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.

How Should/Do You Approach Smokers?

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 4.13.29 PMAs vapers, we have a responsibility both to our industry and to smokers out there to simply do the right thing. recently outlined some great reasons why.

  1. Every smoker is a potential future vaper. 
  2. Vapers are douche bags. Are we? Are you? What have you witnessed that should change?
  3. Our industry isn’t helping matters. We’re failing in education.
  4. How can we do it right? Conversation, communication and friendliness.

For the full story on what Daniel Hall thinks needs to change, visit

Pierce County, Wash. Facing Ban, City Council Taking Public Comments


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For those who live in Pierce County, Wash., now is the time to speak up. reports that a proposed ban on vaping in public and work places (or 25 feet away from the property) has been brought to a Tacoma Pierce County Health Department meeting late last month. The ban includes stores that sell nicotine products and selling to minors

“The health department says it wants to bring electronic cigarette regulations in line with cigarettes, in part to cut down on teenagers using e-cigs,” the story says.

Vape shop owners were strongly opposed, saying that they do not sell to minors. The health department cited supposed chemicals found in e-cigs as another reason, while only one person in the crowd spoke in favor of the proposed bans.

The health department will take public input until Oct. 19, and the five-member board will vote in November.

For the full story, visit


Vape Expo Poland Adds Exhibitors

unnamedAgent VAPE has received word about new exhibitors at Vape Expo Poland, which will be held Nov. 20-21.



Heartlandvapes is one of America’s largest wholesale manufacturers and distributors of e-liquid products.


Pacific Packaging Components, Inc. has been supplying customers with access to new and innovative packaging solutions since 1970 and has been one of the American industry leaders in vape/e-cigarette packaging for the past five years.




Revol Vapors is a new e-liquid company that was founded by Austin Hopper.

For more information, visit

City of Chicago Facing Higher Tax Threat

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Chicago is the highest-taxed cigarette city in the United States, according to a recent article on, the Americans for Tax Reform site. And, according to the story, the taxes may go even higher in the form of e-cigarette taxing.

Democrats in the city are moving to tax electronic cigarettes the same as analog, tobacco filled cigarettes.

Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno is looking at an excise tax on e-cigs, amounting to $1.25 for each e-cigarette and 25 cents per mL of e-liquid. A hole in the budget is cited as one of the main reasons for the tax hike proposal, however ATR’s writer said that “Moreno’s proposal would do very little to fill the budget hole—it is projected to bring in less than $1 million, compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to balance the budget and make public employee pension payments.”

For the full story, visit

Massachusettes Adjusting to New Sales Laws


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Photo by reports that new regulations went into affect in Massachusetts Sept. 25. Regulations include:

  • no sales to minors under 18 (devices and liquids)
  • new childproof packaging has been put in place, under regulations “approved by the attorney general’s office.”
  • no promotional giveaways or free distribution of e-cigarettes
  • e-cigarettes must be kept out of customer reach
  • no vending machine sales (except in adults-only establishments)

All regulations went into affect last month, except for the packaging law. That’s set to begin March 15.

For the full story, visit


FIVAPE Supports Totally Wicked Challenge of Article 20 of the EU Tobacco Products Directive

unnamedAgent VAPE received this press release regarding the latest in the challenge and FIVAPE’s support of Totally Wicked’s fight:

FIVAPE, the French Vaping Federation, supports Totally Wicked’s challenge of Article 20 of the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Luxembourg today.

At both the national and the European level, our organization is committed to supporting the vaping revolution, a disruptive innovation that has the power to end the global smoking epidemic, which constitutes the first European cause of preventable death.

Despite its potential, the vaping revolution is currently facing serious challenges. We believe that misleading information, fear of change and assimilation to tobacco products have already endangered vapor products, thereby jeopardising further harm reduction for the 10 million of European vapersToday’s hearing of Totally Wicked at the CJEU might mark a starting point for a more appropriate legislation, aiming to prevent subjecting e-cigarettes to a stricter regulation than that for conventional tobacco products.

