Your Complete Guide to Vape Meets in 2014

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Monday 14 April 2014 11:54 am

The social side of vaping is one of the best, and possibly most important parts, whether you’re vaping solely for smoking cessation or if you’ve embraced vaping as a hobby. But sometimes small brick-and-mortar shops and online groups aren’t enough and are too limited. What’s a vaper to do?

Head to a vape meet, of course.

Your Complete Guide to Vape Meets in 2014In larger areas, there are regular vape meets hosted by brick-and-mortar lounges that serve to bring the local vape community together. After all, in a city, just because there’s a lot of vapers that regularly visit a given shop, that doesn’t mean that the vapers end up interacting with each other regularly. Sometimes it’s for special events like launch parties, and sometimes it’s just to cut loose and party. To participate in these, keep your ears open and your eyes on the area shops’ social media outlets – word of mouth or a Facebook post may be the only way you hear about them.

Of course, that’s not the only kind of vape meet in the world. There are bigger ones! Annually! Nationwide! These are closer to conventions and trade shows than lounge parties, with official dates announced in advance, hotel or convention center space, sponsors and vendors, and a full schedule of events. Just this past weekend the third Annual Vape Bash was held in Chicago. Vapers from around the nation made the trip to the Windy City to meet, greet, try new products and of course vape.

If you were not able to make it Vape Bash but wish that you had, here’s a short list of annual ones you may be interested in:

There’s a few other annual events that haven’t listed 2014 dates yet. Keep an eye on them, they’ll probably update soon. Any of these events will make for a great weekend trip.

So as you can see, it doesn’t matter where you are. There’s always going to be a vape meet somewhere near you! Don’t be shy. Head on out and say hello, because we can guarantee that the vendors, e-liquid mixologists, and vapers alike will be glad to see you. It’s a fun, friendly atmosphere to share tips and tricks, find new flavors, and see the latest developments in e-cigarette tech.

Just keep in mind – The meets can have age restrictions.

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New York City Vapers File Suit to Challenge Electronic Cigarette Ban

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Friday 4 April 2014 11:25 am

Before leaving office, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg championed a law that would treat electronic cigarettes like tobacco smoke under the city’s “Smoke Free Air Act.”  The law, which the city council passed in a 43-8 vote, prohibits electronic cigarette use in public places like bars, subways and parks. REcently a group have dedicated vapers have joined together to challenge New York City’s e cig ban in court.

New York City Vapers File Suit to Challenge Electronic Cigarette BanProponents of the law argue that electronic cigarettes “normalize” smoking because many people can’t tell the difference between tobacco cigarettes and electronic cigarettes. Robin Vitale, speaking for the American Heart Association, commented, “This mimicry of traditional cigarettes, if used indoors where smoking is banned, can easily lead to confusion and confrontation by New York business owners. The potential for this dynamic to weaken the city’s decade-long ban on smoking in workplaces is quite clear and is the greatest motivating factor to support this proposal.”

Though opponents of the ban weren’t able to prevent its passage by the NY city council, they’re taking their fight to the judicial system. In a complaint filed in State Supreme Court Tuesday, smokers’ rights group NYC Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment, (NYC-C.L.A.S.H.) contend that the e-cigarette ban violates the “one subject” rule of the city charter.

New York’s constitution states that laws must address only one subject, and that that subject must be reflected in the law’s title.

CLASH argues that electronic cigarettes produce vapor, not smoke, and are therefore a “second subject” of the city’s “Smoke Free Air Act.”

The complaint has three clauses of action. Initially, CLASH asks the court to declare that the law is unconstitutional because it adds a second subject to the SFAA. Next, CLASH seeks to have the court rule that the law cannot be implemented due to the fact it is unconstitutional. Finally, CLASH is asking the court to permanently enjoin the Defendants from implementing or enforcing the law.

While it may seem like a semantic argument, it does underscore a major contention of the pro-vaping community. Namely, that while electronic cigarettes may mimic certain elements of traditional tobacco cigarettes, their ingredients and mechanism of action are radically different.

Russ Wishtart, a vaping advocate, joined CLASH in filing the suit. Mr. Wishtart contends that the vaping ban was tacked on to the smoking ban in order to make it easier to pass, avoiding the debate over health impacts and electronic cigarette’s potential as smoking cessation aids.

