As expected FDA harsh e-cig regulations have raised tempers and vapers in America are not taking this lying down. Vapers and vape entrepreneurs are now turning to activism to voice their concerns about these draconian e-cig regulations. Let’s take a look at this and other news that made headlines this week
Harsh Regulations Have Turned Vapers into Activists
As the ongoing vape debate continues vape activists have come up to protest the deeming e-cig regulations. Vapers and vape businesses alike have now turned to activism as a way to voice their concerns and lobby for better vape legislation. An article published this week by Motherboard features one such activist.
Cheryl Richter, managed to quit smoking after smoking a pack of traditional cigarettes a day for 30 years after she started vaping. She then took her love for vaping and turned it into a business. She now co-owns a retail shop in Port Chester, New York, called Vape Den, as well as runs a wholesale online business with her friend and business partner Chris Mikovits.
After the new FDA vape regulations, Richter said that every e-liquid she makes and sells, every flavor, size, and nicotine level in her shop would need to be approved for sale. This means approving 75 flavors at six different milligram levels, with cost estimates ranging from hundreds of thousands to over $1 million per application. She doubts her business will survive the costly proposed measures. Richter has turned to advocacy and she and other members of the vaping community, meet at her shop, to discuss a way forward.
We feel vulnerable almost, we feel that we’re in a fight, so that kind of bonds the community as well.
Read the rest of her story on Motherboard.
Vaping Lawsuits Against The FDA Piling Up
Vaping lawsuits against the FDA are piling up and many more companies and groups are expected to join existing lawsuits or launch more of their own lawsuits. Nicopure was the first company to file a suit against the FDA new e-cig regulations. Nicopure is the maker of the famous Halo eCig vape juice and eVo e-liquid lines. The lawsuit asserts that the the FDA is failing in how they are defining tobacco products. The company also claims that the new law has arbitrary elements and do not properly account for the burdens of businesses imposed by the pre-market approval process required.
The second company to file suit John Middleton Co. who want to use the word “mild” in describing their products. The FDA claims that the word mild implies a modified risk while the company claims that mild is more of an indicator of flavor. There many other companies with suits in court. Read about them on Electronic Cigarette Consumer Reviews.
Hello vapers! As vaping bans keep getting effected all over the world, hospitals in Nottingham have decided to take an opposite turn and instead have decided to lift an existing vaping ban. In other news, smoking rates in the US experience the highest drop in 20 years. Check out our updates for details on this exciting news.
Nottingham hospitals become first in England to lift vaping ban
Hospital bosses in Nottingham gave vaping the green light after lifting a blanket vaping ban. Nottingham University Hospitals NHS trust, which runs the Queen Medical Centre and City Hospital in Nottingham, became the first NHS Hospital Trust in England to allow vaping outside its buildings. This came after a Public Health England Evidence Review concluded that e-cigarettes were 95% safer than traditional cigarettes.
Until now, there was a vaping ban preventing the use of e-cigarettes on hospital grounds just as all forms of tobacco are prohibited. Patients will now be allowed to use e-cigarettes outside hospitals but not in buildings after the vaping ban was lifted. The new smoking policy, approved last month, also commits the Trust to promote stop smoking services for patients and staff.
We have a duty to help our patients and staff make healthy life choices, and can’t ignore the potential benefits of electronic cigarettes as a nicotine replacement therapy. We’re now allowing e-cigarettes on our grounds to give our patients, staff and visitors more choice in how they quit smoking.
Dr Stephen Fowlie, medical director at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust said.
Read more on Nottingham Post.
PA PICTURE on mediapoint wire feed
US smoking rates see biggest decline in more than 20 years
Smoking rates among adults in the U.S. fell to 15 percent last year making it the biggest one-year decline in more than 20 years. According to a new government report, the rate fell 2 percentage points from 2014, when about 17 percent of adults in a large national survey said they had recently smoked. The smoking rate has been falling for decades, but it usually drops only 1 point or less in a year, last year however saw a 2 points drop.
