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.


Canadian Website Condenses Regulation Info

Photo by EmbassyWorld.comThe Winnipeg Free Press has shared a nifty infographic slideshow regarding vaping news and regulations across the county.

“E-Cigarette Regulations Across Canada” takes a look at proposals to regulate e-cigarettes and vaping across Canada via an interactive slideshow map, which includes various stories about each province.

To view the Free Press’ map, click here.

SFATA Report: FDA Seeking Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee Noms

SFATA_Capitol-Hill_LOGO1113-A1A recent SFATA newsletter reports that the FDA is looking for a few good men and women to be a part of the Tobacco Products Scientific Committee.

Small business tobacco manufacturing industry organizations interested in serving on the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee for the Center for Tobacco Products should notify FDA in writing. The FDA also is requesting nominations for nonvoting industry representatives to be included in a pool of individuals to represent the interests of the small business tobacco manufacturing industry on the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee.

A nominee may either be self-nominated or nominated by an organization to serve as a nonvoting industry representative. This position may be filled on a rotating, sequential basis by representatives of different small business tobacco manufacturers based on areas of expertise relevant to the topics being considered by the Advisory Committee. Nominations will be accepted for current vacancies effective with this notice.

Any small business tobacco manufacturing industry organization interested in participating in the selection of an appropriate nonvoting member to represent the interests of the small business tobacco manufacturing industry, must send a letter stating that interest to FDA by December 1, 2014 (see sections I and II for details). Concurrently, nomination materials for prospective candidates should be sent to FDA by December 1, 2014.

Vapor Shows Debut Jan. 21 – 22 in Miami Beach

VaporShowsThe Agent received this press release today and is excited to announce six new Vapor Shows in the New Year!

Vapor Shows LLC debuts its first trade show in Miami Beach, Jan. 21-22, at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The first to bring regional business-to-business trade shows closer to retailers who sell vapor products, Vapor Shows LLC will host six events throughout the year in top U.S. metro areas.

Exhibitor registration is now open for manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, e-liquid manufacturers and others. The trade event is exclusively for businesses that want to showcase their products, services and new technology to retailers in the vapor market and not intended for consumers. A 10×10-foot exhibit space is $1995, with larger sizes available. Reduced rates are offered to companies exhibiting at all six shows.

Retailers interested in attending Vapor Shows’ Miami Beach event can register online beginning Dec. 8 or in person at the Miami Beach Convention Center on the days of the event. Visit www.VaporShows.com, click on Attendees, Miami Beach to register online. Cost is $20 to visit exhibit trade show floor or $50 to visit floor and attend educational sessions. Attendees can attend educational sessions alone for $30.

“With a high concentration of vapor product retailers in the area, Miami Beach is the perfect place to kick off our 2015 regional trade events,” said president and CEO of Vapor Shows LLC, Richard Perkins. “Vapor Shows offers businesses the networking and educational benefits found at large national shows, without hefty travel expenses or extended time away from their retail shops.”

Three hours of educational sessions will be offered during the two-day event. Some of the topics that will be discussed during the six trade event series include: Using Technology to Automate Sales; How the European Market May Signal Our Future Regulations; How to Start, Grow, Brand and Maximize Your Vape Business; Customer Service Missteps and Easy Fixes; The Growing Medical Marijuana Market and What it Means to You, Clean Rooms 101: Create Your Own or Contract Out?; Doing Business with China: Should You? How to Guide for Making the Process Easier; and Panel: Clones vs. Authentics.

Vapor Shows has partnered with NaylorCMG, a show management firm that will help streamline the registration process. A mobile app also has been developed to guide attendees around the exhibit floor.

In addition to Miami Beach, the five other regional Vapor Shows in 2015 will be: Long Beach, Calif., March 11-12; Frisco, Texas, May 18-19; Valley Forge, Penn., August 12-13; Wilmington, Ohio, Sept. 16-17; and Denver, Colo., Nov. 18-19.

For more information, go to www.vaporshows.com or www.facebook.com/vaporshows.

Know Before You Connect to USB

Photo by Yahoo.comConnecting your e-cigarette to a USB to charge may be a cool new technology, but Yahoo.com reports that an e-cigarette manufactured from China recently “infected” a user’s computer with a virus.

The source? A $5 e-cig bought from a Chinese manufacturer through eBay. The Yahoo story says that “the e-cigarette was found to have malware hard-coded into the charger, which ‘phoned home’ and infected the system when plugged into the computer’s USB port.”

For the full story, visit https://www.yahoo.com/tech/e-cigarette-from-china-infected-mans-computer-with-103466334849.html.

 

 

E-Cig Market in Spain Plummets

BBC_EcigSpain is facing a decline in e-cigarette product sales, and the reason is lobbying by pharmaceutical companies, according to TheLocal.es.

Sales have dropped nearly 90 percent in just a year; this time last year there were 3,000 shops selling the product in Spain and now the number is a paltry 300, according to Spain’s National E-Cigarettes Association.