While opponents of electronic cigarettes argue that they are a “gateway” product that normalizes smoking and could lead to smoking tobacco cigarettes, proponents argue that electronic cigarettes are an extremely effective smoking cessation aid.

Currently, electronic cigarettes are not regulated by the FDA, though the agency is expected to release regulation recommendations later this year.

In the absence of federal regulation or definitive scientific studies, the two sides in the electronic cigarettes debate continue to clash at the local level as more cities follow New York’s example and move to prohibit electronic cigarettes.

For now, all eyes are turned to New York’s State Supreme Court. Its ruling will be the first major judicial opinion on the subject of electronic cigarettes, and will likely influence other legal opinions.

The State Supreme Court has yet to set a date for arguments.

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European Union Approves New Laws & Limitations for Electronic Cigarettes

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Wednesday 26 February 2014 4:27 pm

Over the past several months concerned vapers around the globe have been tuning in to developments in the regulation of electronic cigarettes throughout the European Union. Many vapers have referred to the proposed laws as a ban, while a portion of politicians and public health advocates have stressed that rules are needed for public safety. Today, the European Parliament held a vote that will advance electronic cigarette regulation throughout Europe into it’ next phase. With the approval of individual nations, which is sure to happen without a fight, vapor products in Europe will be subject to a variety of new laws. The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of European Union Approves New Laws & Limitations for Electronic Cigarettesthe proposed bill, which also included updated regulations for tobacco cigarettes.

The aspects of the legislation that directly affect electronic cigarettes apply two levels of regulation. There are general rules set by the EU which will classify electronic cigarettes and juices as tobacco products. There is also the option for individual European nations to choose to classify e cigs as medicinal products within their borders, and otherwise regulate where and which vapor products are sold. The individual parts of the legislation that will most affect vapor include:

*The ability for the EU to outlaw particular types of cartridges (which may include tanks in the future) across the European Union if three individual nations illegalize the same type of cartridge.

*A cap of 20mg/ml of nicotine in any e liquid sold in the EU

*Vapor products will have to carry health advisories ( the legislation requires cigarette packaging to be comprised of warnings across 65% of the package)

*Vapor products will have to be child-proofed

*Advertising limitations in any nation that classifies vapor products as being tobacco products; which will include advertising bans on: television, radio, and anywhere else that tobacco ads are not allowed

*Potential bans on “cross-border” sales of e cigs, which would have the ability to significantly reduce online sales if implemented

*Manufacturers will have to report new product launches to national governments before the new products can be sold

*Manufacturers will have to report on sales figures within each nation’s borders on an annual basis

There are some aspects of this legislation that vapers should be happy with. European vapers will still be able to purchase refillable devices, allowing them to switch between brands of e liquid and better customize their devices. There are also no limitations of flavors as some had previously feared. While it is scary that the same bill limits flavors on tobacco cigarettes, and even plans to eliminate menthol options by 2020, e liquids will still come in a variety of palate pleasing blends.  It’s also a plus that the EU opted not to regulate e cigarettes as medicinal devices continent-wide. This would have put far stricter regulation on both devices and juices, and likely priced a ton of smaller manufacturers out of the market. In essence the EU decided not to hand the vapor industry over to pharmaceutical companies and Big Tobacco. These factors are wins for the European vapor community.

It will be necessary to keep an eye on how legislation may change for flavors, and which individual nations will classify e cigs as medicinal products. The truth is that the political process never stops, and legislation can be changed at any time. These rules will not go into place until 2016. It is vital for vapers in Europe and abroad to stay abreast of changes to vapor laws, whether they take hold tomorrow or ten years from now.

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The White House, The FDA, and the Future of Vapor

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Monday 24 February 2014 5:24 pm

The FDA hasn’t released any statements about what it may or may not decide regarding e- cigarettes later this year. That’s due in large part to the fact that the White House’s Office of Management and Budget has yet to make a final decision on the FDA’s proposed rule that would effectually bring e-cigarettes under its jurisdiction. If the OMB rules in the FDA’s favor, the FDA will then have to decide if e-cigarettes are a functional smoking cessation aid, or if it’s going to qualify e-cigarettes as equivalent to tobacco-burning cigarettes.

