Several public health and tobacco control groups are upset that Philip Morris International would even consider purchasing a pharmaceutical maker that develops inhaled treatments for respiratory diseases, including the COVID-19 infection.
NEW YORK CITY — Philip Morris International (PMI) announced recently that it would pursue purchasing a company specializing in the development of inhaled pharmaceutical treatments for respiratory diseases based in the United Kingdom.
The company, Vectura Group plc (based in Chippenham, Wiltshire, in England), agreed to the acquisition, which is valued at between $1 billion and $1.5 billion. PMI announced the intent to purchase Vectura in a press release indicating that it’s a part of its so-called Beyond Nicotine strategy and its move away from combustible cigarettes.
“The acquisition of Vectura, following the recently announced agreement to acquire Fertin Pharma, will position us to accelerate this journey by expanding our capabilities in innovative inhaled and oral product formulations in order to deliver long-term growth and returns,” said Jacek Olczak, PMI’s chief executive officer, in the mentioned press release.
For reference, Vaping Postreported on the acquisition of Fertin Pharma. Fertin develops pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products based on proprietary “oral and intra-oral delivery systems.” Fertin develops pills, lozenges, capsules, powders, and pouches.
He added: “The market for inhaled therapeutics is large and growing rapidly, with significant potential for expansion into new application areas. PMI has the commitment to science and the financial resources to empower Vectura’s skilled team to execute on an ambitious long-term vision. Together, PMI and Vectura can lead this global category, bringing benefits to patients, to consumers, to public health, and to society-at-large.”
Groups like the American Lung Association and the American Thoracic Society are concerned that the acquisition will undo years of work at Vectura Group. American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer and American Thoracic Society President Lynn Schnapp jointly released this statement about PMI’s attempt to purchase Vectura:
“The announcement that Philip Morris International (PMI) wants to acquire an inhaled medicine company is the latest reprehensible choice from a company that has profited from addicting users to its deadly products,” both said. “We are deeply concerned that PMI will use the inhalation services technologies developed by Vectura to make their tobacco products more addictive. We are also deeply troubled that this company could further profit from the disease their products have caused by now selling therapies to the same people who were sickened by smoking PMI cigarettes.”
“The American Lung Association and American Thoracic Society are disappointed that the board of Vectura, a maker of essential medical products, has approved this sale. We urge the shareholders of Vectura to reject the proposed sale. Failing share holder action, we urge the British government to use its oversight authority to intervene and stop the sale.”
Amid the outbreak of controversy, members of Parliament are likely to scrutinize the acquisition between PMI and Vectura. London Timesreports that politicians in Parliament, including shadow secretaries dealing with business and biotechnology industry regulations, will further investigate the intentions behind the proposed buyout.
I urge you all to checkout those articles and sign up and together we can fight the power crazed ingnorant WHO.
OK…and breathe lol.
Organized by Voices4Vape, the Right To Switch petition has a simple premise:
Don’t let your right to choose alternatives to smoking be taken away! | #Right2Switch
Trust me, that’s what’s happened in many parts of the world and could be coming here in the UK – so it’s imperative we the vapers stand up and be counted.
The Right To Switch petition has 7 demands it wants the idiotic WHO to adhere too and they are:
1) Stop lying to us and only provide guidance based on sound scientific facts, methodologies and principles.
2) Regulate based on sound scientific facts that include stakeholder (consumer) participation as part of the decision making process.
3) Don’t ignore the basic human right to harm reduction that is one of the WHO’s founding principles. “To serve public health at all times – to put people’s health interests first”.
4) Stop interfering with the rights of adults to make informed choices regarding their health and well being.
5) Don’t discriminate against smokers, or users of safer nicotine products, because they aren’t doing what you want them to do “We strive to make people feel safe, respected, empowered, fairly treated and duly recognized”
6) Follow your own mandate of “We communicate openly with everyone and learn from one another”
7) Don’t use the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to disregard our rights to choose alternatives. – “We are guided by the best available science, evidence and technical expertise, We continuously develop ourselves and innovate to respond to a changing world.”
IF the WHO gets its wish vaping as we know it will be gone for ever.
If you’re happy going back to smoking then do nothing.
If you want to keep your right to choose and have the Right To Switch – then please get involved!
A spokesman for the campaign urged vapers to sign adding:
All of us need to unite, as one, globally, for our voices to be heard loudly and clearly by those who would rather not listen.
As adults, we have every right to choose how we live our lives – the right to make informed choices for our health, including the choice to use safer nicotine products as an alternative to combustible tobacco.
