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Regulating vaping — policies, possibilities, and perils

3/25/20-- Use of e-cigarettes has recently soared, particularly among young people. Federal and state governments have implemented numerous policies to combat the growth of vaping. According to an article by Jody L. Sindelar published in The New England Journal of Medicine, policies should protect young people without diminishing the ability of e-cigarettes to help adult smokers transition away from more harmful combustible cigarettes or to serve as a cessation aid for people attempting to quit smoking. Read

Fifth person dies from vaping illness in Mass. as CDC reports ‘continued declines’ in new cases

2/26/20--State health officials announced Wednesday that a fifth person has died from a vaping-related illness in Massachusetts. Officials did not say whether he purchased the product through a licensed dispensary or through the illicit market. The man is among 46 confirmed cases of vaping-related illness in Massachusetts. Read

Prevalence of electronic cigarette use among adolescents in New Jersey and association with social factors

2/12/20--In a survey study of 4183 respondents examining factors associated with use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), including JUUL, among high school students, inclusion of a JUUL use measure produced higher estimates of current use than assessing the use of e-cigarettes or JUUL alone, and 88.8% of youth reported using the JUUL brand. In addition, current use of other tobacco products, endorsing a tobacco brand on social media, having tobacco-branded merchandise, having close friends who used JUUL, and seeing JUUL used on school grounds were significantly associated with current and frequent e-cigarette use, inclusive of JUUL. Read

Philip Morris steps up vaping plan, keeps close ties with Altria

1/20/20--Philip Morris Chief Executive Officer Andre Calantzopoulos announced that the company is getting ready to launch a new vaping device, IQOS Mesh, early this year. Calantzopoulos states there “will be consolidation in the market for e-cigarettes” and Philip Morris wants to be on the forefront with its IQOS brand. Although Philip Morris’s merger talks with Altria failed last year amid mounting controversy over the health effects of Juul, it hasn’t given up on a potential reunion with sister company Altria Group Inc. at some point in the future. Read

FDA to ban all e-cigarette pod flavors except tobacco and menthol

1/1/19--The Food and Drug Administration plans to ban the sale of fruity flavors in cartridge-based e-cigarettes, but the restriction won’t apply to tank vaping systems commonly found at vape shops, according to people familiar with the matter. Read

Vitamin E Acetate in bronchoalveolar-lavage fluid associated with EVALI

12/20/19--The causative agents for the current national outbreak of electronic-cigarette, or vaping, product use–associated lung injury (EVALI) have not been established. Detection of toxicants in bronchoalveolar-lavage (BAL) fluid from patients with EVALI can provide direct information on exposure within the lung. Results from the performed study indicate that Vitamin E acetate was associated with EVALI in a convenience sample of 51 patients in 16 states across the United States. Read

Adolescent addiction expert weighs in on proposed ban on flavored e-cigarette pods

1/1/20--NPR's Mary Louise Kelly talks with Dr. Sharon Levy, a pediatrician and an adolescent addiction expert with Boston Children's Hospital, about the FDA's proposed ban on most flavored e-cigarette pods. Read

CCC and DPH enter ‘data-sharing agreement,’ but withhold names of pot dispensaries linked to potential vaping illnesses

12/10/19--The Cannabis Control Commission and the Department of Public Health have agreed to share data with each other to investigate whether six probable cases of vaping-related lung illnesses are linked to state-licensed marijuana retailers, as health officials had suggested last week. Read

Commission amends quarantine order to permit sale of marijuana vaporizer devices and newly manufactured marijuana vaping products

12/12/19--The Cannabis Control Commission has issued an amended quarantine order for vaporizer devices and products manufactured by Marijuana Establishments and Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers in Massachusetts. The order permits the sale of devices used to vaporize flower for adult and medical use of marijuana, devices designed to vaporize concentrate that do not contain usable marijuana, and regulated vaporizer products that are manufactured starting Thursday which pass screens for vitamin E acetate as well as other contaminants required under the Commission’s testing protocols. Read

Six with lung illness linked to regulated marijuana vapes, state says

12/5/19--Six Massachusetts patients with probable — but not confirmed — cases of vaping-related lung illnesses reported using regulated products from state-licensed marijuana companies, state health officials revealed Thursday night. The patients represent a small fraction of the 90 probable and confirmed cases of vaping-related lung illnesses flagged so far by the state Department of Public Health, but mark the first time state authorities have explicitly linked the lung illnesses to cannabis vapes purchased at legal stores and dispensaries. Read

