Big Tobacco Feeling the Steam of E-Cigs, We Are Vaping to Complete Filming
March 1, 2013
We Are Vapers to complete filming by end of April 2013
We Are Vapers: An Exploration into the World of Harm Reduction is a documentary chronicling the stories of e-cigarette users that have switched from tobacco use and its effect on their lives.
The film will cover the history of E-Cigarettes, personal stories, the concept of harm reduction, personalities and health implications. Filming is expecting to end in April 2013. You can expect to see the film at various film festival in the near future.
nacsonline.com – Big Tobacco is seeing a dent in their sales numbers and are expecting that electronic cigarettes are the reason. Analog cigarettes saw more than $80 billion is sales for 2013 but have noticed the recent interest by consumers of electronic cigarettes and are taking action. Lorillard captured Blu, an e-cig manufacturer with around 25 percent of the market share while Reynolds American has been testing Vuse, another e-cig. Electronic cigarettes are expected to have sales close to $1 billion by the end of 2013.
Indiana Votes on E-Cig Use by Minors
nwitimes.com – The Indiana House decided in late January that electronic cigarettes should be treated the same as analog cigarettes and users younger than 18 should be prohibited from buying or possessing them. Lawmakers voted 96-0 to send the Senate House Bill 1225 making it a Class C infraction. It is an offense for a minor to have or use an electronic cigarette, e-liquid, or electronic cigarette accessories and is punishable by a $500 fine.
My Vapor Record 1.2
joyetech.com – Joyetech released MVR 1.2, a software update for Windows and Mac. Joyetech’s My Vapor Record is used to update the firmware and view the usage of the eVic variable wattage electronic cigarette. The update offers the ability to gather more usage information from the eVic. Also included in this software update is a firmware update for the eVic, which allows the user to customize this or her home screen by adding the ability to view the puff counter, time, voltage/wattage or ohm resistance on the screen.
eCigs HQ Publishes New Report: “The FDA’s War on E-cigarettes”
As an ever-increasing number of studies conclude that e-cigarettes are no more dangerous than their FDA-approved, big-pharma product counterparts, physicians are beginning to recognize that electronic cigarettes represent our best hope against the scourge of tobacco-related disease. Despite all this, the FDA has failed to alter its outdated and misguided stance against electronic smoking products, further jeopardizing the lives of millions of US smokers.
eCigs HQ (http://www.ecigshq.com) , a user-centric website featuring e-cigarette reviews, industry news, coupon codes, special offers and exclusive discounts, has published a new report on the FDA’s ongoing war on e-cigarettes.
The report reviews the most recent scientific findings related to the health effects of electronic cigarettes; the relative safety of these products when compared to tobacco cigarettes; their efficacy as a nicotine replacement therapy; their role in tobacco harm reduction efforts; as well as the differences between e-cigarettes and their tobacco counterparts.
“FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapies, such as the patch, inhalers and nicotine gum, have proven largely ineffective, as they fail to address the psychological and tactile aspects of the smoking habit,” said eCigs HQ editor, Laura Conzo Brady. “Electronic smoking products offer a far more convincing ‘smoking’ experience, making them our best hope against the myriad of the often-lethal diseases associated with tobacco use.”
The report goes on to question why the FDA has failed to embrace the technology as a way to save the lives of millions of addicted US smokers, while it continues to plead ignorance—relying on the same “we just don’t know enough about them” excuse.
It has been more than three years since the FDA’s produced a single study of two electronic cigarette brands. Limited in scope, the study raised as many questions as it answered. The nascent electronic smoking industry has changed much during the ensuing three years. As the lives of millions of Americans hang in the balance, the report concludes that it is time for the FDA took a long, hard second look at e-cigarettes.
US Consumers Warned Off E-Cigarettes, Steered Toward Pharma Products
Tobaccoreporter.com—The US Department of Health and Human Services has launched a website aimed at offering the ‘best and most up-to-date tobacco-related information from across its agencies.’
BeTobaccoFree.gov is said to provide information on tobacco, federal and state laws and policies, health statistics, and evidence-based methods on how to quit.
‘The site’s social media dashboard, “Say it—Share it,” provides real-time updates from HHS’ tobacco-related social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Infographics, podcasts, and Tumblr,’ the website’s announcement said.
