New York City Confuses Vapor With Smoke

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Friday 20 December 2013 1:05 pm

The vapor community took a hit yesterday as New York City’s Council voted to include electronic cigarettes and all other vapor products in the Smoke Free Air Act. Yes, it does seem silly to those of us who know the benefits of vapor that it would be able to be included in a piece of legislation that specifically names “smoke” as being an adverse health factor. Apparently those who sit on the City Council in the Big Apple disagree.

The main argument that has been cited over the past month (yes, they only debated this piece of legislation for about a month) is that allowing vapers to use e cigs indoors and in other public places “normalizes” the act of smoking. Opponents seem to think that electronic cigarettes are so similar to those that are actually smoked that the public would not be able to tell the difference. They combined this, rather weak, argument with data that shows that the health effects of vapor are yet to be fully known, and convinced the Council to include vapor in a smoke ban. While we readily agree that there are still unanswered health questions, this occurrence has the potential to set electronic cigarettes back. As high profile as New York City is, they may very well serve as an example for other municipalities around the nation. If limiting the use of electronic cigarettes without proper information becomes a trend, vapers may find themselves on the curb with smokers across the nation. This is certainly the most extreme outcome, but still a very possible one.

While the ban is still not official, it only needs to be signed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to become law. Businesses in New York are being told to begin posting “No Vaping” signs now, so that customer will be used to the new rules when they are formally enacted in four months. As much of a loss as this is, it was great to see vapers in New York speak up over the past month. If you, like us, followed the story you most likely saw vapers turning out in numbers at City Council meetings, mods and e cigs in-hand, to speak their case. Those who defend vapor rights even showed up to yesterday’s vote. We were able to follow along on Twiter as e cig advocates publicized the meeting.

Gregory Conley (@GregTHR), a CASSA Advisor who is quickly becoming well known in the vapor community was there. In addition to having a little fun with an anti-vapor politician from New Jersey, he provided updates during the entire meeting.

New York City Confuses Vapor With Smoke


New York City Confuses Vapor With Smoke


Twitter’s @burnt_wick maintained a more light hearted tone during the vote, yet spread the word just the same.

New York City Confuses Vapor With Smoke


New York City Confuses Vapor With Smoke


As much as bans like the one that New York has decided upon are bad for vapor, it is good to see that the e cig community is growing and becoming more organized. Take some time to go out in your own town and find fellow vapers. Educate others about the benefits, but remember tact and courtesy. While taking away our rights as vapers doesn’t include either, we won’t move forward together if we fail to be constructive.

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Digging in to the Tobacco Control Act

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Tuesday 12 November 2013 12:21 pm

We have been talking a lot about the Tobacco Control Act and the FDA’s plan to regulate electronic cigarettes lately. We have been doing this because it is an extremely important topic that all vapers need to be aware of. Today we will look at some specific parts of this proposed plan to better explain why the Tobacco Control Act is not appropriate for e cigs.

Digging in to the Tobacco Control ActThe Tobacco Control Act itself has several specific points that we disagree with. (Here is an overview of the Tobacco Control Act provided by the FDA themselves, if you want a more through read here is the entire piece of legislation.) The points and rules put forth in the Act that do not make sense for electronic cigarettes are:

This legislation assumes that most new users are under 18 years old. While there have been studies suggesting that more minors have tried electronic cigarettes, most of the new users at this point are well over 18, just look around.

The Act bans the sale of packages of fewer than 20 cigarettes. If this goes into place how will they measure e juice? What about disposables? It will change the entire distribution of electronic cigarettes, in favor of larger companies, without making any positive impact. If e juice sales are cut off altogether it will make vaping considerably more expensive for many users who will have to switch back to disposables. We have seen some creative language from Big Tobacco over the past few months that suggests doing just this. If the law makes it necessary to limit sales to disposable the advantage goes right into the hands of Big Tobacco who already have distribution channels, shelf space agreements and huge bank accounts. Smaller vendors who rely on selling high quality e juices would be hard pressed to stay in business.

The Tobacco Control Act also takes away the ability of tobacco manufacturers to make “reduced harm” claims for light cigarettes, ultra-lights, etc. While this makes some sense due to the amount of toxins in smoke and the reliability of a “light” filter it does not apply to vapor. Electronic cigarettes can and are produced with varying amounts of nicotine. As for other ingredients, some of which may be harmful, they are by no means equivalent to the ingredients in smoke. While electronic cigarettes are not perfect, current testing has shown them to be substantially safer than tobacco smoke. Future studies will likely support this trend, making it simple minded to limit the words that can be used to describe differing vapor products. The FDA does have “modified risk” status that can be applied for, but this just adds another hoop to unnecessarily jump through.

