Game Changer, California, e-cig explodes, e-cigs harmful?, Future Regulation

E-cigs could be a game changer

The tobacco industry has long searched for a holy grail – a product that would give nicotine addicts their fix without also causing disease and death.

The jury is still out on whether e-cigarettes could be that change. Public health groups are highly skeptical, but few doubt that the technology represents a potential sea change.

Some industry observers view e-cigs as potentially the most disruptive force to hit the U.S. tobacco industry since the invention of the cigarette rolling machine.

The market potential for e-cigs has become big enough that major tobacco companies are now entering the category, and even the world’s largest tobacco leaf company has announced plans to become a supplier of nicotine for e-cigs.

While still only a small portion of the overall $80 billion U.S. cigarette market, e-cig sales could surpass traditional cigarette sales within the next decade as cigarette sales continue to decline while e-cig sales grow.

Analysts with Goldman Sachs wrote in late 2012 that if the e-cig market takes off, “there is potential for a big shake-up in the tobacco hierarchy.”

Altria Group consumer research shows that about 50 percent of adult cigarette smokers are interested in alternative products.

California city governments pondering what to do about E-cigs

Seal Beach, Calif., recently passed a 45-day moratorium halting any new e-cigarette and smoke shops from opening in the small beach community.

With fresh memories of how rapidly marijuana dispensaries multiplied and generated controversy, many cities want to slow the spread of electronic cigarette stores until they can figure out the ramifications.

For Jim Basham, Seal Beach's director of community development, the distinguishing line between pot dispensaries and vaping outlets is a bit blurry. He's seen e-cigarette stores evolve into hemp shops — and draw with them a ragtag crowd.

"You have other folks with different intentions," Basham said, "and you can have secondary adverse effects, like crime."

In August, Temple City passed a zoning ordinance that keeps all smoke shops, including those that sell only e-cigarettes, at least 1,000 feet from parks and schools. About a month earlier, Duarte passed an urgency ordinance that temporarily halted any new shops from opening there. And the city of Pico Rivera passed an ordinance that treats the vapor devices like traditional cigarettes.

Some city officials said they want more information about the devices and their health effects.

"I'm not saying you're going to die and go to hell if you use them," said Pico Rivera Councilman Gregory Salcido, who backed the city's decision to treat the devices as regular cigarettes. "But we don't know enough about them, and as a result we're going to cover our bases."

E-cig exploded, Atlanta woman claims

One Atlanta woman claims she's happy to be alive after a very difficult electronic smoking experience.

As WSB-TV reports, Elizabeth Wilkowski is sure that what she experienced was no ordinary event.

"I didn't hear a boom. It wasn't a pop. It was a kaboom!" she said.

Wilkowski claims that she had simply plugged the e-cigarette into her computer's USB port in order to charge it.

This particular e-cigarette was a Seego EHit, manufactured in China.

Are e-cigs harmful? Nobody knows for sure

The jury is still out on whether vaping is dangerous. And there are still plenty of conflicting opinions.

“People are inhaling some type of chemical vaporized compound into their lungs without really knowing what's in it," said Dr. Mike Feinstein, a spokesman for the American Lung Association.

Last year, the American Lung Association issued its own warning about e-cigarettes: “This is a buyer stay-away, a buyer health hazard, potentially."

Dr. Robert Greene, who treats lung cancer patients at Florida’s Palm Beach Cancer Institute, said the product is potentially a health hazard. “There really is no information about whether they're safe or not, and that's part of the problem," said Greene.

He says with no real data on e-cigarettes, the three-year-old tobacco alternative may actually be more harmful that traditional cigarettes.

"The doses of nicotine that you get could conceivably be higher than what you would get in a typical cigarette," said Greene.

According to the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, e-cigarettes contain just five ingredients, all approved by the FDA. Recently, the FDA announced it will begin to regulate e-cigarettes as a tobacco product.

Future of e-cigs hinges on regulation

There’s been little research done on e-cigarettes, but among those studying the devices is Dr. Greg Connolly, professor of public health at Harvard University.

The future of e-cigarettes, Connolly said, hinges on how the FDA approaches regulation of them.

"This could be a tool — if it's regulated correctly — to help end dependence on cigarettes and nicotine. This is probably the best quitting device known to man," said Connolly, who co-authored an early study on e-cigarettes.

But they just as easily could become a means to hook more people on nicotine, he said.

If the technology continues to develop...they could become even more addictive than the conventional cigarette — that's frightening," Connolly said.

Connolly plans to publish research on a set of habit-forming compounds, or so-called "super juices," that have been in conventional cigarettes like Merit and Marlboro since the late 1970s — and that he has found to be present in some popular e-cigarettes.

These super juices — which aren't present in nicotine gum or patches — could help make e-cigarettes a more effective quitting aid because they would deliver the kick of a regular cigarette, Connolly said. And like the patch, he said, users could wean themselves off nicotine by stepping down the dosage — that is, provided e-cigarettes are regulated such that graduated doses of nicotine are required to be availed.