One section of the website seems aimed at discouraging people from using e-cigarettes and promoting the use of nicotine gum, nicotine skin patches, nicotine lozenges, nicotine oral inhaled products, nicotine nasal spray, Zyban and Chantix.
New Best Electronic Cigarette Review Website Offers Electronic Cigarette Coupons
PRWEB—There is a brand new best electronic cigarette review website that is offering readers electronic cigarette coupons to accompany their reviews. The website is RJ Ross Best Electronic Cigarette Review. RJ Ross is a former Connecticut computer parts salesman who decided he was bored of the computer parts biz and became an electronic cigarette reviewer instead. His most famous review is his V2 Cigs review, which he calls the best electronic cigarette in the industry. Readers will be able find reviews and deals out there for brands like V2 Cigs, Smokeless Image and SmokeStik. Visit his website at: http://rjross.com.
Smokers Utopia E-Cigarette Reviews Features Green Smoke Electronic Cigarettes
PRNewswire—The most brutal electronic cigarette review website in the industry is now featuring Green Smoke so that smokers can take a full disclosure look into the company, its products and the pros and cons that go along with choosing this company as your e-cigarette supplier.
Green smoke has been around since the beginning of the smokeless cigarette movement in the U.S. and has been a major player since the start and continues to reign in the top in sales volume of online sales.
Although the company has a great history there are still facts and practices that consumers need to be aware of before investing their hard earned money into their products and company.
“We just believe that people should have all of the information available before spending their money,” states Teresa Peach of Smokers Utopia. “We completed the Green Smoke Review so that smokers know what they are getting into before they make the switch, without sugar coated sales jargon that is the norm with most e-cig reviews sites.”
Unlike other review sites in the industry, Smokers Utopia is known for pointing out shortfalls of smokeless cigarette companies that could change minds on their buying decision with brutal facts that no others dare point out.
Smokers Utopia covers the top brands like their South Beach Smoke review, news and openly explains how they review products so that customers can make an informed decision.
urbantulsa.com – You've seen them, and you've seen a couple of different versions of them. There's the electronic cigarette that looks like an actual cigarette, complete with a battery-powered orange glow coming from the end of it. Then there's the giant nicotine vaporizer that looks like it's actually a duck call, even more so when people wear them on lanyards around their necks.
"Those are modified electronic cigarettes," said Thomas Kiklas, director of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association (TVECA). "They have a bigger tank in them and hold a little more power. And they generate a little bit more vapor. But the average user uses the smaller one."
Whichever one people choose, there are all manner of choices for them when they use them, a process sometimes referred to as "vaping." There are flavors that people can use when they reload their units -- from run-of-the-mill things like menthol and regular old tobacco to Cuban cigar and more baffling choices like banana cream pie, peanut butter, and blueberry -- and it seems that as e-cigarettes grow in popularity, the more options are coming open to the consumer -- and prices are dropping, too.
That's not to say that there are no controversies surrounding e-cigarettes and their larger, more powerful counterparts.
The 2017 E-Liquid Flavor Guide will include a list and guide of thousands of e-liquid products from the largest brands in the industry to boutique craft flavors.
“The last few months have seen an explosion of new E-liquid lines and flavors as manufacturers scrambled to get their products in the market before the August 8 FDA deadline.”
“The Flavor Guide will be a valuable resource for business executives, you can be sure they will keep it at arm’s reach at their desk throughout the year,” said Matt Schramel, VAPE Magazine publisher. “Not to mention it will be an even bigger value to vapers for finding the perfect e-liquid.”
In addition to the industry’s most complete flavor listing, the magazine will also contain reviews, features, interviews and how-to’s.
The VAPE Magazine’s 2017 E-Liquid Flavor Guide will be published November 2016.
The guide will be distributed to all VAPE Magazine subscribers, over 14,000 shops in the US and UK and other retail outlets around the world.
HURRY. SPACE IS LIMITED! DEADLINE IS SEPT. 15, 2016.
Small business owners and smoke-free advocates flooded the State Capitol building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Monday to protest a 40% wholesale tax on vapor products.
This tax, which includes e-liquid, passed as part of the Pennsylvania state budget, and since then vape advocates say that of the 400 plus vape shops in the state, more than 50 were forced to shut their doors in the midst of what several called “unfair policies.”
Vape shop owners rally against a 40% tax on vapor products at the Pennsylvania State Capitol building in Harrisburg, PA on Sept. 26, 2016.—Photo courtesy of ABC News.
