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Mankato, MN, Tobacco 21 Ordinance Defeated

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The Mankato Free Press reports that efforts to raise the legal tobacco and vapor purchasing age to 21 was defeated in a City Council vote. This vote also reported nullifies passage of a similar ordinance in North Mankato, said ordinance being tied to passage of Mankato’s version.

Despite the best efforts of local residents, including healthcare professionals, city council members voted no largely because of the belief that such measures should be enacted through legislation at the state level.

“[Mankato Mayor Eric] Anderson suggested he felt pressures were being put on the council to pass a local ordinance in a political ploy to have individual communities in the state take the lead on an issue that should instead by passed by the Legislature.”

The issue with municipal ordinances of this type, argued Councilmember Dennis Dieken and vape shop owner Kevin Morin, is essentially that 18-to-20 year olds can simply go to the next nearest town to purchase tobacco or vapor products. This would rob the ordinance of any positive impact while creating a negative impact for Mankato businesses.

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ACS: Some docs should encourage vaping

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The American Cancer Society has published a new Position Statement which acknowledges that vaping is a viable tobacco harm reduction strategy. It also lays out the scientific evidence for the new position, as well as policy priorities based on the new data.

While the ACS maintains that it still lacks the scientific evidence to decide on policies with regard to the long-term effects of vaping, it will now be monitoring emerging data toward that end.

With regard to current clinical recommendations, the Position Statement reads, in part:

“The ACS has always supported any smoker who is considering quitting, no matter what approach they use… Some smokers, despite firm clinician advice, will not attempt to quit smoking cigarettes and will not use FDA approved cessation mediations. These individuals should be encouraged to switch to the least harmful form of tobacco product possible; switching to the exclusive use of e-cigarettes is preferable to continuing to smoke combustible products.”

With regard to policy, ACS defers to the FDA but appears to urge the FDA to regulate vaping to the full extent of its authority to do so, while also suggesting post-market monitoring of vaping products to determine their safety and effectiveness. To wit:

“Any related regulatory regime should include post-marketing surveillance to monitor the long-term effects of these products and ensure the FDA’s actions have the intended health outcome of significantly reducing disease and death.”

This marks a significant shift from the American Cancer Society’s previous position, and Vape News will be monitoring the scientific and regulatory landscape for any further developments.

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Study Finds No Health Risks Of Long Term Vaping

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Regulator Watch has published their findings in a 3.5 year study into the adverse health risks of vaping. Regulator Watch used a study sample of 9 vapers who had never smoked traditional cigarettes against a control group of non-vapers who had also never smoked traditional cigarettes.

Participants received medical monitoring of blood pressure, heart rate, body weight, lung function, respiratory symptoms, and other health metrics. According to the study, after 3.5 years of vaping, participants showed no detectable adverse health outcomes compared to members of the non-vaping control group.

The study concluded that although adverse health outcomes cannot be ruled out over longer use periods, no respiratory pathology of any kind was detected within the study’s time frame.

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NH Tobacco 21 Bill Stalls

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Seacoast Online reports that legislation intended to raise the legal purchase age for tobacco products to 21 years old has been tabled in the New Hampshire senate.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. David Watters, D-Dover, cited support from Dover Youth to Youth, a youth empowerment program dedicated to substance abuse prevention. “Youth to Youth made a huge impression up here on the committee members and the fellow senators,” according to Watters.

Nevertheless, the bill was ultimately and overwhelmingly tabled for the time being.

Youth to Youth student member Hannah Martuscello made the following statement prior to her testimony in favor of the bill:

“The majority of younger teens in high school who do get cigarettes from older kids get them from the 18-year-olds that are seniors that can buy tobacco products for them. By eliminating that age group of kids in high school that can actually legally purchase them, you really eliminate a lot of the younger kids who can’t purchase them.”

According to Watters:

“Within a year all the states around us will be tobacco 21 states. We’re going to pass this.”

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