The Tobacco Control Act also “Bans cigarettes with characterizing flavors (except menthol and tobacco)”. Theoretically this part of the Act is in place to stop manufacturers from marketing cigarettes to children. There’s a strong argument that it is overbearing for tobacco cigarettes, it is definitely out of place when it comes to electronic cigarettes. Flavors are great. They are not a tactic to get kids to vape. As a former smoker, I always smoked regular tobacco cigarettes. As a vaper I regularly branch out and try flavors. Vapor is not smoke, this is yet another factor that makes the Tobacco Control Act unsuitable for vapor.

These are some of the aspects of tobacco regulation that will do more harm than good to vapor. The deeper we dig into the proposed legislation the more it becomes obvious that they FDA needs a plan specifically for vapor. Let your voice be heard by contacting the FDA and your representatives in Congress and the Senate. Now is the time to take action before laws are formally on the books.

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Vapor Isn’t Smoke, Unless You Ask the FDA

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Tuesday 22 October 2013 11:47 am

Vapor Isnt Smoke, Unless You Ask the FDANow that the government is officially back to work the FDA will be appealing to have the control over the official status and marketing of electronic cigarettes. Up until now the FDA has issued warnings and told the public to be cautious. Now they want full control. The problem from a vaper’s point of view is that they will most likely seek to lump electronic cigarettes and other vapor devices into the same category as tobacco cigarettes. While we as vapers are open to some regulation there are some points that need to be addressed.

What’s So Bad About It?

First off, this bit of legislation would give vapor products a legal definition that is identical to tobacco cigarettes. As all vapers know that they are two different products, this would unfairly label each and every electronic cigarette, mod, and every other vapor product out there. On top of that our government works on precedent, meaning what became law in the past helps judges to create laws in the future. By legally defining vapor in the same manner as tobacco it would become increasingly difficult to have it relabeled correctly in the future. This would create a series of losing battles for the vapor community, which is being targeted even though the FDA cannot show scientific evidence that vapor is in fact as adverse to one’s health as tobacco. Aside from this point, this regulation would negatively affect the vapor community by:

Raising the price of electronic cigarettes by adding enormous taxes to the products. The taxes would not be clearly defined as e juice and leaf tobacco are not the same thing, but they are likely to be steep.

Limiting where electronic cigarettes can be purchased. Namely the FDA will try to cut off online sales. This will again affect price as it is less expensive for manufacturers to sell online. It will also mean that you have considerably fewer options when you want to make a purchase. Instead of having your choice of nearly every electronic cigarette manufacturer out there, you will be limited to what is in stock at stores near you.

Limiting the marketing capabilities of electronic cigarette manufacturers. Television ads would be out along with several other communication channels that are currently available. While this would seemingly hurt manufacturers more than vapers, limiting the number of ways to get the word out would lead to fewer options on the market. Smaller companies with good vapor devices and juices would be forced to select from a small range of advertising options, all because the FDA would lump e cigs in with tobacco instead of looking at them like the individual product that they are.

Potentially reducing the flavor options that are available. The FDA is using a study that stated that e cig usage is up in teens to argue that the existence of flavors other than tobacco and menthol is a ploy to get kids to vape. Most vapers enjoy the broad range of flavor options, many even stick to fruity flavors by choice. We’re not talking about children here, we’re talking about adults, many of which used to smoke tobacco and now do not.

Much like the vast majority of manufacturers we are open to some regulations being put into place. We do not think that children should be allowed to purchase or use electronic cigarettes. We also would like to see some quality standards put into place so that low end manufacturers aren’t producing shoddy e juices. Both of these laws would improve the vapor community in the end. Quality standards alone would lead to more testing so that we have more data on the exact effects of vapor. We do not support a “quick and dirty” regulation policy that states that vapor and smoke are the same thing. The deadline for the FDA to file their proposal is October 31. We hope that our government makes the same decision that the European Union just did, and decides not to allow these changes to be made.

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Duluth Minnesota Says “No” to Vapor in Public

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Thursday 12 September 2013 10:42 am

Duluth Minnesota is the latest township to lump electronic cigarettes into the same category as tobacco. Vapor devices are now banned in all public places, including work places, restaurants and bars in this region of the country. The City Council in Duluth voted to put the ban into place just this week, in spite of the fact that there is currently no statewide law that restricts the enjoyment of electronic cigarettes on the books in the Minnesota. Unfortunately, some are predicting that this new piece of legislation Duluth Minnesota Says No to Vapor in Publiccould serve as an example of the entire state.

