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Three Australian E-Cig Companies Fined Over Misleading Claims

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BY CHRIS MELLIDES

Online vapor product companies, Jostick, Social-Lites and Elusion were fined by the Australian Federal Court with a judgment stating that the retailers made false and misleading health claims about their products.

Photo by Vaping360.com (Vaping360)

Between the three companies, a total of $175,000 in penalties has been issued. The companies made claims that their products did not contain the same carcinogens and toxins seen in traditional tobacco cigarettes, according to news.com.au.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) brought the case against the three retailers after the organization launched independent testing of e-cigarette products only to discover the presence of toxic chemicals, which included formaldehyde and acetaldehyde.

“Businesses must ensure that they provide accurate information to customers, and have a reasonable basis for making any representations. This is particularly important for products that may cause harm to the health of consumers,” ACCC acting chair Delia Rickard said.

To read more click here for the news.com.au article.

Chris Mellides is the Managing Editor of VAPE Magazine. A seasoned journalist, he has worked in all areas of the media industry since first getting his start in newspaper reporting. Contact him at chris@vapemz.com.

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Not Blowing Smoke: ACS Move A “Minor Concession In The Right Direction”

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NotBlowingSmoke.org has issued a response to yesterday’s news of the American Cancer Society’s position statement on vaping. Stefan Didak, Founder and President of Not Blowing Smoke, penned the analysis and response. The response reads, in part:

“While ACS now concedes, as we have all been trying to educate them on for many years, that electronic cigarettes are much safer than smoking cigarettes, it still holds to its former position that long-term effects of use are not known. This may look like a step in the right direction and an important change but let’s keep in mind that when not that long ago Professor Stanton Glantz at UC San Francisco finally conceded to those scientific facts it did not fundamentally alter the push for drastically bad policies regarding vapor products.”

This is an important core truth to remember; as the old axiom goes, “Actions speak louder than words.” While the American Cancer Society’s concession to mounting scientific evidence that vaping is less hazardous than smoking as well as a largely effective smoking cessation and harm reduction strategy is encouraging, that concession will only prove its worth if it forms the basis for a meaningful shift in ACS’s policy priorities.

As Mr. Didak points out above by referring to the example of Professor Glantz, there’s no certainty that the ACS’s actions will match their words.

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New Zealand Health Entities Begin Talks On Vaping

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New Zealand Doctor reports that New Zealand’s Ministry of Health (MoH) and Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ (ARFNZ) recently convened a joint meeting on vaping in order to formulate their joint public position on the topic. One of the meeting’s attendees, Chief Executive of Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ Letitia O’Dwyer, had the following comment:

“We are really pleased to be talking with the Ministry of Health in terms of looking to improve regulation and education to the public. There is still little robust research around e-cigarettes and vaping and what the long-term effects are. We are delighted to be making progress and have started this dialogue with the Ministry of Health who are committed to providing the safest advice to the public.”

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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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