Top pharma, namely GlaxoSmithKline, have lobbied for stricter e-cig regulations in Spain, and while e-cigs aren’t regulated as of yet, public banning is occurring similarly to cities in the United States. Spain does have one of the strictest anti-tobacco laws in Europe, however.

Another reason for the decline, according to the article, is the oversaturation of shops in too short of a period of time. Too many staffers were inexperienced and too many shops were seen in a small geographical space.

For the full story, visit http://www.thelocal.es/20141103/spain-turns-back-on-e-cigarettes-ance-who.

 

SFATA Announces Non-Profit Funding Portal

SFATA_Capitol-Hill_LOGO1113-A1Researchers who want to raise funds to delve further into the world of e-cigarettes may have more financial support. The E-Research Foundation has been established, according to a recent SFATA newsletter, to assist researchers seeking to advance independent peer-reviewed and published scientific research focused on electronic vapor products (electronic cigarettes) and their use.

The goal for these independent researchers is both find potential benefits and harm stemming from the electronic cigarette.

The newsletter’s copy reads:

ERF’s mission is to foster independent research focused on understanding the potential health benefits, and potential consequences, related to these products. ERF will not participate in advocacy efforts.
The ERF Board of Directors assembled recognized leaders from all categories of the e-vapor products market place, including consumer advocates, to participate on the Grant Committee. The committee members include leading representatives from:  e-vapor device manufacturing, e-liquid manufacturing, non-manufacturing vendors, leading advocacy association senior executives, knowledgeable consumers, the leading international vapor forum, and public policy.
Independent researchers, seeking funding for their e-vapor product studies, will be able to request grants from the ERF. The ERF Grant Committee will determine which research endeavors receive funding.
All potential grant recipients, as a prerequisite to receiving ERF funds, must commit to submitting their research for peer-reviewed publication ensuring all ERF-funded research receives transparent scrutiny by the professional medical and scientific communities. ERF will not be involved in the design of study protocols or the performance of the research itself. From time to time, ERF may initiate Requests for Proposals on specific research topics of interest.
The ERF website provides an extensive list of existing peer-reviewed and published studies as well as a wide variety of video presentations by globally recognized experts speaking at leading industry conferences.
The ERF is in the process for filing for recognition as an Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. ERF is seeking 501(c)(3) status.
Click here for additional information.

Barbados E-Cig Laws May Change in 2015

BarbadosIf you’re planning on vaping during your island vacation to Barbados next year, take note that the rules might be changing. BarbadosAdvocate.com reports that the Minister of Health revealed the new plan at the subregional workshop on Tobacco Taxation for English-speaking Caribbean countries.

E-cigarettes would be regulated under the new draft of legislation, along with legislation to “adopt the Caricom Standard on Packaging and Labelling of Tobacco Products.”

Both amendments, which will go into consideration in the New Year, were prompted by the recent World Health Organization report urging for governmental regulation on tobacco products. E-cigarettes, for now, are grouped into that category for this purpose.

For the full story, visit http://www.barbadosadvocate.com/newsitem.asp?more=local&NewsID=39639.

Wanted: VAPE Writers

hiring-writersWe had a great 2014, due in part to our wonderful core team of writers who made it all possible. We’re looking to add to this team, so we’re seeking stellar vape wordsmiths who can craft a well-written story and submit photos along with his or her work.

We’re looking for:

  • regular columnists
  • feature writers
  • technical experts
  • events coverage writers/photographers

If you display vast knowledge of the industry and wish to join the VAPE team as a contract writer, please send a resume, your area of expertise/interest and some writing clips to content@vapemz.com with “writer” in the subject line.

We thank all who apply, however, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

‘Vaping Brain’ Study Takes a Look at Addiction

Photo by http://www.icbs-peclub.com/imperial-college-facts/British scientsts are researching the effects of smoking on the brain, according to FoxNews.com.

The pilot study used e-cigarettes and functional magnetic resonance imaging to scan vapers while they took puffs. The aim is to understand why smoking is addictive. The lead scientist, Matt Wall from Imperial College in London, says that since other nicotine replacement therapies havent had the success to kick the smoking habit like vaping has. Therefore, he’s digging a bit deeper to see where the addiction(s) are coming from.

While there are no specific conclusions of the study yet, Wall says that there is somewhat of a link in the brain area that controls taste and smell with reward and addiction.

Wall plans on conducting larger vaper studies in the future to learn more.

For the full story, visit http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/11/11/studies-vaping-brain-may-offer-clues-on-smoking-addiction/.

Starbucks Bans E-Cigarettes

StarbucksMorning coffee and a cigarette, or an e-cigarette in our world, is no more inside of the walls of the popular chain Starbucks. UK site Metro.co.uk reports that the move stemmed from the recent World Health Organization claim that e-cigarettes may not be the healthy alternative to analog cigarettes. The report also attacked the vapor emitted from e-cigs, saying that it contains toxins that create a health risk to second-hand breathers.

For more information on the Starbucks ban, visit http://metro.co.uk/2014/10/19/starbucks-has-banned-e-cigarettes-after-health-worries-4912414/.