Mass. health officials concede lung patients may have used illicit vapes, too

12/6/19--State health officials conceded Friday night that six Massachusetts patients suffering from probable cases of vaping-related lung illnesses may have used illicit marijuana vapes in addition to legal ones, a surprising revision from the day before when officials suggested products sold at licensed cannabis retailers were to blame for the ailments. Read

Flavors of e-cigarettes used by youths in the United States

11/5/19--Adolescent e-cigarette use has increased substantially since 2016.1 To counteract such trends, public health agencies are considering regulatory restrictions of e-cigarettes in flavors popular among youths.2,3 Whether certain flavors warrant inclusion or exemption from regulatory policies is unclear because recent estimates of the specific e-cigarette flavors adolescents use are lacking. Read

e-Cigarette use among youth in the United States, 2019

11/5/19--In a cross-sectional survey conducted in 2019 that included 19,018 participants to examine the estimated frequency of the current (past 30-day) use of e-cigarettes among US high school and middle school students in 2019, the findings indicate that the prevalence of self-reported current e-cigarette use was high among US high school and middle school students. Read

Not just counterfeit: Legal THC vaping products linked to lung illnesses

12/6/19--New evidence shows that legitimate THC vaping products are also making people sick, meaning that illegal, off-brand vapes aren't the only products to blame for the current outbreak of vaping-related illnesses. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reports that at least six patients suspected of having the vaping lung illness purchased THC products at licensed marijuana dispensaries in that state. Read

Trump retreats from flavor ban for e-cigarettes

11/17/19--In September, President Trump said he was moving to ban the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes as vaping among young people continued to rise. However, advisers say the president pulled back from proposed restrictions intended to curb teenage vaping after he was warned of the political fallout among voters. Read

Juul disregarded early evidence it was hooking teens

11/5/19--Juul executives knew young people were flocking to its breakthrough e-cigarette shortly after it went on sale in 2015, a former manager tells Reuters. Its nicotine blend was so potent, engineers devised a kill switch to limit the dosage – but the idea was shelved. Following the product’s launch, it took nearly three years – and pressure from regulators and U.S. senators – before Juul in April 2018 announced what it called a “comprehensive strategy” of measures to curb youth sales. Read

Specialists call for ‘aggressive’ measures against e-cigarettes

11/14/19--After uncovering a key mechanism that could explain how e-cigarettes harm the lungs, brain, and cardiovascular system, a team of researchers now calls for much stricter regulation of these electronic devices. evidence has increasingly come to light that the liquid that goes into an e-cigarette and the materials of the devices themselves contain dangerous levels of toxic substances that can harm health. Read

From ‘Veronica Mars’ to toxic vapes: The rise and fall of Honey Cut

11/8/19--By creating a new category of “thickening” vape cartridge additives, Honey Cut became a nationwide phenomenon. Its formula—and copycat products just like it—suddenly turned up last year in illicit THC vape cartridges nationwide. The company itself appeared to be a kind of corporate ghost ship. Its name was attached only to a website and a P.O. box. Nobody knew who founded Honey Cut, who ran it, or who profited from it... until now. Read

Public health consequences of e-cigarettes

11/11/19--With support from the Center for Tobacco Products of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened an expert committee to conduct a critical, objective review of the scientific evidence about e-cigarettes and health. The resulting report, Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes, provides an overview of the evidence, recommends ways to improve the research, and highlights gaps that are priority focus areas for future work. Read

Juul’s vaping products should be completely pulled off the market, says ex-FDA chief Gottlieb

11/11/19--Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said Monday that Juul Labs’ products should be removed from the market, citing two studies that showed the scope of teen use of its e-cigarettes and flavored pods. Gottlieb, who has criticized Juul in the past, said that Juul does seem to “have cleaned up what they’re doing” in terms of marketing to young people, “but it’s hard to unring that bell.” Read

e-Cigarette use among youth in the United States, 2019

11/5/19--In a cross-sectional survey conducted in 2019 that included 19 018 participants, the prevalence of self-reported current e-cigarette use was 27.5% among high school students and 10.5% among middle school students, with many current e-cigarette users reporting frequent use and most of the exclusive e-cigarette users reporting use of flavored e-cigarettes. Read

Hank Investigates: Vaping marijuana poisonous puff

11/6/19--Investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan’s exclusive story reveals if you vape what’s in some cartridges you could be breathing in a deadly gas. Doctors across the country are seeing alarming symptoms like chronic coughing, pneumonia and even death, and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is so concerned about vaping that he put an emergency ban in place to stop all Massachusetts stores from selling any vaping products. Read

