Attorney Generals Take Last Minute Anti-E Cigarette Stance

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Friday 8 August 2014 2:14 pm

Attorney Generals Take Last Minute Anti E Cigarette StanceAs the public comment period allowing citizens who want to weigh in on the FDA’s proposal to include electronic cigarettes in the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act is quickly coming to a close a group of 29 State Attorney Generals have spoken up. These state officials have joined together to ask the FDA to add in a number of specific restrictions to any legislation that they move forward with regarding e cigarettes. They have made their request in the form of an official letter submitted to the Food and Drug Administration earlier today.

The letter makes a series of very specific requests as to how these Attorney Generals would like to see electronic cigarettes regulated. The group has requested that the FDA:

 

 

Prohibit characterizing flavors other than tobacco and menthol in e-cigarettes and
other tobacco products;

Restrict the advertising, marketing, and promotion of e-cigarettes in the same respects
it has restricted the advertising, marketing and promotion of cigarettes and smokeless
tobacco, as well as strengthening and updating those restrictions;

Strengthen the health warnings for the deemed tobacco products;

Restrict the advertising, promotion, and sale of all tobacco products over the Internet;

Define e-cigarette components and parts and apply the proposed restrictions on age
verification, vending machine sales, and health warnings, regardless of whether such
components and parts contain nicotine;

Include “premium” cigars in the deeming rule; and

Regulate pipe tobacco to prevent avoidance of regulations applicable to tobacco
actually used as roll-your-own tobacco.

 

While the final two requests target products that include actual tobacco, the remainders are aimed directly at vapor products. Flavors are once again brought into question. The letter itself cites surveys of youth that use numbers that make it seem as if flavors are being targeted specifically at children. Utilizing the same argument the letter goes on to cite surveys that insinuate that electronic cigarette advertising is seen by more minors than adults. In both cases the Attorney Generals fall back on the “save the children” stance that so many opponents of vapor have taken. At no point in the letter do the Attorney Generals address the tens of thousands of smokers who have broken their habit with the aid of electronic cigarettes. They also do not point out the significant numbers and percentages of adult vapers who choose flavored juices. Neither do they at any point show any signs of understanding that there are two sides to every argument. The letter is entirely anti-vapor, positioning electronic cigarettes as being the exact same product as analog cigarettes, and hence suggesting that they be regulated in the exact same manner.

The lack of ability to see two sides of the argument continues with the Attorney Generals suggesting that if flavors are to be allowed that they be limited to options that do not appeal to children. As that is obviously a vague limitation the letter goes on to suggest that the burden of proving that the flavors are not appealing to children be placed on the manufacturer. This comes not too far after the letter states that if flavors are outlawed that packaging and marketing practices should be limited to straight forward identification of flavors, of either tobacco or menthol, and that the law should be passed quickly so that no time or money is wasted in identifying what exact constitutes the concept of “being appealing to children.” In essence if flavors are allowed they want manufacturers to be tied up in red tape, however if they are outlawed the Attorney Generals suddenly support a swift and less bureaucratic approach. While some of this verbiage was aimed at cigars the goal is to lump vapor products, cigars, and pipe and rolling tobacco into the same category as tobacco cigarettes.

The last point that is worth considering is that the letter asks the FDA to limit the marketing and distribution of electronic cigarettes. While we, and nearly every vaper and manufacturer out there support age restrictions, we do not support marketing or distribution restrictions to the extent suggested in the letter. The White House came out at the end of June and supported online sales. Online sales give consumers access to more brands and better selection. Vapers in rural areas will be most affected, as a lack of online sales would limit many to cheap gas station brands and offerings from Big Tobacco. Consumers can currently join wine of the month clubs and have alcohol delivered to their doorstep, yet for some reason having a personal vaporizer and bottle of delicious juice delivered is crossing the line. It simply does not add up.

Based on the requests it seems as if perhaps lobbyists from Big Tobacco and Big Pharma may have gotten to a select group of Attorney Generals. Their requests support a market that is best navigated by large corporations that are already entrenched as opposed to the hundreds of smaller yet emerging vapor brands. The fact that these politicians joined forces and made their opinions known at the end of the public comment period also speaks to well-planned timing. Let the actual consumers talk, to date reports put the number of public comments at over 70,000, and then come in at the end and get the last word. While we are obviously pro-vapor we feel that this tactic is cheap and that Attorney Generals have requested too many limitations. It is hard to believe a group that cites uncertain effects on health as a reason to apply restrictions and in the next breathe asks for health warning labels to be applied to packaging. If one is not certain of the effects then how can one apply restrictions and labels that speak to the effects? Once again, it just doesn’t add up. If you are reading this on the date of publishing and haven’t left a comment for the FDA yet, please do so here.

