e-Cigarette News Roundup 3-1 – Shoot first


Welcome to another Friday e-cigarette news roundup! This week featured a number of stories including some disturbing news out of Israel about a possible complete ban for 5 years. Also this week, the AP reported on the CDC publishing a study about increased e-cigarette awareness. That means you can look forward to a bunch of copycat stories and most likely some prohibitionist spin to go along with it. For now, sit back and catch up on this week’s e-cigarette news.

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AZ Central Reports on eCigs

AZ Central, the website of the Arizona Republic out of Phoenix ran a fairly lengthy article on e-cigarettes recently. While I spotted a few inaccuracies, the story was reasonably well rounded presenting both prohibitionist and pro sides of the debate. Hometown darling NJoy naturally got some ink as well.

Will Humble, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said e-cigarettes should be another option for smokers who want to quit.

“I’m a flat-out pragmatist,” Humble said. “If you are a smoker and you want to kick the habit, find a way. That might mean nicotine-replacement therapy, cold turkey or one of these things (e-cigarettes). I don’t have a problem with it.”

I’m somewhat amazed the state’s health chief is so enlightened about the devices. Apparently, drug lobbyists missed Arizona on their world tour.


Israel Considers 5-Year Complete e-Cigarette Ban

Talk about ban first and ask questions later. Israel is considering a 5-year ban on the import, manufacture and sale of electronic cigarettes. Before implementing the ban, the government will consult the public over the proposal. The country has taken a very hard-line and misinformed approach on the devices according to a recent news article on the ban.

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The ministry here has issued warnings against the use of ecigs, but nevertheless, their advertising, sale and use have skyrocketed. In 2010, the ministry decided to include, in the health services basket, a number of drugs and other proven technologies to help smokers quit, and these did not include e-cigs.

The ministry said that children have also been using them, and that a black market of e-cigs containing psychoactive substances that affect the brain has arisen.

The claims put forward about e-cigarettes and the alleged harm and lack of information is nothing short of a bald-faced lie. If you are a citizen of Israel, you should probably visit www.shituf.gov.il until March 25, 2013.


CDC Notes Rise in eCig Awareness

The Associated Press reported that the CDC has released information on a study it conducted around e-cigarette awareness and use. What should come as a surprise to no one is that both have spiked considerably in recent months. What also, unfortunately, come as no surprise is the accompanying cry for regulation of the devices.

CDC: Electronic cigarettes gaining awareness, use – SFGate
(AP) — Increased awareness and use of electronic cigarettes in the U.S. outlined in a study released Thursday highlights the need for government regulation and evaluation, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s office on smoking and health said. Nearly six in 10 adults in the U.S. are aware of the battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution and create vapor that users inhale, according the first study to assess the change in awareness and use of electronic cigarettes on a national level. [...] there’s regulatory authority and oversight, it’s going to be more difficult to be certainly reassuring around things like toxic effects. According to the results of a series of online surveys, the CDC reported that awareness of electronic cigarettes increased from 40 percent in 2010 to nearly 60 percent in 2011, and use among adults doubled to 6 percent during that time. First marketed overseas in 2002, e-cigarettes didn’t become easily available in the U.S. until late 2006.

Keep in mind this story was put out by the AP, so expect to see it everywhere, and I’m willing to guess we’ll see some serious prohibitionist spin around the subject as well.


eCig Business as College Job

The Baylor Lariat ran a story about a couple of juniors at the university who managed to start an e-cigarette company while in college. The company has netted over a million dollars since its founding. I suppose it beats cleaning trays at the student union.

“That’s when we were like, ‘OK, we can do this way better than what a lot of the competition, what the market provides,’” Islam said.

Waqar said his dad has always been involved in business, so they had connections with the distributors.

“We flew over to China where these were being manufactured and spoke to a manufacturer about getting our own design created,” Waqar said.

He said quality has always been the most important thing for them in their company.

“From A to Z, we hired several engineers,” Waqar said. “We worked with them day and night. We drafted a design where the quality would last compared to what was on the market already.”

Isn’t it odd that just about every e-cigarette company makes the claim that they custom engineer their stuff to be the best? If that were true, there really wouldn’t be commodity e-cigarettes around, would there?


Vaping on a Plane Clarified

Business Insider recently ran an article about the rules against using e-cigarettes on a plane. Apparently I’m not the only one who remembers the DOT was planning on passing a rule against vaping quite a while ago. Turns out, they never quite got around to it. Don’t worry, the airlines got you covered. Vaping is not allowed on any US airline according to their policies.

But when we asked the DOT if that official ban was ever issued, a spokesperson told us to ask the FAA. The FAA told us it allows U.S. air carriers to make their own policies regarding e-cigarettes, but that “Currently, U.S. air carriers do not allow them since they contradict the no smoking ban as well as produce a propylene glycol emission when smoked.

The author called every airline to find their policy. They each use different words to say the same thing. No! Of course it’s not a law, it’s a corporate policy, but not following policy on a flight is a good way to get hog-tied by the air marshal.

 

 


Cruise Critic Clears the Air on Vaping at Sea

As someone who enjoys cursing, this particular topic has always been of interest to me. Cruise lines seem to be less than forthcoming with information about vaping policies. A recent blog post on Cruise Critic shared some experiences with the subject. It seems that maybe even the cruise lines don’t quite know what’s up.

Should Electronic Cigarettes be Allowed on Cruise Ships?