Amid the vitriol and outrage that permeated through the air at the hearing, the voice of reason seemed to come from Representative Jeff Wheeland, a Republican in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives who represents the state’s 83rd Legislative District.
Rep. Wheeland questioned the nature of the tax increase and is sponsoring House Bill 2342, which offers a compromise for tense businesses in the form of a five-cent levy per milliliter of e-liquid sold in-store. So far the bill has 60 co-sponsors and its passage seems possible.
However, there are just a few days remaining in the fall legislative session, so supporters of the bill hope that the tax reform will pass before the House breaks until its next session.
Watch the ABC affiliate broadcast on this issue and read more about it here.
They never could have fathomed what it would become.
Just a few short years ago when Danne and Heather Reinke started 3D Vapor in East Alton, Illinois, they had dreams of owning their own business and being able to help people quit smoking. In not much more than a year, 3D Vapor had become one of the hottest names in the industry.
Fast forward three years, and the battlefront looks very different. Instead of facing up against other manufacturers and other distribution companies, Reinke finds himself fighting against a set of overreaching regulations and a public image war that threatens to squash the industry that he helped shape.
These days, he’s wearing a suit more often instead of his trademark Dickies shorts red 3D polo. Visits to legislators, conference calls with advocacy organizations and hands-on involvement with regional advocates are taking up a larger portion of his time.
It’s not taking him away from the business he and his wife built — it’s ensuring it stays alive in a burdensome regulatory landscape.
Where it all started
Danne, an ASE Journeyman Mechanic, first discovered vaping in November 2012. After finding success at kicking his cigarette habit, he quickly graduated from various starter rigs, he picked up an Empire mod and a Noble box mod at Vape Bash in Chicago.
…continued from above
While he and Heather were at Vape Bash, he purchased 50 CE4 clearomizers with 900mah pass-through batteries. When they returned home, he posted them on a Facebook group and they sold the next day. The following day he purchased 100 starter kits and 100 CE4s, and again, sold out almost immediately.
The next Monday he ordered 500 with an assortment of MVPs, Egos, mechanical mods, RDAs and some variable voltage mods.
“We even did delivery for awhile,” he said, sitting in the breakroom of the company’s Wood River, Ill., warehouse. “But that’s when we knew it was time to open the store.”
Reinke found a location just a block from where he worked as a mechanic for the previous 10 years. While he got the shop ready for opening day in the evenings, he was literally bombarded with people coming to check out the new store and make the switch from smoking to vaping.
“I even took everything home at night because we didn’t have an alarm yet,” he said, noting that they already had more than 200 customers before they opened the doors.
On opening day, Danne went to the bank and drew $220 of the $250 they had to their name to be able to make change for the day. When he pulled up to the store there was no way to prepare for what he saw. They sold the store completely out of product the first week.
“The line that morning was long,” he said, adding that there were so many people crammed into the 1,400 sq. ft. store front that the door glass was accidentally broken out.
For months, an employee opened the store every day, while Danne came in at lunch. That went on for six months until it just wasn’t possible anymore. By June 1, 2013, 3D had launched a second store.
…continued from above
The shift to distribution
In November 2013, Danne and Heather visited ECC in California for the first time — and in 2014 they were there doing business. With only a 10×10 booth crammed tight full of everything they carried, 3D made an impact with six-figure sales numbers they never anticipated.
Earlier that year, like many others, they learned the hard way about the Chinese New Year and what that means for imported product. Seeing that as an opportunity, he began stocking up on items and reaching out to area stores encouraging them to buy from him and avoid the hassles of importing.
In the process he started carrying a handful of e-liquids: Space Jam, Alpha, the Standard. Right as it began to take off, he noticed a juice floating around a high-end mod group on Facebook that people were going crazy about.
An admin of the group had been including the juice, which he manufactured, with every purchase he shipped out — to the point that people began clamoring for the juice.
“He said he was going to change my life”
Cory Vigil, owner and founder of Boosted, said recently that the first time Danne called him he told Cory he was going to change his life — Cory hung up on him.
…continued from above
“We talked back and they had asked for samples of my two flavors — Boosted and Anti-Lag,” Vigil said. “I shipped it out five times before I got it correct. I even charged them for samples.”
The two had never met, but Vigil said Reinke had to have been pretty annoyed with him by the time he received the shipment.
