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.


New Product: Vapor Savor Protective Case Debuts Today

Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 9.14.38 AMThe Vapor Saver is a patented protective case designed to prevent damage to vaporizers from impact, water and debris. Creating an encapsulating shell around a vapor pen, the Vapor Saver is a product that shields vaporizers.

The Vapor Saver protects a vaporizer from snow, ice, water, dirt, dust, mud, sand and impact on hard surfaces, thus preserving the investment in the device, as well as any liquids contained within. The case expands the portability and potential use of vapor devices to environments that may not be compatible with electronic use due to potential damaging or weather hazards.

The Vapor Saver case includes a hood that covers and seals off the mouthpiece, reservoir and atomizer portions of a vaporizer. A handle region covers the remaining portions of the vaporizer and forms an airtight seal. A check valve over the mouthpiece only opens when the operator takes a drag from the vaporizer. There is a flexible pad over the activation button of the vaporizer allows an operator to activate the vaporizer while it is still inside the case. An optional lanyard is included to enable ease of carrying.

“Much like the functionality of a protective cell phone case, we have created an airtight casing that will protect the investment in a vapor device from contamination,” Joey Doyle, the inventor of The Vapor Saver, said. “The Vapor Saver truly expands the nature and enjoyment of a vaping experience, because it eliminates any fear of damage.”

The Vapor Saver was developed by Vapor Nature, an emerging technology firm based in Longmont, Colo. Initially, it will be available online at www.vapornature.com and at select retail outlets. For more informattion, visit www.vapornature.com.

 

Washington Legislation Could Make it Strictest State

polletRep. Gerry Pollet (D-Seattle) is proposing a bill that could make Washington State have the strictest vaping laws in the nation.

KGW.com reports that the proposed bill would require special licenses for all retailers, require manufacturers to list all ingredients in e-juice, ban non-tobacco flavored vaping products, and tax e-cigarettes and the supplies at the same rate as tobacco products. That tax would stand at 95 percent.

Pollet, who also teaches public health at the University of Washington, said that he wants to reduce youth smoking by raising prices and eradicating flavors. He also told the news site that vaping is not safe and that it’s highly addictive. Shop owners in the state are fighting back, afraid that if the bill passes they will go out of business.

For the full story, visit http://www.kgw.com/story/news/politics/2015/03/17/wash-e-cig-rules-could-become-toughest-in-us/24925489/.

SFATA Executive Director Cites ‘Major Turning Point’ in Vaping Industry

SFATA_Capitol-Hill_LOGO1113-A1Below is a note sent to Agent VAPE from SFATA Executive Director, Cynthia Cabrera:

We are at a major turning point in the vapor industry. You may know that the FDA has begun sending warning letters to vapor companies about the marketing of their products. The Center for Tobacco Products warned these companies that using language or graphics implying FDA approval of the products is a violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. This is only the beginning of enforcement actions.

The FDA’s actions, coupled with the increased activity against vapor products at the state level indicates we are about to see a fundamental shift in vapor landscape. With the deeming rule decision likely to be finalized this June, our member companies across the nation are going to face needing FDA approval of marketing materials, including packaging, for products that were not on the market before Feb. 15, 2007. They are also going to have to try to maintain compliance with all the different state and local legislation that is cropping up and balance it against federal guidelines.

Every day SFATA works with businesses to advance the vapor industry. All of them are small businesses started in the last few years. They are e-Liquid companies in California and Utah. Mom and pop retail shops in Delaware and Illinois. And FDA’s decision about how to treat vapor products  could likely put them out of business.  If the states handled properly they may do it first.

You can be part of vapor history – Director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, Mitch Zeller, JD, has never before addressed a vapor audience. Until now. 

Business owners have a unique opportunity to represent themselves and the industry at the only conference designed especially for them at the 2015 SFATA Conference May 4 & 5 in Chicago.