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Reynolds American Will Buy Lorillard, But Not Blu

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Thursday 24 July 2014 1:46 pm

We recently reported on a potential Big Tobacco buyout whereby Reynolds American would buy out Lorillard. While on the surface this seems like an issue that would primarily affect tobacco smokers, vapers who want to stay in the know do need to watch this sale. The offer and negotiations between Reynolds and Lorillard have come a long way as Reynolds offered up $27.4 million for the buyout last week. While a final sale will not likely occur until 2015 due to a need for federal oversight and final negotiations, the deal is on the table.

Reynolds American Will Buy Lorillard, But Not BluVapers will be interested to learn that as a part of the deal Blu e cigs will have a new owner. Reynolds is proposing that they buy every brand that Lorillard owns, including Blu e cigs, and then sell a few lower level tobacco brands as well as the Blu brand to the UK based Imperial Tobacco. Initially it would have made a lot of sense for Reynolds to keep Blu, as Blu has the largest share of the e cig market in the U.S., estimated to be up to 45%. However, it seems that including Blu in the brands that they are willing to unload is being used strategically to avoid as many antitrust arguments from government officials as possible. If this deal becomes reality it will put Reynolds American right next to Altria (the makers of Marlboro among other brands) as the largest Tobacco Company in the United States. If they also owned Blu they would be the biggest player the e cigarette market in the United States as well, which would raise alarms with many federal regulators who will provide oversight before the deal goes through. Other reports indicate that Blu had to be a part of the offer in order to reach a deal with Imperial Tobacco. This makes sense as moving forward Blu is worth more than any of the individual tobacco brands that Imperial Tobacco will be assuming control of via the agreement. As for looking ahead vapor has more than established itself as a force that competes with the tobacco industry making Blu’s inclusion in the deal a must for Imperial Tobacco.

The future of Blu is hard to predict at this point. By no means would Imperial Tobacco want to do anything but grow the brand. Which may mean more innovative, or at least new, products. We can’t be the only ones wondering why Blu hasn’t released a PV yet. Yes, their cig-a-like is among the best available, but vapers’ tastes are changing. Perhaps a new parent company will provide Blu with the push it needs to branch out and prepare for the future of vaping. New ownership always shakes things up, even in huge companies that operate their divisions separately. Blu is accustomed to operating as its own company, with guidance, logistical support, and financial help from parent Lorillard. The European owned Imperial Tobacco will likely treat Blu much the same. They already own a few smaller tobacco brands in the United States, but Blu will represent their first vapor brand on this side of the pond.

Once the deal goes through Reynolds American will immediately begin to compete with Blu. As of now they are reporting that Reynolds current U.S. based e cigarette Vuse will get all of Reynolds Americans’ attention in the United States. They are promoting that the hardware is made right here in the United States and implying that domestic manufacturing allows them to make a “better” and “safer” e cig. A side note, Lorrillard bought up Europe’s SkyCig last October to expand their presence in the European e cig market. The brand has been targeting additional markets throughout Europe ever since. Reynolds American is opting to keep ownership of SkyCig even though they are letting go of Blu.

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There’s Still Time To Respond to CASAA’s Third Call to Action

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Wednesday 16 July 2014 3:28 pm

The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) has issued a third call to action in their effort to prevent the FDA from taking over the e-cigarette industry. CASAA has been releasing these calls in order to draw attention to some of the tactics used by the FDA and CDC, as well as to promote the idea that FDA regulation is not necessary. They also promote more in-depth research, though not necessarily at the hands of the FDA and/or CDC, both of which have their own agendas in mind and not necessarily the best interests of the consumer.

Theres Still Time To Respond to CASAAs Third Call to ActionThe third call to action concerns a request for Congressional hearings to investigate the methods employed by the FDA and the CDC concerning the blatant smear campaign they have undertaken. One instance involves dismissing true stories about using e-cigs to quit smoking and instead, trying to find people who have not been successful or who have suffered health issues after cutting back on tobacco cigarettes while using e-cigs

CASAA has created a template that includes a formal request for vapers to fill out and submit. All you need to do is add your personal information or insight. Some suggestions of things you might want to offer in your letter are:

Information about your personal experience using e-cigs to effectively stop smoking. Include details like how long it took you to quit once you started using e-cigs.

