Welcome back to the e-cigarette news roundup. We're back to the regular format after Friday's Special Report. Today's roundup does feature one follow-up on that story, but the lead story is California appears to be putting the hammer down on e-cigarette vendors based in that state. Also in this update, e-cigarette ban news and the Royal Collage is featured in a story about a company banning e-cigarette use. Get ready, because here comes the e-cigarette news!
It turns out the California Attorney General's office has been taking an aggressive stance with e-cigarette vendors based in that state. A recently aired podcast featured an interview with the owner of Firebrand e-cigarettes. The company was apparently threatened with legal action by the state AG for not taking enough precautions to safeguard e-cigarette sales to minors. The company did have age verification in place, but it apparently was not sufficiently robust.
However, the more troubling part of this story is that they were also forced to stop selling flavored e-liquid in California within 30 days, and to stop selling it nationwide within 90. The company has elected to agree with the terms and not incurring the significant cost of a legal battle.
It turns out that other vendors including nJoy and Greensmoke have had similar letters and have also agreed to stop selling flavors in the state.
There's a post on ECF started by CASAA members about the subject. In the thread, there seems to be doubt whether or not e-liquid flavors are actually part of California's law forbidding e-cigarette sales to minors. The thought is that the AG is, however, applying the flavored cigarette law in these cases.
It seems to me that the state of California appears to be bullying e-cigarette companies into an agenda that isn't backed up by actual law. The problem is, very few companies have the resources to take on a well-funded operation like a state attorney general. The companies that do have the resources would rather write off flavors.
Big Brad e-Cigarettes Take a Stand (way back)
Several well-known e-cigarette companies, in light of the recent e-cigarette explosion in Florida and rampant speculation that the victim was using an e-cigarette mod. blu Cigs and V2 among other companies issued statements clarifying that their e-cigarettes were not like mods. That's perfectly understandable in the midst of something that could be a huge PR nightmare for the industry. There are, however, assumptions made in these statements that I take an exception to. The most over-the-top comes from blu Cigs:
‘Mods’ are exactly what they sound like – e-cigs that have been modified in some way from their original form. ‘Mods’ are typically not produced by knowledgeable manufacturers or people with the required know-how to ensure safety. Quite often these products use homemade components that are not designed to be used together, many of which have not been certified or tested to proper standards in their finished form.
It seems like blu is taking advantage of a common misnomer in the e-cigarette industry. Most “mod” devices these days are built from the ground up as e-cigarettes. Many are now produced by the same companies that produce mini e-cigarettes like blu's (and probably the same factory in some cases). To say most mod manufacturers are not knowledgable is in my eyes damn near a bald-faced lie. More to the point, a lot of assumptions made not only by blu in the name of pointing the finger are still unfounded.
To be honest I am a bit disappointed in blu specifically, after their refreshingly enlightened stances on regulation and support of CASAA. I understand you have to ease the fears of your consumers, but to resort to finger-pointing before customer safety is bad form. I wonder what these companies will do if it turns out the victim was actually using a stick-style e-cigarette after all. Let's not forget the batteries found on the scene are also used in digital cameras, and the victim is a photographer.
Seneca County Planning e-Cigarette Ban
In a brief blurb in the Finger Lakes Times (subscription required) it was mentioned Seneca county in New York is planning on unleashing a full e-cigarette ban on all county property. The county already prevents employees from using safer smoking alternatives. Apparently it will enforce the same will on regular citizens as well.
The board’s Government Operations Committee voted 4-1 Tuesday to establish a policy that prohibits county employees from smoking electronic cigarettes — or e-cigarettes — at their work stations, in break rooms or anywhere on county property.
I'm not sure if there's any more information behind the paywall on that site or not. Mostly I wonder if cigarettes have the same county property restriction since it wasn't mentioned in the blurb.
Scotland Firm Bans e-Cigs, Medical Experts Chime in
According to a report in Deadline, one of the largest firms in Scotland has banned e-cigarettes. The company essentially took a stance against appearing to allow people to smoke and normalizing nicotine use. What makes this story different from the typical fare found in US outlets is the quote in the article from a medical expert.
Prof John Britton, chairman of the Royal College of Physicians Tobacco Advisory Group, said that e-cigarettes had the potential to save millions of lives.
He said: “The likelihood is that smoking electronic cigarettes is better than smoking tobacco.
“Electronic cigarettes have the potential to save lives. The concept of nicotine replacement is powerful and good.”
The Royal College has gone on record before as generally supporting e-cigarettes as a practical life-saving alternative to smoking. Pay particular attention to the fact he didn't say that e-cigarettes were 100% safe or any of the other unreasonable burdens placed on e-cigarettes here in the US by prohibitionists. Quite refreshing.
Get your Kicks
What's a news report without a bad pun or two? Nhaler announced via a YouTube video that the much anticipated Kick will be available for general sale some time next week. The Kick is made by Evolv, the same people who make the Darwin. The kick is a simple drop-in circuit board that, like the Darwin, allows you to select your wattage rather than voltage.
I plan on getting my paws on one of these as soon as possible to give it a proper review, Steve K style! Until then, take a look at the video to see how it works.
Deal of the Moment
In light of certain vendors attempting to cast doubt on the safety of what they call Mods, why not buy a Lavatube? You can save 10% over at Volcano Ecigs with discount code volcanoAFFC10 (one use per customer.) You could also pickup a shiny new ProVari V2, but I don't have any coupons for that one (click here to shop ProVari anyway).
Be a news spotter! Run across an article you think I should be mentioning here? Let me know! Just Tweet @SteveVape with the hashtag #ecignews or post it up on my Facebook page. I’ll be sure to give you a shout out in the news update if you’re the first one to spot it
Stock photos via MorgueFile