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  • Monday, July 06, 2020
  • Tobacco Companies Are Developing Potential COVID-19 Vaccines

  • Is Big Tobacco big enough to beat COVID-19? The properties of the tobacco plant have been well known among researchers for decades, earning it the nickname “the lab mouse of the plant world.” Plant-based vaccines can copy viruses, allowing the body’s immune system to recognize them and create an immune response. Kentucky BioProcessing (KBP), a subsidiary of British American Tobacco, might seem a surprising contender for a COVID-19 vaccine, but it’s working on one using tobacco plants. And it’s not the first time. They played a key role in developing one of the most successful antidotes to the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo. “The technologies and processes that KBP develops make it possible to (...)

  • Thursday, July 02, 2020
  • Tobacco Companies Are Developing COVID-19 Vaccines

  • The properties of the tobacco plant, or Nicotiana tabacum, have been well known among researchers for decades, earning it the nickname “the lab mouse of the plant world.” Plant-based vaccines can copy viruses, allowing the body’s immune system to recognize them and create an immune response. Kentucky BioProcessing (KBP), a subsidiary of British American Tobacco (BAT), might seem a surprising contender for a COVID-19 vaccine, but it’s working on one using tobacco plants. According to BAT, this method can reduce the time required to reproduce vaccines from several (...)

  • Friday, July 10, 2020
  • Africa: Modified Risk Tobacco Product - Historic FDA Decision and Lessons for Africa

  • Following 43 months of evaluation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on 7 July authorized the marketing of IQOS in the country, Philip Morris International’s (PMI) electrically heated tobacco system, as a modified risk tobacco product (MRTP). The finding recognizes the harm-reduction effects of the “heat-not-burn” technology, which provides smokers with nicotine, while substantially reducing the risks associated with the combustion of conventional cigarettes. While rates of smoking have decreased in wealthy countries, they have grown in poorer nations. In sub-Saharan Africa, cigarette consumption increased by over 50 percent between 1980 and 2016. Of deaths among African adults caused by second-hand smoke, over 60 percent are among women who live and work with smokers. Six lessons can be learned from the decision by the USFDA and similar regulatory bodies in Europe (...)

  • Monday, June 29, 2020
  • Africa: Harm Reduction - Science, Sociology and Restrictive Regulations

  • Following the Global Forum on Nicotine held on June 11th, 2020, Philip Morris International (PMI) organized an event on Tobacco Harm Reduction on June 23rd, 2020. Nowadays, more than one billion people smoke in the world and the World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that this number will not decrease until 2025. Recently, the United Kingdom governmental agency, Public Health England, published a report stating that e-cigarette use is around 95% safer than smoking traditional tobacco. For Prof. Reuven Zimlichman, the situation is complex and should be seen through human condition and behavior: "Unhealthy behaviors are inevitable. People make poor lifestyle choices despite suffering negative health effects. Heart disease patients continue to lead sedentary lives and eat unhealthy diet, diabetic patients continue to overeat and eat unhealthy food, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients continue to smoke."

  • Monday, July 06, 2020
  • Lies, Hypocrisy and Bluster

  • An employee of the magazine PR Week has been happy to trot out another unwarranted attack on the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World (FSFW), courtesy of the “tobacco industry watchdog”, Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products (STOP). STOP, synonymous with the University of Bath’s ‘Tobacco Tactics’, is part of a coordinated approach to undermine tobacco harm reduction (THR) through slur and innuendo rather than address the actual science.
    Bloomberg’s money works hard at STOP. Recently, one of the researchers at Bath contacted the Planet of the Vapes forum in order to gain assistance with “research”. The latest attack says that the World Health Organization is “concerned” by a “Big Tobacco-funded aggressive PR effort” during the current COVID-19 pandemic. They claim the FSFW is pulling strings in order to get its minions to conduct “research on tobacco users”. (...) STOP says FSFW funds “VIDA News to ‘increase public awareness of the drivers of smoking harm and the availability of alternatives’ [and] the International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations (INNCO) to ‘promote tobacco harm-reduction on the global stage’.”

     

  • Friday, July 03, 2020
  • 20% of Smoking-related Cancer Survivors Continue to Smoke, Study Finds

  • Nearly 20 percent of survivors of smoking-related cancers continued to smoke even after recovery, according to a study published Thursday by JAMA Network Open. The percentage was far greater among survivors of all types of cancer who had been smokers. More than half -- 56 percent -- remained active smokers, they said. "The percentage of current smokers among smoking-related cancer survivors was substantially higher than that in the general population of about 14 percent," study co-author Sanjay Shete told UPI.