eLetters

488 e-Letters

  • False allegations, unsubstantiated claims

    NOT PEER REVIEWED
    We object to the framing of Association of Vapers India (AVI), erroneously referred to as ‘Vape India’ in the paper, as a tobacco industry front group, without providing any basis for the claim except our membership of International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations (INNCO).

    AVI was organised in August 2016, when consumers of low-risk alternatives came together to arrest the tide of state bans in India, which were being lobbied for by the Bloomberg Philanthropies network the authors belong to.[1] Though one of our directors is the current president of INNCO’s governing board, elected through a member vote in the 2020 General Assembly, he is serving in unpaid, honorary capacity.

    AVI has not received funding from INNCO, nor from the Foundation for Smoke-free World (FSFW), and neither from the tobacco industry. Our work is financed through voluntary contributions, and like INNCO, the affairs are conducted by a governing board comprising unpaid consumer volunteers.

    It is scurrilous to cast AVI as a tobacco industry group or anything other than a consumer-led movement that is seeking access to harm reduction avenues for India’s nearly 270 million tobacco users, among whom cancers are rising[2] even as most have meagre means to deal with the health consequences, which makes harm prevention a vital mitigation strategy. We are product agnostic and advocate access to lower-risk alternatives for both smokers and smokeless tobacco...

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  • Clarification of claims made about e-cigarettes

    NOT PEER REVIEWED
    Recent work from Ilies et al. (1) is very informative toward understanding the degree to which heated tobacco products might confer less health risk than combusted cigarettes. This publication extends well beyond the existing HTP emissions evidence base, much of which was not conducted by independent groups. The authors should be commended for leveraging strong methodology, and for their comprehensive evaluation of toxicants generated by these products.

    While the methodology and results of this publication appear sound, there are a number of inaccurate claims that warrant criticism in the second paragraph of the Introduction section:

    • The second paragraph discusses nicotine vaping products (e-cigarettes), however citation #2 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Use of cigarettes and other tobacco products among students aged 13-15 years--worldwide, 1999-2005. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2006;55:553) utilize data from 1999 through 2005, which mostly spans a time frame prior to the invention of the first e-cigarette in 2004 (2), and certainly spans a timeframe prior to their widespread marketing in the United States. The citation follows the sentence “However, the death toll provoked by their [e-cigarettes] consumption has increased significantly, reaching 650,000 annually, and it is likely to rise over the coming year…” This citation is clearly inapplicable to the unfounded claim being made about deaths attributable to e-ci...

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  • Gateway effect from vaping to smoking likely to be small

    NOT PEER REVIEWED
    The meta-analysis by Khouja et al. confirms the strong association in young people between e-cigarette use and subsequent smoking.[1] The critical issue is whether the relationship is causal. If there is a causal relationship, there are several factors which diminish its impact.

    Firstly, most of the studies used ‘ever smoking’ as the outcome. Ever smoking is a poor marker for smoking-related harm as most smoking by vapers who later smoke is experimental and infrequent and few progress to established smoking (100+ lifetime cigarettes). Shahab et al. found that only 2.7% of youth who tried e-cigarettes first progressed to established smoking. Only established smoking is linked to significant smoking-related death and disease.[2]

    Secondly, the absolute number of non-smokers who progress from vaping to smoking is small as smoking precedes vaping in the vast majority of cases (70-85%).[3] If there is a gateway from vaping to smoking, this only affects a minority of young vapers.

    Thirdly, the authors use Bradford Hill’s dose-response and specificity criteria to assess whether the association between vaping and subsequent smoking is likely to be causal.

    They acknowledge that the dose-response criterion is mostly based on nicotine dependence, indicating that that nicotine dependent vapers are more likely to progress to smoking. However, nicotine dependence in non-smoking vapers is rare, less than 4% in the 2018 National Youth T...

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  • Declines in Adolescent Use of Cigarettes and Other Substances Consistent With Common Liability Model

    NOT PEER REVIEWED
    Miech and colleagues demonstrate declines in prevalence of non-medical use of prescription drugs among US high school students and show that these declines can be explained by trends in cigarette smoking.1 These observations are taken as support of the gateway hypothesis in which cigarette smoking increases the likelihood of subsequent other drug use. The authors further argue that these results are inconsistent with a ‘common liability’ model, and that the common liability model predicts that adolescent drug use would have “stayed steady or even increased as adolescents continued to use these drugs regardless of whether they smoked.” In this scenario, adolescents with a predilection toward substance might substitute cigarettes with other drugs as smoking rates decline.

    However, this conceptualization of the common liability model is inconsistent with how such models are typically understood. Models that posit a common liability do not assert that the degree of liability is fixed in the population, such that changes in risk for use of one drug increases risk for other drug use. Instead, common liability can be influenced by environmental factors and environmental changes can coherently impact multiple outcomes, resulting in trends similar to those observed by Miech and colleagues.