The closest big decline was between 1992 to 1993, when the smoking rate fell 1.5 percentage points. Smoking is the nation’s leading cause of preventable illness, causing more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States, the CDC estimates.
More details on CNBC.
With summer basically here, it’s time to review some storage best practices for vape juice and e-cigarettes. Summer is a great time to travel, but temperatures can quickly rise inside a car, putting both your e-liquid and batteries at risk. Here’s what you need to know.
Vape Juice Storage Tips
Although it takes relatively high temperatures (200-300+ degrees Fahrenheit) to evaporate e-liquids, they can start to break down at temperatures as low as 105 F. Because of this, it’s not recommended to leave vape juice bottles anywhere in your car or let them sit in the mailbox during the day.
On a relatively cool day (76 F), the temperature inside these enclosed spaces can quickly reach 116 F, which can cause the vape juice ingredients to separate, become cloudy, and change the smell/flavor. It’s also a bad idea to leave your vape juice bottles in direct sunlight, as they can get even hotter.
Instead, store vape juice bottles in a cool, dry place when not in use. When bringing them along on a road trip, keep them in an insulated container like a cooler or thermos. This will ensure the flavor, consistency, and viscosity isn’t degraded, which can ruin your vaping experience and possibly even the equipment.
E-Cigarette Battery Storage
Most e-cigarettes are powered by a lithium ion battery. From 70 F to 104 F, the self-discharge rate of a lithium ion battery nearly doubles from 8% to 15%. In addition, at higher temperatures, these batteries can overheat, short circuit, and catch fire.
Like vape juice, it’s not recommended to store e-cigarettes in your car (even the glove box or under your seat) or expose them to direct sunlight for extended periods.
When traveling, store e-cigarettes with your e-juice in an insulated container and bring them with you when you leave your car to avoid any hazards or performance degradation.
Vaping is a popular alternative to smoking because of the decreased risks of inhaling carcinogens, but safety is still required. Be mindful of where you leave your e-juice and e-cigarette to avoid ruining the products and possibly causing a fire.
The vaping world is all too familiar with clouds, and to most of us, the heavier the better. But if (eventually) the FDA gets its way, May 5, 2016 will go down as one that cast a heavy dark cloud on the vape universe. And no, this wasn’t from the VG. This was different. This was ominous. May be nimbus.
For it is on that day that an omnibus bill that will change the vape industry as we know it came into effect. For the sake of those who don’t know what an omnibus bill entails, allow me. Basically it is a proposed law that spans a wide range of diverse and practically unrelated topics. It’s usually passed into law with a single vote, bundling multiple proposals into one.
The downside with such a law is that the sheer size and scope of the bills contained makes it extremely difficult for people to scrutinize and debate the information within them. It is for this reason you’ll find time and again many arguing against the constitutionality of such a bill; and this is no different.
So, what has this got to do with you as a vaper?
Finally, the New Vaping Regulations are Here
Well, on that fifth day of May, the FDA released a 499-page document spelling out the new regulations imposed on the e-cigarette industry.
As things stand, e-cigarettes and vapor products (this includes everything from e-juice to atomizers to vape tanks) have been reclassified as tobacco products and will be regulated by government in the same way it does traditional cigarettes. This will also cover pipe tobacco, hookahs, premium cigars and little cigars, and other products.
That means they can neither be marketed to minors under the age of 18 years, nor can they be used in places like restaurants, bars, theaters and other locations that forbid smoking.
But that’s not the big issue here. In fact, some habits like vaping in public spaces with little regard to those around you have caused vaping a bad name, and if you’re like most of us, it’s certainly something you can’t defend. The same goes for selling vape products to minors.
Under the new vaping regulations, every vaping product will now need to be registered through a costly, time-consuming process called a PMTA (Premarket Tobacco Application) that will cost companies millions. Yes, including the thousands of small businesses where you source your juice from.
