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.


Mistic Moves Production From China to United States

Sergio Garcia, a lab technician, prepares flavor samples for customers during a tour of the Purilum facility in Greenville. Photo by Jill Knight of the News Observer.

Sergio Garcia, a lab technician, prepares flavor samples for customers during a tour of the Purilum facility in Greenville. Photo by Jill Knight of the News Observer.

From China to Charlotte, Mistic Electronic Cigarettes has made the move to the United States. With 60,000 retail stores to distribute to, Mistic claims to be the first national, independent e-cig company to fill, produce and assemble its entire product domestically, according to NewsObserver.com, based out of Greenville, N.C.

Mistic will share space with flavor company Purilum in the self described “tobacco country” of Greenville. Reasons cited for the move include better quality control and inventory management. Purilum also owns machines that assemble cartomizers, two of which replace about 300 Chinese factory workers. In the unofficial merge, Purilum also hopes to improve quality control and costs, in preparation for FDA regulations.

Some materials, such as batteries, still will be imported from China, and the company plans on releasing new products in time for the holidays.

For the full story, visit http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/09/30/4196366_e-cig-maker-mistic-shifts-production.html?rh=1.

 

Newest Public Health Supporters: Big Tobacco?

Replacement cartridges for MarkTen e-cigarettes, by the tobacco giant Altria, bear warnings far starker than cigarettes do. Photo by James Nieves/The New York Times

We’ve all seen the warning labels on analog cigarette packs: smoking is bad for your health; pregnant women should not smoke; nicotine is bad; keep out of reach of children. It may come as a surprise that Big Tobacco makers of e-cigarettes are shouting their biggest warnings yet on e-cig labels, or does it?

NYTimes.com reports that Big Tobacco is putting out the strongest health warnings in the e-cig market, “going even further than the familiar ones on actual cigarettes.”

Since the FDA has yet to regulate e-cigs, warnings are voluntary, and could be a maneuver to make Big Tobacco seem like the good guys, also adding warnings that e-cigs are not smoking cessation devices.

Whether this is a sincere attempt at honesty or an attempt to use reverse psychology remains to be seen.

For the full story, visit http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/29/business/dire-warnings-by-big-tobacco-on-e-smoking-.html?_r=1.

France Plans to Selectively Ban Public Vaping

2014-04-17T064039Z_1_CBREA3G0IJU00_RTROPTP_4_USA-HEALTH-ECIGARETTES-e1398281814345France24.com reports that e-cigarettes will be banned in “certain” public places, in an effort to make smoking less attractive. Smoking numbers in France are on the rise, 13 million adults and counting, amounting to one of the highest smoking rates in Europe.

New research finds that 18 percent of French people between the ages of 18 and 75 have tried electronic cigarettes, and while the publication’s reporting concludes that it’s better to vape than to smoke, cigarette smoking also will be banned in an effort to curb the gateway effect in non-smokers/vapers.

For more information, visit http://www.france24.com/en/20140925-france-wants-e-cig-ban-public-plain-cigarette-packs/,

Democrats Attack Magazines For E-Cig Ads Targeting Teens

Photo courtesy of RBR.com.Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, US Weekly, People and Time magazines are running ads that glorify the use of e-cigarettes, according to a recent report by Democratic legislators.

RBR.com reports that the Democratic group found that “tobacco companies continue to glamorize smoking in advertisements in magazine with large youth readership.”

The group urges magazines to cut the number of images regarding all cigarette, e-cigarette and tobacco product advertising, saying that this will help reduce teen smoking.

For the full story, visit http://rbr.com/mags-taken-to-task-for-e-cig-ads/.

Davidoff London Removes Tobacco Brands, Ushers in Vapelux

VapeluxIn a press release sent to Agent VAPE from SilverEGG Media in the UK, Davidoff London has announced to remove several brands of cigarettes and instead make the shift to vaping hardware and e-liquids from Vapelux.

Eddie Sahakian, Managing Director of the flagship Davidoff store, said in the statement: “We have been advised and work closely with Nick Roman from Vapelux Ltd. to ensure we have a complete range of high quality and genuine products suitable for the novice to intermediate user. Our customers are impressed by the selection, which includes the popular Vapelux disposables, starter kits and the premium e-liquids, together with genuine hardware and accessories from various international brands.”

Clive Bates, public health blogger, weighed in on the shift: “This looks like a very interesting move, to the extent that tobacco vendors replace their cigarette brands with vapor products, they are shifting into a better, more credible business model. The customers are looking for a new value proposition—from vapour products they can find much of what they like about smoking, but without the serious health risks and other downsides of smoking.”