If your journey to quitting smoking was assisted by e cigarettes you should share information about your current health. No one is saying that e-cigs make you healthier, but stopping smoking tobacco cigarettes most certainly will.

Mention that you are well aware that smoking tobacco cigarettes put you in a high risk category for health issues ranging from cardiovascular disease to lung cancer and that you don’t expect e-cigs to prevent future health problems which may be the result of your former tobaccos smoking years.

Be as honest and detailed as you can.

Keep in mind that the CDC director, Dr. Frieden, is trying to dismiss these personal stories as anecdotal. It’s easy to dismiss information that doesn’t contain numbers like dates and financial figures. If you want to keep e-cigs out of the hands of the FDA, now is the time to offer details that are presented in compelling factual form so that they are not easily dismissed by the FDA, CDC, or anyone else. In other words, since false information is being used to guide the proposed regulation, it’s time to flood the FDA with accurate, usable facts and figures coupled with the human experience.

Be sure to come back here to learn more and pay special attention to CASAA’s calls to action if you want to have your voice heard. There is little good that can result from the FDA’s regulation of e-cigs, unless you are Big Tobacco or interested in cultivating new, excessive tax dollars.

You can also contact your representative directly. Simply click on this list of representatives and then search for your state using the alphabetical tabs at the top of the page. You can also just scroll down the page until you find your state and representatives.

Hopefully you’ll respond to the third call to action and contact your local representative. Remember, now is the time to make your voice be heard!

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Nothing is All Bad; The Silver Lining to FDA Regulation

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Monday 14 July 2014 1:29 pm

Nothing is All Bad; The Silver Lining to FDA RegulationBy now it’s common knowledge that the FDA proposal includes adding e-cigarettes under the tobacco heading. Most vapers aren’t too happy about the potential outcome of that, and they are making their voices heard through comments on the proposal. But, there really is a silver lining in every cloud, even if it takes a bit of creative searching to find it. Let’s take a look at some potential positive outcomes that could happen if the proposal is successful in the eyes of the FDA.

More Research

When Big Tobacco was making their push to get more people smoking they offered a lot of misleading information. Years later, all of the medical issues involved with smoking became apparent. That’s not something anyone wants to deal with then it comes to vaping. There is no doubt that just about anything is better for you than smoking tobacco, but with FDA financial backing, more studies can be done to see exactly what the risks are, if any. If nothing else researchers may find more effective ways to create safe flavors or reduce any potential health risks.

Better Hardware

There are some very elaborate and well-built vapor products available right now, but more research might lead to even better electronic cigarettes and vaporizers. Most people probably dread it, but you can safely assume that if the FDA gets control there will be some sort of child proofing methods developed. That might not be a bad idea after all and could put an end to some of the arguments that the anti-vapor camp likes to put out in reference to child safety. Design standards could also eliminate safety concerns such as “exploding batteries” and devices that allow nicotine juice to leak out onto vapers’ skin. A little oversight will almost certainly pull a good number of poorly built e cigs off of the shelves, leaving better vaporizers and a higher standard for manufacturers to live up to and build upon.

What Vapers Don’t Want

Big Tobacco has such a horrible track record that consumers don’t want them favored when it comes to the FDA proposal. If Big Tobacco gets what they want, they will own the e cig market, which means that prices will soar and consumers won’t have any faith in the research conducted because Big Tobacco is known for researching with their own agendas in mind. Those agendas have nothing to do with consumer concerns or safety. Realistically Big Tobacco will be a key player in the regulation and overall future of electronic cigarettes. It will be up to vapers, consumer safety organizations and groups like CASAA to help ensure that Big Tobacco does not get a stranglehold on the industry. Do your part by following the news as it develops and paying attention to how the candidates that you vote for feel about vapor, as well as the public health and the Big Tobacco lobbies.

The other big issue is taxes. There is absolutely no reason for a spike in taxes on vapor products. More taxes are clearly part of the FDA’s plan, as they are trying to lump e cigs in with already highly taxed tobacco products. Some smokers who are looking to vapor products to help them quit smoking are going to rethink that option if the cost gets too high. Big Tobacco already knows this, but since that means they would benefit either way, they are going to promote higher taxes and regulations that make it harder for small businesses to compete. Remember, Big Tobacco is already used to paying taxes and dealing with federal regulation. If the ending regulation is too restrictive it will be harder for small vapor companies to get their products approved and on the market, whereas this is not as much of an issue for Big Tobacco companies that already have the financial and logistical means to get this done.