    For over 40 years, Problem Behavior Theory has provided a comprehensive theory and empirical approach to common liability. “Problem behaviors” (later termed...

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  • RESPONSE

    NOT PEER REVIEWED
    This is a well written original research about the burning issue of tobacco manufacturer lobbying. These manufacturing industries have developed strategies to undercut minimum price laws. By increasing tobacco taxes an effective policy has been designed to decrease tobacco use. In Pakistan currently, 209 million people smoke and about 83 billion cigarettes are smoked per year. As Pakistan has not ratified any anti-smoking policies, there should be great effort made to raise excise duties and taxes on tobacco companies to reduce the demand for cigarettes. In 2017 the local price of cigarettes was about 75 rupees of which half was excise duties [1].
    With this expansion of taxes, there will be responses of reducing tobacco consumption, but the cigarette manufacturing industries developed specific promotions and lobbies to encourage their consumers to purchase lower taxed or lower priced tobacco products. It is the responsibility of health authorities to regulate the prices and promotion of such hazardous products [2]. According to WHO, “MPOWER” was the slogan in 2015, according to which M= monitor tobacco usage, P= Protect people from tobacco smoke, O= offering help to quit tobacco use, W= warning about its hazards, E= enforce to ban its advertisement, R = Raise tobacco taxes [3].
    For smoke free Pakistan and all over the world four key factors should be instruments: Education, legislation, quitting support and financial policies.

    1....

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  • Carbon Monoxide to be expected with combustion

    NOT PEER REVIEWED

    It should be noted that the Aspire Cleito coils used in this study have a manufacturer stated operating power range of between 55 and 75 watts. This is noted both on the box and laser etched into the side of the coil housing proper. it should be noted that the first data points in the graph ( to demonstrate the presence of CO in both liquid samples are in excess of the stated power range of the element.

    "Strawnana" at 80 watts
    "Black Ice" at 100 watts

    This leads me to question the normalizing curve for the black ice sample as there are no data points in the graph (Figure 2) within the manufacturer noted operating range for that coil.

    Furthermore, while this statement " ...though the bulk liquid temperature is controlled by boiling limits of the e-liquid component" would be accurate were the coil to be completely submerged in liquid, the mechanics of coil design will confound that principle. The resistance coils in electronic cigarettes are not, by design, submerged in liquid, they are in contact with a liquid saturated wick. Any heat energy applied to the coil whether in magnitude or duration, that exceeds the supply of liquid saturating the wick will result in a temperature spike which could cause the temperature to spike causing thermal degradation of what liquid does remain, and the singeing of the cotton wick.

    It can be expected that where combustion occurs, carbon compounds will...

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  • Irresponsible methodology

    NOT PEER REVIEWED

    The atomizer used for testing has a maximum rating of 80 watts.
    200 watts was applied. Needless to say, horrible results occurred.
    This is not reputable science, it is a failed experiment, it should never have been published.

  • Response to Jane Native

    NOT PEER REVIEWED

    Greetings –
    We thank you for your response to our paper. We honor and acknowledge that there are more than 564 Tribal Nations and that each has their own name and language. In this article, we used the term “American Indian,” which was a decision guided by our long-standing work with cultural advisors in Minnesota. While we chose to use the term “American Indian,” we recognize that each Tribe and individual may prefer to use a different term. For additional context, please see another article titled “Why the World Will Never Be Tobacco-Free: Reframing “Tobacco Control” Into a Traditional Tobacco Movement,” available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4984762/

  • Third option - cleverer than Tobacco Control

    NOT PEER REVIEWED

    Whilst it is true that Juul is not exactly popular with those on either side of the fence this article fails to address the major issue.

    The impending regulation which Juul is said to have brought down on the vapor industry helps Juul by eliminating the competition. Only they, and other brands owned by tobacco companies have any hope of being able to afford the process to keep their products on the market. Independent manufacturers and the retailers who sell their products will simply be obliterated.

    Considering that these are people who who have dedicated their lives and often their life savings to helping people switch to safer alternatives, and who are by far and away the most efficient at enforcing strict age verification for purchases, this is a tragedy, not something to be celebrated.

    Lastly, as if it still needs to be said, the outbreak of acute lung injury in the US has not been linked with Juul, or any other commercially available nicotine vaping product.

  • Columbus Was Stupid; Native Americans Not Indians

    I 100% understand the general good intent of this paper. I also must say that I am Cherokee but not "fullblooded" Cherokee. I did grow up in the heart of the Nation, though. However, could people please stop using the term "American Indian"? Indians are from India. Columbus got lost (even though he was a navigator), ran the one ship he captained aground where he was found by the Native population of the island he smashed into (which for the record was not anywhere near North America). He looked around and thought, "I'm on a beach, I was trying to find India, India has a beach. These people are not white, they are tan, Indians are tan! I'm in India!" He then spread his stupid to the world. Now every tan person originating from any American continent (which are when put together the same land mass as the entire "known" world at that time) are all Indians... Please stop. It's just offensive.

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