U.S. cracks down on e-cigarettes and cigars, bans sales to minors

admin   •   May 8, 2016   •   2820

Jerred Marsh (R) samples flavored vape juice from Nancy Reyes at the Vape Summit 3 in Las Vegas, Nevada May 2, 2015. REUTERS/David Becker/File Photo

Jerred Marsh (R) samples flavored vape juice from Nancy Reyes at the Vape Summit 3 in Las Vegas, Nevada May 2, 2015. REUTERS/David Becker/File Photo

The U.S. government on Thursday took wide-ranging steps to crack down for the first time on e-cigarettes and cigars, growing in popularity among teens, and banned sales to anyone under age 18 in hopes of sparing a new generation from nicotine addiction.

The Food and Drug Administration’s action brought regulation of e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco and hookah tobacco in line with existing rules for cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco. The new rules take effect in 90 days.

The rules promise to have a major impact on the $3.4 billion e-cigarette industry that has flourished in the absence of federal regulation, making the nicotine-delivery devices the most commonly used tobacco products for U.S. youngsters.

The FDA said it will require companies to submit e-cigarettes and other newer tobacco products for government approval, provide it with a list of their ingredients and place health warnings on packages and in advertisements.

Health advocacy groups hailed the move. Industry officials said the regulations could hurt smaller companies and cripple a their job-creating business due to the expense of the regulatory process. Wall Street analysts expect the regulations to herald a new wave of consolidation led by big tobacco companies.

E-cigarettes are handheld electronic devices that vaporize a fluid typically including nicotine and a flavor component. Using them is called “vaping.”

The FDA will require age verification by photo identification, ban sales from vending machines except in adults-only locations and stop the distribution of free product samples.

The new regulations had been highly anticipated after the agency issued a proposed rule two years ago on how to oversee the e-cigarette industry and the other products.

“Millions of kids are being introduced to nicotine every year, a new generation hooked on a highly addictive chemical,” U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell told reporters, calling the rules a first step toward breaking the cycle of addiction.

Burwell said health officials still do not have the scientific evidence showing e-cigarettes can help smokers quit, as the industry asserts, and avoid the known ills of tobacco.

The e-cigarette vapor industry, which includes e-cigarettes, vapors, personal vaporizers and tanks, is expected to have about $4.1 billion in sales in 2016, Wells Fargo estimated in a recent research note.

“These new regulations create an enormously cost-prohibitive regulatory process for manufacturers to market their products to adult smokers and vapers,” said Cynthia Cabrera, president of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association, representing the e-cigarette industry.

Three million U.S. middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes in 2015, compared with 2.46 million in 2014, according to the most recent federal data.

A University of Southern California study of high school students last year found that those who used e-cigarettes were more than twice as likely to also smoke traditional cigarettes. While some researchers believe e-cigarettes pose lower cancer risk because they do not burn tobacco, other researchers view e-cigarette vapor as potentially harmful because of chemicals released during the burning process.

“This is a real epidemic and banning the sales of these products to minors, much like cigarettes, is a critical step to protecting their health now and into the future,” said Democratic U.S. Representative Lois Capps of California.

Reynolds American Inc(RAI.N), Imperial Brands Plc (IMB.L) and Altria Group Inc (MO.N) are among the largest makers of e-cigarettes.

Altria, which makes Marlboro cigarettes and e-cigarettes, said it was concerned the regulations reached back to 2007 to determine which products to review, spokesman David Sutton said. Reynolds, which sells Newport and traditional cigarettes as well as Vuse e-cigarettes, will discuss with the FDA how to establish a reasonable structure for review and approval, spokesman David Howard said.

CONTROVERSY OVER FLAVORS

Public health advocates also have urged the FDA to ban the use of flavored nicotine liquid in e-cigarette and personal vaporizers. They contend the flavors, which can range from bacon to bubble gum, lure youngsters into taking up vaping.

FDA officials said they would consider future regulation on flavors based on further study of vaping’s potential risks and benefits. The FDA did ban flavors in cigars.

The agency said as more scientific data emerges on potential dangers from e-cigarette vapor, it will consider restricting advertising of the products.

In 2009, Congress allowed the FDA to extend its oversight to all tobacco products. The agency began looking at e-cigarettes, which were quickly gaining traction in the U.S. market.

Cigars had previously not been regulated by the FDA. Cigar makers had lobbied for their more expensive, typically hand-rolled products to be excluded from such oversight.

The FDA will review products introduced after Feb. 15, 2007, but will give manufacturers of e-cigarettes and these other products up to two years to submit applications. E-cigarette makers can continue to sell those products while the review is pending.

Agency officials expect that most products on the market will require its review, a costly prospect for the many smaller manufacturers of vaping devices.

“The winners are the large tobacco manufacturers, primarily Altria (MO.N) and Reynolds (American) (RAI.N), which have the experience and financial wherewithal” to deal with FDA processes, Morningstar equity analyst Adam Fleck said. “The net result is a very fragmented e-cigarette market is likely to be consolidated.”

The cigar market is expected to grow to more than $8.9 billion in 2019, up from $7.4 billion in 2009, according to Euromonitor. It is dominated by Swisher International, Altria and Imperial, which combined in 2014 sold about half of the cigars in the United States, according to Euromonitor.