I like the live-and-let-live attitude of Princess Cruises. The line’s policy says: “The use of electronic cigarettes is permitted in all areas onboard with the exception of dining areas and the Princess Theater. However, should a fellow passenger in the vicinity feel inconvenienced and complain, even after being told the difference between electronic cigarettes and real cigarettes, we will ask the passenger to refrain from smoking the electronic cigarette.”

P&O Cruises, too, seems relatively enlightened, stating: “We allow electronic cigarettes in non smoking areas, as long as they do not emit a ‘smoke like’ vapour, even though this vapour may only be harmless water mist.”

I particularly like that policy. Essentially, they approve of stealth vaping.  How in the world would they know if you’re vaping or not?


Volcano eCigs Cleans up Beaches

Volcano eCigs put out a press release about their partnership with the Surfrider foundation to clean up Hawaiian beaches. The event will be held on March 30th on Kakaako Waterfront Beach. The company will donate money to the foundation for every butt that’s picked up.

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 “We are pleased to bring awareness to this issue on the beaches not only of Hawaii but worldwide,” explained Cory Smith, owner and CEO of VOLCANO Fine Electronic Cigarettes. “Our electronic cigarettes can end this issue easily because our e-cigs do not have butt discard which pollutes our environment. We applaud the Surfrider Foundation and happily donate to their cause of protecting our coastal areas.”

Granted, this is a promotional effort. But, who wants to go to the beach in Hawaii and find trash everywhere. Enlightened self interest isn’t necessarily a bad thing. That’s why it’s called enlightened.


St. Paul Kicks Vaping Ban Can Down the Road

St. Paul Minnesota is among many localities mulling including e-cigarettes in their nonsmoking policies. Like many places, St. Paul simply doesn’t know what to make of the new devices. Unlike many places, however, the city opted to wait on any action rather than doing something drastic out of fear of the unknown.

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The St. Paul City Council has decided to take a deep breath before it regulates electronic cigarettes.

The council today delayed a scheduled vote on an ordinance that would add e-cigarettes to the list of tobacco products regulated by the city.

“Whenever we do something really new, we should make sure that we are getting the outcome that we expect,” Council President Kathy Lantry said.

Naturally, the local prohibitionists are less than thrilled and would prefer a ban first and ask questions later approach. Could you imagine if the world took that approach with every product? We’d still be living in trees or something.


NJoy Hires New Agency

According to a recent press release, Horizon Media will now be handling all the marketing, advertising and social media duties for e-cigarette maker NJoy.  Horizon was chosen because it will use multiple fronts to get the word out about the electronic cigarette company.

njoynew 150x150 image “The key to driving demand for all our clients, and for NJOY in particular, lies in our ability to enhance consumer engagement with the brand and the product,” said Bill Koenigsberg, Horizon Media President, CEO and Founder. “NJOY needs not only to intrigue and educate people about the product, but they also have to change behavior and habits that are highly engrained. NJOY recognized that Horizon was the ideal partner the moment they saw that our entire communications process has been designed to create and nurture these richer, more rewarding relationships with consumers. NJOY is a fascinating product and we look forward to firmly establishing the brand as the modern alternative to traditional cigarettes,” said Koenigsberg.

I’m sure we’ll all get a chance to say hello to the Horizon Media folks once they start manning the company’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. Horizon was also behind some pretty high profile campaigns including Google’s 2011 Superbowl ad. This could spell some interesting times for e-cigarettes.


PA Fox Affiliate Debates eCig Safety

Fox 43 out of central Pennsylvania recently aired a piece about electronic cigarettes. The segment included mention of the local vaper’s club as well as the head of the local smoking cessation program who said they couldn’t recommend e-cigarettes because of the “unknowns.” That statement was counter-balanced with CASAA’s own Dr. Carl V. Phillips.

Phillips said about a dozen studies have found e-cigarettes do not carry significant risks for users.

“Yes, there are trace amounts of harmful chemicals to be found in the liquid or the vapor. And by trace, I mean tiny,” Phillips said. “And you know what? There are trace amounts of harmful chemicals to be found in an apple, to be found in the air.”

If you haven’t already checked out and donated to CASAA’s research fund, you might want to look into it. Aggregating research is just one of the many things we can get done to offset some of the prohibitionist tactics surrounding e-cigarettes. The sooner, the better.


New Tobacco Sheriff in FDA Town

The FDA recently appointed a new chief over the agency’s center for tobacco products. Dr. Lawrence Deyton has a lengthy career that includes posts at Tobacco Free Kids and most recently as a company serving as an adviser to GlaxoSmithKline, maker of Nicorette. As you might imagine, this is more than a little unsettling. Dr. Siegel called the move a blatant conflict of interest.

The conflict of interest is particularly inappropriate because one of the very first orders of business of the Center for Tobacco Products under Zeller’s leadership will be promulgating regulations for the products that will compete with pharmaceuticals for the smoking cessation market: namely, electronic cigarettes and some other alternative nicotine-delivery devices. These regulations will have a major impact on the profits of GlaxoSmithKline, the top seller of nicotine replacement drugs and what appears to be the primary (if only) pharmaceutical company for which Zeller did consulting work.

As an interesting side note, the FDA authenticated a 2009 letter from doctors and researchers at the FDA that accused the agency of favoring the pharma industry.  I’m sure that has nothing to do with this appointment.


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About Steve K

Hello and welcome to Steve K’s Vaping World. I’m Steve K, Chief Vaper and your guide to SKVW. This site launched officially on June 1st, 2011 and has been gaining ground ever since. It is my mission to serve up electronic cigarette news commentary, honest and unbiased e-cigarette reviews as well as informative and entertaining articles relating to all things e-cigarette.

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