Woman charged in Clintonville marijuana, THC vape bust

10/31/19--Criminal charges have been filed against Brooke L. Schweitzer, 19, in connection to an alleged THC vaping operation in Clintonville. Police swept the home and found what they called a "marijuana grow operation." They found harvested mature plants in the basement and dried marijuana leaves around the home. Read

Mass. medical marijuana patients say Baker lacks authority to ban cannabis vapes

11/1/19--Governor Charlie Baker announced an emergency statewide ban on the sale of all vaping products Sept. 24, contending the broad policy was needed to protect public health amid an outbreak of vaping-related lung illnesses. However, medical marijuana patients say they’re suffering after losing access to the quick symptom relief provided by vapes sold at licensed marijuana stores and dispensaries. Read

Juul’s meltdown costs tobacco giant Altria $4.5 Billion

10/31/19--Altria, one of the world’s largest tobacco companies, said it had devalued its investment in the vaping company Juul Labs by $4.5 billion, a move that reflects deepening turmoil in the e-cigarette industry. The company pointed to recent bans on vaping, a $7 billion industry, across the United States and the “increased likelihood” that the Food and Drug Administration would “remove flavored e-vapor products from the market.” Read

Juul knowingly sold tainted nicotine pods, former executive says

10/30/19--Siddharth Breja, a former top executive of Juul, is alleging that the e-cigarette giant sold at least one million contaminated mint-flavored nicotine pods — and refused to recall them when told about the problem in March. Breja claims he was fired in retaliation for whistle-blowing and objecting to the shipment of the contaminated and expired pods and other illegal and unsafe conduct that “has jeopardized and continues to jeopardize public health and safety and the lives of millions of consumers, many of them children and teens.” Read

Top Juul marketing exec resigns as vaping health concerns continue

10/29/19--Juul Labs Chief Marketing Officer Craig Brommers resigned Tuesday, as concerns continue to rise about the health risks associated with vaping. Brommers joined the company in April as its first CMO, and Juul reportedly will not replace Brommers’ position. Read

Behind the scenes of CDC’s vaping investigation

10/25/19--Given the scope and the mysterious nature of vaping-related illnesses, the CDC set up an incident command center to coordinate its response. In elevating an issue like this, the CDC has directed about 140 scientists and other staff to step away from their normal work and give their full attention to the crisis. Read

Seven indicted in drug trafficking conspiracy at Savannah seafood market

10/17/19--The owner of a Savannah seafood restaurant, along with three family members and three others have been charged in a drug trafficking conspiracy that alleges the store was used as a front for the sale of marijuana and THC vape pens. Read

Vaping THC results in similar brain activity to schizophrenia: study

9/26/19--A new study by University of Guelph researchers shows that vaping cannabis can cause prolonged changes in brain activity. The study suggests that brain activity in rats exposed to the vaporized compound once is similar to those with schizophrenia and cannabis-induced psychosis. Read

High-flying marijuana vapes take hit from health scare

9/26/19--Vaping products, one of the fastest-growing segments of the legal marijuana industry, have taken a hit from consumers as public health experts scramble to determine what's causing a mysterious and sometimes fatal lung disease among people who use e-cigarettes. Read

THC products may play a role in outbreak of lung injury associated with e-cigarette use, or vaping

9/27/19--The latest findings from the investigation into lung injuries associated with e-cigarette use, or vaping, suggest THC products play a role in the outbreak. Most of the people (77%) in this outbreak reported using THC-containing products, or both THC-containing products and nicotine-containing products, according to a report published today in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Read

CDC, states update number of cases of lung injury associated with e-cigarette use, or vaping

9/26/19--CDC today announced the updated number of confirmed and probable cases of lung injury and deaths associated with e-cigarette product use, or vaping. As of September 24, 2019, 805 confirmed and probable patient cases of lung injury associated with e-cigarette product use, or vaping, were reported by 46 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Read

Florida, Georgia see first vaping-related deaths as nationwide toll hits 12

9/26/19--Health officials in Florida and Georgia this week announced the first vaping-linked deaths in their respective states, as officials raised the number of fatalities nationwide to 12. In an update on Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also raised the number of confirmed or probable vaping-related illnesses to 805. Read

Teen vaping didn’t cool Juul’s celebrity push

9/28/19--The Sundance Film Festival last year was evidence to some that Juul was more interested in being seen as cool than it was in its stated mission of offering adult smokers an alternative to cigarettes. Juul’s efforts to court celebrities and social-media influencers are part of a range of practices under investigation by both the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission. Read

Federal prosecutors conducting criminal probe of Juul

9/23/19--Blamed for a rise in vaping among teenagers, the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration and several state attorneys general are investigating its marketing practices. The FTC’s probe is focused on whether Juul used social-media influencers and other marketing techniques to appeal to minors, while the FDA is conducting a more wide-ranging investigation, covering marketing and outreach as well as the high nicotine content of Juul’s refill pods. Read

Juul tried to position itself as a responsible actor. It backfired.