At the end of the day there will be some silver lining to regulation for electronic cigarettes. A little oversight has been known to help and will likely show through in product quality. It is our hope that “a little” oversight is all that the vapor industry ends up being subject to. Here’s hoping!

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Phillip Morris to Release Heat Sticks, a “Juiceless” E Cigarette

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Wednesday 9 July 2014 2:12 pm

Designs in e cigarettes have come a long way since the days of the R. J. Reynolds Premier back in 1988. Back then, people needed to be trained on how to light and use their e cigs, which contained tobacco rather than just nicotine infused liquid. Instead of being a breakthrough in the tobacco world, the Premier was mostly a failure. People didn’t like the way it tasted and they weren’t impressed with the concept in general.

Phillip Morris to Release Heat Sticks, a Juiceless E CigaretteThen tobacco-less e cigs came out and gained popularity not just with smokers, but with a new crowd, vapers. Ever since then the race has been on to design and develop new and improved e cigarettes.

Big Tobacco has another option that will be coming out soon. Phillip Morris has announced their upcoming Marlboro Heat Sticks which will be distributed in Japan and Italy later this year. If all goes well, they will be distributed in more countries in 2015.

The price of the Heat Sticks for consumers isn’t clear yet, but Phillip Morris has plans to boost their profits by $700 million with the introduction and development of Heat Sticks. They have to sell 30 billion units to meet that goal, so there is probably going to be a big marketing push this year.

Heat Sticks are similar to the Premier and Eclipse in that they use actual tobacco instead of an e liquid. There won’t be any ashes though because the tobacco is heated, not burned. That’s hard to imagine since the device has to heat to 660 degrees Fahrenheit to work properly. Hopefully it will not require any kind of training or special functionality to work.

The premise behind the whole project is that these new devices are supposed to be safer than regular tobacco cigarettes. Heating the tobacco rather than burning it eliminates smoke, so the carcinogens created during the combustion process and second hand smoke aren’t an issue. As you aren’t burning the tobacco there aren’t going to be any ashes either so we can expect less mess and pollution.

Another potential option that smokers can expect to see is a similar device that uses aerosol instead of heat. While the details aren’t all available just yet, it’s clear that tobacco companies are looking to get more innovative in order to recover some of the funds they are losing due to the decrease in tobacco cigarette sales. Since vapor products have become so popular there is every reason for companies like Phillip Morris and R. J. Reynolds to think that they can find a place in the world of e cigarettes, even if they are reluctant to let go of using tobacco.

Between the rising cost of tobacco cigarettes as well as healthcare, it’s great to know that smokers are going to have even more options to choose from. Hopefully these really will be safer than tobacco cigarettes, and perhaps introduce a new method of vaping to the community. Don’t assume that to be true until more facts and product tests are available though.

The Eclipse (once known as Premier) was promoted as a less toxic alternative once, but then studies revealed that in some cases, the Eclipse create over 700% more toxins than a normal tobacco cigarette. Innovation is a wonderful thing and we hope that Phillip Morris has figured out how to reduce those toxin levels and make a great tasting, easy to use e cigarette that uses real tobacco, but we’ll be watching the studies and test before we make a judgment call.

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FDA Extends Comment Time for Electronic Cigarette Legislation

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Friday 27 June 2014 11:25 am

Earlier this year comments were opened up for a proposal that the FDA created. Basically, under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the FDA seeks to include e cigarettes under the category of tobacco regulation (among other things in the proposal). So far, there has been little indication that the approval and implementation of this proposal is going to benefit consumers in any way. It will implement age restrictions, which is a good thing, but a good amount of the language in the proposal would limit innovation in the e cig industry. It will also do a lot of damage to small business owners and consumers as prices rise with regulations. On the positive side, the White House did eliminate wording that would put an end to online sales just this week. While that is  step in the right direction it is still vital for vapers to let the FDA know how electronic cigarettes have helped them.

FDA Extends Comment Time for Electronic Cigarette LegislationConsumers were invited to comment on the proposal, providing personal stories, factual information, and anything else that might demonstrate why or why not to allow this proposal to go into effect. CASAA and other entities that represent consumers requested early on that the comment period be extended. CASAA in particular has offered a detailed review of the proposal and offers several Calls to Action for consumers to respond to the proposal. The people spoke and the FDA listened. The comment period has been extended until August 8, 2014 instead of the original July 8, 2014 deadline. That means consumers have an additional 30 days to gather information and assert their opinion on the matter.

