Choose ENDS, not NRTs

You can never really get enough of a good thing.

When something is benign or beneficial, the goodness just seems to find no limits.

It builds on itself, reinforcing previously established positive findings.

And there are hardly no downsides, adverse results or unintended consequences.

A win-win, not  a zero sum –all the way.

But don’t take Ped Xing’s word for it; instead, take comfort in the latest British study on tobacco transitioning technological trends and the robust medical research to back it.  

Smokers are three times more likely to succeed in quitting smoking with the use of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems or e-cigarettes, compared to those prescribed with nicotine replacement therapy, based on a new study by University College London.

The research involved close to 19,000 smokers in England over a 12-year period from 2006 to 2018, making it one of the largest to examine the success rates of all the commonly used methods people use to stop smoking.

The study found that smokers who used e-cigarettes were 95 percent more likely to quit smoking than those trying without, while those that used prescribed NRT such as nicotine gums, patches, and lozenges were only 34% more likely to do so.

Moreover, those buying NRT from shops were no more likely to succeed that those trying to quit without any help at all.

Dr. Sarah Jackson, the lead author of the research, commented: “Stopping smoking reduces the risk of chronic diseases and increases quality of life and life expectancy. It is therefore important that every quit attempt has the best possible chance of success. Our study adds to the growing evidence that the use of e-cigarettes can help smokers to quit.”

Dr. Jamie Brown, co-author of the study added that e-cigarettes appeared to be effective for smokers regardless of their social background.

“Smoking is one of the biggest contributors to health inequality between rich and poor and the growth in e-cigarette use may ultimately start to reduce this gap,” he said.

The study was published last month in Addiction, the official journal of the Society for the Study of Addiction that has been presenting peer-reviewed research since 1884.

To date, it registers one of the highest success rates between e-cigarettes and other smoking cessation aids.

There are over 16 million smokers in the country, which has one of the highest incidences of smoking of any natin in Asia Pacific.  

Ten people die every hour due to tobacco-related illnesses, while smoking costs the country economic and productivity losses of up to P270 million.

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PAL’s P8-M refund claim nixed

A specialized court is turning out to be the emerging equalizer in the grant of tax breaks and other fiscal incentives granted to favored private corporations.

Earlier, Ped Xing cited the case of a local petroleum giant whose bid to obtain  preferential treatment over fuel classification for taxation purposes  was thumbed down by the Court of Tax Appeals.

The latest to get the thumb down from the CTA is no les than the country’s flag carrier.

The CTA has turned down a tax claim filed by the Philippine Air Lines ) for taxes it paid for cigarettes, liquor, and wines for its commissary operations in 2014.

In a 24-page decision by Associate Justice Cielito N. Mindao-Grulla dated August 8, the CTA's Second Division "denied for lack of merit" the petition for review filed by the PAL seeking the refund or issuance of a tax credit certificate in the amount of P8.98 million representing excise taxes imposed it paid five years ago.

"Claims for tax refunds are in the nature of tax exemptions, and as such, should be construed strictissimi juris against the taxpayers and liberally in favor of the government," the tax court said in its ruling.

PAL cited that Section 13 of Presidential Decree 1950 provides for petitioner's exemption from the payment of all taxes, duties and other fees and charges on all importations of commissary and catering supplies for the use in its transport and non-transport operations.

On Aug. 22, 2016, PAL filed before the Commissioner of Internal Revenue a claim for a refund for excise taxes it paid on imported various cigarette and alcohol products constituting its commissary and catering supplies for use in its international flights.

Internal Revenue officials , meanwhile, said PAL made the alleged payments on Aug. 22, 2014, and that counting two years from then, the petition should have been filed on Aug. 11, 2016. The petition, however, was filed only on Aug. 22, 2016.

The BIR insists the claim for refund was filed out of time and that PAL filed the administrative claim for refund on August 22, 2016, with the BIR's Regular Large Taxpayers Audit Division II, the same day it filed the petition for review before the CTA.

Behold God’s glory and seek His mercy.

Pause and pray, people.