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Philip Morris steps up vaping plan,
keeps close ties with Altria
Philip Morris will launch a new vaping device, IQOS Mesh, soon, according to the company’s chief executive officer, Andre Calantzopoulos. The market for e-cigarettes will soon consolidate, he told Bloomberg News. When that happens, “Philip Morris wants to be on the forefront with its IQOS brand, which also sells devices that heat tobacco rather than burning it."
Pictured above is the device that heats tobacco. Last fall, Altria opened its first store – in Atlanta’s Lenox Square – to market this device, called IQOS Heet sticks. Some 500 stores throughout the city are selling or will sell IQOS Heet sticks, according to CNBC.
Vaping 360 reviews the soon-to-be-available IQOS Mesh vaping device, which it calls “a beginner vape” that comes with 11 flavors, including fruity flavors. Wait, didn’t we just decide fruity flavors are responsible for the adolescent vaping epidemic?
Merger talks between Altria (US market) and Philip Morris (markets abroad) fell apart as Juul turned adolescents on to flavored e-cigarettes. Altria had invested heavily in Juul. Both Altria and Philip Morris collaborate on the IQOS brand, giving rise to a potential merger in the future.
Read Bloomberg News story here.
View CNBC report on the opening of the first Philip Morris IQOS Heet sticks store in Atlanta here.
Read Vaping 360 review of IQOS Mesh vaping device here.

How legal weed shops feed the vaping crisis
Smart Approaches to Marijuana president Kevin Sabet writes in the Wall Street Journal that the latest data from CDC show 131 of 809 patients with vaping-related lung injuries purchased their THC vape products from commercial stores, defined as recreational and/or medical marijuana dispensaries, vape or smoke shops, stores, and pop-up shops.
Some 82 percent of patients with data on substance use reported using THC-containing products as of January 14, 2020. About half of those reported where they obtained THC vaping products:
  • 16 percent only from commercial sources
  • 78 percent only from informal sources, defined as family/friends, dealers, online, or other sources
  • 6 percent from both commercial and informal sources 
Read Dr. Sabet’s commentary here.
Marijuana Linked to Increased Heart Problems
More than 2 million people with cardiovascular disease say they have used marijuana. Smoking the drug is linked with:
  • increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • altered heart muscle and vessels
  • increased risk for abnormal heart rhythms 
In addition, marijuana can interfere with cardiac medications, including some drugs that reduce blood pressure and statins that reduce cholesterol.
See CBS News report here.
Read Journal of the American College of Cardiology study abstract here.
Research shows reals risks associated with cannabis exposure during pregnancy
A new study definitively shows that regular exposure to low doses of THC has significant impact on both the development of the organs of the fetus and the gene expression that is essential to placental function.
In a rat model, birth weight was reduced by 8 percent, while decreased brain and liver growth were reduced by more than 20 percent. This is the first study to show that THC alone has a direct impact on placental and fetal growth.
Some studies estimate that one in five women use marijuana during pregnancy, but the impact on the fetus has not been well studied up to this point. This study provides support for clinicians to communicate to women the very real risks using marijuana during pregnancy.
Read news release about the study here.
Read Nature Scientific Reports study here.
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The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter published by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana).

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The Marijuana Report Staff
Executive Editor, Sue Rusche. Editor, Nicole Carter. Proofreading, Harry Rusche, Professor Emeritus. IT Consultant, Lee Clontz. Social Media Coordinators, Margarita Eberline, Shannon Murphy, MD, FAAP, and Nicole Carter.
National Families in Action Board of Directors
William F. Carter, Chairman of the Board, Coldwell Banker Atlanta. Sue Rusche, President and CEO, Atlanta. Richard L. Brown, Secretary, Attorney (Ret.), Founder & Chairman, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association, Lakewood Ranch, Florida. Jeannine F. Adams, Director, President and CEO, J. Addams & Partners, Atlanta. Jack L. Arbiser, MD, PhD, Director, Thomas J. Lawley Professor of Dermatology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta. William H. Avery, Director. Partner (Ret.), Alston & Bird, LLP, Atlanta. Debbie Berndt, Director, Parent Movement 2.0, Walnut Creek, California. Margarita Eberline, Director, Strategy Director, Ultim Marketing, Atlanta. Robert Margolis, PhD, Director, Founder, Caron Solutions Intensive Outpatient Program, Roswell, Georgia. Shannon Murphy, MD, FAAP, Director, Birmingham, Alabama.
Senior Adviser
Kent “Oz” Nelson, Chairman and CEO (Ret.), United Parcel Service, Atlanta.

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