Also a London-based company, Vapelux Ltd was launched in 2012 as it saw a gap in the market for superior and well-designed e-cigarettes, which not only tasted good, but also were attractively packaged. Other clients include Harrods, Selfridges and Partridges of Sloane Square to Cirque du Soir.

A report by Public Health England, part of the Dept of Health, earlier this year, stipulates that there are an estimated 1.3 million e-cigarette users in the UK with the e-cigarette market expected to be worth £340 million by 2015.

Agent VAPE Investigates: 2015 New Products

VAPE-Magazine-2015-logoAgent VAPE is on the prowl for the hottest new vaping items to hit the shelves. Do you have the newest mod, the tastiest e-liquid or a brand new item yet to be seen? Let VAPE know, and your product may be featured in an upcoming issue of VAPE Magazine.

To submit, please email a short description of the product, a link where it can be purchased, the retail price and a high resolution photo to content@vapemz.com.

The Agent apologizes, due to the amount of submissions received, all products may not make it in the magazine.

Corporate Counsel Talks Patents

US3200819-1Herbert Gilbert filed for the first U.S. Patent, NO. 3,200,819 in fact, regarding the electronic cigarette, according to a recent story on CorporateCounsel.com. Even though his idea was never manufactured, this historic moment set the benchmark for intellectual property rights in the vaping world.

Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik is credited with the actual invention-come-to-life concept of the e-cig, and currently has 12 U.S. design and utility patents. With that being said, his company also has filed a dozen lawsuits in 2011 and 2012. Copycats in the industry, especially in China, abound.

Corporate Counsel goes on to report that there are more than 90 issued patents and hundreds awaiting approval related to e-cigs.

It’s an exciting time for the electronic cigarette industry, however making sure an idea is protected is of utmost importance with the number of companies “ripping off” great plans.

For the full story, visit http://www.corpcounsel.com/id=1202671171378/Intellectual-Property-and-the-Ecigarette-Boom.

Mark Your Calendars for December’s FDA E-Cig Workshop

FDA-U-S-Food-and-Drug-AdministrationIn an effort to further research regarding e-cigarettes and their future, the Food and Drug Administration is offering three public workshops in early December. Held Dec. 10-11 in Washington D.C., the workshops and forums will include scientific studies, packaging, labeling of components, ingredients and environmental impact, according to CSPNET.com.

The website reports that since the public comment period for deeming regulations ended Aug. 8, scientific information gathered at the workshops won’t be used as a part of that process. However, the information will be used to carry out the FDA’s “authority to regulate e-cigarettes with potential additional regulations at some time in the future.

The deadline to attend the workshops either in-person or by webcast is Nov. 25. To register, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CTP-December-Workshop.

For a full copy of the FDA’s workshop announcement, visit http://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/NewsEvents/ucm414814.htm?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery.

State of Washington’s Toyota Center Chooses Banning, Citing ‘Less Confusion’

Photo by Business WeekIn Kennewick, Wash., businesses are given the option on whether to ban vaping indoors in lieu of a governmental law, as reported by KULR8.com. One such business is the Toyota Center, which has banned the use of e-cigarettes inside its doors.

Center officials told KULR8 that treating vaping like smoking is “easier” because it makes it “less confusing for the staff to identify when someone is violating the smoking policy.”

However, the Center is staying cautious until further research is done on the matter, but stating that the ban is the “right way” to enforce right now.

For the full story, visit http://www.kulr8.com/story/26599543/businesses-decide-whether-or-not-to-allow-e-cig-use-in-facilities.

Vaping vs. Smoking—A Closer Look at History

Photo by E-Cig AdvancedKStateCollegian.com recently took a closer look at the history of the e-cig, citing recent data from Statistic Brain as a jumping off point for the look back.

Statistic Brain reports that 45 million people in America smoke, while 2.5 million vape. Out of the 45 million people who smoke, only 2.7 percent have tried e-cigs. This is a huge untapped market for the vaping industry, marking a lot of work to be done.

Some say the e-cig started in 1963 with the first patent of its kind. Others say a Chinese pharmacist developed the first e-cig to go to market in 2003. We do know that the first e-cig to come to the United States was just a few short years ago in 2007.

KState went on to explain the ingredients of cigarettes vs. the e-cig, along with the byproduct—smoke vs. vapor. Studies continue regarding whether e-cigs can cause the same health issues that analog cigs do, however more and more studies conducted are proving that vaping is exponentially healthier than smoking.

For now, no one has taken a final side on the issue until testing is complete. But, with the evolution of vaping happening on a daily basis, will the sides ever truly come to an agreement?

For the full story, visit http://www.kstatecollegian.com/2014/09/18/to-vape-or-not-to-vape-that-is-the-question/.