Within a few days, 3D placed an order. Vigil scrambled to get it filled. In a few days, Reinke called again and order 500 bottles. Without quality boxes or experience producing such large amounts, Vigil managed to slam it out and get it shipped.
“Then I got the call,” Vigil said. Dan called me to say UPS held the shipment due to damage. My heart sank.”
Some of the boxes were trashed, others were returned.
By that time, Vigil had invested every penny he had to his name and Danne said even the 500 bottles weren’t going to cut it. To help Vigil get the job done, Reinke paid for half the order up front.
“I was so scared to ship the order and my wife was studying for the BAR exam,” Vigil recalled. “I asked if I could take her car and drive the order to him [from Colorado].”
Immediately after it was bottled, Vigil loaded in the car and drove 14 hours straight.
“I was so tired I didn’t even want to be paid,” he said. “When I got back, 50 people were there waiting to meet me…I didn’t even make it out of the state before Dan called to reorder.”
And it exploded from there. What formed were a
pair of multi-million dollar companies and a lifelong friendship.
“These people are my family,” Vigil said. “If someday all of this ends, we’ll still be together.”
Ready for war
That this might end was something that worried the Reinke’s immensely in May when the FDA Deeming Regulations were announced. He felt the industry was doomed — for a brief time.
Now, he — along with countless others in this industry — is ready for battle.
And he intends to see this industry win.
As for 3D Vapor, the Reinke’s plan to register as a manufacturer.
“We’ve prided ourselves on customer service for years, and that’s not something we plan to just stop,” Heather said. “We’re going to do what we have to do to protect that.”
Danne Reinke said he feels the regulations are crushing our first amendment rights to tell customers of how vapor changed our lives.
“I think people are finally starting to get scared,” he said. “That’s what we need to see. That’s what gets them to make a call and get active.”
The summer of 2016 has been a rollercoaster few weeks for vapers in the UK and Europe. Despite fierce opposition, the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) began to be implemented in May, forcing vendors across Europe to adhere to numerous restrictions on the sale of vape gear and e-juice. Then in June, the British public voted to leave the EU, leading some observers to wonder if this could exclude the UK from these regulations. We spoke to various vape businesses in the UK and Europe, both big and small, to find out how it has affected them so far, and how they see the future of the vaping industry.
What Is TPD?
The TPD is a series of rules that place restrictions on the manufacture and sale of of tobacco and related products. In 2014 e-cigarettes were added to the list of products covered, under Article 20. This means all countries in the European Union (EU) have to regulate vape-related products in the same way as tobacco, similar to the deeming laws in America. Each EU member state can place further restrictions, but they all have to comply with the central rules of Article 20. Some of the restrictions include e-liquid to be sold in bottles no larger than 10ml, a maximum of 20mg/ml of nicotine, a ban on advertising and a ban on the sale of variable wattage/variable voltage devices.
Although Article 20 began to be implemented in May 2016, some countries adopted the ‘grandfather clause’ which means the regulations are phased in, to help vape businesses transition smoothly. The UK implementation has allowed for two grandfather dates. One allowing current products to be made up to Nov 2016, and the other allowing them to be sold through to May 2017.
…continued from above
What Impact Has TPD Had?
Chefs Vapours are one of the biggest e-liquid and concentrates stockists in Europe, and were forced to make drastic changes in the wake of these regulations. “We decided to split our company in two to protect us from losing our business,” says Rhiannon, a spokesperson for Chefs Vapours. “We now have a food flavourings website which sells everything that does not contain nicotine, and a vaping website which sells everything that does contain nicotine.” The new flavourings website means this branch of their business will be safe by the time the laws are fully enforced. However, the ban on advertising has had an unexpected effect. “We have also had to stop advertising any vape related products but this has not affected business for us. We are improving in sales month to month.”
Tristan runs UK-based vape business Spiritus Vapes, and while he believes the grandfather dates were helpful, he has concerns for the future. “We’re a reseller of US products and realistically, most of them are going to exit the EU market rather than go through TPD registration.” Echoing the worries of many people in the vape industry, he says “As it stands we’re ok but May 21st 2017 will see almost every product we have on our site disappear overnight.”
Hing Wong runs the Cigtronica vape shop in Manchester, England. “In practical terms we will be reducing the number of items we will be selling, mainly the less popular flavour and strength combinations.” Despite this, he is less concerned about the other regulations relating to marketing, packaging and age restrictions. “There is little or no change as we have already adopted a responsible approach in these areas.”