But Connolly, who has served on FDA's Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, said the agency does not seem poised to regulate e-cigarettes as a quitting aid. Rather, he said, FDA seems headed toward regulating them as tobacco products, which would leave the companies free to market the highest allowable dosages and essentially assure an ongoing supply of addicts or customers.

"FDA seems to be poised to ban Internet sales, which is exactly what (big tobacco companies) want," Connolly said. "That will only destroy competition and hand the market over to (the big three companies) whose only mission is to make the most addictive product they can."

The three major companies are Lorillard, Philip Morris, and Reynolds American.


Vaper Expo UK Chooses NEC, Announces Diamond Sponsors

Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC) has been chosen as the host of a brand new show—The Vaper Expo—dedicated to the fast growing e-cigarettes and vaping industry. The public exhibition will take place in the NEC’s Pavillion July 11 and 12.

The show will bring together members of the vaping community, including vendors and consumers, to showcase the most sought after products in the industry. It will benefit from the NEC’s unrivalled connectivity by road and rail and its location within a three hour drive time of 75 percent of the U.K. population to reach a national audience.

Lee Skelding, show director, said in a statement: “We believe we have secured the best possible and most suitable venue here in the UK to host our own much needed trade and public vaping exhibition. The NEC is one of the U.K.’s biggest exhibition venues and offers the space and amenities needed to bring together industry retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors. We have some fantastic exhibitors lined up for the show, including; our official sponsor, Cutwood; our platinum sponsor, Diamond Mist; and the U.K.’s biggest vendor, Totally Wicked.”

David Gallagher, the NEC’s new business development manager – exhibitions, said in a statement: “At the NEC, we aim to give our visitors the opportunity to learn about new industries and we are always looking for new markets to explore. The Vaper Expo UK is one of the first of its kind in the U.K. and caters for a relatively new market so it’s a perfect fit for the NEC.”

For an exclusive look at the Vaper Expo UK, make sure to pick up VAPE Magazine’s Europe issue, out in late March.

New Surgeon General Desperate for E-Cig Clarity

mainLogo_480X91The United States appointed a new surgeon general in December, and Dr. Vivek Murthy says that public health officials are “in desperate need of clarity on electronic cigarettes to help guide policies,” according to a story on SFExaminer.com.
This statement and the subsequent surgeon general’s worry came in Richmond as part of a cross-country “listening tour.” Murthy says that there are too many unknowns with e-cigs. Are they a gateway to smoking? Should the rapid growth of e-cigs be of a concern? What contents are exactly in an e-cigarette?
The Examiner reports that scientists haven’t finished “much research on e-cigarettes,” and studies that have been finished are “inconclusive.”

Maryland County’s Ban Efforts Receive Mixed Reviews

gzlogo2012Bill discussions late last month in Montgomery County, Maryland to treat e-cigarettes like analogs is up for debate. The new bill, proposed by Councilwoman Nancy Floreen (D-At Large), also prevents the sale of vaping products to minors, according to a story on Gazette.net.

The public isn’t exactly on the vaping ban bandwagon, in a county that prohbits smoking in various public places. “Opponents of the bill included people who have used the products to stop smoking tobacco,” the Gazette story read. Opponents fear that banning vaping will hurt public health, since vaping is a healther alternative to cigarettes.

Those for the ban say that vapor is not pure, and is a public health nuisance, and that there is too much unknown. They do not want to wait for the FDA to make regulations, they want to self regulate at the county level.

For more on this story, visit http://www.gazette.net/article/20150127/NEWS/150129421/1124/public-reaction-to-limits-on-e-cigarettes-in-public-mixed&template=gazette.

 

FAA Says Don’t Check E-Cigs, Carry On

Vapes-on-a-PlaneEven though you can’t puff on a plane, the Federal Aviation Administration wants you to be able to carry your e-cig on instead of checking, according to a recent story in the Washington Post. In fact, they want it to be a requirement.

E-cigarettes in checked bags seem to be more hazardous, according to the FAA, after two incidents where e-cigs caused checked bags to catch fire. One was at Boston’s Logan Airport and the other at Los Angeles International Airport. The Boston incident caused the aircraft to be evacuated, the other happened in a luggage area in a bag that missed its flight.

The Post reports that U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) took the first step by asking the U.S. Department of Transportation whether e-cigarettes should be allowed on airplanes at all. He and other senators also had urged the USDOT to ban e-cigarette use on board airliners.

While this isn’t a hard and fast rule yet, the FAA wants airlines to publicize the potential problem on web sites and at airport check-in counters.

For the full story, visit http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2015/01/26/the-faa-wants-you-to-carry-on-your-e-cigs/.

 

Saskatchewan Adds Itself to Booming E-Cig Industry

map-saskatchewanOur friends to the north love vaping, and comes as no surprise that they are dealing with the same regulation and public health battle that we are stateside.

Adam Churchman, owner of Vapourdawg in Saskatoon, told GlobalNews.ca that business is booming and that many Canadians are trying to kick the smoking habit. He also said that vaping is “the new trend.”