As expressed by Totally Wicked, Fivape believes that the health and well-being of millions of Europeans is at stake today in Luxembourg. Article 20 of the TPD might cripple efforts to offer a 95% less harmful alternative to tobacco products: vapers and independent vaping companies have the right to call for proportionate and reasonable regulations.

Today, making available high-quality and secure electronic cigarettes as well as e-liquids is the independent vaping sector’s highest priority: Fivape and many other European companies have committed themselves to long-term and open partnerships with universities, laboratories and  public authorities. The independent vaping companies have further initiated national standardization procedures, which have already considerably raised product standards in France and the UK, and have moreover established a new technical committee at the European Committee for Standardization. All these efforts reflect the determination of our sector to engage itself in favour of a renewed and proportionate legal framework, at both national and European level.

Jean Moiroud, President of Fivape, said:

Fivape believes that sustainable open systems, freedom of choice and responsibility for consumers are key to successfully reduce tobacco-related harm. In order to achieve these aims, a sound legal framework is indispensable. Fivape maintains that Article 20 of the TPD is disproportionate and jeopardises the promising future of electronic cigarettes and professionals vapers in which European private sector, scientists, universities are showing a growing interest.

Fivape represents more than 500 French vape companies, among them the leading French producers and distributors. We strive to provide highest-quality electronic cigarettes and e-liquids to the currently three million French users. Fivape has committed itself to full independence from the tobacco industry and therefore has each member sign a declaration of absence of interests with manufacturers of conventional cigarettes and other tobacco products.


Vape Radio Hits All-Time High in September

September, 2015--82,563Vape Radio hit an all-time one month high in September of 82,563 worldwide downloads, a 25 percent increase from the August total of 65,549.

Norm Bour, host of the podcasts, thanks all of his faithful listeners—700,000 coming up soon!

To become a listener, visit

SFATA CEO to Host Monday Member Call

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SFATA’s October newsletter expressed concern about anti-vapor regulations going into effect, especially in Texas and Massachusetts. SFATA’s president and CEO, Phil Daman, Esq., has been in contact with the Attorney General’s office to discuss possible changes to regulations that restrict access to vapor products and businesses’ ability to sell to adult consumers.

Daman is hosting a call at noon EST Monday, Oct. 5, to discuss the matter with members.
Texas, which has faced many regulations that could have cripped its industry, fought back with help of SFATA’s Texas chapter. The rules that did pass went into effect Oct. 1, but according to SFATA’s newsletter, implementation practically is muddy.
“Online sales with age-verification and age-verified shipping continue to be points of conversation between industry leaders and the Texas Comptroller’s office. Under the new rules, vapor shops in Texas are now required to prevent direct access by consumers to products in the store, post new warnings about the risks of smoking, and employees must be trained in age verification to prevent minors from making purchases or sampling,” the newsletter states.Massachusetts’ new vapor regulations went into effect on Sept. 25. In addition to mandating a minimum purchasing age of 18 and child-resistant caps, the new rules also prohibit sampling, promotional giveaways, and other free distribution. Requirements for online sales with age verification and sales in vending machines are also addressed in the final rules.To attend the call, contact Daman at

