Archive for the ‘tobacco and smoking’ Category

Electronic Cigarettes: Imports, Tariffs, and Data Collection

June 10, 2015 Comments off

Electronic Cigarettes: Imports, Tariffs, and Data Collection
Source: Government Accountability Office

Why GAO Did This Study
E-cigarettes are becoming more popular and widely used. At present, the federal government does not systematically collect data on e-cigarette sales, numbers of manufacturers and importers, or types of products sold. Although information about the e-cigarette market is incomplete, most e-cigarettes sold in the United States are thought to be imported. CBP enforces U.S. customs laws and collects tariffs for goods imported into the United States.

In conducting its work, GAO analyzed CBP’s classification rulings related to e-cigarette imports and tariff revenue data for fiscal year 2014. GAO assessed the reliability of the data by performing data checks for inconsistency errors and by interviewing cognizant officials. GAO determined that CBP’s tariff revenue data were sufficiently reliable for the purposes of this report. In addition, GAO interviewed officials from CBP, USITC, and Census as well as industry experts, such as financial analysts and researchers.tional Trade Commission (USITC), U.S. Census Bureau (Census), and CBP. According to USITC officials, no entity had requested statistical reporting numbers for e-cigarettes, parts, or liquid as of April 1, 2015.

What GAO Found
Import volume and tariff revenue for electronic cigarettes, known as e-cigarettes, are unknown, because the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS)—which is used to classify U.S. imports and exports for tariff and other purposes—does not contain statistical reporting numbers specific to e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes, e-cigarette parts, and e-cigarette liquid are imported under HTS statistical reporting numbers for residual or basket categories that cover a range of goods, such as special effects strobe lights, seaweed extracts, and hand sanitizer. As a result, although U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) collects data on import volume and tariff revenue for the basket categories that include e-cigarettes, parts, and liquid, CBP officials said they are unable to identify the volume of and tariff revenue from e-cigarette imports within these categories.

The interagency Committee for Statistical Annotation of Tariff Schedules, if requested, can create statistical reporting numbers to classify specific goods to improve an industry’s or the federal government’s ability to track import and export volume and tariff revenue for imported goods, but there are currently no statistical reporting numbers specific to e-cigarette imports. The committee consists of the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), U.S. Census Bureau (Census), and CBP. According to USITC officials, no entity had requested statistical reporting numbers for e-cigarettes, parts, or liquid as of April 1, 2015.

Approaches for Controlling Illicit Tobacco Trade — Nine Countries and the European Union

June 3, 2015 Comments off

Approaches for Controlling Illicit Tobacco Trade — Nine Countries and the European Union
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

An estimated 11.6% of the world cigarette market is illicit, representing more than 650 billion cigarettes a year and $40.5 billion in lost revenue (1). Illicit tobacco trade refers to any practice related to distributing, selling, or buying tobacco products that is prohibited by law, including tax evasion (sale of tobacco products without payment of applicable taxes), counterfeiting, disguising the origin of products, and smuggling (2). Illicit trade undermines tobacco prevention and control initiatives by increasing the accessibility and affordability of tobacco products, and reduces government tax revenue streams (2). The World Health Organization (WHO) Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, signed by 54 countries, provides tools for addressing illicit trade through a package of regulatory and governing principles (2). As of May 2015, only eight countries had ratified or acceded to the illicit trade protocol, with an additional 32 needed for it to become international law (i.e., legally binding) (3). Data from multiple international sources were analyzed to evaluate the 10 most commonly used approaches for addressing illicit trade and to summarize differences in implementation across select countries and the European Union (EU). Although the WHO illicit trade protocol defines shared global standards for addressing illicit trade, countries are guided by their own legal and enforcement frameworks, leading to a diversity of approaches employed across countries. Continued adoption of the methods outlined in the WHO illicit trade protocol might improve the global capacity to reduce illicit trade in tobacco products.

See also: Use of Tobacco Tax Stamps to Prevent and Reduce Illicit Tobacco Trade — United States, 2014

Available Evidence Suggests That Possible Regulation of Cigarettes Not Likely to Significantly Change U.S. Illicit Tobacco Market

April 9, 2015 Comments off

Available Evidence Suggests That Possible Regulation of Cigarettes Not Likely to Significantly Change U.S. Illicit Tobacco Market
Source: National Research Council and Institute of Medicine

Although there is insufficient evidence to draw firm conclusions about how the U.S. illicit tobacco market would respond to any new regulations that modify cigarettes—for example, by lowering nicotine content—limited evidence suggests that demand for illicit versions of conventional cigarettes would be modest, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine.

Tobacco use has declined in the past few decades due to measures such as high taxes on tobacco products and bans on advertising, though there are still more than 1 billion people worldwide who regularly use tobacco, including many who purchase their products illicitly. Illicit tobacco markets can undermine public health efforts to reduce tobacco use, while depriving governments of revenue. In the United States, the revenue losses are borne mostly by the states.

Study shows electronic cigarette vapors contain toxins and have the potential to be a public health concern

April 1, 2015 Comments off

Study shows electronic cigarette vapors contain toxins and have the potential to be a public health concern
Source: RTI International

On the heels of the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) second public workshop to explore the public health considerations associated with e-cigarettes, nonprofit research organization RTI International released a new research paper “Exhaled Electronic Cigarette Emissions: What’s Your Secondhand Exposure?,” which explores the composition of e-cigarette vapor and the potential health impacts of secondhand exposure.