9/22/19--Juul Labs Inc. pursued a strategy to win over Washington. But the e-cigarette maker wound up further alienating regulators, helping to thrust the once-soaring startup into a crisis that threatens its business. Read

Juul CEO exits; Altria, Philip Morris end talks in vaping fallout

9/25/19--The chief executive of e-cigarette startup Juul Labs Inc. abruptly stepped down on Wednesday, as U.S. efforts to combat underage vaping threaten to upend the trendy alternative to smoking. Juul, which is the target of several federal investigations, replaced Chief Executive Kevin Burns with an executive at Altria, which owns a 35% stake in the e-cigarette makes. Read

Juul prepares staff shake-up amid U.S. crackdown

9/24/19--Juul Labs Inc. is preparing a staff restructuring, as the e-cigarette maker braces for slower sales following a mysterious vaping-related illnesses and a proposed U.S. ban on flavors that make up more than 80% of its sales. The move underscores the pressure faced by one of the country’s most valuable startups. While Juul plans to continue its expansion, the company will scale back the pace of its hiring and some jobs will be eliminated. Read

Cyanide detected in bootleg marijuana vape pens: report

9/27/19-- NBC News tested 10 THC vape pens from unlicensed dealers and all 10 tested positive for a myclobutanil, pesticide that can turn into hydrogen cyanide when burned. “You certainly don’t want to be smoking cyanide,” Antonio Frazier, the vice president of operations at CannaSafe, told NBC News. “I don’t think anyone would buy a cart that was labeled hydrogen cyanide on it.” Read

Parent and sibling attitudes among top influences on teenage e-cigarette use

9/30/19--Flavor, safety and family attitude toward vaping are among the greatest factors influencing teenage perception of e-cigarettes, new research finds.Published in the September-October issue of the Journal of Pediatric Nursing, the study is one of a few to examine the perception adolescents have of e-cigarettes and where these youth receive information about the products. Read

As crisis looms, Oregon officials propose vaping ban

9/28/19--The Oregon Health Authority is recommending that Gov. Kate Brown ban for six months the display and sale of all vaping products, both nicotine and cannabis based. The recommendation is one of six related to curtailing use of vaping products across the state and comes after state officials, including the governor, urged consumers to voluntarily stop using vaping products. Read

Lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court seeks class action, damages against e-cigarette giant Juul

9/30/19--A notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court claims e-cigarette giant Juul targets minors with misleading advertising by claiming its products are safer and healthier than smoking. In documents filed today naming Juul Labs Canada and Juul Labs Inc., plaintiffs Jaycen Stephens and Owen Mann-Campbell say they were 18 years old when they started using Juul e-cigarettes in 2018. Read

Outbreak of lung injury associated with e-cigarette use, or vaping

10/10/19--As of October 8, 2019, 1,299 lung injury cases associated with the use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products have been reported to CDC from 49 states, the District of Columbia, and 1 U.S. territory. Twenty-six deaths have been confirmed in 21 states, and all patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette, or vaping, products. Read

A vape ban would crush Oregon cannabis oil extractors. Gov. Kate Brown may do it anyway.

10/2/19--The announcement by health officials last week of a second Oregon death in an outbreak of respiratory illnesses has pressed the governor to the brink of issuing a six-month ban on all vaping products. Read

Cigarettes, N.H., Craigslist: How the vaping public is contending with Baker’s ban

10/3/19--Within hours of Governor Charlie Baker’s emergency ban last week on vape sales, products that consumers and medical marijuana patients had relied on for years suddenly disappeared from store shelves. Now, the Baker administration is facing a series of lawsuits and protests, part of a growing backlash from critics who insist the hastily conceived ban will ultimately harm, not improve, public health. Read

Why it’s time to pull the plug on e-cigarette ads

9/24/19--The corporations that own CNN, CBS, TNT, TBS and other major broadcasting brands have announced that they will not air advertisements for e-cigarettes amid the ongoing investigation of vaping-related lung illnesses that have sickened hundreds of Americans and killed seven people. Read

Baker ban on vaping sales expected to survive first legal challenge in US District Court in Boston

