Game Changer, California, e-cig explodes, e-cigs harmful?, Future Regulation
September 19, 2013
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.
The 2017 E-Liquid Flavor Guide will include a list and guide of thousands of e-liquid products from the largest brands in the industry to boutique craft flavors.
“The last few months have seen an explosion of new E-liquid lines and flavors as manufacturers scrambled to get their products in the market before the August 8 FDA deadline.”
“The Flavor Guide will be a valuable resource for business executives, you can be sure they will keep it at arm’s reach at their desk throughout the year,” said Matt Schramel, VAPE Magazine publisher. “Not to mention it will be an even bigger value to vapers for finding the perfect e-liquid.”
In addition to the industry’s most complete flavor listing, the magazine will also contain reviews, features, interviews and how-to’s.
The VAPE Magazine’s 2017 E-Liquid Flavor Guide will be published November 2016.
The guide will be distributed to all VAPE Magazine subscribers, over 14,000 shops in the US and UK and other retail outlets around the world.
HURRY. SPACE IS LIMITED! DEADLINE IS SEPT. 15, 2016.
Vapers gather for a meet and charity fundraiser at The Vape Supply Co. in Brooklyn, New York on Feb. 27. Photograph by Chris Mellides
The use of vapor products is growing in the U.S. at a rate where roughly 4% of adults currently own and operate these devices, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While most states have banned cigarette smoking in public spaces, including parks, restaurants and workplaces, most of these states do not have clear laws in place that specifically prevent the use of vapor products where smoking is prohibited.
This has no doubt created a grey area, where vapers can choose to interpret the law as they see fit, with no real guarantee of facing any repercussion for choosing to vape in smoke-free locations.
In a 2014 study led by the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, 952 vapers were asked how they viewed vapor products and where they use them most.
“Overall, 60% of e-cigarette users said they had vaped in an area where smoking was banned. Among 18-29 year-olds, nearly three quarters had used e-cigarettes in smoke-free areas, while older adults were less likely to do so,” according to Reuters.
In a country-wide effort to curb teen smoking, vapor product use in public spaces where smoking is prohibited is a topic of great debate, and one that won’t soon fade away.
For a more detailed read, check out the latest from Reuters on Fortune.com. The article can be found here.
I recently just got news about the death of my cousin’s father- in-law who died of complications related to COPD. My aunt has a niece on her maternal side of the family who recently got diagnosed with Stage-4 Lung Cancer. A neighbor that lives below her is just starting her lung cancer fight.
These are people, who if educated by the community, probably could have been saved and lived longer if they knew all the good things about e-cigarettes. Perhaps they probably heard, but got the wrong information. Maybe their doctors told them not to start vaping and that it was harmful. Maybe they didn’t get any information at all. Whatever the case, I almost feel like we’ve failed these people and countless others who are, have been, or will have a smoking-related disease, diagnosis, death.
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These are the stories that should mean more to us than any vape drama, polarization between factions, being vape famous, self-proclaiming yourself as the vape savior, etc. These are the stories that to me are at the heart of what it means to be an advocate for vaping and why we are in this business. This is why I personally don’t want vaping to die.
Even my boyfriend who has been vaping for almost 2 years and my cousin who just started a few months ago share my personal stories and connections. I feel like from what I’ve done, I’ve made a difference in the world and a difference in someone’s life. We don’t have enough of these stories being told publicly.
But why should you take my word for it? I don’t own a juice company. I’m not a mod maker. I’m just an ordinary vaper with a vape show writing about vaping things. Granted, I have tried creating vaping accessories with which others have been successful, and I’ve failed. I’ve even tried selling vaping things for charity, with all the advertisement in the world, and no one has bought a thing.
Even vaping gear I’ve made ESPECIALLY for charity events have only brought low bids. And yet, because I’m not this “big name” in the community, the whole of the community feels like they should not give a damn about what I do and what I say because I’m not part of the “vaping establishment”.
Let’s face it. As much as we bitch about the greater establish, we have one within our own community. We just don’t see it because we are so blinded by the big names and the
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Because I am that outsider. Your customer at your shop is an outsider. The average viewer of my vape show is an outsider. It’s why the greater public doesn’t know as much about vaping as they should, and we’ve failed at connecting with them.
shiny things. Most of us are too much above it or in the thick of it working for companies and having connections with the “right” people to go far in this industry. However, with the bans and rules coming into place, do those messages still mean anything to you anymore?
Now, let me be clear, I’m not whining saying I want to be famous or popular. I’ve been there done that. In fact, it’s a kind of strange dichotomy. Because even though people notice you, they notice you mostly for the wrong reasons and want to take advantage of your good graces and sometimes screw you over with a smile on their face. Sometimes it happens without you knowing it until it’s recorded on hidden camera, discussed on online vape shows and videos, and plastered all over the vaping section of the Internet.
What I am saying is that there are more voices out there than the “vape famous” who are saying what the big guys are saying and always have. People like me, the average vaper and the average observer tend to see things others don’t. It’s why my column has its name. Because I am that outsider. Your customer at your shop is an outsider. The average viewer of my vape show is an outsider. It’s why the greater public doesn’t know as much about vaping as they should, and we’ve failed at connecting with them.
Yet, if there’s someone like a VaperJoe’s, a GrimmGreen, Phil Busardo, and other big names and companies saying the SAME THING, they’re believed more than someone like me who’s been saying it for so long until I’ve been blue in the face. Sadly, we’ve become a celebrity culture in which unless you’re that next Internet sensation, no one is going to believe and listen to what you have to say.