The new vaping regulations will not affect any e-cigarette or vaping product (juice or hardware) that was on the market as of February 15, 2007. But anything that came after has to undergo a prolonged and expensive process to ascertain that it doesn’t have more risk to it than a product that was on the market pre-2007.
Sounds like a lot of blabber, I know, but in other words, devices made after that time have to prove they are not dangerous, while the ones that came before do not.
Of course, no one is saying proving vape products (the devices and e-liquid) are not dangerous is a bad thing. As at now, however, what’s clear is that it’s been proven to be less harmful than smoking – by both sides of the divide, mind you. But if you’ve been in the habit for long, you will know that simply doesn’t cut it in some quarters – studies or not.
And now to that age issue…
California has a New Minimum Smoking Age
California governor Jerry Brown – the one whose re-election was almost solely funded by the Altria Group – has signed another pack of new vaping regulations whose highlights include raising the smoking age from 18 to 21 years and restricting the use of e-cigs in public places; public schools are also officially no smoking zones now.
This comes in the wake of the reclassification of e-cigarettes as tobacco, with bill author Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) arguing that ‘vaping devices are aggressively marketed to young people with candy flavors [that appeal to them] such as bubble gum’. He based his argument on a 2015 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which established the rate of e-cigarette use among high school students to have tripled between 2013 and 2014.
Source: Los Angeles Times
Just so you know, of all states in the US, California is the only mainland state to raise the ‘smoking’ age to 21 (save for Hawaii across the pond). The second highest have it capped at 19 years of age, including Utah, Alaska and New Jersey.
State Senator Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) proposed the age bill citing a need to stem adolescent addiction and ‘save lives’ as his motivation, with the state putting up ‘a united front against Big Tobacco’.
We agree with his point to save lives, without a doubt. Everyone knows cigarettes kill. It’s the reason we switched to vaping in the first place.
Speaking of Big Tobacco…
A Win for Big Tobacco
Casting an eye into the future, Big Tobacco seems to be the winner. They may look like a victim from an outsider’s point of view (with Mr Brown’s antics and all) but this is just a smokescreen. It’s a world of fine lines we live in today.
Look at all those companies who made vape products before 2007. They have all been purchased by the big tobacco companies (the establishment), meaning it’s business as usual for them. Unlike everyone else who will be party to this draconian bill.
But with an industry that generated $3.5 billion in 2015 alone, it’s easy to see why. The Order always wins.
Job Loss, Costly Lifestyle and the Butterfly Effect
It seems some people just couldn’t wait for these bills to get passed because apparently, the bills touching on smoking (vaping is in this category too now) are expected to take effect on June 9; unlike all the others that become active on January 1, 2017.
For well moneyed entities like Big Tobacco, complying with these new vaping regulations won’t take much, and probably a bunch of the other larger vaping companies as well. But the same cannot be said of the thousands of vape shops in the country who make up the bulk of the industry; those shops whose sole business is selling their own custom e-liquid.
Based on how this law is drafted, every company would have to present an application for approval for every single e-liquid flavor they produce and intend to produce in the future. Going by estimates from the FDA, the PMTA process will require 1,500 hours per product.
That’s right, one thousand five hundred hours for every flavor and every nicotine level of e-liquid. In addition, FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products director Mitch Zeller says the process will also cost ‘several hundred thousand’ dollars per individual application. Which at the end of the day will mean more expensive e-liquid as this cost trickles down to the consumer.
You can guess what the butterfly effect of all this is likely to be.
For one, a good deal of those who made the choice to quit, or switch rather, are likely to turn back to their old ways. Second, an underground market for e-liquid similar to the days of prohibition will emerge. This is a discussion you’ve probably come across in the online vaping community as regulation became imminent.
The emphasis on e-liquid you see here as opposed to the hardware is because they are the reason these controversies erupted in the first place.