10/4/19--Governor Charlie Baker’s four-month ban on all vaping product sales was expected to survive its first major legal challenge after a federal judge in Boston seemed cool to arguments seeking a temporary halt to the ban. Baker’s ban is considered one of the strictest vaping regulations nationwide. Read

Vaping Illness Update: FDA warns public to stop using Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-Containing vaping products and any vaping products obtained off the street

10/4/19--In its continued efforts to protect the public, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is strengthening its warning to consumers to stop using vaping products containing THC amid more than 1,000 reports of lung injuries—including some resulting in deaths—following the use of vaping products. Read

Vaping deaths shine light on California’s dark cannabis underworld

10/6/19--It’s still unclear what is causing the lung damage that has hospitalized 805 people and killed 18. But most of the cases have been traced back to illicit products, health officials say. In a cluster of 12 cases treated in the Central Valley’s rural Kings County, where cannabis is illegal, every patient vaped using cannabis or cannabis oil devices bought from an illicit “pop up” shop. Read

Mass. marijuana vape sales drop sharply amid health crisis

9/19/19--Revenue from sales of marijuana vaporizers at licensed cannabis stores in Massachusetts has plunged 25 percent amid widespread consumer health concerns about the devices, according to data provided to the Globe by the Cannabis Control Commission. Experts said the change, which is almost certainly because of warnings from state and federal authorities that vaporizers are probably the cause of a mysterious outbreak of lung ailments. Read

As vaping-related lung illnesses worsen, public holds e-cigarettes like Juul culpable

9/19/19--Amid a multitude of reports about severe lung illnesses associated with vaping, federal health agencies have urged everyone to avoid electronic cigarettes and cautioned that pointing blame at any one brand, chemical, or substance in isolation is premature. Read

FDA issues proposed rule for premarket tobacco product applications

9/20/19--Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a proposed rule to set forth requirements related to the content, format and FDA’s review and communications procedures for premarket tobacco product applications (PMTAs) as part of the agency’s continued commitment to its oversight of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. Read

Georgia officials confirm 5 lung cases tied to vaping; others probed

9/20/19--State public health officials have confirmed five cases of vaping-related lung illnesses in Georgia, with another 10 being investigated. Those figures, released this week, add to the CDC’s national total of at least 380 confirmed and probable cases in 36 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Read

There will be lawsuits: Legal fallout from vape cart crisis is coming

9/18/19--The reports of injuries and deaths, a mysterious lung disease, contaminated products, and heightened public health concerns due to vaping have generated international headlines, and captured the attention of state and federal lawmakers. Legal experts expect that lawsuits will soon follow as a result vape-related injuries—and soon. Read

Sales of illicit vaping products find home online

9/20/19--A market for illicit marijuana-vaping products and the tools to create counterfeits is thriving online. Instagram, Amazon.com, Facebook, and other tech companies say they have policies against any illegal or inappropriate sales and remove offenders from their sites. Web sales of products used to make marijuana-containing vape cartridges are legal under certain circumstances, but doctors and industry experts warn about the potential health risks from buying such items online, particularly those that end up being counterfeit. Read

High levels of cancer-causing chemical found in mint and menthol e-cigarettes: Study

9/21/19--The Food and Drug Administration has announced plans to ban all non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes and now a study from Duke University raises serious health concerns for people using mint and menthol flavored e-cigarette products: a potentially cancer-causing chemical in some of the e-cigarette liquids. Read

Pulmonary illness related to e-cigarette use in Illinois and Wisconsin

9/6/19--In July 2019, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Illinois Department of Public Health received reports of pulmonary disease associated with the use of e-cigarettes (also called vaping) and launched a coordinated public health investigation. Results indicate that although the features of e-cigarette use responsible for injury have not been identified, this cluster of illnesses represents an emerging clinical syndrome or syndromes. Additional work is needed to characterize the pathophysiology and to identify the definitive causes. Read

Vaping-Induced Lung Injury

9/6/19--The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in late August 2019 that at least 215 acute, severe respiratory distress cases have been identified, spanning 25 states, and more recently at least 2 deaths have occurred. Although more investigation is needed to determine the vaping agent or agents responsible, there is clearly an epidemic that begs for an urgent response. Read

Imaging of vaping-associated lung disease

9/6/19--Lung injury associated with vaping has been recognized in the medical literature, and a case series of such injuries is now published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Four imaging patterns have been identified that correlated with pathological findings attributable to vaping, including acute eosinophilic pneumonia, diffuse alveolar damage, organizing pneumonia, and lipoid pneumonia. In addition, some cases were associated with variegated imaging patterns. Read