health ministry of the country, undeterred by criticism over its raids, insisted that "vaping" outlets cannot stock or sell vaping liquids that have nicotine in them as long as they are not approved to do so by the pharmacy board.

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