SFATA Shares Interview with Tim Phillips

SFATA_2015If you aren’t a subscriber to SFATA’s monthly newsletter, you should be. But, if you aren’t, Agent VAPE is here to share with you the latest interview between SFATA and Tim Phillips of ECigIntelligence. Recently, ECigIntelligence, Roebling Research, E-Cigarette Forum and SFATA partnered to create the first independent analysis of the U.S. vapor shop industry with the launch of “Project Vape Manifest.” SFATA spoke with ECigIntelligence’s Tim Philips on the genesis of the survey, shared here:
SFATA: Why did you create the survey?
Tim: As consumer preferences evolve and the category continues its growth, we saw a need for accurate data on sales, trends, preferences and attitudes, as well as insight in to actual economic impact from the category on a local, state, regional and national level.
SFATA: What is the aim of the project?
Tim: This really is the first time that the industry will have independent data from vape shops, where most of the growth is now occurring, which we think will be helpful to shop owners to better compete in today’s marketplace, and regulators and other constituents to make informed decisions.
SFATA:  Why partner with SFATA?
Tim: SFATA is the largest trade association to the e-cig industry with strong ties to the vape shop community. With SFATA, Roebling and E-Cigarette Forum, we have brought together a great mix of industry leaders to start tracking important trends in the vapor industry.
SFATA: What are some of the benefits of participating in the study?
Tim:  Participants will receive a customized report that will include best practices and key economic trends and insights into the vape shop market. We are also extending SFATA members a 50 percent discount on the full final report, which we intend to conduct regularly to track longitudinal changes in the sector. Finally, by tracking the vape shop industry and making public the key findings of the report to U.S. regulators and media, we will contribute to a better understanding of this part of the sector to the benefit of its long-term future.
SFATA:  How can a vape shop participate?
Tim: The survey is anonymous, takes no longer that 30-minutes, and can be found here. We encourage all vape shops in the U.S. to participate.

SFATA Utah Chapter Press Secretary Sends Due Diligence Release

unnamed (1)Shilo Platts, SFATA Utah’s press secretary and sales team lead at Tronic Vape, has sent Agent VAPE a press release titled, “Practicing Due Diligence in Vaping.”

“With myriad options from which to select your next e-liquid products, whether it be as a retail or wholesale customer, allow me to offer you a comment on practicing due diligence prior to making your decision. As the SFATA Utah Chapter press secretary, I’m more intimately familiar with the inner workings of e-liquid manufacturing than the average consumer, which is why I am freely offering up my perspective. For full disclosure, I am also the lead account executive for Drapor Vapor, a subsidiary company of Tronic Vape. In other words, if you’re a liquid manufacturer, I’m in the trenches with you every day, all day. Yes, I realize flavor is of paramount importance to most consumers. However, as you may well know, flavor is but one minuscule piece of the overall picture. To make informed decisions about what you buy and vape, you must ensure that a company practices due diligence by researching three things: the product, the business and the business’ procedures.

When assessing the overall quality of a product, my attention turns to suppliers of raw ingredients. I am invariably concerned with the quality of nicotine, VG, PG and flavoring. Let’s face it, better ingredients yield better final products, and I am safe in assuming most consumers would tend to agree with me. Cheaper priced, bargain brand nicotine is not conducive to premium e-liquids. In fact, the variation in taste is typically noticeable.

Perhaps more crucial than the quality of a product is the caliber of the business making it. For my own peace of mind, I demand to know whether a manufacturer establishes two very simple—yet rarely achieved—safeguards on the back end: insurance and toxicology reports. Reputable companies should be carrying liability coverage policies on their e-liquids to protect both the retailer and consumer against potential medical claims. More to the point, regular, thorough toxicology reports conducted on e-liquid products should be readily available to retailers who are carrying the product line. Although these toxicology reports are not cheap, by any means, can we really put a price tag on the health of consumers? Obviously, the question is rhetorical, yet I find myself frustrated that so few of the companies with whom I’m familiar are doing these things.

Finally, due diligence involves being compliant with current regulations and policies at both the state and federal levels. Childproof caps, shrink bands, and Prop 65 warnings are the obvious essentials, but I tend to favor doing business with companies who stay ahead of the regulatory curve. For instance, implementing labels that list exact percentages of raw ingredients, along with the flavor profile, is not only more informative and convenient, but also going above and beyond what is currently mandated by law. Purchasing a SFATA membership, or even subscribing to the free CASAA email newsletter, are great tools to gain more insight into how this industry will be regulated. Remember, it isn’t a question of if, but when and to what degree.

So, in summation, be vigilant, informed and smart in deciding to whom you will give your business.