A solution to the world’s smoking problem is already here, we need to make WHO FCTC HEAR US.
A smoking cessation plan designed for dual users should include e-cigarette-specific strategies used by successful quitters.
Studies keep indicating that most vapers use e-cigarettes as intended, to quit smoking. However while switching, some users end up getting stuck in the dual use phase where they start vaping but also keep smoking.
Dual use of e-cigarettes and cigarettes tends to be discouraged by tobacco harm reduction experts and vaping advocates alike, as the whole point of vaping is cutting down on cigarettes. On the other hand, some argue that those who engage in dual use are still smoking less cigarettes, ie. reducing harm.
The obtained results indicated that while dual use of e-cigarettes was not associated with reduced overall quit rates when compared to exclusive smoking or dual use of NRT, it was associated with a slightly higher quit attempt rate than exclusive smoking, but lower than dual use of NRT.
A total of 413 current smokers taking part in the Smoking Toolkit Study, a representative survey of adults in England, were recruited, and provided data at baseline and at a 6-month follow-up. The compiled data indicated that dual users of e-cigarettes and cigarettes smoked fewer cigarettes per day at follow-up than at baseline, when compared to dual users of NRTs and cigarettes.
This study addressed this issue, by trying to develop a specific smoking cessation program that is tailor made for people who are stuck in this pattern. “Using formative data from in-depth interviews and employing learner verification, we adapted an existing, validated self-help smoking-cessation intervention (Stop Smoking for Good; SSFG) to create a targeted intervention for dual users, If You Vape: A Guide to Quitting Smoking (IYV).”
Strategies used by successful cigarette quitters
The research team looked into vape strategies used by successful quitters, suggesting they should be implemented. “Findings led to the inclusion of e-cigarette-specific strategies used by successful quitters such as gradually reducing nicotine levels, switching from tobacco flavor to alternative flavors, and limiting e-cigarette use to places one would normally smoke (i.e., not expanding use).”
“Suggestions from Phase II learner verification included broadening the visual appeal for a younger, more diverse demographic, expanding tips for quitting smoking via e-cigarettes, and expanding terminology for e-cigarette devices. Beginning with an efficacious self-help intervention, we used a systematic process to develop a version specifically for dual users.”
PMI announced the acquisition for an enterprise value of DKK 5.1 billion (approximately USD 820 million1).
Media reports about the possible purchase started circulating last month. According to the Tobacco Reporter, Financial analysts from these reports said that the company (including its debt), could be valued at roughly $713.5 million.
A previous article by Vaping Post discussing the acquisition said that Fertin is the “world’s biggest contract development and manufacturing organization for nicotine chewing gum” and “also helps produce tablets, gum and lozenges used for pain medication, vitamins, cough treatments, and sleeping aids.”
Another step towards PMI’s goal of becoming a mostly smoke-free by 2025
Finally, PMI announced the acquisition for an enterprise value of DKK 5.1 billion (approximately USD 820 million1). This move supports the tobacco company’s goal of becoming a mostly smoke-free business by 2025, creating growth opportunities beyond tobacco.
“The acquisition of Fertin Pharma will be a significant step forward on our journey toward delivering a smoke-free future—enhancing our smoke-free portfolio, notably in modern oral, and accelerating our progress in beyond nicotine,” stated Jacek Olczak, Chief Executive Officer.
“Both PMI and Fertin share a commitment to science and consumer-centric innovations for better living, and I am delighted we have reached this agreement. Fertin’s diverse portfolio of technologies, evolving business mix, and world-class expertise will enrich our innovation pipeline and capabilities, providing speed and scale in oral delivery to support our 2025 goals of generating more than 50% of our net revenues from smoke-free products and at least USD 1 billion from products beyond nicotine.”
A nationwide measure, S 1253: “Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act,” passed the house last year and was signed into law by President Trump on the 27th of December 2020. The bill banned all shipments of vaping products by the US Postal Service, and would have forced all other postal delivery services (such as UPS, FedEx, or DHL) to check IDs and obtain signatures of adults at points of delivery.
To this effect, FedEx and the United Parcel Service (UPS) had already halted shipping vaping products from their end. However in April 2021, the U.S. Postal Service announced that it was delaying the ban. In an exclusive to Marijuana Business Daily, a spokesperson for the USPS said that more time is required “to review how to implement the changes ordered by Congress.”
Yet, FedEx and UPS did not reverse the ban from their end, with FedEx’s current rules preventing the shipment of vaping products from business to business or directly to vapers, many of whom live in remote areas were they might have difficulty obtaining them. This has prompted hundreds of small businesses to send a signed a letter organized by the AVA highlighting that the mail carrier’s delivery ban will prevent consumers from obtaining the products they’ve used to stop smoking.
