Welcome to yet another e-cigarette news roundup! I apologize for missing Monday's roundup, but there weren't enough stories on the board to justify doing a whole roundup. This time around is another story. Apparently everyone was saving up for after the Super Bowl. Our lead story, obscure e-cigarette brand Green Nicotine attempts to pull the rug out from the entire vaping industry in an apparent attempt to save itself. After you get through with that, there's plenty more for your edification! So sit down, buckle up and hold on! Here's the e-cigarette news!
Green Nicotine Attempts to Throw an Industry under the Bus
I've been noticing some of the more traditional e-cigarette vendors jockeying for position in a post-regulation world. However, Green Nicotine takes the cake. The company released a rather cynical press release touting it's uninspired line of products as doing their part to keep e-cigs out of young hands. The company essentially alluded that any company that dares to sell flavors that don't taste like an ash tray must be targeting kids.
“A real smoker doesn't want a strawberry flavored substitute. Smokers want a product that tastes like the real thing. Any e-cig company, including Green Nicotine, has the technology to produce flavors that appeal to everyone. We have specifically chosen not to do that. Fruit flavors do nothing but promote the recruitment of non-smokers and minors,” said Schoepflin.
You know what? They're right. Thanks to e-cigarettes, and the fact they actually can taste good, I'm NOT a real smoker any more. But seriously, that type of irresponsible hyperbole is exactly why we're in the shape we are today. Too many vendors are so focused on preserving their own interests they are willing to sacrifice the entire industry, and their own self-interests in the process. I've actually been planning to write a dedicated piece on some of the things I've been seeing in the tea leaves recently, so be on the lookout for that.
Via @GregCASAA and @JustJulieMO
CASAA Call To Action in Hawaii
CASAA has issued a formal call to action for Hawaii. As I reported earlier, the state is considering a tax on e-cigarettes (every component) at an outlandish 70%. Previously, the state House was the only body considering the measure. According to the CASAA action, the state senate is also in on the action now, with hearings to commence today, February 8th.
Identical bills have been introduced to both the House of Representatives (HB2557) and the Senate (SB2819). The House bill has been referred to the House Health Committee and House Committee on Finance, and the Senate bill to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. The Senate Ways and Means Committee will hold a public hearing on SB2819 on Wednesday, February 8th at 9am. Public testimony may be allowed from attendees wishing to speak. We strongly encourage local electronic cigarette users to attend the meeting. If you would like assistance with what to say, please contact us at [email protected]
If you live in the Aloha state and you happen to catch this update before the hearing (it does come out pretty early in Hawaii) please jump on this one if you can! Most of the victories e-cigarettes have enjoyed in the political arena have been because ordinary citizens have spoken out. While we're on the subject of CASAA, if you're passionate about e-cigarettes and want to be even more involved, the organization is seeking board members.
UK e-Cigarette Vendor Offers Prepaid Recycling
Nicolites put out a press release about their new recycling program. Government regulations encourage if not require vendors to provide a way for consumers to recycle unwanted electronics. The e-cigarette company is now providing pre-paid envelopes to make returning old gear a little bit easier.
“We have offered a service whereby consumers can return unwanted or faulty electronic cigarettes or electric cigarette accessories since day one, but we feel that more should be done to ensure our customers are aware of this and more importantly that it doesn't inconvenience them to do so. Therefore we now offer to send any customer who wishes to return their e cigarette a pre-paid envelope in which they can send back their parts”.
I hope that more companies across the world offer programs like this. This may be more important now that disposable e-cigarettes are starting to gain some real traction in the market. Those old batteries need to go somewhere.
e-Cigs Offilically Legit in North Myrtle Beach
I reported previously that North Myrtle Beach was removing e-cigarettes from its smoking ban. According to this post on WMBF the ordinance has passed its second reading and will be in effect in 30 days. e-Cigarettes are exempted from the new rules.
An ordinance to ban smoking in the City of North Myrtle Beach passed a second reading before City Council Monday night.
An amended ordinance, that removed any mention of e-cigarettes, passed a vote by the City Council in North Myrtle Beach.
During it's first reading in January, the ordinance received a split vote with Mayor Hatley casting the receiving vote in favor of the ban.
If I had some sort of award to give out for common sense, I'd be glad to give it to the city council. It seems they actually listened to the evidence supporting e-cigarettes and acted on facts, not emotion. Enjoy your vape, North Myrtle Beach.
Utah Hookah Bar Gets Reprieve, e-Cigarettes Get Uncertainty
Utah is currently looking to roll e-cigarettes and other things such as hookahs into the state's smoking ban. An article in the Salt Lake Tribune reveals that the owner of the hookah bar that testified recently has struck a back-room deal with state lawmakers to get at least a five year reprieve from whatever law transpires. A smaller, and less well-funded e-cigarette seller, ElectroNicStix so far
hasn't paid for been able to negotiate such a reprieve.
While Porter is on board with the new bill, Jason Cornfeld, who owns ElectronicStix, an E-cigarette shop in Ogden that opened in 2008, said it would be a blow to his business.
“I’m not really OK with it,” he said. “I’ll go down there when they go before the committee and still fight.”
The house committee has pushed the date for this hearing from last week. A new date so far hasn't been announced. Now that the bill's most vocal opponent has been mollified, I imagine the proceedings will happen sooner rather than later.
Article Sign of Things to Come?
Convenience store industry site CSNnet ran a profile piece on e-cigarette brand nJoy recently. The story isn't that remarkable, another industry piece on how e-cigarettes are gaining traction. However, nJoy is making some moves to brace for what it believes to be immanent FDA moves on the e-cigarette industry.
Most of those points are fairly common sense. However, bullet 3 really bothers me. I find this all the more disturbing because nJoy has actually been in talks with the FDA while the agency is trying to figure out what to do about the e-cigarette threat to established tobacco and pharmecutical interests. nJoy is probably in a very good position to know what regulations will be coming down the pike.
According to Tulsa World, the governor has issued an executive order banning tobacco from all state property. Notice I didn't say smoking. The order includes both cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. While not explicitly mentioned, e-cigarettes likely fall under the smokeless category.
“Healthy living is important, not just because we want Oklahomans to live full and happy lives, but because the effects of unhealthy life choices hurt our economy, drain taxpayer dollars and drive up the cost of health care for everyone,” Fallin said
In this case there's no legislature involvement necessary to pass an executive order. It should be noted that this isn't a state-wide ban, but a limit within state property. However, it does show where the state stands on reduced harm alternatives to cigarettes.
Last Ditch Effort in Saugus
Saugus is planning on adding to its ban electronic cigarettes. The board of health heard testimony from the public including Karen Carey, a member of the CASAA board. Unfortunately, it appears that the board of health isn't as interested in protecting the public from harm as abolishing nicotine.
“I can appreciate your passion,” said Vinard. “But it’s nicotine and nicotine is addictive and it causes addictive personalities. We have a ban in this community that while I’m around … the ban will not be lifted for any nicotine products or smoking.
I'm not normally one to scream “nanny state” (really!) but that seems like stepping a tad over the line, doesn't it? To be honest I thought the Saugus thing was a done deal already. It apparently is in all but the formalities.
Deal of the Moment
Don't you hate it when you buy a shiny new mod and then have to buy batteries for it? Our friends over at Vapor Alley are giving away a pair of 3v batteries with select versions of their popular Copper e-cigarette mods (here's my Copper Hex review). To get in on the deal, hit the Copper Mods section, versions that include the batteries will say so in the description. You don't need to do anything special, just buy the mod and they'll send some batteries along with it.
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