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 Poll Suggests Americans Want E-Cigs Regulated Like Tobacco

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 8.19.01 AMAccording to a recent story on, a new NPR-Truven Health Analytics Poll is out, and 57 percent of Americans say that e-cigarettes should be regulated like tobacco products. People in favor rose with age and education, and two-thirds of people with degrees wanted regulations compared to people capped at a high school education. More than 3,000 people were polled via phone and Internet in August.

The poll also found that about 25 percent of respondents have vaped at least one time. One-quarter said they are current tobacco users. The main reason given for vaping was to try to stop smoking.

For the full story, visit


Moscow Hosts First Homeland VAPEXPO

November 28, 2015


By Alyssa Stahr
Photos by Borya Galperin of the Wingle Group

The vaping community and industry is a disruptive one. Ann Khomyakova, from international show company, Smile-Expo is an organizer of large business events. Having been engaged in the exhibition space for nine years, Smile-Expo is an expert on global innovations and market drivers. While Smile-Expo mostly works with new market areas, namely robotics, 3D printing, mobile health and augmented reality, Khomyakova said that they are rarely surprised when it comes to events planning. When they were tasked with working with the vaping community, they were calm and full of determination. And then they were faced with just that—the vaping community.

VAPEXPO’s organizers navigated in a fragrant fog throughout the event.

“We were really excited by their energy and commitment. Everything was turned upside down,” Khomyakova said. Young, positive vapers entertained the participants [of VAPEXPO Moscow] better than all those contestants and activities that we prepared for them. We even thought that we should rent a huge
hangar, bring a lot of e-liquids and electronic cigarettes, and then everything would be organized by itself.”

There was more vapor than Khomyakova expected at the show, however Wingle Group photographer Boris Galperin was able to take clear photos—with great effort. VAPEXPO’s organizers navigated in a fragrant fog throughout the event.

To save time, just after the end of June’s VAPEXPO, the Smile-Expo team began to actively collect feedback from guests, exhibitors and partners. As a result, they made a list of obligatory changes for the Dec. 4-5 show, also to be held in Moscow:

1. Rent a pavilion with a large area and powerful air extraction system.

2. Invite international observers in order to give rise to the vaping industry in Russia to the maximum degree.

3. Divide the exhibition into B2B and В2С days. Thus, each audience (conference participants and vapers) will have free range of the pavilion without half measures and compromises on style. Exhibitors will be able to talk with partners in a calm atmosphere and visitors will test a large number of new models of electronic cigarettes and e-liquid.

The event venue, Sokolniki, is conveniently located, and many foreign exhibitors and participants already are familiar with the area and know what to expect. In turn, Khomyakova said that the Smile-Expo team is familiar with the administration and will be able to choose a large pavilion according to increased needs.

There were 35 exhibitors at the June event, distributed 50/50 between the CIS and foreign countries. There were major vendors from Russia and Belarus, regional stores of electronic cigarettes, as well as manufacturers from China, France, Italy, Croatia, India and the United States.

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All arrived with a huge range of products, liquids and electronic cigarettes.

“It is worth mentioning our main sponsor, Stand Point Vapor (SPV) opened the exhibition,” Khomyakova said.

The conference portion of the event brought together about 200 people, occupying all seats were occupied. The exhibition itself attracted about 2,000 visitors. Khomyakova expects the next event will grow by at least 20 percent.

“We would like to admit that the Wingle Group helped us with the organization of the conference. In fact, they were co-organizers of CIS Vapour Dialogues. The company has been operating on the electronic cigarettes market from its very beginning, so their knowledge and contacts helped us attract foreign speakers at the conference,” Khomyakova said.

As vaping industry in the CIS is only starting to develop, it is natural that show organizers wanted to get more experience and practices from abroad. For this purpose, the first day of VAPEXPO was completely devoted to the communication with foreign speakers.

Peter Beckett, public policy consultant with ECITA, moderated the first day. Beckett, together with legislative committees of the European Union, are developing the rules to regulate the market and the norms of standardization of electronic cigarettes in the EU.

Ray Story, CEO of TVECA, provided a program on the legalization of e-cigarettes and tips for dialogue with the vaping community along with Oliver Kershaw, the founder of E-Cigarette Forum (ECF).

The second day was entirely devoted to the reports of Russian vendors and marketing experts in the vaping industry, who shared their experience of work on the domestic market and talked about the specifics of relationships with government agencies.

For example, Anton Bakanev from Nektar spoke about ways of advertising of electronic cigarettes in Russia and dealing with providers in order to bypass the ban on advertising on the Internet.


The owner of one of the largest stores of electronic cigarettes in Russia, Babylon Vape Shop, shared his thoughts on how to promote elite liquids for e-cigarettes.