Making safer alternatives unavailable is counterproductive
“We rely on companies like FedEx to stock our store shelves and meet customer demand,” adds the letter. “Without the option to order vaping products at wholesale or ship their products to consumers, vape stores have seen their shipping options skyrocket in cost or evaporate entirely.
AVA president Greg Conley, highlighted that this measure is counterproductive. “FedEx is doing a great disservice to American small businesses and consumers,” he said in a press statement. “They are playing right into the hands of Big Tobacco, which directly benefits from policies that make it more expensive for adult smokers to switch. Not only are vaping products legal and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, but they are saving lives by keeping people off combustible cigarettes.”
On July 23rd (GMT+8), before the new Ligue 1 season kicks off, Geekvape, the world-renowned vape brand, and Paris Saint-Germain, the European football powerhouse, announced together the official partnership starting from the 2021-2022 season. It is the first time in history that a football giant partners with a vape brand. Both sides will work together on campaigns, TV commercials, and co-branded products in authorized countries. Geekvape fans around the world will also have the opportunity to see the team in real life.
“Geekvape has always followed a brand concept of ‘Love of Life’ and building an excellent life experience, while Paris Saint-Germain is known for playing elegant football” said Allen Yang, the CEO of Geekvape Technology. “In their own sectors, Geekvape and Paris Saint-Germain are sharing the same passion for ‘Excellence’ and ‘Elegance.’ And based on this common idea, we have come together today. Six years after its creation, Geekvape has grown into an international brand serving millions of users around the globe. The partnership with Paris Saint-Germain is an essential step in its brand strategic upgrade and will, at the same time, attract more users to feel the positive energy brought by football through Paris Saint-Germain’s football magic.”
Marc Armstrong, Paris Saint-Germain’s Chief Partnerships Officer, said: “We are delighted to welcome Geekvape to the Paris Saint-Germain family. Geekvape is an innovative Chinese brand with worldwide ambition. We both share the same determination to ally excellence and elegance. We are looking forward to working together to develop creative campaigns.”
Geekvape, founded in 2015, is an innovative technology company headquartered in Shenzhen, China. Geekvape’s mission is to build a creative life experience and provide a reliable product experience. For a long time, Geekvape continuously creates and thinks differently, aiming to positively impact society.
About Paris Saint-Germain
Paris Saint-Germain football club was created in 1970 and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020. Since QSI’s purchase of the club in 2011, it has transformed to become one of the top football clubs and global sports brands in the world. The club has since then won 27 trophies in only ten years, 43 in its history, becoming the most successful football club in France. Paris Saint-Germain has attracted many great players including Ronaldinho, Beckham, Ibrahimovic, and currently Neymar Jr and Mbappé, both ranked amongst the top players in the world. The international popularity of the club never stops growing. It is now one of the most followed clubs in the world, expanding from zero to a community over 100 million social media followers in just ten years. The pioneering sports club which now includes men’s football, women’s football, handball, and judo, added esports in 2016. Giving back to the community is fundamental to the club which has drastically increased the capacity of its foundation to develop large programs for underprivileged youths.
Research suggests that for every 1,000 pregnant women offered vouchers, 177 would stop smoking.
Research, says the guidance, suggests that for every 1,000 pregnant women offered vouchers, 177 would stop smoking. “Evidence from the UK showed that schemes in which a maximum of around £400 could be gained in vouchers staggered over time (with reductions for each relapse made) were effective and cost effective.”
Their guidance, which is open to consultation, said women should undergo biochemical tests to prove they have stopped smoking before receiving the vouchers. However, they added, if the testing proves too difficult due to any current COVID-19-related restrictions, the vouchers should be given anyway.
The document also highlighted that healthcare staff should give clear and up-to-date information regarding e-cigarettes to anyone interested in using them to quit smoking, whilst mentioning that their long-term health effects are still uncertain.
Stop Smoking Services Staff opinions about vapes
In the UK e-cigarettes remain the most popular smoking cessation aid to date, however, opinions about vaping during pregnancy tend to vary. A recent local study aimed to gauge the general perception of English Stop Smoking Services (SSS) towards vaping in order to quit smoking amongst pregnant women.
Most SSS managers said they support the use of e-cigarettes amongst pregnant women who already vaped prior to the pregnancy. However they added, they would not recommend vaping to those who were still smoking and not using e-cigarettes. A total of 8.3% of the managers said they were likely/very likely to advise using e-cigarettes, while 56.9% of SSS were unlikely/very unlikely to advise using them.