Voices like mine are being drowned out by the vaping popularity contest, drama and bullshit that’s embedded itself within the industry due to lack of foresight and plain ‘ol human nature at its worst. This includes the cliques that I encounter, the big events that are more about show and money than people, the giveaway shows where you’re popular just because everything is free, and on it goes. It’s frankly why a lot of people within the industry, especially the veteran vapers and the advocates are bitter at this moment. The focus was lost and we got attracted to the celebrity shiny really quick.
Now, just imagine if I did have a juice line. Imagine if I made and sold millions of dollars worth of a product or idea that the vaping community could use and still continued to write. Imagine if I was connected to the biggest people in the industry and was on their shows all the time (which would not be a bad thing in and of itself). Would you still feel I had that hidden agenda? Would you still feel that I sold out to the community? Would you think I was getting too big for myself?
I hate to tell you, but just like anything else, fame is fleeting. Eventually, those numbers will go down and your popularity will become just another YouTuber story of the past. Your part in all of this will be ignored just as much as mine, but only because you’re no longer the flavor of the month. Voices like mine might just last a bit longer because I refused to fall into the trap and stuck to my own rules, not the rules that are dictated to me or rules that I “should” follow if I want to “make it.”
Having said that, don’t you think that now with everything that has happened in terms of the FDA regulations, a voice with no juice line or mod equipment label on back is NOW worth listening to just a bit more? I surely think so.
Who are you listening to now that so many things have and will change in the vaping industry? Are you willing to give the “little-guy-in-vaping” a chance?
Contact Susan at email@example.com. Find her on Facebook, Twitter and at her personal website http://www.angelwritercreations.com. If you like this rant and want to hear more, Susan hosts VapeTVLive on Thursday nights at 11pm – midnight EST.
In journalism, a source will sometimes provide clear and accurate information just ahead of a public announcement that could potentially save a reporter time, while preventing inaccurate and potentially damaging information from reaching the public, due to the hurried efforts made by journalists to outscoop their competition.
This is done under the condition that the information provided to the reporter and his or her media outlet may not be publicized until an agreed-upon time. The process is called an embargo, and is an accepted and perfectly reasonable agreement between parties.
Now, what if you were the journalist and your source was the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), whose embargo came with the knowledge that you not only have to be tightlipped with the public, but that you could not disclose any embargoed information with third parties?
You would in effect be silenced from speaking aloud any information given to you by the FDA until the embargo date and time expired.
It’s easy for this hypothetical to be viewed as simply that, a hypothetical, but according to Scientific American, the longest continuously published science and tech magazine in the country, their findings say it’s true.
Bloomberg View columnist, Megan McArdle writes that the FDA “is often releasing announcements about peoples’ research. And that information can dramatically move markets.”
Markets that include, but are not limited to the vapor product industry.
“This raises the specter that the purpose of such embargos has moved beyond controlling the flow of market-sensitive information, and onto ensuring that stories are produced by a select group of reporters given limited information, which will then shape the subsequent coverage of the issue,” McArdle wrote.
And by shaping the coverage of an issue, the potential to sway public opinion and change government policy in a way that would favor your organization’s self-interests is a tempting proposition indeed.
You can read more about the FDA embargos, and the Scientific American findings in McArdle’s article, which can be accessed here.
It’s 2016 and the vapor industry is synonymous with tobacco.
But not entirely.
Since the FDA officially deemed vapor to be tobacco, there has been a lot of talk about how vapor is not tobacco. While for the most part I agree, the fact of the matter is that in most instances nicotine is derived from tobacco.
I’m not here to split hairs about that today. This month we’re discussing the benefits to being part of the tobacco industry.
First and most importantly, we have not been deemed a pharmaceutical product — like nicotine replacement therapies. For anyone upset about not being able to discuss the potential benefits of switching to vapor, it’s a double-edged sword.
If you think being deemed tobacco will end this industry, being deemed a pharmaceutical product would decimate it entirely. Immediately.
Pharmaceutical products go through years of testing that costs millions — many millions — to complete.
For some added perspective, nearly every single pharmaceutical company brings in more annual revenue than the entire $4 billion vapor industry.
Tobacco = bad.
Pharmaceutical = worse.
Another benefit to the tobacco industry is that our insurance risk will change. While the cost to ensure a store or manufacturer is unlikely to decrease, there is a distinct possibility that more companies will begin writing policies.
Because vapor products never officially fit into a category, most insurance companies struggled to be able to assign risk. Having that category should create more competition in the market. Whether that results in better pricing will remain to be seen, but competition has been in need for some time.
For that same reason, I think we will see banks become more willing to loan money to small to medium sized stores and manufacturers. Currently, getting a loan in the vapor industry is quite difficult unless your annual revenue is well into seven-plus figures.
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Another angle has to do with label restrictions. The tobacco industry has dealt with packaging restrictions for years. It put an end to Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man.
And it will put an end to cartoon characters on e-liquid bottles — the people who at least to an extent created this mess. Our industry did a poor job of policing such brands ourselves, and now here we are.
Last but not least, did I mention that vapor has not been classified as a pharmaceutical product?
That’s huge. HUGE.
Moving forward, let’s all take a deep breath and take a realistic look at the future. There will be dramatic changes to the landscape, but as time passes we will get a more clear picture of what is to come.
Corey Noles is the managing editor of VAPE Magazine. He has worked as a journalist for more than a decade and is the founder, owner of Inked Up E-Liquid Co., Busted Knuckle Vapor Fluids and T [E-Liquid].