Attending trade shows and vape fairs can be fun but getting the information you need to make the right decisions for your business’s future is essential.

The insight Zeller will offer on into the FDA’s thinking will be a valuable tool to everyone in the room and we will have a wealth of sessions that everyone working in the vapor industry should hear:

  • John Fuisz’s presentation “Protecting Your Intellectual Property” is an important message for small business owners in a crowded industry constantly threatened by lawsuits.
  • Les Weinstein, Senior Consultant, EAS Consulting Group, will present “Navigating FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP)” and is not to be missed.
  • The State Advocacy Panel will offer insight on how to most effectively work at the state level where we are seeing new burdensome regulations far too often.
  • Many more presentations are scheduled and all designed to inform you and assist with long-term decisions.

After an intense day of learning and strategizing, join us on May 4 for an open bar reception where you can mix and mingle with potential business partners and colleagues. May 5 will be another half day packed with information while the afternoon of May 5 is reserved for special training for all SFATA Chapters.

Register today and we are looking forward to seeing you in Chicago!

Nicopure Revamps Halo Cigs Premium E-Liquid Packaging

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 10.33.12 AMNicopure’s Halo brand aims to be different, standing out in the electronic cigarette/e-liquid industry.

Halo’s packaging conveys an edge vibe, with vibrant vapor-inspired graphics, foil and gloss UV accents. A wrap around rigid window showcases the generic bottle, while color coding creates flavor cues for e-liquid consumers.

The MPS pre-press team in Carlstadt, Calif. evaluated the artwork on its 144 SKUs, translating it into G7 calibrated proofs to ensure the expected colors were achieved on the press.

MPS Toronto executed a hard-window-application process through management of various components, as well as assembling the rigid windowed carton to exact product dimensions. Toronto also applied a matte/gloss combination on various title treatments, and silver fire graphics are embossed with a touch of UV gloss to add a shimmering reflection.

With this new packaging, Halo Cigs has established design consistency across its wide range of award-winning flavors.

Vapefest Ireland Coming Nov. 15

Vapefest-Ireland-InfographicDid you know that e-cigarette market sales in Ireland grew by a whopping 478 percent in 2013, generating €7.3 million? There is an active and thriving vaping community in Ireland, and Vapefest Ireland is coming Nov. 15.

Steve Barrett is the managing director of Purplebox Vapours, a vaping and e-cigarette ecommerce store and shop based in Temple Bar in Dublin. Barrett has shared with Agent VAPE an infographic outlining everything to know about Vapefest.

North Carolina Lawmakers Introduce SB 286

2000px-Flag_of_North_Carolina.svgA new Senate Bill has been introduced in North Carolina, which would require child-resistant packaging and warning labels on e-liquids, if passed.

Sens. Stan Bingham (R-Davidson) and Don Davis (D-Pitt) are co-sponsors of Senate Bill 286, as reported by JournalNow.com. The law would ban the sale of any product in the state that does not comply with the new law, which would take effect Dec. 1 if passed.

The N.C. Commisssion for Public Health’s rules would be the benchmark for the warning labels, and anyone who doesn’t comply would face misdemeanor charges.

North Carolina does have a minor sales law already in place of under 18.

New Study Says E-Cigs Will Save Medicaid Billions

imgresA press release sent to Agent VAPE says that a new study finds that electronic cigarettes could hae saved Medicaid as much as $48 billion in Fiscal Year 2012.

The estimated savings from e-cig utilization is 87 percent higher than all revenue generated by state cigarette taxes and tobacco settlement payments combined.

According to the study, published by State Budget Solutions, e-cigs hold the promise of dramatically improved health outcomes for today’s smokers. Consequently, smoking-related healthcare costs should decline as more traditional smokers convert to e-cigs.

Medicaid is disproportionately comprised of smokers—at levels twice that of the nation at large (51 versus 21 percent). The potential cost savings to the Medicaid system is therefore vast.

