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  • Vaping apps getting removed from App Store amid health concerns

    Apple are free to allow or block any content they choose and I can understand their reaction to the high-profile cases of vaping related illness and huge numbers of underage users that the US are currently experiencing.  I’m just disappointed that the whole situation is based on a misunderstanding of the actual issues and potential risks posed to the public.

    I agree fully with StrangeDays’ point that decisions need to be made using science based evidence – The issue with the US regulations and bans is that they’re not being based on science, certainly not a State level:  They appear to be based at best on political populism rather than evidence-lead health policy.

    I say this as a public health professional and ex-smoker who previously vaped, and also as a resident of the UK.  The Government here has based its intervention to vaping on evidence which has been peer-reviewed by health practitioners and professionals, which has resulted in actively encouraging smokers to switch to vaping as part of a harm-reduction strategy, being at least 95% less harmful than smoking tobacco. 

    Let’s be clear – this position is in the UK Government’s interest:  Fewer smoking related illnesses means fewer overall referrals to NHS services, which in turn means a saving in the cost of delivery; and that is a net saving, even when considering the loss of tobacco tax revenue that results from fewer smokers (vaping products are taxed at the standard VAT rate).  This in itself reaffirms the UK Government’s belief in vaping as a form of harm reduction and is one of the rare cases where both their financial- and the wider public health-interests overlap. 

    The situation in the US is very different, particularly in the nature and marketing of available vaping products, and reasonable legislation to mitigate any potential harm is clearly needed.  There are two separate issues at play and there are distinct:  (1) Underage vapers are attracted to the exceedingly high-strength yet smooth-vaping salt-nicotine in ‘pod’ style systems, which are strong enough to give a rush or buzz (50-70 mg/ml in some pods, when the legal limit in the EU is 20 mg/ml, and evidence that flavours are not major factor can be found even from US studies); and (2) the illicit sale of THC containing pods which have been cut with Vitamin E acetate, which is causing  serious or sadly even fatal injuries in users.   

    There are more complexity to these two issues than I can outline here (this post is long enough already!), but in simple terms they are both based in criminality being the same as underage alcohol drinking and drug dealing respectively.  Regulation and enforcement is needed to tackle them, but this must be applied without discouraging or preventing smokers from switching to a less-harmful habit.

    Despite the many scare stories the media presents – many potentially based on bias big-Tobacco or big-Pharma funded US research – vaping is without question significantly less harmful than smoking and has become the most successful method of smoking sensation we have available.  It is likely not risk-free, but millions of ex-smokers have been vaping for around a decade now and we have only in the last few months seen health issues in a relatively small number of recently-started vapers?  This shows that the problem is clearly not a fundamental problem with traditional nicotine vaping and something new has happened, now all but confirmed by the CDC.

    I fear Apple may regret this decision in the future once the evidence in the States has shaken out and expect that we haven’t seen the last of vaping apps in the App Store.

    Public Health England – Vaping in England: an evidence update February 2019

  • Vaping apps getting removed from App Store amid health concerns

    Despite the many scare stories the media presents – many potentially based on bias big-Tobacco or big-Pharma funded US research – vaping is without question significantly less harmful than smoking

    That isn’t without question at all. My links above and others you can find are making the case that the long term heart disease issues are the same, possibly worse. 

    “A study by researchers at the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedar-Sinai in Los Angeles found that vaping can be more harmful to the heart than tobacco. [...] [Be] very careful and not to fall for the promises that e-cigarette producers make suggesting that e-cigarettes are healthy alternatives to cigarette smoking because we're just learning now that e-cigarettes might actually be just as harmful as tobacco cigarettes or even more harmful."

    This is a topic-rated cardiologists group, #3 rated in the nation. Not funded by tobacco companies, lol, who btw are buying up vape companies.

    ....anyway yes I agree that using science and research should be the basis of govt policy. But the pipe dream of ecigs being healthy alternatives to traditional smoking is not looking good. 