The slowdown of smokers switching to safer e-cigarettes is a UK vaping’ public health emergency‘ says the country’s vape industry leader.
John Dunne, the Director-General of the UK Vaping Industry Association, says the slowdown is due to myths and fake news surrounding e-cigarettes and this needs to be urgently addressed – or more smokers will die.
The APPG says 2021 is a ‘pivotal year‘ for vaping in the UK and the new Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (TRPR) [replacing the EU backed TPD] is the perfect opportunity to layout new legislation covering e-cigarettes and other novel nicotine products.
I reported earlier this year on the UKVIA submission to the UK Government and in a nutshell it called for:
The use of Government-approved expert health claims on products to address misinformation leading to misperceptions on vaping, and therefore encourage smokers to switch
Greater opportunities to engage with smokers, as current regulations restrict vaping’s ability to provide smokers with evidence-based knowledge to make informed decisions when looking to quit
The extension of certain regulations to cover additional vaping products, such as non-nicotine e-liquids, thereby ensuring a highly responsible and safe industry
We’re extremely pleased to see a number of our comments and suggestions made during the inquiry’s evidence sessions, together with some of the recommendations contained in our ‘Blueprint for Better Regulation’ document, have made it into the published report.
The document acknowledges the huge strides the UK has made in recent years taking vaping from a place where it was routinely talked about as being ‘as bad as cigarettes’ to its position today where leading health experts and politicians all agree it is an indispensable resource for helping smokers to quit their habits for good.
UK Needs MORE Not LESS Vapers
At a time when esteemed health protection organisations such as Public Health England and Cancer Research UK all back vaping as the best and most effective quit method, and the NHS is trialing e-cigarettes for smokers in some hospitals, the numbers of new vapers should be skyrocketing, not tailing off.
This is a public health emergency and we are calling on the Government to review this report as soon as possible and waste no time in implementing its recommendations for the sake of the seven million UK smokers yet to transition to vaping.
You may recall the WHO is desperately trying to convince Governments around the world to slap an outright ban on all things vape – yes, even here in the UK!
UK vapers looking to join the fight to stop the WHO’s global vape plan should checkout the following links:
EVALI – Nothing To Do With Nicotine Vaping
Despite EVALI being proven to have NOTHING to do with vaping on nicotine based e-liquid, it is still being used as a reason to ban e-cigarettes.
A new study by tireless pro-vaping advocate, Clive Bates, says health organizations, the media, commentators and anti-vaping groups must be made to stop linking the two now – or more lives will be at risk.
Commentators should stop claiming that nicotine vaping is implicated in “EVALI”.
Agencies, academics, journals, peer reviewers, health organisations, activist groups, foundations, media commentators, and politicians should stop falsely asserting or implying that nicotine vaping was or is a cause of EVALI.
It is ethically inappropriate to use false or tenuous claims or exaggerated doubt about risks to try to change the behaviour of others.
That ethical problem is compounded in this case because of the risk that users would be deterred from switching from high-risk to low-risk nicotine products and would therefore suffer harm on the basis of unreliable public health information.
EVALI – or Vaping Use-Associated Lung Injury – appeared on the scene a couple of years ago and led to 2,800 hospitalisations and the deaths of 68 mostly young people.
This was proven to be correct and as Clive explains, due to the thinning ingredient Vitamin E acetate – also known as tocopheryl acetate.
The contaminating agent has been identified.
This is Vitamin E Acetate (VEA) (Blount et al. 2020).
Its exact biochemical interaction with lung tissue may be uncertain and is a subject of ongoing work.
However, there is no real doubt that it played a causal role in EVALI.
CDC has acknowledged this: according to Dr Anne Schuchat, CDC’s principal deputy director in 2019: “we can conclude that what I call the explosive outbreak of cases of EVALI can be attributed to exposure to THC-containing vaping products that also contained Vitamin E acetate” (CDC published transcript, 20 December 2019).
But still EVALI is used as a building block to ban vaping and in turn scare the hell out of smokers looking to quit.
Clive concludes the EVALI outbreak now must lead to the de-criminalization of THC/cannabis vapes adding:
“EVALI” should be renamed to reflect the real risks.
The contrived naming of this condition as “E-cigarette, or Vaping, product use-Associated Lung Injury” (EVALI) is misleading and the language is unnecessarily vague.
Users and suppliers of THC vapes do not generally use the term “e-cigarettes” to describe THC vaping products such as vape pens.