The White House, The FDA, and the Future of VaporThrough the end of 2013, the OMB received information from a number of e-cig company representatives, tobacco lobbyists, lawyers, and medical and public health professionals and advocates. If the OMB had inclinations one way or the other, it’s certainly keeping them to itself. And as of mid-January, 2014, the OMB has stopped receiving outsiders. The move is largely understood to indicate the OMB has heard all that it’s willing to hear on the issue.

As an industry, e-cigarettes are bringing in a nearly $2 billion bottom line. With expectations that the e-cig industry will overtake the tobacco industry – that is, the $80 billion per year tobacco industry – it’s unclear how the OMB may view the economic and social impact. It doesn’t help that plenty of the media continues to have a dim view of e-cigarettes, both with regards to safety and minors beginning to smoke and vape.

Politico notes another complication for the OMB. While some companies like Njoy Inc. operate independently of the tobacco industry and have attracted people like former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona, such companies are not always the case. Big Tobacco is already dipping it’s fingers in the e-cigarette market, making the ability to separate cigarettes from e-cigarette all the more murky. It gives opponents a foothold, no matter how weak, to argue that e-cigs will only lead to increased smoking instead of acting as a cessation aid. Some, like Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), even use this reasoning to support their “think of the children” arguments.

As if all of this isn’t frustrating enough for retailers and vapers alike, perceived expectations for the FDA’s follow through vary widely. Statements from the FDA tobacco division make some think the FDA will be flexible about new regulations, a position bolstered by the recent European Parliament decision to reject proposals for similar regulations. Celebrity sponsorship and other forms of advertising are up in the air until the FDA announces its final decision. But even decisions that the e-cigarette industry is prepared to face, such as a minimum age requirements, could have complicated side effects; some say that because age cannot be verified online, vendors will be restricted from making e-cig sales via the internet, a heavy blow to an industry comprised of so many small businesses.

Even once the OMB and FDA make their decisions, the process for these regulations will be far from over. There will be an amount of time for commentary by the public, at which point the FDA will adjust the regulations (or reject the commentary) and release the finalized regulations. That process alone could take a year, and that’s without accounting for litigation against the finalized rules. A federal judge already ruled against the FDA once in 2010, when the FDA attempted to regulate e-cigarettes as medical devices.

The OMB has not yet projected a date for its decision.

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Hollywood and E Cigs are a Misunderstood Combination

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Friday 7 February 2014 12:50 pm

Recently, e-cigarettes have taken Hollywood by storm as more and more celebrities have been spotted vaping.  Leonardo Di Caprio and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss were spotted vaping during the Golden Globes, drawing criticism from Senators who claimed that showing celebrities vaping would “glamorize” smoking and influence young people. Critics like these Senators are missing the real message that celebrity vaping sends, namely that it is possible to quit smoking and find satisfaction in a healthier habit.

Hollywood and E Cigs are a Misunderstood CombinationWhile the health benefits of vaping are currently the subject of debate and study, the harmful effects of cigarettes have been conclusively demonstrated. Long-term celebrity smokers like Dennis Quaid, Katherine Heigl, and Leonardo Di Caprio have all praised how electronic cigarettes have helped them give up their smoking habit. Heigl was an early-adopter of the e-cig phenomena and in 2010, mentioned how e-cigs helped her quit smoking while on Letterman, a decision she made after becoming a mother. Heigl told Letterman she had tried various methods of quitting smoking including the nicotine patch, gum, and the drug Chantix, but that e-cigarettes were the first method to be successful. While Heigl started with cig-a-like mods like most of us, recent pictures have shown the actress with a custom tank and Provari battery, among other devices. We love seeing that celebrities switch up their devices and try new things just like the rest of us. John Cusack is another high profile celebrity who isn’t shy about showing his love of electronic cigarettes, frequently seen vaping on an eGo style mod with an eVod clearomizer. Cusack told an interviewer from the Sudbury Star that he enjoys ecigs because of his ability to vape in restaurants, and educating people that “it’s just water vapor.”

Hollywood and E Cigs are a Misunderstood CombinationCelebrities who actively vape help raise public awareness of electronic cigarettes as an alternative to tobacco smoking.  While some celebrities have taken jobs as compensated spokespeople for specific electronic cigarette companies, many pictures of celebrity vapers show them using and simply enjoying the fact that e-cigs have allowed them to conquer their smoking addiction. This is the message that Hollywood is sending, and it’s one that should be encouraged, not suppressed.

