Was NJOY Wrong to Sue Victory?

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Tuesday 3 June 2014 11:43 am

In September of 2013, NJOY, the world leader in electronic cigarettes, filed a lawsuit against Victory Electronic Cigarettes and Victory Electronic Cigarettes Inc. claiming that Victory was infringing on their patent rights and case trade rights. The patent in question was U.S. patent number 8,539,959. The patent concerns the details of methods used to make NJOY electronic cigarettes.

Image is Everything

Was NJOY Wrong to Sue Victory?It can be said that the majority of sales today for almost any product on the market are based on branding rather than quality. The media devotes a lot of attention to branding and consumers respond as expected. In other words, image is everything. NJOY learned that very quickly and ran with it. More than that, they created a quality product that responds to the needs of smokers in a way that no other company had done on such a large scale.

A good portion of the things that makes NJOY e cigs so popular is the fact that they mimic everything about a tobacco cigarette while not being an actual tobacco cigarette. From the inclusion of nicotine and the ability to go through the same motions that tobacco smokers go through to the very “pack” that the e cigs are sold in. NJOY really did pioneer providing smokers a way to have the complete smoking experience without smoking a tobacco cigarette. Apparently, Victory tried to capitalize on the brilliance of NJOY and NJOY had to call them out on it.

Victory used every technique that NJOY used, but they didn’t have the advantage of being the company that designed the e cigs or the packaging that they came in. As soon as the patent was approved, that meant Victory was breaking the law.

NJOY Goes a Step Further

NJOY was not worried about being associated with Victory. There wasn’t even any concern that Victory was going to take its image to the heights that NJOY is at because other than having a top quality product, NJOY brings integrity to the table as well and promotes responsible use of vapor. They championed the We Card program in an effort to prevent minors from using e cigs and they were the first e cigarette company to do so. The problem is that it simply wasn’t right for Victory to use the results of the hard work of the marketing and design teams at NJOY to make a profit for themselves.

NJOY Wins

In the end, NJOY won the lawsuit and the case was settled. Victory agreed to stop infringing on the patent rights. They also agreed to stop infringing on case trade rights. This wasn’t about greed. It was about doing your own homework and using your own ideas to build your business. NJOY is popular because they have addressed concerns of smokers as well as parents in the best ways that they could. No other company should attempt to trade on that, unless they have produced results doing so.

NJOY sells rechargeable as well as disposable electronic cigarettes. They are in over 90,000 stores in the US alone. They are not just the top standard when it comes to e cigarettes; they are the top standard when it comes to benefitting the public and employing sound business practices. While we would like to see more companies jump in on the trend, they have to do it legally. The results of this lawsuit prove that. While some may argue that this is a case of a larger company bullying a smaller one, we disagree. There is plenty of room in the e cig market for new competitors, they simply need to do business on their own terms. While this is one of the first “vapor lawsuits” to make big headlines it certainly will not be the last. Vapor has become big business, which breeds lawsuits in many cases.

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Long Term Study Supports E Cigarettes as a Quitting Tool

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Wednesday 21 May 2014 11:27 am

A study published by Robert West in Addiction recently uncovered the fact that smokers have a 60% increase in chances of quitting smoking when they use the e cigarette as opposed to other OTC measures or willpower alone. Chances may increase even more when professional support is taken advantage of.

Long Term Study Supports E Cigarettes as a Quitting ToolThe study was done over the course of five years between 2009 and 2014. Using surveys, 5863 smokers responded to questioning concerning the effectiveness of the e cigarette versus other methods they may have tried. Methods excluded included prescriptions and professional support, leading researches to wonder how effective e cigarettes might be in comparison to prescription methods, whether e cigs should be prescribed, and the effectiveness of e cigs should smokers decide to take advantage of professional services as well as e cigs.

It’s important to note that the study did not address or claim to address concerns over whether or not e cigs are healthy. What they did address is the fact that just about anything other than inhaling tobacco and the chemicals that it is saturated in is the better option or rather, the more effective one. Numbers don’t lie. At the time of the study, 20% of those being surveyed had quit smoking using some form of e cigarette.

Part of the reason that e cigs seem to be so effective is the same reason that the study needed to be adjusted. Every smoker has their own reasons for smoking. Age and the sub-culture within that age group has much to do with it. So does the level of addiction to nicotine, how many previous attempts were made, and whether those attempts were done gradually or abruptly.

Before speculation begins on why the e cigarette is more effective than other methods, take a look at some numbers.