The study finds e-cigarette emissions contain enough nicotine, and numerous other chemicals to cause concern. A non-user may be exposed to secondhand aerosol particles similar in size to tobacco smoke and diesel engine smoke. Meanwhile, e-cigarettes are a rapidly growing business with annual sales doubling yearly to $1 billion in 2013, and a current lack of regulation that has allowed for a surge in marketing.

Because e-cigarette products are not yet regulated, the chemicals and devices involved vary widely, as may the potential health impacts. Many factors — including the specific device used — influence the chemical makeup and toxicity of e-cigarette emissions. The full scope of health impacts of e-cigarette smoke, as well as secondhand exposure’s impacts on children, is still unknown.

Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking: A Global Epidemic

March 20, 2015 Comments off

Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking: A Global Epidemic
Source: Tobacco Control

The story has been told many times: waterpipe, a centuries-old tobacco use method in which smoke is passed through water before being inhaled, probably originated on the Indian subcontinent and southeast Asia. Over the years, it spread and became popular in the Middle East. During most of the 20th century, it seemed that waterpipe’s heyday had passed, in favour of easy-to-use types of tobacco such as cigarettes. Its use was not even registered in the expanding body of global tobacco surveillance systems. The medical and public health literatures made little note of it: Rakower and Fatal’s examination of lung cancer mortality rates by ethnic groups in Jerusalem that differed in their use of waterpipe, appearing in the British Journal of Cancer, was the first notice of waterpipe in Medline in 1962, and almost 20 years were to pass before any additional studies were to appear. But things suddenly changed in the 1990s: upticks in use were observed in the Middle East, especially among teenagers and young adults. This was mostly fuelled by the invention of flavoured and easier-to-use tobacco, a growing café culture in the Middle East, and expanding internet availability and globalisation. As a result, waterpipe use has snowballed globally at the start of the 21st century.

Public Health Implications of Raising the Minimum Age of Legal Access to Tobacco Products (2015)

March 19, 2015 Comments off

Public Health Implications of Raising the Minimum Age of Legal Access to Tobacco Products (2015)
Source: Institute of Medicine

Tobacco use by adolescents and young adults poses serious concerns. Nearly all adults who have ever smoked daily first tried a cigarette before 26 years of age. Current cigarette use among adults is highest among persons aged 21 to 25 years. The parts of the brain most responsible for cognitive and psychosocial maturity continue to develop and change through young adulthood, and adolescent brains are uniquely vulnerable to the effects of nicotine.

At the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Public Health Implications of Raising the Minimum Age of Legal Access to Tobacco Products considers the likely public health impact of raising the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products. The report reviews the existing literature on tobacco use patterns, developmental biology and psychology, health effects of tobacco use, and the current landscape regarding youth access laws, including minimum age laws and their enforcement. Based on this literature, the report makes conclusions about the likely effect of raising the minimum age to 19, 21, and 25 years on tobacco use initiation. The report also quantifies the accompanying public health outcomes based on findings from two tobacco use simulation models. According to the report, raising the minimum age of legal access to tobacco products, particularly to ages 21 and 25, will lead to substantial reductions in tobacco use, improve the health of Americans across the lifespan, and save lives. Public Health Implications of Raising the Minimum Age of Legal Access to Tobacco Products will be a valuable reference for federal policy makers and state and local health departments and legislators.

Youth Tobacco Product Use in the United States

February 12, 2015 Comments off

Youth Tobacco Product Use in the United States
Source: Pediatrics

BACKGROUND: Noncigarette tobacco products are increasingly popular among youth, especially cigarette smokers. Understanding multiple tobacco product use is necessary to assess the effects of tobacco products on population health. This study examines multiple tobacco product use and associated risk factors among US youth.

METHODS: Estimates of current use were calculated for cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, hookah, e-cigarettes, pipes, bidis, kreteks, snus, and dissolvable tobacco by using data from the 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey (n = 24 658), a nationally representative sample of US middle and high school students. Associations between use patterns and demographic characteristics were examined by using multinomial logistic regression.

RESULTS: Among youth, 14.7% currently use 1 or more tobacco products. Of these, 2.8% use cigarettes exclusively, and 4% use 1 noncigarette product exclusively; 2.7% use cigarettes with another product (dual use), and 4.3% use 3 or more products (polytobacco use). Twice as many youth use e-cigarettes alone than dual use with cigarettes. Among smokers, polytobacco use was significantly associated with male gender (adjusted relative risk ratio [aRRR] = 3.71), by using flavored products (aRRR = 6.09), nicotine dependence (aRRR = 1.91), tobacco marketing receptivity (aRRR = 2.52), and perceived prevalence of peer use of tobacco products (aRRR = 3.61, 5.73).

CONCLUSIONS: More than twice as many youth in the United States currently use 2 or more tobacco products than cigarettes alone. Continued monitoring of tobacco use patterns is warranted, especially for e-cigarettes. Youth rates of multiple product use involving combustible products underscore needs for research assessing potential harms associated with these patterns.


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