Companies will be allowed to continue marketing their products while the FDA conducts its reviews, which could take 12 months after submission.

(Reporting by Caroline Humer, Jilian Mincer and Bill Berkrot in New York and Clarece Polke and Toni Clarke in Washington; Editing by Michele Gershberg and Will Dunham)

Isko Moreno to strictly enforce liquor ban near schools

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 25, 2019

Mayor Francis "Isko Moreno" Domagoso
Manila City Mayor Francis “Isko Moreno” Domagoso

Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno has signed Executive Order no. 17 which strictly enforces city ordinances that implement liquor ban. This includes selling near schools and selling it to minors.

Stores and other establishments that are within the 200-km range of schools and universities are not allowed to sell liquor.

However, Moreno said there are several establishments that “flagrantly violated” the said ordinances.

“Such violations of said city ordinances affect the physical and moral well-being of the Manilenos in general, and the youths and students, in particular, prompting for the strict implementation of said ordinances and imposing the penalties provided therefore,” the executive order read.

Moreno already canceled the permit of establishments that are within the said range.

The executive order also states that violators would be subjected to administrative and criminal charges, fines, and revocation of permits and licenses issued by the local government.—AAC

DOH bans use of vapes, e-cigarettes in public places

Robie de Guzman   •   July 3, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Jerred Marsh (R) samples flavored vape juice from Nancy Reyes at the Vape Summit 3 in Las Vegas, Nevada May 2, 2015. REUTERS/David Becker/File Photo

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has banned the use of vapes and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) in public places.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on June 14 signed the Administrative Order (AO) 2009-0007 which prohibits the use of vapes (vaporizers) and e-cigarettes, as well as tasking local government units to apprehend violators.

The order imposes penalties on violators, depending on local ordinances enforced by the town or city where the smoker was apprehended.

The signing of the AO comes two years after President Rodrigo Duterte issued the Executive Order 25 which bans cigarette smoking in public and limits it to designated smoking areas.

This order will expand the smoking ban in public places to include vapes and e-cigarettes. Manufacturing, distribution and sale of vapes and related items will also be regulated.

The move follows the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) to regulate or ban the use of e-cigarettes and related products once it is proven that these also contain cancer-causing chemicals that are found in traditional cigarettes.

“We need to regulate this. We need to make sure that the nicotine delivery system as well as the electronic non-nicotine system kasama iyong e-cig, mga vapes at ng lahat ng mga ito will be subject to regulatory control,” Duque told reporters in an interview during the relaunching of DOH’s school-based immunization program on Wednesday.

The DOH said the AO is seen to take effect next month after it is published in a national publication. (with details from Aiko Miguel)

WHO: Tobacco kills 8 million each year; e-cigarettes, not a proven alternative

Robie de Guzman   •   May 30, 2019

FILE PHOTO – A cigarette burns in an ashtray at a pub in Prague, Czech Republic, May 8, 2017. REUTERS/David W Cerny

Tobacco kills eight million people each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Wednesday (May 29), ahead of World No Tobacco Day on Friday (May 31).

The WHO said 40 percent of tobacco victims die from lung diseases and about one million from second-hand smoke.

More than 60,000 children under 5 years old die of lower respiratory infections caused by second-hand smoke, WHO director for non-communicable diseases, Vinayak Prasad, said in a briefing.

“Out of these 8 million, we have about 3.3 million — about 40% — of these deaths, due to lung diseases. What are these lung diseases: cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and even tuberculosis,” said WHO Department for the Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases Director, Dr. Vinayak Prasad.

Globally, there are around 1.1 billion smokers.

Anti-tobacco campaigns and measures are bearing fruit, but mostly in high-income countries, Prasad said, while the smoking population remained constant or even increased in low-income countries, where the tobacco industry is now focusing sales efforts.

Prasad issued a caveat on e-cigarettes, saying there is no evidence proving they are a safer alternative to cigarettes, warning that it normalizes smoking and hooks young people.

“There is a perception that these are safe products and it is actually hitting the market and the group which is most vulnerable — children, teenage children…So it is a problem we are seeing in a number of countries now,” he said.

The WHO recommends that e-cigarettes be subjected to the same guidelines as for tobacco products, meaning non-smokers should be protected from second-hand smoke, pregnant women should be prohibited from using them, and advertising content must be regulated.

“These products (e-cigarettes) are not smokeless, these products are tobacco products, so there are two big things: one is these are tobacco products, and our recommendations as WHO (World Health Organization) is ‘please regulate them as tobacco products’. The claims that these are less harmful… We don’t know,” he said.

“There is no evidence to demonstrate that and therefore we follow the precautionary principle: take precautions, treat them as tobacco products, and regulate them, the way you regulate for other products,” he added.

Earlier this week, more than 100 public health and anti-tobacco organizations called on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to take swift action to curb advertising of tobacco products on their platforms.

This is after a Reuters report documented how cigarette maker Philip Morris International has used young personalities on Instagram to sell a new “heated tobacco” product called IQOS. (REUTERS)

READ: Rules on use of e-cigarettes, vapes out next week – DOH

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