In light of the popularization of medical research about electronic cigarettes’ influence, the representatives of the Russian Research Institute of Tobacco joined the group. They brought up for discussion a plan for the development of technical documentation on e-liquids and offered instrumental methods for quality control of vaping products.

Khomyakova said that officially, inhalers and electronic cigarettes do not fall under the prohibition provided by the anti-smoking law in Russia, but she had to verify this information by consulting with lawyers and sending requests for an explanation to the Ministry of Health. The only current prohibition concerns advertising.

“This fact makes VAPEXPO quite an attractive event,” she said. “All of our projects are groundbreaking. For our company, it is important to move forward and to organize new exhibitions, which are in the lead of the market. The same case was with VAPEXPO.”

Today, the vaping industry in the CIS remains fairly closed niche according to Khomyakova, in particular because of the limited spread of information about electronic cigarettes. However, just within one year the vaping community has doubled without any support and diversity of products.

“Imagine what will happen if you open the market to foreign products? We have imagined and launched VAPEXPO,” she said. “It is true that some exhibitions have been already held for five years, and they are well known to visitors; everyone knows who is who. The first VAPEXPO was unknown, but it still managed to bring together a huge number of visitors and exhibitors. Those who participated in it were real pioneers, and we thank them for their participation.”

The second VAPEXPO is the next opportunity to keep abreast of trends in the market. The market is opened, and next summer (the third VAPEXPO) it will be clear who you are—a beginner or an experienced participant with the customer base and the sympathy from the vapers.

For more information about the June show and upcoming December show, visit

Connecticut Passes Law Regulating Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, Vapor Products

Photo by

Photo by

Electronic cigarettes and various vapor products now are restricted within the state of Connecticut, including in various venues and places of employment.

According to, vapor products and electronic cigarettes now are prohibited in:

  1. buildings owned or leased and operated by the state or its political subdivisions
  2. health care institutions
  3. retail food stores
  4. restaurants
  5. places that serve alcohol under specified permits
  6. school buildings during school or student activities
  7. specified child care facilities
  8. passenger elevators
  9. dormitories at public or private higher education institutions
  10. dog race tracks or facilities equipped with screens for simulcasting off-track betting racing programs or jai alai games

The new law requires employers to post a sign saying that products are prohibited, but employers are encouraged to see if they are subject to the new law. Those who do not comply with the law either by vaping, failing to post required sings or who removes the signs without authorization face a maxiumum fine of $90.

For the full story, visit


iSmoke Vapor LLC Hosts Riverfront Vape Con

VapeConiSmoke Vapor LLC of Lafayette, Ind., is hosting a vaping convention called the Riverfront Vape Con in Lafayette on March 26-27. This event will be held at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel and Convention Center, and will host up to 30 vendors. Rooms are reserved for vendors at the hotel, as well as booth spaces ranging from 6×6 to 20×20.

This event is centered on the “Sponsor a Smoker” program co-founded by special guest Jonathan “JT” Thomas from Flawless Distribution. This program supplies current smokers with a free starter kit, as well as a massive support system. Current vapers can also sign up and donate their time. Organizers want to build a network of educated vapors to help with questions, concerns and mainly support. When a smoker signs up they will be paired with a vaper or vape shop in their area.

Ten percent of the proceeds from this convention will be donated by iSmoke Vapor to the Sponsor a Smoker program in order to assist in distributing the starter kits. Let’s come together as a community and help #Sponsorasmoker!

There will be a tremendous opportunity for business to business networking, and the event will be open to the public from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. both days.

For more information, please visit


NATO Show Registration Open

unnamedRegistration for all buyers and attendees is open for the 2016 NATO Show, Tuesday, April 19-Thursday, April 21.
“We wanted to allow our members and alumni attendees to register as early as possible,” Thomas Briant, executive director, National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO), said. “We’ve lined up the hotel and travel packages and opened registration before people get busy with the holidays. This time of year, our industry gets busy with both their businesses and their personal lives. April can seem far away, but it’s really not.”
The newly designed NATO website makes it easy to register, find hotel and travel discounts as well as discover the information about the educational programs scheduled for NATO 2016. A new feature of the show floor will be the Premium Cigar Pavilion, which will include cigar hand rolling demostrations.
In-depth information regarding the show is available on the show’s website,
The NATO Show will be held April 19-21, at the Paris Hotel, Las Vegas, Nev. The show is owned by the National Association of Tobacco Outlets and produced by ConvExx, an independent show organizer. Information regarding seminars, attendee registration or exhibits can be obtained by contacting NATO Show Management, or calling 877-764-3976.


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