10.4% of the people involved in the study had quit using some method other than e cigarettes. Even if you are generous and assume that 10% of the 10.4% used the same specific method, that’s still only half as effective as e cigarettes, but the 10.4% represents a combination of methods.

15.4% quit using only willpower. That says a lot about the experience of smoking. For one thing, you have to be ready and in some cases, you may not enjoy cigarettes enough to want any type of replacement. Another possibility is that even though these people got some kind of satisfaction out of smoking, for one reason or another they were unwilling to continue it. And those people, the ones who were just done altogether, still don’t reach the numbers that e cigarettes do.

What is the difference between all of these methods and e cigarettes? Many of them provide nicotine, so by default you can assume that the provision of nicotine is not the only reason people smoke because many of these aids still don’t work. The most effective aid in the study, the e cigarette, does not only provide nicotine; it provides a sensation similar to smoking.

There is no doubt or argument about whether or not smoking is healthy. It leads to the numerous health problems which eventually lead to death. The math seems simple to most, but more studies will have to be done to assess the exact impact on the people exposed to vaping. At the very least, it would seem obvious to most that vaping is far less dangerous than smoking and by default, is the healthier alternative for those who just can’t seem to or don’t want to walk away from the cigarette.

 

 

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CASAA’s Call to Action

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Wednesday 14 May 2014 7:56 pm

The Consumer Advocate for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASSA) has issued a request concerning the FDA’s proposed amendment that would allow them to regulate vapor products. At first glance, the request reads more like a halt on action, but if you read it all the way through, you soon come to understand that there is no better plan. Other agencies, like the Cigar Association of America are taking similar steps as well. The current request is that consumers wait to comment and instead, respond to each Call to Action as it is issued.

CASAAs Call to ActionThe request is an overview of the plan that CASAA will follow in response to the FDA’s call for comments from the public. The public has 75 days to read the proposal, analyze it, and respond to it. Since the proposal itself is 241 pages long and the regulatory impact analysis is another 81 pages long, 75 days does not seem like enough time to gain a full understanding of the proposal. Just one element of the proposal is that the FDA gets to determine what does and does not fall under the umbrella term (which isn’t an umbrella term at all) “tobacco”. By most definitions tobacco seems like a very straightforward category, but the FDA doesn’t agree. Keep in mind this is just one element of the proposal. There will be many others that we all need to respond to.

CASAA’s request is that consumers simply wait and follow the multiple Calls to Action as they release them. This would provide a very organized and effective means by which vapers can combat the FDA proposal. Current analysis of the proposal reveals that most of it offers nothing to the consumer other than a higher cost. Unlike the FDA, CASAA is looking out for the needs of the consumer and specifically the needs of those who either enjoy vaping or understand that it is a better alternative than smoking.

First Call to Action

The first Call to Action suggests that consumers request an extension on the comment period itself. This gives consumers time to read and understand the proposal so that they can address one or more of the various elements of the proposal when they do make a comment. Part of the reason for the extension is the large amount of requests for information from the FDA –  99 to be exact if you don’t count repeats and cigar-only related questions. CASAA offers a sample request as well as detailed information on how to submit your request to the FDA right on their website. This is the first in a series of Calls to Action that CASAA will release.

How You Can Help

CASAA will be updating their blog when a new Call to Action is ready. You can respond to the calls yourself, but there are a lot more things you can do to help the cause as well. Keep in mind that the main goal of CASAA is to promote consumers rights, but also to spread awareness and knowledge so that the right to use vapor products is not trampled and this alternative can continue to help people enjoy a better quality of life everywhere. There is a lot of misinformation about vaping out there and CASAA aims to offer fact based information to combat the falsities.

1.)Take advantage of free membership to CASAA.
2.)Help spread awareness by sharing blog posts and information about CASAA on social networks.
3.)Share your own story through the Testimonial Project on CASAA. Let the world know how e-cigarettes have changed your life.
4.)Create a summary of your experience to use with a Call to Action in the future.
5.)Share information with vendors and ask them to add CASAA graphics to their sites, offer brochures to their customers, and take advantage of vendor kits that can help spread awareness. Keep in mind that many vendors may not realize the impact the FDA’s proposal will have on them. Talk with them about the way changes in tobacco regulation has already impacted their business.
6.)Share, share, share! Whether you are sharing emails or blog posts, keep the information moving!

Be sure to check back here or on CASAA’s site for more information on how you can help.

