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.


SURVEY: Two-Thirds of Vapers Are Using Electronic Cigarettes to Quit Smoking

bd5aJhimAgent VAPE received this release from Chris Harihar, Crenshaw Communications for V2:

V2, one of the nation’s leading brands of electronic cigarette and vaporizer products, today announced the results of a commissioned study in which 300 U.S. adult e-cigarette users were asked to explain why they vape. The respondents were polled online, between May 11-12, 2016.

When asked to identify the reasons they choose to use electronic cigarettes:

  • Two-thirds (62%) said they do so “to quit or abstain from smoking cigarettes”
  • 38% identified as dual users, vaping e-cigarettes “to obtain nicotine when unable to smoke cigarettes”
  • 36% said they “preferred the flavors and taste over traditional tobacco cigarettes”
  • 29% said they did so because e-cigarettes are more “socially acceptable than smoking cigarettes”

“For most adult smokers, vaporizing devices like electronic cigarettes represent a legitimate alternative to combustible cigarettes,” said Adam Kustin, Vice President of Marketing, V2. “Smokers are increasingly shifting away from combustibles in favor of vaping. This is why the recent FDA ruling to regulate e-cigarettes like tobacco products is discouraging. Big Tobacco wants to curb e-cigarette growth and maintain the status quo, especially as vaporizer technology continues to outpace their offerings and transform the category. The FDA’s more onerous limitations on manufacturers indirectly support Big Tobacco’s goals. Stifling innovation and restricting consumer choice will very possibly drive users back to smoking cigarettes.”

In May, the US Food and Drug Administration decided to extend federal regulatory control to e-cigarettes. According to another V2 poll of 300 vapers released on June 7th, among e-cigarette users, three-quarters (74%) believe that electronic cigarettes “should be subject to some sort of regulatory process.”[1] However, in an April survey also conducted by V2 with 600 respondents, 57% said that they were against any federal regulations by the FDA.[2] Of that 57%, 27% said regulations should occur locally (state, municipality, etc.) and 13% said the industry should self-regulate.

The consequences of overregulation could be devastating for e-cigarette users. As part of the FDA’s ruling, government approval of all e-cigarette products and related consumables introduced after 2007, such as e-liquid, is now required. These products must go through a formal approval process to continue to be sold. Reports estimate that submitting an application for a single product approval could cost more than $1 million for the applicant.[3] In a V2 survey released June 7th, vapers were asked how they would respond if onerous regulations drove e-cigarettes off the market. 49% of those surveyed said they would return to smoking combustible cigarettes. Considering how many report vaping as a way to abstain from tobacco in the latest V2 survey, these numbers aren’t surprising.

About V2:

V2®, the world’s No. 1 volume online retailer of electronic cigarettes, has distinguished itself as an industry leader with its ever-expanding product lines, powerful vapor production and great taste. For more information about V2, visit: www.v2.com.

 

 

A Chat with The Daily Caller Reporter Guy Bentley

June 28, 2016

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By Tony Ottomanelli II

The Daily Caller news organization reporter Guy Bentley has written countless articles on vaping and E-cigarettes. If you’ve ever read an article on vaping that has been shared across social media, you’ve undoubtedly read his work.

Bentley believes vaping to be very fascinating, for many reasons — first and foremost that it is likely the best option for those who wish to quit smoking. So, rather than choosing to create head-turning headlines, Guy simply covers stories and logically breaks down the facts about vaping because he believes in it.

“The only valid research data is truthfully based on the proper statistics,” he said. Thus, studies summarized on inaccurate data are not valid research results.

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What he finds interesting about E-cigarettes and vaping is the Public Health factor involved. He noted how people have not had success using all of the smoking cessation alternatives. For instance, nicotine gum, the nicotine patch or even the pharmaceutical solution known as Chantix have all been highly suspect in their efficiency.

“Vaping is something completely born of the market,” Bentley said. He said that he became intrigued by the vaping industry due to the giant “wave of innovation” and how vaping has been “proving to be a very effective solution” for those who are trying to quit smoking.

“Vaping is a brilliant private sector mechanism for a public health need,” he said. “I’m interested in it from those aspects.”

A life-long interest in technology only served to further his interest in the industry.

“This is an absolute textbook example of the baptists and bootleggers problem (meaning moralists and merchants)” Referring to the public health community as the Baptists and the pharmaceutical industry as the merchants.

“There are those in the public health community that seem to be militantly against nicotine use,” Bentley said. On the moralistic side, the public health sector, the “baptists,” believe they can take the abstinence only approach, claiming these nicotine delivery devices are hazardous.

