A middle-aged cigarette smoker who has smoked for decades is two to three times more likely to die early than someone similar who has never smoked. Tobacco smoking is well known to be a major risk factor for various cancers, lung and cardiovascular problems, and is also linked to other health problems, such as complications in pregnancy, low sperm count in men, oral problems, and increased likelihood of cataracts.more deaths each yearthan HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol misuse, motor vehicle injuries and homicides combined. Similar comparisons can be found in UK statistics. However, while there can be few today who are unaware of the toll smoking takes on the body, the effects of long-term tobacco smoking on other areas such as learning and memory are less well known. Read more......
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While the European Commission is engaged in a consultation processon the taxing of e-cigarettes, seven EU member states have already instituted their own tax schemes. Between them, a variety of rates have been set. Unlike in the U.S., however, where several states and local governments have applied taxes on an array of different principles, in Europe taxation has mostly been established on the principle of a set figure per millilitre of e-liquid. Every four years the European Commission is required to review the rates and structures of excise applied to manufactured tobacco set forth in Directive 2011/64/EU and where appropriate propose changes. The directive mandates a framework for taxing tobacco products to ensure a harmonised approach among member states. E-cigarettes are not currently included in the directive, and while heat-not-burn (HnB) products contain tobacco and are therefore subject to taxation, their treatment is not explicitly addressed. Read more......Read more
Around 3,200 young people try a cigarette for the first time each day and nearly 2,100 youth and young adults become daily smokers. These statistics do not include the young people who try other forms of tobacco every day—from cigars, cigarillos and hookah, to new non-combustible products that deliver tobacco in the form of mints, breath strips and toothpicks—which make it easier to experiment. Of particular concern is the burgeoning popularity of electronic cigarettes, devices that warm a nicotine solution to produce an aerosol that is inhaled without the combustion of tobacco. To date these products have been unregulated, while their usage tripled among middle and high school students between 2013 and 2014, according to a 2015 report by the Center for Tobacco Products. Some e-cigarette marketing campaigns appeal to youth. Unless innovative approaches are employed to dramatically decrease its use, the U.S. Surgeon General estimates that 5.6 million young people alive today will die prematurely from tobacco. Many more will live lives that have been compromised by its devastating effects. Read more... ...Read more
Nicotine removed from tobacco smoke is not as harmful as was once thought, a recent Truth Initiative white paper reminds us. Nicotine by itself does not cause cancer. While it may contribute to heart disease and other health problems, nicotine is certainly much less harmful than tobacco smoke. In fact, nicotine can actually provide some benefits, such as improving attention and memory.
“We need to rethink nicotine and its effects,” said Raymond Niaura, director of Science and Training at Truth Initiative’s Schroeder Institute, and author of the article. “Although nicotine is addictive, its impact varies greatly depending on the product.” The most addictive form of nicotine is inhaled in tobacco smoke. In contrast, nicotine replacement therapies that help smokers quit, such as nicotine gum and the patch, do not pose a significant risk of abuse. New nicotine products—such as electronic cigarettes—likely fall somewhere in the middle, Niaura explains. Given the devastating health consequences of smoking, Niaura argues policymakers should continue to encourage youth to abstain from tobacco and nicotine. At the same time, they should encourage adult smokers who cannot or will not quit tobacco to move to less harmful products. He notes that the FDA has found Swedish snus smokeless tobacco to be less harmful than other tobacco products. Early studies suggest electronic cigarettes also have fewer toxic effects than traditional cigarettes.