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New York State Bill Would Ban E Liquid Sales

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Monday 12 May 2014 3:43 pm

The debate around electronic cigarette regulation is about to be at an all-time high. Many cities, including New York and Philadelphia, officially outlawed vaping in public places just last month.  Next the Food and Drug Administration released their proposal to include vapor products in the Tobacco Control Act. These particular stories have made for the biggest headlines. Unfortunately there are proposals and bills out there that are aimed at limiting, if not eliminating electronic cigarettes. One that hasn’t gotten enough press is currently before the New York State Senate, Bill S6939-2013. This piece of legislation would potentially make it illegal to sell or give away e liquids in the state of New York. That’s right; if you can’t make e cigarettes illegal just outlaw the juice.

The Rundown of New York State Senate Bill S6939-2013 (More info on the bill)

New York State Bill Would Ban E Liquid SalesThe first section of the bill looks to rework how electronic cigarettes are legally defined in New York. The sponsors of the bill want to officially define electronic cigarettes “to mean a battery operated device that contains cartridges or liquids filled with a combination of nicotine and chemicals”.

The second section cuts right to it and states that the bill will “prohibit the sale, offer to sell, or giving away of electronic liquids or e-liquids by any company or entity”. Anyone found violating this section of the suggested law would be punishable by a fine up to $500.00 per offense.

The second section also looks to legally define e liquids “as a liquid composed of nicotine and other chemicals, which is sold as a product that may be used in electronic cigarettes”.

The third and last section of the bill states that it will become law 90 days after is voted in, considering that it passes of course.

Who Can We Thank For This?

The Bill is sponsored by NY State Senator Kemp Hannon and NY State Senator Tony Avella and is, of course, being filed as a plea in favor of public health. Feel free to use either of the links attached to their names, they lead directly to their contact information. If you agree with us, then you will let them know just how terrible their idea is. Outlawing e liquids is on the short list of actions that would immediately harm public health. Yes we all want to see more studies, but no it is not time to render an entire state incapable of using e cigarettes. This particular Bill and its repercussions are simply too extreme to be made law. It is a back door attempt at banning electronic cigarettes that we as the vapor community can simply not allow.

What we can do is make our voices heard. Letting the politicians responsible for this loosely written and poorly founded Bill know how you feel is step one. Spreading the word and making others aware of the existence of arguments like this is the next step. Ultimately we will all have to show support for vapor when voting in elections, from the state up to the Federal level. Vapor isn’t just something enjoyed by a small group of people in a select niche any more. It is a part of life and main stream America. Fortunately it’s one of the parts that seems to be helping people and improving lives. We can’t allow backdoor political strategies to take it away.

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It’s Official; The FDA Wants to Treat E Cigs Like Analogs

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Wednesday 30 April 2014 4:01 pm

The ping pong sensationalist argument over e-cigarettes has reached its first landmark: the Food and Drug Administration recently released its regulatory proposal governing e-cigarettes as smokeless tobacco products. In a press release dated April 24, 2014, the FDA included e-cigarettes among other tobacco-related products that it wants authority over in implementing the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

Its Official; The FDA Wants to Treat E Cigs Like AnalogsThe actual rule reads as follows:

… makers of newly deemed tobacco products would, among other requirements:

  • *Register with the FDA and report product and ingredient listings;
  • *Only market new tobacco products after FDA review;
  • *Only make direct and implied claims of reduced risk if the FDA confirms that scientific evidence supports the claim and that marketing the product will benefit   public health as a whole
  • *Not distribute free samples.

In addition, under the proposed rule, the following provisions would apply to newly “deemed” tobacco products:

  • *Minimum age and identification restrictions to prevent sales to underage youth;
  • *Requirements to include health warnings; and
  • *Prohibition of vending machine sales, unless in a facility that never admits youth.

The FDA proposes different compliance dates for various provisions so that all regulated entities, including small businesses, will have adequate time to comply with the requirements of the proposed rule.

The current proposal is open to public comment for 75 days, i.e., until July 9. To submit comments electronically, head to the proposed rule’s regulation.gov page.

Notably, the FDA is looking for public input about how products like e-cigarettes should be fully regulated under the agency’s oversight. It cites “many public health questions” and the absence of tobacco combustion as the cause for the mostly vague designation of e-cigarettes.

The rule has no affect on marketing or accessories of a deemed tobacco product. That means that, for now at least, the FDA would be regulating e-liquids with nicotine and flavorings, as well as the cig-a-like units sold side-by-side with cigarettes. Keep in ind that marketing will ultimately be regulated, potentially taking away: online sales, television commercials, sports sponsorships and more.

