Scotland plans to offer prison inmates free electronic cigarettes starting in November 2018 for two months. Thereafter, inmates will buy their own e-cigs at subsidized rates until April next year. Prisoners who wish to continue vaping after April 2019 will buy their devices at the normal market rates. The Scottish government has taken this rare step in order to enable prisoners to transition to vaping once smoking is banned in all prisons at the end of November this year. The ban brings Scotland in line with the UK’s decision to ban smoking in all public places, including prisons. Millions die each year due to secondhand smoke, so prisons are going to be smoke-free zones for public health reasons. What lessons can the correctional facilities in the US learn from the Scottish example? Read the entire article and learn why Scotland chose a different approach to enforce the ban on smoking in prisons after observing what transpired in England and Wales.
The isolated incidents of exploding electronic cigarette batteries in the recent past have given e-cig detractors ammunition to claim that vaping is dangerous, perhaps even more dangerous than combustible cigarettes. This safety concern has driven a team of scientists to come up with a new battery recipe which would prevent lithium-ion batteries from exploding. The new formula entails placing silica nanoparticles within the lithium fluid (electrolyte) in order to form a thick paste when the battery is involved in an impact. That paste prevents the electrodes in the battery from touching and triggering a fire. However, the new formula may reduce the power-storage capacity of the modified lithium-ion batteries. Would a reduction in power be a good tradeoff for greater safety for you as an e-cig user? Read more about this new invention and decide which way your opinion would be swayed.
This needs a bit of a rewrite
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a press release in which it revealed that all the companies which had been warned to stop selling e-liquids that were packaged in a way that made them look like kid-friendly consumer products, such as candy. It is expected that the products which are no longer on the shelves of vape shops may return in different packaging that complies with all the requirements of the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and the FDA. The agency reiterated its commitment to continue taking any measures necessary to ensure that tobacco products don’t get into the hands of minors. Do you think the measures taken by the FDA to prevent youth from accessing tobacco products and ENDS will yield the desired results in the long term?
Innovators have responded to the concerns of authorities and parents regarding teen smoking and vaping, especially given the wide popularity of JUUL among teens. The “Fly Sense” vaping detector has so far been sold to 21 school districts across the US and many more are interested in trying out this new technological intervention which can also be helpful in sending alerts about other incidents, such as fighting and bullying. The devices are cloud-based but have hardwired sensors installed in carefully selected locations, such as washrooms. Do you think such tools provide a way to stem the tide of vaping (or more specifically Juuling) among school-going kids? Read the press release containing the upgrades made to this software so that you can make an informed decision about how useful this technology may be.
The FDA launched a Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan which entailed educating youths against the dangers of tobacco use. Research findings have shown that the campaign has prevented about 350,000 youth from taking up smoking. These results have given the FDA momentum to get into high gear in their preparation for a similar education campaign about the use of e-cigarettes among the youth. A key question arises, will that campaign look at electronic cigarettes in the same way as the FDA regards tobacco cigarettes? Is there a better way in which the youth can be educated about electronic cigarettes without demonizing vaping? All these and more questions will be answered once the FDA campaign kicks off.
Various health organizations, such as Public Health England, have voiced their support for electronic cigarettes as a safer alternative to smoking traditional/combustible cigarettes. In fact, the UK (and England in particular) is seen as one of the progressive countries with regard to their view of the vaping industry. However, the existing laws in UK treat vaping in the same way as smoking since both are banned in public spaces, such as on buses and trains. A joint committee of the UK parliament is now urging the government to relax the vaping laws so that smokers can find it easier to switch. For example, restrictions on advertising should be relaxed so that the public can be equipped to make informed decisions. What are your thoughts on this matter? Do you think that the benefits of vaping from a public health perspective outweigh the need for a cautious approach since the long-term effects of vaping aren’t yet known?