The Lung Association of Saskatchewan does not recommend vaping to quit smoking mainly due to the fact that they aren’t regulated and that their hasn’t been enough research to see what exactly is “in them.” A nurse speaking for the organization said that she can’t recommend them to patients until both long-term and short-term effects are known.

Other areas of Saskatchewan agree, starting to self-regulate with anti-vaping bylaws similar to those in various cities and counties in the states. Vaping is treated like smoking in these areas, and prohibited as such.

For the full story, visit http://globalnews.ca/news/1794464/advocacy-groups-take-notice-of-e-cigarettes/.

Vapor Hub International Launches Social Media Campaign

vaporHubLogo_mediumVapor Hub International Inc. announces the launch of a worldwide social media marketing campaign to increase both its retail and wholesale sales.

“The e-cig, vapor industry is driven by a younger demographic of retail customers, vapor store employees and owners who are constantly on social media. We get both exposure and new customers from our social media marketing,” VHUB’s president said in a statement.

“We will continue to use and increase our social media efforts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as it is a proven way for VHUB to increase revenues,” Jake Perlingos, president and chief technology officer, said.

For more information, visit www.vapor-hub.com.

E-Cig Global Interviews Altria Group Director of Public Affairs

newlogoWith the FDA still locked in reviewing the thousands of comments given in response to proposed regulations, state policymakers are rushing to fill the regulatory void, with often strict and potentially damaging laws.

What can the industry do in the face of these rapid changes, and should it be viewed as a threat, or can it be turned into an opportunity?

E-Cig Global spoke with Steve Callahan, director of public affairs of Altria Group, about these challenges and what trends will affect your business in the coming months and years.

Download the interview here: http://bit.ly/1wiJyZC.

Don’t miss your chance to speak with Callahan and hear from Pamela Gorman from NJOY; Michel Zampa, director, Flavour Power; Steve Hong, principal, Roebling Research; and Geoff Habicht, COO, Smoking Vapor; among others as they discuss the state of the e-cig market and give you the strategies to shape the future of e-cigarettes.

For more information download the agenda here: http://bit.ly/1DtCoa0.

Chemist Who Found Formaldehyde Asked to Further Study

Photo by OregonLive.com

Photo by OregonLive.com

OPB.org reports that a Portland State chemistry professor, David Peyton, found formaldehyde in one e-cigarette vapor’s solvent. Since that study, Peyton has been asked by liquid producers to further test their products. The story did not cite which companies have reached out to Peyton.

“Peyton found the carcinogen in vapor drawn at a high temperature from the Halo brand cafe mocha e-cigarette,” the OPB story reads. “Now he wants to see if anything else is contained in the vapor’s nicotine or flavoring.”

Peyton told OPB that we got “distracted” by the formaldehyde, and now it’s time to study vapor even further. The e-cigarette industry, including leading e-cigarette researcher Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, have dismissed the formaldehyde study.

Peyton’s findings are described in the New England Journal of Medicine.

For the full story, visit http://www.opb.org/news/article/psu-chemist-says-e-cigarette-producers-want-him-to-test-their-vapor/.

Save the Date for SFATA Event!

SFATA_Capitol-Hill_LOGO1113-A1“Evolution & Revolution: Next Steps for the Vapor Industry” is coming to Chicago May 4 and 5, courtesy of SFATA.

The vapor industry is facing its most crucial year yet. In 2015, vaping will face significant challenges from federal regulations, taxation, legislation, prohibitions and bans.

Join SFATA—the leading and largest vapor trade association—for a two-day event designed to provide attendees with the information and tools needed in 2015 to make the right business and investment decisions for the states where you operate and in advance of the FDA’s final deeming rule.
Some Presentations Include:
  • FDA and Intellectual Property Litigation Options
  • Anticipating FDA’s Final Rule: What to Do Now and After
  • Taxation: Tactics and Strategy for Fighting
  • How The Tobacco War Became the Vapor War
  • Meeting E-Liquid Quality and Standards
This conference is a unique chance to meet vapor industry leaders who will share perspectives and information to help you build institutional knowledge of current policies and regulation.

Who Should Attend:
Vapor storeowners, manufacturers, distributors, investors, wholesalers, legislators, and other industry interested parties.

SFATA Chapter members are invited to attend a chapter networking event on May 5.
Please email info@sfata.org with questions.

Washington State Looking to Raise Smoking Age to 21

Photo by Tobacco21.org

Photo by Tobacco21.org

Since e-cigarettes are being lumped into smoking rules in many states across the nation, it’s important to keep a watch on Washington State. KentReporter.com reports that state Attorney General Bob Ferguson has announced a bill that would make the state the first to raise the legal age for purchasing and possessing tobaccor and vapor products to 21.

The bill, named Senate Bill 5494 and House Bill 1458 is sponsored by Sen. Mark Miloscia (R-Federal Way) and Rep. Tina Orwall (D-Des Moines).

The story says that the percentage of middle and high school students who have used vapor products has more than doubled in recent years, and 17 percent of high school seniors have tried e-cigs. The story does not say where that data came from.

For the full story, visit http://www.kentreporter.com/news/289359641.html.