Celebrities have always served as trendsetters. This fact led to large pushes against the “glamorization” of smoking in movies and television. While some critics are trying to raise these same critiques of celebrity vaping, the comparison is flawed.  One habit (tobacco cigarettes) is clinically proven to contain hundreds of carcinogens, and to kill you. The other habit (electronic cigarettes) has no known carcinogens, and contains only ingredients deemed safe by the FDA for human consumption.

Rather perpetuating the unfounded claim that vaping is a “gateway” to tobacco addiction, celebrity vapers should be celebrated for promoting a healthier alternative to Hollywood and E Cigs are a Misunderstood Combinationtraditional cigarettes. Cigarette smoking among young people continues to be a problem in America. Rather than being a gateway to tobacco smoking, young celebrity vapers like Robert Pattinson and Katy Perry are former smokers who have used electronic cigarettes to kick the habit.

It’s easy for critics to talk about hypothetical “gateways,” but the fact is, young celebrities were already smoking, and electronic cigarettes have helped them quit. While it may seem to be “trendy” to some, but in reality it is evidence of people, high profile people, making better decisions.

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Green Smoke is Going Big Tobacco

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Wednesday 5 February 2014 12:38 pm

Recently we posted an article that posed the question as to whether or not Marlboro, and by proxy their parent company The Altria Group, were in last place among the Big Tobacco companies involved in the electronic cigarette industry. With sales of their Mark Ten e cig showing few signs of growth, and a horde of less than complimentary reviews from those who were able to get ahold of one, The Altria Group’s future in the vapor industry was less than certain. Until this week. Over the past two days Altria has made a major announcement; they are in the final stages of purchasing Green Smoke Inc.

Green Smoke is Going Big TobaccoGreen Smoke has been putting out good quality e cigs for years now. They offer a series of rechargeable and disposable cig-a-likes that can be outfitted with a variety of flavors and nicotine concentrations. They have a found a good amount of success in the industry thus far, putting up $40 million in sales last year alone. That combination of factors makes them a perfect buy for a company like Altria. It allows the owners at Green Smoke to cash out, and Altria to buy some experience and innovation.

It also seems to confirm, in this vaper’s mind, that perhaps Altria’s Mark Ten offering is struggling. Why else would they drop $40 million dollars on purchasing another brand when that cash could have been pumped directly into R&D, distribution and marketing of the Mark Ten? Altria knows that e cigs are the future, with more smokers ditching tobacco every day they need to be a part of the vapor movement. Their initial foray into making e cigs didn’t work out, so they used their spending power to make up for it.

It’s certainly not a bad plan from a business point of view. Green Smoke has a great reputation and loyal customers because they make a solid product. Their devices deliver as they should, their flavors are as good as anyone’s and they provide good customer service. On top of that they already have distribution channels in place that put their products in stores and vape shops around the country. All of this adds up to a good purchase for Altria, especially considering that they have had a slow start with e cigs.

So what does this mean for the future of Green Smoke? It’s hard to tell. Considering how well they are doing it wouldn’t be surprising to see very few changes at first. Altria can use their connections to get the product in more stores and immediately increase sales. Down the line we would like to think that they would put some money into R&D and come up with innovative vapor products based on Green Smoke’s already successful offerings. We will all have to wait and see, but this buy out is big news for anyone who is following the growth of vapor.

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Is Marlboro Scrambling to Catch Up?

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Saturday 11 January 2014 1:54 pm

Big Tobacco has been involved in the vapor industry for a good amount of time now. Lorillard started the trend when they bought Blu several years back. RJ Reynolds has been making the trade show rounds, and actively selling their Vuse e cig in the greater Denver area for several months. Altria, the company that sells Marlboros and other popular analogs in the United States, does have an e cig (the MarkTen) currently available to vapers in Indiana. While performance figures from the Hoosier State have not been released, the MarkTen does not seem to have much buzz. RJ Reynolds started in one area, but has since expanded sales of the Vuse into Arizon and announced a national release in 2014, This leaves all of us wondering how Altria’s product is really being perceived by the vapor community. Their latest move seems smart, but may cue that they are scrambling.