Paul Willemsen is the CEO of Hisvape, a well-respected vape business based in Germany. He points out that while most vape businesses could survive the TPD legislation, the real danger comes from the ability of individual countries to impose further rules and regulations. “First they initiate the TPD, which most vapers could live with. But TPD leaves freedom for national governments to install even stricter regulations. Now there are countries which forbid online sales like Austria. There are plans to forbid most of the aromas, other than tobacco. Also there are big taxes raised in several countries, like for example in Slovenia, who are adding 4 EUR per 10ml.”
An opposing view comes from an unexpected source. Hon Lik, commonly regarded as the inventor of the modern e-cigarette, said in a recent interview that he believes vaping regulations will have a positive impact as they will increase public confidence in vaping and improve the quality of vape gear. However, it should be noted that Hon currently works for the Blu cigalike brand, which, due to their design, will be one of the least-affected by these regulations. Even so, Hon admits that these regulations may place restrictions on innovation in the vaping world.
…continued from above
What About Brexit?
In June 2016, the British public voted in a referendum and made the shock decision to leave the EU. Some vapers see this as a way to block the TPD regulations. “This may change things as far as TPD is concerned, as we may not have to take on the same laws as the EU,” say Chefs Vapours, but they admit with everything happening so quickly there are no firm facts about what could actually happen.
Realistically, it doesn’t look promising. As it stands, Britain is still part of the EU and will be for at least two years, while exit negotiations are ongoing. The new vaping regulations will be implemented long before the UK leaves the EU, and while the laws can be changed afterwards, by that time the new rules will be in full effect.
Tristan agrees. “With public pressure and science on our side we’ll see things change, but the damage is already done. The onerous testing and reporting is here and will likely stay in one shape or another. The days of it being a cottage industry are gone.”
Paul Willemsen also believes that leaving Europe would not help, other than a protest vote. “Leaving the EU will not help our business in any way. The only way to show this group of corrupt politicians in Brussels that we are no longer interested in how they deal with us, is to leave the EU. But it would be a big fall back.”
…continued from above
How Does TPD Compare to the FDA Deeming Regulations?
While things look gloomy for European vapers, they measure up well next to the stringent restrictions placed on American vapers. Spiritus Vapes CEO Tristan describes the FDA deeming rules as ‘mind-boggling’ in comparison. “With TPD, we’ve ended up with something that’s at least workable. Looking at the deeming regs I just don’t see how any company could possibly hope to make it through to the other side.”
Paul Willemsen sees the FDA’s deeming regulations as a sign of things to come. “It will not take long for the EU to take the same steps.” He points out that America and Germany are two of the major backers of the pharmaceutical industry, suggesting that their financial investment in tobacco-based products is behind the government crackdown on vaping.
It is clear that 2017 will see the European vaping industry undergo dramatic upheaval. Small businesses will be unable to afford the increased costs, and while delayed implementation has helped in the short-term it looks likely that only the biggest companies will survive the upcoming upheaval.
Even so, the TPD regulations are mild compared to the draconian restrictions being passed in America. “The deeming regulations are definitely worse,” says Hing Wong. “The federal agencies have taken a purist, almost ideological rather than pragmatic, approach to the issue.”
However, it is unlikely that vapers will take this lying down. After trying a sub-ohm vape, who would want to revert back to a cigalike? In all likelihood, the DIY scene will experience a boom as flavouring concentrates are largely unaffected, and seasoned vapers will take to illegally-importing their vape equipment from a country with fewer restrictions, such as China. It seems inevitable that the vaping regulations will lead to an increase in vaping goods on the black market, with much less quality control than we have now. This will put consumers at a much greater risk, clearly defeating the point of these regulations.
On Sept. 26, The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) wrote on Facebook that:
“Late last week, Dr. Christopher Russel (@nicotinesurveys on Twitter) along with others received warning letters about their attendance at this year’s Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum (GTNF) in Brussels. The letter was sent from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) and a European anti-smoking group, ENSP. Although organizations like CTFK have perpetuated the narrative that ‘we just don’t know enough about vapor products and tobacco harm reduction,’ it is clear that their intentions do not include seeking more information. So much so that they are willing to threaten researchers who are working to develop an evidence base that may support harm reduction policies.”