How to Comment

Consumers who want to comment on the proposal should first read it. You might also look over the interpretation offered by CASAA in order to further enhance your understanding of the proposal.

The FDA accepts electronic comments as well as comments through the U.S. Postal Service.

To comment electronically: Go to http://www.regulations.gov  and fill in the form following the provided instructions. You will need to include the agency name (FDA) docket (FDA-2014-N-0189) and regulatory number (0910-AG38) to identify the document that you are commenting on.

To comment with physical documents (postal service, self-delivery, etc.): Make sure your document arrives at the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852

What Else Can Consumers Do?

Keep in mind that consumers can comment more than once. This means you can provide research in one comment, personal experience in another, or other information you feel would be useful. You might also look to CASAA to learn about their most recent calls to action.

The biggest thing that you can do is share information. Some people don’t even know about this proposal. If they do, they might not know what to do about it. When it comes to government entities, people often feel as if they have no power or don’t know what to do with the power they do have. You have a voice, so let it be heard. Start discussions about it in real life and using your social media accounts.

In the past, FDA regulation of any kind of tobacco product has meant higher prices and more restrictions. Don’t let e cigarettes be categorized in the same way that tobacco products are. The only possible benefit would be that more research will be done, but consumers don’t need this regulation for that to be done. In fact, the only real change would be a significant increase in prices and a paring down of options. If this sounds like something you would like to prevent, submit your comments to the FDA and let your voice be heard.

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Health Care Professionals Offer Opinion to WHO Concerning E Cigarettes

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Monday 23 June 2014 11:15 am

The World Health Organization (WHO) is charged with offering valuable information and guidelines in order to promote the health of people as a whole, with a decided aim toward improving health conditions in disadvantaged areas. They take on global health concerns, and are one of the largest supporters of improving health and Health Care Professionals Offer Opinion to WHO Concerning E Cigaretteswellness conditions for people in every nation in the world.  Recently, they have turned their eye to the e-cigarette industry and are considering suggesting regulations that would force over 170 countries to impose harsher restrictions on e-cigarettes. These restrictions will be born of the idea that electronic cigarettes should be seen in the exact same light as tobacco products. Members of the international scientific community, those both for and against e cigarettes, have offered the WHO a response.

Limit Regulation of Vaping Products

53 Scientists have affixed their professional signature to an open letter that urges WHO to reconsider their position. In fact, it urges them to see the positive side of e-cigarettes and even calls out the WHO, stating that the WHO needs to focus on their primary objective of decreasing early death rates and disease levels.

The scientists argue that imposing the same limitations on e-cigarettes detracts from the potential that these products have to decrease the number of smokers who would use e cigarettes as a tool to stop smoking tobacco. It reminds the WHO that while nicotine has its risks, the majority of the health risks associated with smoking come from inhaling smoke, something e-cigarettes don’t offer. Professor Gerry Stimson, one of the professionals who signed the letter, reminds WHO that the increase in sales of nicotine products demonstrates that many smokers will chose an alternative to tobacco cigarettes—given the chance.

Increase Regulation of Vaping Products

On Monday, June 16, another letter was delivered to WHO. This letter was signed by 129 medical and public health professionals and had a somewhat different tone than the one mentioned above. This letter urges WHO to institute strict regulations when it comes to e-cigarettes. Specifically, the professionals outline the potential risks of allowing Big Tobacco to lend a hand when it comes to promoting e-cigarette as a healthy alternative to tobacco cigarettes. The letter claims that if Big Tobacco was as concerned as they allege to be about public welfare, they would stop producing tobacco products altogether. Furthermore, they call out Big Tobacco and assert that profits are their interest and not the people.

“Honestly, it’s hard to argue with that kind of logic. From its marketing techniques to its blatant, yet effective methods that mislead the public into thinking they have a ‘healthier product’, Big Tobacco has effectively demonstrated that its concern with the public begins and ends with their wallets. For them, being involved in the promotion of e-cigarettes is exactly the same as making money off of a cure to the disease you create. But then, that’s Marketing 101. If you really want to sell a product, create a need for the product and then introduce the product. So, no one is debating the truth behind that portion of the letter.”