Is Marlboro Scrambling to Catch Up?Altria, and close partner Phillip Morris have struck an agreement to share products lines. To be clear calling them close partners may not be accurate, while they are separate companies Phillip Morris is really just a spinoff of the Altria group. Right now Altria sells analog Marlboros in the U.S., while Phillip Morris controls their sale in every other country. They have similar agreements with several other brands of analogs as well. At the end of the year news started coming out about a deal for the two companies to share in electronic cigarette sales as well. Some of the products that Altria develops will be available to Phillip Morris to be sold outside of the U.S., and vice versa.

Blu is one of the most popular brands of e cigs out there and Vuse’s presence is growing. While we haven’t tried one, the reviews for MarkTen look bleak. Vapers are reporting weak vapor and average to poor taste, not exactly a recipe for e cig success. One product that has been spoken about by Altria, but not highly detailed, is a “heat not burn” device. They would take tobacco and heat it enough to release flavor and nicotine, but not enough to burn. The claims are that such devices would deliver better taste, and deliver the user nicotine more efficiently. Neither of these claims have been proven, nor have we seen the device yet. However just this week news came out of Phillip Morris buying a factory in Italy. Presumably these new products will be developed there. For now the makers of Marlboro are calling these products “reduced risk” devices instead of electronic cigarettes. Part of that is surely to help them make their new product sound different. Those of you familiar with the Tobacco Control Act know that “reduced risk” is in fact a classification of tobacco products within the United States. Consider that it would make sense for Altria to already be thinking about regulation; hey they support it in many cases.

Is Altria scrambling due to MarkTen being a bust? Are they really on to something that might just turn out to be the biggest rival of the electronic cigarette as we know it? Buying a factory certainly says that they think they are. We won’t know until they decide to show us a little more. One thing is for sure, Big Tobacco is willing to spend to take over the vapor market. Regardless of how that makes you feel it is worth keeping an eye on.

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Study Reports That Second Hand Vapor is Not Second Hand Smoke

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Saturday 4 January 2014 2:11 pm

One of the issues that always comes up in a debate about vapor is the lack of hard evidence as to its effects. Even as vapors we agree that electronic cigarettes need to be more thoroughly researched so that not only we as users, but the community at large, will have more facts in hand. We recently came across a study published in ‘Nicotine and Tobacco Research’ that focused on the second hand effects of electronic cigarettes. We are happy to be able to share some positive findings with you today.

Study Reports That Second Hand Vapor is Not Second Hand Smoke

They Don’t Need the Gas Mask If You’re Vaping

The researchers took two approaches to studying the effects of vapor. The first approach involved them using a smoking machine to trap vapor in an enclosed area. The second test involved real people. Some who smoked cigarettes in an enclosed area, and others who vaped in identical areas. Once the smokers and vapers were done the air was tested for chemicals. Once they had enough vapor or smoke to test, they took readings to measure nicotine levels, carbon monoxide, “volatile organic compounds”, and more. The results of this test found “that e-cigarettes are a source of secondhand exposure to nicotine but not to combustion toxicants.” The exact same tests with tobacco cigarettes found carbon monoxide and all of the other usual suspects that come with tobacco smoke.

To be fair we have to point out that the study would obviously not find toxins associated with combustion, the burning process, in vapor as nothing is burned. It is still great to see that the study did not find anything else floating around in air mixed with vapor that is toxic. While those who do not indulge will not be happy with the nicotine that was in the air, the study did report that “The average concentration of nicotine resulting from smoking tobacco cigarettes was 10 times higher than from e-cigarettes .“ On top of that you have to take in to account that the vapor was trapped in a chamber and then studied. The chamber was not the size of your average room, restaurant, bar, or outside area. These are areas that many vaping bans include, which makes this research very helpful for those sticking up for vapor rights in places that have not yet put limitations on a product that is still not 100% understood, scientifically speaking at least. The most important outcome of this study is that there is now more evidence that shows exactly how different second hand vapor is from second hand smoke. Far less nicotine and no traceable levels of the stuff that gives you cancer is good news for all of us who appreciate a good vape. It’s also good news for those who aren’t fans of vapor, whether they like it or not. It is important for information like this to be known. Having facts to back up what most of us already know about vapor is key to acceptance.

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