Notwithstanding the benefits of e-cigs, government at various levels might discourage their use—whether it is the FDA regulating them as a drug or states heavily taxing e-cigs as if they are traditional cigarettes.

State Budget Solutions is a national nonprofit organization with a research focus on the fiscal responsibility of state and local governments. To read the full study on e-cigs and Medicaid savings, CLICK HERE.

Connecticut Lawmakers, Vapers Battle

12311701-growing-movement-to-ban-cigarette-use-in-publicThe fight is on in Connecticut, as lawmakers are arguing that electronic cigarettes should be included in the state’s smoking ban. Of course, vapers in the state oppose the proposed legislation, arguing that vaping is a way to stop smoking analog tobaco products. Their argument is that e-cigs don’t burn tobacco or emit smoke.

A recent story on CTNewsJunkie.com reports that Rep. Jay Case (R-Torrington) proposed HB 5449 would define vaping as smoking. A group moving for the bill wrote testimony stating that “nicotine delivered electronically is just as addictive and damaging as nicotine inhaled or otherwise absorbed by means of traditional tobacco products.” The group added that flavoring added to e-liquids are enticing our youth. Others stated that allowing e-cigs to be vaped publicly shows that it’s OK to be addicted to nicotine and tobacco.

Smoking is prohibited in most public places in the state of Connecticut, along with several outdoor spaces.

Vapers who oppose the bill ranged from cancer survivors to those who have stopped smoking completely with the help of vaping. They testified at a recent hearing that vaping has proven to improve their overall health.

For the full story, visit http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/should_e-cigarettes_be_added_to_smoking_ban.

‘Mistic Machine’ to Debut New Livery At Grand Prix Of Louisiana

unnamedFour-time Series champ Sebastien Bourdais will pilot KVSH Racing’s No. 11 Mistic E-Cigs car with a new livery at the 2015 Grand Prix of Louisiana being held at NOLA Motorsports Park from April 10-12.

Mistic®, independent maker of electronic cigarettes, vapor products and U.S.-made e-liquids, will serve as primary sponsor for the No. 11 car (aka Mistic Machine) during the Grand Prix of Louisiana. The Mistic Machine’s new livery will include an updated version of the car’s iconic white and green scheme, as well as the addition of the 2015 Chevy Aero Kit, which was introduced this year to improve performance by lowering drag and increasing downforce.

Mistic serves as co-primary sponsor for the No. 11 car driven by KVSH Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series. With 32 career wins and 33 career poles, Bourdais currently sits in sixth place in IndyCar’s overall standings and is coming off his best finish in five starts last month at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Race fans also will be able to enjoy Mistic’s brand experience at IndyCar racetracks during the 2015 season. Adult smokers can visit the Mistic-HAUS kiosk and engage with members of the Mistic Pit Crew to learn more about the company’s products, while fans can ride in virtual race simulators and get the chance to compete against Sebastien Bourdais in mock competitions.

For more information, visit www.misticecigs.com and www.HAUSvape.com, follow on Twitter @MisticEcig and @HAUSpv, watch on YouTube, or like on Facebook at MisticElectronicCigarettes and HAUS.

eCig Global Releases Canadian Market Insights Report

logoeCig Global explores key trends and challenges impacting the Canadian market in a new report, Canadian Market Insights, including insight from e-cigarette retailers and influencers. This report takes a closer look at harm reduction and regulation; regulatory framework for e-cigarettes; growth and restriction; eCig Canada market snapshot and retail trends.

Download the report here: http://bit.ly/1CYyqq6.

eCig Global’s inaugural eCig Canada conference is the only meeting in Canada that provides answers and real user case study experiences in the e-cigarette industry. The uncertainty surrounding the current regulations, differentiating yourself in a highly-competitive market, understanding tobacco harm reduction and reaching your target audience are all challenges e-cigarettes companies are facing.

Find out more here: http://bit.ly/1Js635L.