Then on the merchant side, the “bootleggers,” we have the pharmaceutical and tobacco industries who see vaping as a threat to their business.

Bentley said that he doesn’t consider his work necessarily “PRO-Vaping,” yet he believes ”we need evidence on these products and in a free society, grown human beings should be able to choose what products they consume.”

In essence, he is fascinated by the phenomenon of the vaping industry. He said that e-cigarettes and vaping devices “are voluntarily being used by individuals trying to quit smoking, they’re not a burden on anybody and they’re not causing an economic drop either.”

Bentley is motivated by the fact that there are so many questions surrounding the topic.

“What we need to find is why is there so much misleading research on the subject,” he said. “Who is interested in that research? And why is the media being so complacent?”

Within his profession, many of his colleagues are under pressure to receive attention by garnishing sexy headlines. Reporting on something far more dramatic is a great temptation for a lot of reporters.

“A lot of people within the media will simply glance over a press release without looking at any other bits of information or do any other types of independent research or try to listen to any other types of opinions, ultimately sensationalizing the negative stories about vaping and e-cigarettes,” he said. “When considering stories about research studies, the media members are not looking into how these studies were conducted or whether they are credible, they simple gaze over the bullet points and report them as facts.”

Bentley believes the people suffering the most from the mass amount of misinformation floating around are those who have been smoking for 20, 30 or even 40 years — because they are the ones asking “Why should I switch to vaping?”

“It is unquestionable that vaping is safer than regular cigarettes and for the FDA to clamp down on the independent industry is absurd,” Bentley said. “The fact that someone will still have the ability to pick up a pack of regular cigarettes at the gas station, but the vape shop down

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the street will be shut down is entirely counterproductive.”

The biggest fear is that smokers who are desperate to quit smoking could have their right to seek out a healthier alternative completely taken away from them.

“There will be an obvious economic impact with thousands of
people affected from not being able to bring paychecks home,
jobs will be lost, small businesses will be closed down, people who
may not be able to work any other type of strict background
requirement occupations will have their businesses stripped out
from under them,” he said.

“There are a number of ramifications, but now is not the time for vapers to lose hope or give up. If vapers can mobilize themselves into a coherent constituency, then they can make a huge impact. So, now is the time to mobilize. Contact your legislators, make your voices heard in a reasonable, rational, and positive way. If vapers want to defend their right to vape and protect the industry that is helping them to quit smoking, this is what they need to do.”

The public health movement has been very skeptical and outright hostile towards the private sector and the free market. One reason is that vaping remains unregulated by any public health bureaucracy.

It is clear that there is a general hostility and skepticism of free enterprise and private sector solutions to address a public health issue. The public health movement, in most aspects of lifestyle regulation, in regards to what you can vape, eat, drink, smoke is essentially an anti-choice movement.

The vaping phenomenon could very well be one of the most significant public health advances in human history.

Keep Receiving Compliance Information From FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products

GOVdelivery-bannerHave you been taking advantage of the compliance updates from the FDA Center for Tobacco Products? As the effective date for the deeming rule—August 8, 2016—approaches and as various provisions of the rule take effect after that, the organization would like to continue delivering CTP announcements about key dates and other compliance news straight to your inbox.

If you want to keep those types of compliance highlights coming your way, please sign up here.

And, any time you want additional information about FDA’s tobacco compliance and enforcement activities, please visit CTP’s Compliance & Enforcement webpage.

Papa Murph’s Premium E-Liquid: Do it Yourself at the Start & Build a Community in the End

June 27, 2016

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Photos & words by Tony Ottomanelli II

Ever tried or heard of Papa Murph’s Premium E-Liquid? Held in unicorn style bottles, Papa Murph’s has certainly become a favorite for many vapers residing in the state in which it has derived, Colorado.

Brendan Murphy previously worked construction, and if it were not for vaping, he would still be working those long hours of exhausting work, a job that certainly takes its toll on anyone’s physical condition.

However, all because of the technological breakthrough of nicotine delivery by vaping e-liquid, Murphy now has a successful premium e-liquid brand. The line gave his career a true purpose, something that provides for his wife and three children, something he can call his own.

Of course, like most vapers, Murphy is a former smoker who found vaping as his answer to quitting smoking. After a while, he was so fascinated with the effectiveness of vaping, he quickly transformed himself into an advanced vaper, learning more and more about the hobbyist side of the vaping culture. He quickly became curious about how e-liquid was manufactured and processed. So, Murphy watched a DIY video and began experimenting.