The term “e-cigarette” is primarily used to refer to nicotine vaping products, and the term EVALI, by implicating e-cigarettes, is therefore misleading to nicotine users.
Couldn’t agree more, especially with even the WHO linking vaping on nicotine products to EVALI!!!
Chantix – known as Varenicline – is produced by Pfizer – and yeah former FDA boss and vaping fear monger Scott Gottlieb is on the board.
It seems this particular batch of the suicidal drug had too high levels of nitrosamine.
That’s an organic substance found in many forms – however Pfizer says it’s worried the amounts are far above the recommended daily intake.
In a statement the company said:
Pfizer believes the benefit/risk profile of CHANTIX remains positive.
Patients currently taking Chantix should consult with their doctor to confirm if they received an affected lot, and if appropriate, about alternative treatment options.
To date, Pfizer has not received any reports of adverse events that have been related to this recall.
Things that make you go ummm…
Can’t recall any vape products or batches of juice being recalled due to cancer giving effects…
For more info and the batch numbers check out the FDA website or see your own doctor/GP.
UK Kids Say Vaping Is NOT Cool!
Despite the rabid media reports of UK youngsters becoming hooked on e-cigarettes, once again the true facts show those claims to be BS.
A new fact sheet produced by Action On Smoking and Health [ASH] shows that not only aren’t kids vaping in their droves, they don’t think it’s cool!
I’m with them on that one lol.
A HUGE majority of 11-17 year olds [77.7%] have never tried a vape or even knew they existed [10.5%].
Very interesting indeed!
The results come from the joint 2021 ASH YouGov Smokefree youth GB survey and also shows:
Young people aged 11-18 years old vape mainly just to give it a try (49.3%) not because they think it looks cool (1.2%).
They are unlikely to choose e-cigarettes because they are easier to access (1.1%) or cheaper (0.8%) than tobacco cigarettes.
Despite age warning schemes it appears the kids are still buying lit tobacco and e-cigs from shops – which is extremely worrying – who the hell serves a 11-year-old a packet of fags?
The fact sheet concludes:
In conclusion, data from the 2021 ASH YouGov Smokefree youth GB survey suggest that while some young people experiment with e-cigarettes, particularly those who have tried smoking, regular use remains low.
Likelihood of trying or currently using e-cigarettes increases with age and smoking status. However, continued surveillance is needed.
Apart from UK kids thinking that e-cigarettes are just as ‘dangerous‘ to health as lit tobacco, it’s great to see more evidence a UK teen vape epidemic is rubbish.
People who quit smoking had a greater reduction in anxiety, depression, and symptoms of stress, than those who did not.
A recent review has indicated that approximately 40 to 45% of mental health professionals assumed that smoking cessation would be counterproductive to their patients’ mental states. Similarly, many smokers believe that due to the irritability that results from withdrawal, their relationships would be impacted negatively.
However, the review found that actually people who quit smoking had a greater reduction in anxiety, depression, and symptoms of stress than those who did not. “Smokers often believe that cigarettes are the crutch they need when they feel low, but there is good reason to think that smoking is actually making them feel worse,” said lead study author Dr. Gemma Taylor.
“The daily cycle of waking up with cravings, satisfying the cravings through smoking, only to be back wanting another cigarette within hours has an understandable impact on how people feel. But get past the withdrawal that many smokers feel when they stop, and better mental health is on the other side,” she added.
“From our evidence, we see that the link between smoking cessation and mood seem to be similar in a range of people. And most crucially, there is no evidence that people with mental health conditions will experience a worsening of their health if they stop smoking.”
Meanwhile, multiple studies and health entities, such as the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP), have pointed out that mentally ill individuals have a higher tendency to smoke in comparison to the general population. Hence, they benefit greatly from having extra support in relation to smoking cessation and access to safer alternatives, that would at least decrease the likelihood of them also suffering from smoke-related conditions.
Smokers tend to need higher doses of psychotropic medications
A 2020 article by former stop-smoking service manager at Leicester City Council, Louise Ross, had evaluated the challenges and opportunities faced when supporting smokers with poor mental well-being in their quest to quit.
The third in a series of five, this article reflected on the nurses’ role in offering smoking cessation guidance and support. It started by pointing out amongst other things, that smokers on psychotropic drugs tend to need higher doses of medications. “The tar (and not the nicotine) in tobacco smoke also increases the need for higher doses of some psychotropic medications, so stopping smoking enables some people to be prescribed a lower dose and experience fewer side-effects (NCSCT, 2018).”