The letter also states that more research is needed to discover the actual hazards of e-cigarettes. It’s probably safe to say that no one in the vaping community is arguing that point either. No one is saying there shouldn’t be research on the effects of e cigarettes or any other product that can be ingested. The issue at hand is that vapor products don’t carry the same risks as tobacco, and as such are a healthier alternative.

It’s interesting and almost amusing to note that one of the biggest groups lobbying against e-cigarettes is Big Pharma. Let’s try to be compassionate though. Big Pharma only rakes in the cash if the world is overflowing with healthcare concerns. Heart disease and cancer are big money makers for Big Pharma and they just don’t want to risk reducing those numbers. To that end, the actions of Big Pharma set against the mission statement of the WHO are in direct conflict with each other. It will be interesting to see how things play out and what kind of wording is used to validate the results.

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Who’s Your Governor; It’s Time to Decide

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Wednesday 18 June 2014 12:13 pm

This election year is set to be a busy one, with 36 states and 3 territories hosting elections for State Governors. Just because there are elections, don’t assume there will be a change in command. Of the 39 vacancies for the position of State Governor, only 8 are term limited or don’t have officials seeking re-election. What this means is that there is a potential for more of the same as 31 incumbent governors are up for re-election out of the 39 vacancies. It’s time for voters to step up to the plate and decide if they want to see some change or if they are satisfied with the way things are. While we all should be watching the FDA’s ruling and following CASAA’s suggestions at the Federal level, state lawmakers play a huge role in vapor rights as well.

Where to Vape

Whos Your Governor; Its Time to DecideCurrently, only 3 states have banned vaping in areas that are 100% smoke free, no questions asked. 10 states have laws that restrict vaping in specific areas, mostly school zones and areas where children might be. However, 172 restrictions exist at the local level, like cities, towns, and counties. If federal proposals go through, more states may be forced to restrict vaping from areas that are smoke free. If more anti-vapor Governors return to office the number of limitiations will climb as they join politicians at the Federal level in creating more vaping bans and more taxes for electronic cigarettes.

Who Can Vape

Just about everyone agrees that electronic cigarettes and vaping products shouldn’t be sold to minors. In fact, the only people who don’t agree are probably minors themselves. While we, along with most vapers take no issue with age restrictions that have been set, we do not want to see more Governors limiting where adults can vape or purchase their vapor products. We also don’t want to see gubernatorial candidates using children and an anti-vapor agenda to help them get elected. No one will be surprised to learn that 23 states have already passed age restrictions stating that vapor products can’t be sold to minors. So, it isn’t that shocking that 13 more states have an age limit on their upcoming ballots. Again, these are good measures, as long as they aren’t bundled with other anti-vapor policies or used as ammunition for anti-vapor candidates to make their way into office.

One big shock comes from Vermont. House Bill 632 in Vermont would make it illegal for anyone not just to buy vapor products, but to possess them at all, regardless of age. There is also another proposal before Vermont’s State Senate to add a 92% tax to electronic cigarettes. On the up and up Vermont’s Governor, Pete Shumlin, is up for re-election and has consistently presented his view of e-cigs as an effective method to quit smoking. He also opposes outrageous taxation, especially considering that the jury is still out on electronic cigarettes. He might be a good guy to keep in the office, if you are registered to vote in Vermont we would highly suggest following Mr. Shumin’s campaign and paying extra attention when vapor is brought up.

Vaping Taxes

Another issue on the ballot is new taxes for vapor products.  9 states propose a new or increased tax on e cigarettes. Some states want them to be taxed exactly like tobacco products. While other states want to charge a percentage or are proposing the addition of a flat rate. Consider Washington, the state that wants to charge a 95% OTP (Other Tobacco Products) rate. The next Governor of the State of Washington will have a huge amount of influence over laws like this. Paying attention to local elections and making the right choice will be key to the vapor community.

Make a Difference

You can make a difference by taking action at the polls. To do that, you need to stay informed. There are several ways to stay informed about what’s going on not just in your state, but at the federal level.

*Visit us frequently to get up to date information about the vaping community.
*Set up Google Alerts for terms like “Your State vaping regulations” or “Your State e cigarette laws”
*Visit your governor’s web page and that of their opponents frequently to learn about any new interviews or changes in position.

Don’t forget to let your voice be heard at the polls. This is where the numbers count. You might even organize the vaping community in your area so that you can ensure that your voices heard on a whole new level!

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