But even the mod market won’t be spared either. Companies that sell all the separate hardware you use to build your mods will need to register all the individual parts, with regulation even hinting at building closed-system models that don’t allow for customization.
The new vaping regulations bring dark days indeed. But unless I’m not from around here, I can’t foresee a world where vapers will play subservient and tow this line. If the black market for guns and drugs (online or otherwise) has been thriving for decades with little regard for the law, I don’t see why e-liquid and vape hardware will not.
After all, last time I checked, almost all atomizer and mod creators are located overseas, and particularly in Asia. Of course, the new vaping regulations in the United States will have a reverberating effect on their business. Naturally, they can (and will) peddle their wares to other countries which also have their own regulations, but so far not as stringent as the ones being implemented in the United States, the Land of the Free. Oh, the irony.
And considering most of the good e-liquids come from companies in the US, those countries too are likely to feel the heat, no doubt.
But where does that leave Big Tobacco? They’ll be cashing virtually all the cheques that come to the United States.
It would be terrible and such a shame if an industry that’s been built by the end consumer who made the conscious decision to quit tobacco for a healthier lifestyle is thrown to the same group whom we avoided in the first place. At the expense of thousands of average folks like you and I whom they care little about because they don’t want to share a piece of the profit.
As they say around here, the industry will be thrown to the dogs.
It’s the last thing we want to say about vaping.
So, what can we do about these new vaping regulations? Here are some links to get you started:
Petition to the white House: Needs 42,191 signatures by June 4, 2016
Message to your Representative: Send a message to your Representative
Message to the Attorney General: Send a message to your state Attorney General
Tell your Story: Share your story with CASAA as part of their ‘Testimonial Project’
It’s indeed a sad end of week for vape enthusiasts in the US following the new FDA e-cigarette rule to treat e-cigarettes like tobacco products. This new rule will greatly affect the vaping industry. Read on to find out about the new regulation.
Feds announce much tougher e-cigarette, cigar rule
A new FDA e-cigarette rule was put into place on May 5th announcing that electronic cigarettes will now be regulated much like tobacco cigarettes. The sale of vaping products was also banned. The new rule will now require U.S. FDA to approve all tobacco products not currently regulated that hit stores after February 2007. The Tobacco Control Act of 2009 sets Feb. 15, 2007, as the latest date by which all tobacco products would have to have to be grandfathered in.
The new regulation will also affect premium, hand-rolled cigars, as well as hookah and pipe tobacco. The FDA officials have termed this new regulation as “historic” and will prohibit selling “covered tobacco products” to people younger than 18, and buyers must show photo ID. Manufacturers of vape products will also be required to display health warnings on cigarette tobacco, roll-your own tobacco, and covered tobacco product packages and in advertisements. The new rule has also banned free samples and the sale of covered products in vending machines not located in adult-only facilities.
Read more on this sad news on the USA Today.
(Photo: Ron Johnson, AP)
Why is the government out to destroy vaping?
E-cigarettes were introduced into the market with the aim of assisting smokers quit. The vaping devices are believed to reduce harm from smoking by 95%. Unfortunately, unlike other value added products, e-cigarettes have received negative appreciation from various corners, especially by various governments around the world. The reaction has been silence at times, outright suppression at others. There have been plenty of lies to accompany this bizarre smear campaign.
Despite studies such as a recent one by the Britain’s Royal College of Physicians that found that if smokers switched to e-cigarettes, it would “prevent almost all of the harm from smoking,” e-cigarettes are still being opposed. Instead of pretending vaping is nearly as dangerous as smoking, those against it should tell the truth. What the critics need to understand is that if regulation “makes e-cigarettes less easily accessible, less palatable or acceptable, more expensive, less consumer friendly or pharmacologically less effective, or inhibits innovation and development of new and improved products, then it causes harm by perpetuating smoking.”
Check out the rest of the opinion piece on The New York Post.