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 Product: Vapor Hub Launches Bandana Print Mod Design

Bandana-Sleeve-Neon-Green-350x400Vapor Hub International Inc. announces the launch of mechanical mods with a new sleeve design featuring a bandana print in a press release sent to the Agent. They are available in multiple colors including zombie green, black, white, blue and real wood bandana print.

Vapor Hub is offering retail vapor shops the opportunity to create custom design sleeves that feature their shop logo. Vapor store owners can order through VHUB and get a custom mod in two to three weeks.

These are examples of products made for retail vapor shops:

http://www.flawlessvapeshop.com/product/limitless-mod-extra-sleeve/

http://planet-of-the-vapes-online.myshopify.com/products/potv-x-limitless-mod-by-vapor-hub

http://www.shopthedynasty.com/black-dynasty-x-limitless-mod/

For a look at the new products, www.vapor-hub.com/product-category/mechanical-mods/sleeve-mod-by-limitlessHYPERLINK “http://www.vapor-hub.com/product-category/mechanical-mods/sleeve-mod-by-limitless/”/.

E-Cigarettes Contain ‘Virtually No Toxins,’ Recent Studies Find

Photo by Pinterest

Photo by Pinterest

A new study is out that surely will help vaping advocates fight for the cause. A blog in a recent Reason.com reports that a 2013 study reported in Tobacco Control looked at 12 e-cigarette brands available in Poland and found that “the levels of potentially toxic compounds in e-cigarette vapor are 9–450-fold lower than those in the smoke from conventional cigarettes, and in many cases comparable with the trace amounts present in pharmaceutical preparations [of nicotine].”

Another new study of leading American and British brands, reported in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, confirms this point, finding that the levels of potentially problematic substances in e-cigarette aerosol are about the same as those detected in ambient air. Reason says that researchers picked three flavors of Blu e-cigs and two flavors of SKYCIGS. After comparing these popular e-cigarettes with air samples and smoke generated by Marlboro Golds and two varieties of Lambert & Butler cigarettes, their findings were:

Analysis of the smoke from conventional cigarettes showed that the mainstream cigarette smoke delivered approximately 1500 times more harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) tested when compared to e-cigarette aerosol or to puffing room air. The deliveries of HPHCs tested for these e-cigarette products were similar to the study air blanks rather than to deliveries from conventional cigarettes; no significant contribution of cigarette smoke HPHCs from any of the compound classes tested was found for the e-cigarettes. Thus, the results of this study support previous researchers’ discussion of e-cigarette products’ potential for reduced exposure compared to cigarette smoke.

 

 

While Reason’s blog agrees that vapor isn’t as safe as pure air, it is night and day compared to second-hand smoke.

For Reason’s full blog, visit http://reason.com/blog/2015/03/04/study-confirms-that-e-cigarettes-generat.

 

New Product: JWELL France’s Box Mod Alesia

alesia-introParis-based JWELL bring box mod lovers the Alesia.

This mini box has a 40 W PCB and a battery of 2600 mAh. Turn the central button to change Watts. Its design will seduce you and it will fit easily in the palm of your hand.

For more information, visit http://www.jwellstores.com/en/accurate/alesia-box/.

New Life Being Breathed Into Smoking Cessation Products

ReynoldsAmericanInc copy

Photo courtesy of Reynolds American Inc.

It looks like the vaping industry has another competitor on its hands. As tax increases, health concerns, smoking bans and social stigma urge smokers to quit, cigarette company Reynolds American Inc. plans to partner with pharmaceutical consultancy Pinney Associates to develop new smoking cessation products.

According to The Washington Times, Reynolds aims to breathe new life into the tobacco industry with more health-conscious products, as well as new policies that will hopefully reduce tobacco’s harmful effects.

The partnership between Reynolds American and Pinney Associates hopes to develop a new type of nicotine gum, and perhaps even a new line of electronic cigarettes. Camel and Pall Mall, meanwhile, are also expanding their product lines and urging the pharmaceutical industry to develop more smoking cessation products.

The Times reports that, in an interview with The Associated Press, Pinney Associates CEO John Pinney said, “While what we’ve been doing in tobacco control is working, it’s just not working fast enough. We’ve got a lot of people who I believe probably need nicotine for the rest of their lives and the goal here would be … [to] get them a product that’s not going to kill them.”

Reynolds has become a more prominent feature in the market ever since the Food and Drug Administration reported that nicotine replacement products are safe to use for longer periods of time than previously thought.

Time will tell what effect the partnership between Reynolds American and Pinney Associates has on the vaping industry.

For the full story, click here.

Washington State Officials Propose Strictest Laws Yet

 

Photo by WashingtonStateWire.com

Photo by WashingtonStateWire.com

KGW.com reports that Washington State e-cigarette laws could be changing, and in turn could make the state the strictest in the nation.

Rep. Gerry Pollet, (D-Seattle) is the bill sponsor. The bill, if passed, would:

  1. Require special licenses for all retailers
  2. Require manufacturers to list all ingredients in its e-liquid
  3. Ban non-tobacco flavored vaping products
  4. Tax e-cigarettes and the supplies at the same rate as tobacco products, which stands at 95 percent.

Pollet told KGW that he aims to reduce youth smoking with the bill. He says that vaping is not safe and is highly addictive. Pollet also is a public health teacher at the University of Washington.

Vapers and shop owners testified against the bill at a public hearing last week in Olympia.

“Vapers told lawmakers the proposal would make e-cigarettes more expensive, harder to find and would eliminate flavors popular with adult customers,” KGW reported.

Shop owners agreed that they do not sell to minors, would pay for the special license and even pay higher taxes, but they said eliminating flavors and raising the sales tax to too high of an amount would put vape shops out of business, effectively running customers right back to analogs.