Interestingly, despite the heavy attention e-cigarettes have been receiving in relation to the new regulations, it’s just one of a handful of other tobacco-based products that aren’t yet under FDA authority, such as cigars. The proposed products that are to become “subject to FDA regulation are those that meet the statutory definition of a tobacco product, including currently unregulated marketed products.”

Most of the products on the list make sense since they involve actual tobacco combustion. However, two are notably different, and both are smoking-cessation products – e-cigarettes and nicotine gel.

Smoking-cessation aids are specifically regulated as medical products by the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. The listing for smoking-cessation aids does not discuss those aids – even the ones containing nicotine and other traces of tobacco byproducts – as tobacco-based products. The FDA does provide a specific list named Recognize Tobacco in its Many Forms, which includes e-cigarettes but does not include nicotine gel or other smoking-cessation aids.

It’s hard to say whether that indicates that the FDA intends to move forward with regulating e-cigs the same way it regulates tobacco-burning products, or if the listing is due only to the fact that it describes e-cigarettes as the cig-a-like units containing “tobacco flavorings.” FDA regulation of designated therapeutic aids would not change with the new rule. The rule also would not affect the three five-year studies the FDA contracted last fall.

As of the date this article was written, only 85 comments have been received.

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Big Tobacco’s E Cig Agenda

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Monday 21 April 2014 3:57 pm

Editorial Content- The following article represents the opinions of the editorial staff at CigaretteReviews.org.

If you’ve been following vaping in the news, you know by now that there’s a sensationalist backlash against vaping in public. You also probably know that the Food and Drug Administration are preparing to determine whether or not e-cigarettes need to be regulated as smoking-cessation aids or tobacco-burning products. Their decisions will not only restrict method of sale (potentially banning internet sales completely), but they may dictate the process of how an e-cig unit or e-liquid goes to market. This could hurt a lot of the best developers in the vaping community, most of which are all small business owners that don’t have the budget to jump through all of the FDA’s regulatory hoops.

Big Tobaccos E Cig AgendaYou may also be aware that Big Tobacco companies have gotten into the e-cigarette industry, buying some of the largest mainstream and most recognizable e-cigs on the market. They have also started new brands and launched their own vaping devices in regions throughout the United States.

Are you thinking what we’re thinking? Big Tobacco has some of the singularly most effective lobbyists in the United States. If they’re in the business of vaping, why aren’t they defending the e-cigarette trend and promoting the obvious health benefits?

The answer may not be what you think.

Smoking rates around the world are steadily dropping these days. You may be tempted to think that Big Tobacco is attempting to preserve their world-dominating industry. E-cigarettes are fast becoming one of the best ways to quit smoking for good, after all. But you’d be wrong. Big Tobacco companies are steadily diversifying business plans to include more and more e-cigarette companies. In fact, they’re already fighting legal battles regarding patent infringements. That’s putting Big Tobacco lawyers on the front lines of U.S. e-cig industry interests, an effort they aren’t likely to make if they’re just trying to undermine the vaping movement.

Yet Big Tobacco is inarguably protecting its profit share.

It’s using capitalism and the free market against small business. You might think that sounds like a conspiracy theory, and we wish it was merely that. Unfortunately, you don’t need a darkened room of insidious CEO’s planning a monopoly to achieve their goals. The folks in Big Tobacco aren’t stupid, not by a long shot, and they don’t even need a nod and a wink to get what they want.

They just have to sit back and wait.

FDA regulations will kill most of the small businesses and startups focused in vaping and e-liquids. They simply won’t have the means to pay all the fees or be able to afford the time to wait on product approval. Big Tobacco is, well, exactly what it sounds like – big, and it’s got the funding and familiarity to thrive under those regulations.

They can fashion themselves the champions of smoking-cessation rights and bring e-cigarettes back to public spaces.

Because once it’s cornered the market, ensuring high profits and complete control, it’s free to turn around and fund the legal battle to reverse laws made during the current e-cig scare. Big Tobacco will stay just where it likes to be – on top of the world.

It’s not that we have a problem with Big Tobacco being a part of the e cig industry. In fat, some of their vapor products are quite good. What we do take issue with is the possibility of a Big Tobacco takeover. If that were to happen many of our, and your, favorite brands of e liquid and hardware would disappear. We would all be limited to products that create a healthy bottom line, instead of an improved vaping experience. If that were to happen, it would be a sad day for everyone who has a passion for vapor.

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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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