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.


VapeBlast 2.0 Video Hits Airwaves

San Antonio’s first big vaping convention came to town recently, and VAPE’s own Chris Bolton was on hand to cover every cloud comp, big name and goings on in the Alamo City.

Bolton took a stroll through the show floor, interviewing multiple vendors and attendees, highlighting what was brand new at the show for this year. Accessory innovations and new e-liquid flavors abounded at Vape Blast 2.0, as well as multiple advocacy groups sharing their visi

At the end, vape love seemed to be the theme, and Bolton had a “hell of a time,” as well as Phil Busardo, who as usual fit right in with the scene, admitting that he purchased a cowboy hat and rode a mechanical bull.

To view Bolton’s video, visit .

Child-Resistant Liquid Nicotine Bottle Legislation Passes

SFATA_Capitol-Hill_LOGO1113-A1SFATA reports in its latest newsletter that last month the Senate Commerce Committee, approved legislation to require child-resistant packaging for any liquid nicotine sold to consumers. The committee voted unanimously on the change, introduced by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)

“S. 2581, the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2014, requires the Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue regulations to require child safety packaging for liquid nicotine containers,” SFATA’s report read.

Senator Nelson, as well as the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and John Thune (R-SD) all spoke in support of the bill.

In addition, the newsletter says that Chairman Rockefeller also committed to marking up a bill by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), S. 2047, the Protecting Children from Electronic Cigarette Advertising Act, which aims to address marketing practices in the vapor industry before the end of the Congress.

VAPE News Radio Now on Spreaker

spreakerVAPE News Radio listeners, and those who want to join the ranks, are in luck. Spreaker.com approached VAPE News Radio, asking the show to post onto the site.

Spreaker.com gives listeners access to “audio creators” who broadcast shows, tracks and playlists. Listeners also can upload their own muses and can share with other blogs, sites and social media.

The web and mobile app brings broadcasting tools and social networks to the masses, and allows creators to broadcast internationally. The application also streamlines the distribution process, allowing for easy sharing across all the major social networks, as well as providing attractive embeddable players onto any website.

To listen to VAPE News Radio on Spreaker, visit https://www.spreaker.com/show/vape-news-radio.

SFATA Reports 70,000 Comments to FDA

SFATA_Capitol-Hill_LOGO1113-A1SFATA’s October newsletter was full of great information, but perhaps one of the most important notes was that more than 70,000 comments were made during the public comment period for the Food and Drug Administration’s set of proposed deeming regulations. In fact, so many people commented that the initial public comment deadline, which was supposed to end in July, was extended an extra 30 days “after intense pressure on the agency given the broad scope of the regulation; its major potential economic impact on a variety of industries; and outstanding questions regarding the public health benefit.”

Regulations would extend the FDA’s authority to other tobacco products: cigars, pipe tobacco, electronic cigarettes, nicotine gels, hookah tobacco and dissolvables. So, it comes to no surprise that the most comments concerned premium cigars and vapor products.

For the latest news on FDA regulations in our industry, check back with Agent VAPE.

Deadline Approaching for FDA Workshop Panelists, Presenters

FDA-U-S-Food-and-Drug-AdministrationAgent VAPE recently reported about the FDA’s impending workshops coming up in December.

The FDA also is seeking presenters and panelists for the workshops. The deadline for presenters and panelists is sooner than the registration deadline, Nov. 4.

To be considered to serve as a presenter on the technical topics to be discussed at the workshop, you must submit a brief abstract and a one-page bio-sketch that describes and supports your scientific expertise on the topic(s) being presented. To serve as a panelist, you must provide a one-page bio-sketch that describes and supports the speakers’ scientific expertise, experience, research, etc. This information must be submitted to workshop.CTPOS@fda.hhs.gov by the deadline to be considered.

FDA Issues Grandfather Date Guidance

SFATA_Capitol-Hill_LOGO1113-A1SFATA’s recent newsletter reports that the FDA has issued final guidance that provides information on how manufacturers may demonstrate that a tobacco product was commercially marketed in the United States as of Feb. 15, 2007.

“Tobacco products commercially marketed as of Feb. 15, 2007 are known as ‘grandfathered tobacco products,’ and are not considered new tobacco products. As a result, grandfathered tobacco products are not subject to the premarket requirements of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C),” the newsletter reads.

SFATA reports that the FDA intends to limit its review of grandfathered status to regulated tobacco products—cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco. For more information on the guidance, including how to submit a tobacco product for consideration, please visit the Guidance web page.

E-Liquids Made in Calgary ‘Basements, Bathrooms’ Due to Lack of Regulation

Travis Gerlitz smokes an e-cigarette at his shop Global Haze Electric Cigarette. Photo by Leah Hennel

Travis Gerlitz smokes an e-cigarette at his shop Global Haze Electric Cigarette. Photo by Leah Hennel

A lack of regulations on e-liquids in Canada, particularly Calgary, has everyone playing manufacturer, according to a recent interview in the Calgary Herald.

Travis Gerlitz, owner of Global Haze Electronic Cigarettes, told the Herald that “anybody and their dog can make this stuff” and even though some e-liquid manufacturers do make product in sterile environments, that there also are liquids that have no known origin.

Gerlitz urged the government to regulate to “stamp out shady operations brewing liquids without the same level of care” as those who do produce safe products and take precautions.

For the full story, visit http://www.calgaryherald.com/health/store+owner+says+lack+regulations+results+production+basements+bathrooms/10253447/story.html.

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/,