‘Murphy said the shop, VapeWize, established in the Denver area with two locations, is basically responsible for ultimately assisting in what changed everything for him. A lot of other vape shops would initially sample his e-liquid and for whatever reason, eventually just pass on it. Yet, for Murphy, VapeWize was the main shop who was seriously the first to tell him their honest opinion about the juice he was making. They told him he might have something special happening with his product.

That’s when Papa Murph’s was born. VapeWize was one of the first shops to carry his juice line. Murphy is extremely grateful for the relationship he has developed with the proprietor’s of VapeWize, Shaune and Sarah Walter.

He also spoke very highly of his distributor, Underdog Vape Distribution. He refers to them as family. Scotty and Ben from Underdog Distribution are not similar to any ordinary distributor, they are more focused on developing close positive relationships with their clientele. According to Murphy, amongst them, “it is essentially family-based. We’re in this together. We are like a family. At least that’s exactly how it feels for me.”.

The vapor industry is amazing in every way to Murph. It has truly turned his life around and given him opportunities he may not have been able to gain prior access to otherwise. He is very much impressed by the advocacy movement that

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has sprung up ahead of the looming FDA regulations.

How does he feel about the future of the industry?

“Deep down, I’m very optimistic,” he said. “ All these stats people are throwing out there about 99% of the vaping industry potentially being terminated — I just think we’ve come much too far and have dived so deep into building a culture around the industry that for anything that drastic to occur is difficult to imagine becoming a serious reality.”

Murphy highlights the message vaping sends and the symbol it stands for by mentioning the highly successful and largely admirable action of establishing beneficial agendas like the Vape-a-Vet Program — Murphy expands on this topic by asking, “When have you ever a tobacco company do anything for veterans?”

On the Vape-A-Vet program’s website, it states, “The primary focus of the project is to help Veterans “conquer” tobacco habits by providing a healthier alternative at no cost to them. Both active duty and prior service members are eligible (vapeavet.org).” There is no doubt, this is a program where the character that defines the culture of vaping is full of strength and passion.

The vaping community is certainly amazing in that way, we are here to help and that means, help for anyone who needs it.

“The business is entirely unpredictable, some days I’ll have zero orders, other days I’ll have over 20 orders to process.” Murphy said. “Not just the business, but the industry as a whole is completely unpredictable.”

He continues to clarify, “there is always some new locally-driven legislation opposition to vaping that we have to fight, whether collecting signatures for petitions, writing your state representative or the introduction of some new bill you have to support…it is continuous.”

Murphy said that is the reason activism is a necessity for all vapers.

“There is no other choice but to fight for your right to vape, we’re not just gonna give up,” he said. “We’ve all come too far, no matter if you own your own business or if you are merely a beginner to vaping. We’ve come too far, they can’t force us to go back to tobacco products after this huge impact vaping has had.”

Murphy also believes in giving back to his customers — the ones who ensure that his business can continue feeding his family. He regularly hosts events where he gives away 30-40 bottles of product as a thank you to the community.

“I’m in complete awe of how much this vaping phenomenon has had on my life. Vaping turned my life around towards a direction that is more healthy – physically, mentally, emotionally, professionally,” he said. “I own my own business, I can spend more time with my children and my wife, I can provide for them and I can help make a positive difference in the community and the vast amount of amazing people I’ve had the chance to meet — it has all been so rewarding.

“I want to build more than just a random business relationship, I want to get to know all of my customers personally.” Murphy often delivers local juice orders himself, rather than simply sending a package, he prefers to meet his customers face-to-face, greet them and thank them.

He said however, that one of the biggest hurdles in the industry is finding new and creative ways to market his products in an industry that has become quite saturated.

“It can make things slightly more difficult to build your brand,” he said.

The line consists of three flavors. First, there is Granny’s Custard which “is the indulgence of granny’s most delicious graham cracker custard with a creamy finish that will leave you wishing it was endless.”

The second flavor is Getaway, which is “packed with tropical fruits and infused in a way that is sure to leave your mind at ease like your perfect Getaway!”

The third flavor in the collection is Wake N’ Vape, “a delicious hot cup of cappuccino with nodes of smooth vanilla and a hint of caramel that are bound to wake your taste buds up.”

Each flavor comes in 0, 3 or 6mg of nicotine.

My personal opinion is that what ultimately makes Papa Murph’s stand out among many other juice-lines is the positive attitude behind the owner and founder. Murphy is by far one of the most generous, honest, down-to-earth, and professional entrepreneurs and well-rounded vaping business innovators whom I’ve met.

© VAPE Magazine ™