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.


Vaping Jargon Moves Industry Forward

vapingjargonFrom e-liquids to a resounding “no” when using the term smoking, vaping jargon can sometimes be a mixed bag of alphabet soup. While the jargon essentially isn’t coming from one place or region, terms are finding their way around the industry much like the industry itself.

An article in TheSandPaper.net takes a closer look at vaping jargon (we all can agree on not ever saying the “s” word) along with trying to define exactly what vaping is—a lifestyle, smoking cessation product or a hobby? The jury is still out regarding safety of the product and the e-liquids that go within the device, citing more research and regulations ahead before making a final decision.

The range of devices and e-liquid choices are infinite, allowing for new innovations and flavors to come almost before the industry has had a chance to keep up within itself.

To read the full story, visit http://thesandpaper.villagesoup.com/p/vaping-offers-smokers-a-tool-to-quit-a-hobby-to-enjoy/1234367.

ECRM Announces 2015 Vegas Event

ecrm_logo-12014 sold out, so Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM) is coming back to Las Vegas in February with a bigger and better event. DrugStoreNews.com reports that the second annual E-Cigarettes, Vapor and E-Cigars show will focus on electronic cigarettes, vapor, e-cigars and accessories categories.

Held at the Palms Casino Resort Feb. 10-12, this show will be a great way to market and make connections in the industry.

For the full story, click here.

VaporSearch USA Secures VCCTN Booth Spot

VaporSearchUSA-2-220x170There’s a ton of exciting news on the horizon for VaporSearch USA, so the company will be at VCCTN to tell the masses all about it.

Held in Chattanooga, Tenn., VCCTN is coming up in just a few short weeks. VaporSearch will be at Booth 110 talking about the new mobile site; iTunes and Android app launch; and the special VAPE News directory available in November 2014.

New Orleans Universities Take Closer Look at Vaping Bans

UNO_University_Center_FrontNola.com reports that while many local colleges and universities in New Orleans have banned smoking on campus, the University of New Orleans still allows e-cigs on campus.

While 1,372 campuses in the area prohibit smoking, only 176 have banned vaping. Members of the UNO Student Government are against banning e-cigs on campus, however their argument may fall on deaf ears in the future if the university goes with many colleges in the nation.

For the full story, visit http://www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2014/09/uno_makes_case_for_e-cigarette.html.

CVS Stops Selling Cigarettes, No Plans to Sell E-Cigs

CVS-pharmacyCVS has stopped selling all tobacco products in its stores, and this has e-cig supporters asking questions once again, according to ABCNews.com. The article quotes CVS Health Spokesperson Mike DeAngelis as saying: “CVS stores have never sold e-cigarettes and has no plans to sell them in the future.

Groups like CASAA and The American Vaping Association are in agreement that since CVS’ rebrand, the company should offer better-for-you alternatives to smoking. Since the FDA hasn’t made an official ruling, CVS is sticking to its policy. It does however, offer smoking cessation products in its stores such as nicotine patches, gums and inhalers.

For the full story, visit http://abcnews.go.com/Health/cigarette-makers-fuming-cvs-tobacco-ban/story?id=25229979.

Virgin Vapor to Exhibit at VCCTN 2014

Virgin_Vapor_logo6AAA-500x500Tennessee Valley welcomes VCCTN 2014 to the Chattanooga Convention Center, and Virgin Vapor will be at Booths 203 and 205.

The event will be held Oct. 4-5 from noon to 7 p.m.

Try new vape gear and e-liquids in 40,000 sq. ft. of vaping heaven! General public attendance is free (must be 18 years or older to enter). Tons of giveaways, drawings and a special, live DJ charity event is happening Saturday, Oct. 4, at 10 p.m.

To contact Virgin Vapor, e-mail wholesale@virginvapor.com.

Presented by the Vaping Convention Circuit.
Join the event at the VCCTN Facebook page.

Blu UK’s New Digital Campaign Targets Younger Crowd

BLUAlmost everyone wants to seem young and fun, but in the case of vaping, should that be a marketing strategy? Blu UK thinks so, and has centered its recent social media campaign around targeting the younger vaping generation.

After Lorillard acquired Skycig and rebranded it to Blu in May, new marketing obviously was needed to boost the brand. According to MarketingMagazine.com.uk, £20 was the budget.

Naturally, thousands of followers flocked to Facebook and Twitter, but what’s the real cost? Launch parties, partnering with Lady Gaga and tickets to O2 academy were up for grabs, all targeting the younger demographic.

For the full marketing campaign, visit http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/article/1310462/e-cigarette-brand-blus-new-digital-plan-gone-smoke.

HealthDay Reports Second-Hand Vapor Not as Hazardous

-1Even though e-cigarettes still aren’t totally done being vilified by any means, researchers at the University of Southern California have found that second-hand vapor is less hazardous than that of cigarette smoke.

Of course there are caveats to the research, however the researchers have concluded that e-cigarettes are a safer alternative in general. Care2.com also reported on the research, and that publication says that the study found that “people subjected to the secondhand smoke from e-cigarettes are exposed to only 10 percent of the gross chemicals found in normal cigarettes.

This study echoes thousands of others, according to Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Assocation. He says that e-cigarettes are at least 98 to 99 percent safer than regular cigarettes.

For the full story, visit http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2014/09/03/e-cigarette-vapor-may-be-less-toxic-than-tobacco-smoke-study.

Poison Center Calls Regarding E-Cigs On the Rise

Infographic courtesy of the CDCWHBL.com, based out of Wisconsin, reports that the Centers for Disease Control claims the number of e-cigarette related calls to poison centers are on the rise. Specifically, those containing nicotine-infused liquids rose from one per month in September 2010 to 215 per month in February 2014. In short, that’s more than 51 percent of the poison center calls.

The CDC says that the demographic of calls varies, but more than half of them involved children under the age of 5.

“The CDC also says the number of young Americans who have tried electronic cigarettes but never used conventional tobacco tripled in 2013 from 2011,” the story reports. This now totals more than 250,000 people.

To read the full story, visit http://whbl.com/news/articles/2014/aug/28/health-groups-applaud-recent-challenges-to-e-cigarette-safety-claims/.

Vape Shop Owner Agrees with City Ban

EGP photo by Nancy Martinez

Vape Unit Owner Andy Han

While one would think most vaping shop owners would be against banning of e-cigarettes of any kind, Andy Han, owner of the Vape Unit in Monterey Park, Cali. agrees with the city’s recent ban, according to egpnews.com. However, he has his reasons.

Han is quoted in the story as saying “You shouldn’t vape where you’re not allowed to smoke.” However, he also said that “he disagrees with perceptions that electronic cigarettes contain the same health risks as traditional cigarettes.”

While Han says that he wants to promote vaping as an alternative to smoking, he does believe that vaping is a lifestyle, not a trend. Ultimately, Han wants to change where vaping takes place, change the vaping perception and make it a more “classy” alternative.

For the full story, visit http://egpnews.com/2014/08/monterey-park-adds-e-cigarettes-to-smoking-ban/.