For the full story, visit http://www.kgw.com/story/news/politics/2015/03/17/wash-e-cig-rules-could-become-toughest-in-us/24925489/.

University of Wisconsin Researchers Awarded $3.7 Million Federal Grant

program_CTRI_optNo matter which side of the e-cigarette you are on, we can all agree that more research is needed to formulate regulations moving forward in the vaping industry.

The Badger Herald reports that The Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention at the University of Wisconsin has received a $3.7 million federal grant. The awarded money will go toward studying e-cigarette use patterns and “health-related issues.”

The study will span over several years, and researchers will focus on two groups: those who smoke only traditional cigarettes and those who smoke both traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

Doug Jorenby, co-principal investigator, told the Badger Herald that the study will focus on those who both smoke and vape over a long period of time. The grant, awarded from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration, is for five years.

The university hopes to recruit participants this fall, with the pilot study already complete.

For more details about the study, visit https://badgerherald.com/news/2015/02/18/uw-receives-federal-grant-to-study-e-cigarette-use/#.VO9HiUJurdl.

 

ITMGroup Launches E-Cig Platform

unnamedWhat is happening in the e-cigarette industry?

Technical Development Corporation (TDC) wants to help answer that question with www.ecigmachinery.com. As part of the ITMGroup, TDC specializes in machinery for the tobacco industry, and the company has announced to Agent VAPE that it has stepped in the e-cigarette segment.

“We have developed a solution for automated e-cigarette production, the Genesis. But, we realized that the industry needs more than just machinery. The industry needs information and relevant data. This is where we want to help you,” TDC told the Agent in a statement.

By publishing a free online e-cigarette magazine every two months, TDC wants to educate the public about the current and future developments in the industry.

The “ECig by TDC” will be sent every two months. To learn more, visit www.ecigmachinery.com.

Illinois Representative Seeking E-Cig Ban

E-Cig-Ban-Considered-By-NYC-Authorities-120x120One person truly can make a difference, and in this case the Illinois vaping community may suffer.

State Rep. Kathleen Willis, D-Addison, introduced House Bill 2404 recently, according to TheSouthern.com. The bill, if passed, would effectively ban indoor vaping and amend the Smoke Free Illinois Act, which currently does not include e-cigarettes.

“It is not necessarily that I want to totally ban electronic cigarettes,” Willis told The Southern. “I just feel that there is residue that comes off of them, and while I certainly agree they are a better alternative than traditional cigarettes, I don’t necessarily want to eat my meal next to somebody that is vaping.”

The bill would exclude shops that sell the devices.

Shop owners are concerned about the long-term effects of the bill, including grouping e-cigs with tobacco products, which would then eventually set a new tax. One shop owner said that Willis is “demonizing” e-cigs to get revenue and that there is no scientific evidence that has yet to prove that vaping is harmful.

The Southern reports that since Willis introduced the bill in early February, five lawmakers signed on as co-sponsors: Emanuel Chris Welch, D-Westchester, Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg, Monique D. Davis, D-Chicago, La Shawn K. Ford, D-Chicago, and Martin J. Moylan, D-Des Plaines.

For the full story, visit http://thesouthern.com/news/local/e-cig-ban-would-force-smokers-outside/article_9d3d8d60-c1c8-5c86-aac1-b8def2f166ba.html.

Vape Summit Returns to Las Vegas

Building off the success of the first two conventions of its kind, the Vape Summit will return to Las Vegas for a three-day event from Thursday, April 30, through Saturday, May 2, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The event will be open to the public from 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday, May 1, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 2.

The Vape Summit will build upon previous events to become the largest vaping convention to date with more than 300,000 square feet of event space. More than 300 vendors and exhibitors from across the country will come together to showcase their products, share ideas and host discussions to further unify the industry and break into mainstream culture. The most recent event drew more than 20,000 attendees during a two-day period.

The first half of the Vape Summit will be a business-to-business format featuring keynote speakers and provide an opportunity for industry professionals to experience products and vendors from around the country. The business-to-business portion of the event will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 30, and continue from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, May 2.

Friday evening and Saturday at the summit will be open to the general public for those 18 years of age and older to experience all of the exhibits, test and purchase products and experience speeches and seminars about the industry. The event will also feature The Gallery, which will highlight high-end and unique MODs (the device used for vaping) from across the world and a variety of new releases, limited editions and product debuts. Pre-Registration for business and general admission tickets is available now at www.thevapesummit.com. Open registration for all attendees will be available beginning Friday, March 27.

The Vape Summit is presented by Suicide Bunny and will once again partner with Hot Import Nights, a custom concept car show, for a cross-industry experience with unique cars and hot promotional models.

Proposals Sought for Standardized Clinical E-Cig Study

574819_10151467419728571_858226277_nSFATA reports that The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which is part of the National Institutes of Health, is seeking proposals from small businesses to develop a standardized electronic cigarette for use in clinical studies. The goal is to evaluate the harm reduction benefits/risks of e-cigarettes, as well as their potential as smoking cessation aids.
The release in a recent SFATA newsletter says that there is insufficient data to assess the overall impact of e-cigarettes on public health or to fully inform public policy. E-cigarettes on the market today do not have the product and manufacturing documentation the FDA usually requires to allow clinical trials to proceed. To accelerate e-cigarette research, NIDA is therefore seeking to develop a well characterized product for use in clinical research.
This opportunity is only open to businesses with fewer than 500 employees.

The full solicitation can be found using a search engine with the keywords “SBIR Topic 156b” or by going to:
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=b13729ba9ad6a1df0b734ea2a9e0c4cb&tab=core&_cview=1

Questions should be addressed to Brian O’Laughlin, bo50d@nih.gov(301) 443-6677.