    Back to Apple — do they allow tobacco apps? I really don’t know. 
    Thank you for posting this: We need to welcome all research that allows us to better understand the real risks associated with vaping as an emerging technology and I look forward to seeing the peer-review following its presentation, although I note that it appears to have contradictory results compared to a VESUVIUS study also undertaken this year at Dundee University; this project has been on going on 2017 afaik: (I was looking for their earlier study that is often referenced by PHE and the British Heart Foundation, but found this press release about updated work, full report not yet published).

    The point is that we’re talking about the unknown long-term effects of vaping that demands further research and discussion; This is the ‘5%’ that’s left from being at least 95% less harmful that smoking tobacco.  Anyone who describes vaping as ‘healthy’ is not understanding the context of the harm-reduction message.

    Vaping is without question less harmful than smoking.  There is also without question some risk to vaping which needs to be quantified, as your study into one health aspect suggests and why people who have never smoked shouldn’t vape.  But the health effects of tobacco are well known, including killing up to half the people who regularly use it.  The number of adverse health effects tobacco smoking contributes to is too long to list here...  I’m not trying to be confrontational, but to suggest that vaping can hold a candle to that level of pathology, particularly with the amount of research scrutiny that the vaping category is under with little evidence being produced to support the claim, is the pipe-dream.

    As I said in my first post, I understand Apple’s dilemma - I believe they don’t allow tobacco orientated apps in the Store either, so I can see the case for excluding those related to vaping as well, particularly in the current climate of controversy in the States.  But I again fall back on the advice presented by the PHE in their Vaping in England report, that careful consideration must be given to actions that may create barriers, discourage or otherwise prevent people from switching from smoking tobacco to vaping... The potential positive impact for public health could be comparable to the invention of running water and inside plumbing!

    Edit: Spelling and Grammar 
  • Here's how much money you can save with an Apple One services bundle

    I’m all in on Premier as it’s a no-brainer for my house, esp with access to Fitness+ which stole the show for me today. 

    We already spend £25 for family Music, Arcade and a couple of 200GB iCloud plans, so the rest for the same price is a bonus; in fact, I think it’s a pretty great deal getting Fitness+ and way more iCloud storage for no more money. 

    I didn’t see myself subscribing to TV+ any time soon and News+ doesn’t interest me in the slightest TBH, but looks like they’ve got me anyway 🙄! 

    Good job Apple. For real. 

  • Review: Belkin's delayed MagSafe Boost Charge Pro is worth the wait

    Nice but pricy IMO.  However, my interest faded entirely after Andrew mentioned no Nightstand mode...  This one’s not for me. 
  • MagSafe Duo Charger gets first regulator approval from Korea

    If you don't care about charging speed .... take a gander at this charger on Amazon.
    I would suggest this one is better as a home and fold-down travel solution, particularly as it incorporates its own built-in AppleWatch charger rather than you needing to install a separate puck. That’s why I bought it and it’s worked out great:

    However, I’ll be buying a MagSafe Duo to replace it day one, as well!
  • AirPods Pro now available in Apple Stores worldwide

    I had mine delivered to work today and I'm in love with them already.  These are my first pair of APs and I've only had a short time with them, but to me they sound amazing - I have a handful of other BT headphones and much cheaper BT earbuds to compare them too, but my first thought is that they’re the best sounding of the bunch. 

    MacPro said:
    I am very sad that Apple went back to the more traditional ear canal fitting design.  I can wear the last-gen AirPods without discomfort but the designs with the rubber caps hurt my ears after a short time for some reason I cannot explain whatever size I try.

    I hear what you say and have the same trouble normally, as I think my canals are unusually small, but I took a punt anyway.  The silicon/rubber caps are on these are very soft, to the point where I'm worried about how easily they'll tear.  I’ve haven’t had any discomfort after wearing them for a couple of hours to this point.   

    The ANC is also noticeably better than both my on-ear Plantronics BB Pro2 and JBL 650BTNC headphones; particularly remarkable as I consider the latter to be an excellent performer anyway.  The miniaturisation of this tech is incredible and in my mind worth the extra price that Apple is asking for them over competitors’ similar products or larger headphones…  I’m very happy I waited, but still wish they were black or Space Grey ;)