The legislation was introduced by Council Woman Jennifer Julsrud. Her argument was that she intends to put laws into place protect both children and clean air. It seems that she capitalized on last week’s reports that more minors have reported using electronic cigarettes. While we agree that minors should not be using vapor, we disagree with her reasoning. We’ve already suggested talking to kids about vapor, and limiting the sale of e cigs and mods to adults. It would be far more effective for her to push legislation that keeps vapor out of the hands of children, rather than stopping adults from enjoying it, if she wants to help the children. That would be logical legislation that we as vapers would support. In fact, this law already exists in Duluth, which makes us think that her mission is more anti-vapor than pro-children.  As for clean air, there are no statistics that firmly state that vapor has negative second hand effects. There are studies that state that water vapor quickly dissipates upon being exhaled, thus reducing the chance of second hand dangers. That doesn’t even cover the fact that the jury is still out on how much of a danger vapor really is. By most accounts it is considered to be far safer than cigarette smoke. We feel that prematurely putting legislation into place based on a hunch by a lawmaker with no scientific evidence represents a detriment, not only to vapers, but to the community at large as this approach may be taken when writing other laws.

It is our hope that legislation like this does not spread. We understand that those who do not enjoy vapor are alarmed by what they perceive to be a suspicious new product. We simply feel that any laws that are put into place should be based upon fact not rhetoric. Citizens would not want other laws to be put on the books, in Duluth or any place else, that are not backed by proper research. Making such laws official based on a misunderstanding of electronic cigarettes is therefore a failure. The lawmakers in Duluth also put a ban on hookah lounges. While tobacco smoke isn’t our thing, we find it odd that they would illegalize places dedicated to willing adults indulging in an enjoyment. It comes down to limiting the rights of adults, not increasing public safety. We as vapers are happy to keep children out, and to respect non-vapers. We simply want lawmakers to be more diligent in their research before they begin limiting the use of a product that many doctors support as a superior alternative to tobacco. We also don’t like seeing different products lumped together, legally speaking, when the products should not be. Feel free to share your comments below. We look forward to hearing from you even if you support legislation like this.

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Seal Beach California Comes Dangerously Close to Banning Electronic Cigarettes

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Tuesday 27 August 2013 11:50 am

The debate around electronic cigarettes and other vapor devices continues to rage on throughout the United States. We have seen reports of changes to legislation that would do everything from limiting to banning e cig sales pop up over the past year or so. In most cases any legislation that approaches a ban has been shot down by city councils and state governments. As of last night, we have a legal guideline in place in Seal Beach California that comes as close to a potential ban as we have seen.

Lawmakers in Seal Beach have placed a 45 day moratorium on electronic cigarettes and other vapor devices. What this means is that for the next month and a half the city Seal Beach California Comes Dangerously Close to Banning Electronic Cigaretteswill not issue any additional licenses for the sale of vapor products. We did say additional, currently there are upwards of nine retailers in the city that have licenses to sell vapor. While this is not an outright ban, it is a cause for alarm in our opinion. The reasoning behind the decision is said to be that the city council wants to better understand electronic cigarettes and their effects. That may be true; however there are no reports of how the city council will embark on their quest to learn about vapor. Even if they do have a plan, 45 days is not enough time to get a full view of any product and its effects. What is scary is that the moratorium can last more than 45 days, all the way up to 10 months and 15 days. Without proper education this lengthy moratorium might just come to be.

Aside from limiting local business (feel free to check out news reports about entrepreneurs who were planning on selling the products in Seal Beach), legislation like this may serve as an example for other parts of the country. Seal Beach is in Orange County, a part of the country known for its liberal stances on most things. If a city from a “more open minded” part of the country decides to put limitations on vapor sales across the board, why wouldn’t we start to see it from other local governments? While this decision would not technically count as legal precedent for other areas, it most assuredly could be cited as an example by any local politician who does not want to invest proper time in doing their homework. As always, we are 100% behind logical laws being drafted in regards to vapor products. A minimum of a month and a half ban being put into place simply because lawmakers do not know what to think is not logic based. They knew that they wanted to address electronic cigarettes in their community. They knew that they had a vote coming up. They decided not to properly prepare, and as a result put a hold on the sale of a product that is not limited in most other places.

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Proposed Electronic Cigarette Laws in New York Stink Worse Than Smoke

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Friday 9 August 2013 1:59 pm

In the past few days an information leak has revealed that the New York City might be planning a very strict set of laws for electronic cigarettes and other vapor products.Proposed Electronic Cigarette Laws in New York Stink Worse Than Smoke From what we know it is not an outright ban, but it is a change in laws that put some alarming standards and limitations on how electronic cigarettes are regulated and sold in the Big Apple. This isn’t something that should just concern vapers in New York, due to the fact that New York has a tendency to set trends for many other parts of the nation. We all know that New York has been implementing some widely debated and even ridiculed health initiatives under Mayor Bloomberg (outlawing large servings of soda for example), but that doesn’t mean they have lost their ability to sway lawmakers in other parts of the country.

The news that leaked describes what is being called a proposed city ordinance. If this ordinance ends up passing it would significantly change the way that electronic cigarettes, e juices, personal vaporizers, mods and all other vapor products are regulated in New York. The changes that have been reported thus far include:

Changing the tobacco laws to define and regulate electronic cigarettes and vapor products the same way that tobacco products are regulated.

Limiting how electronic cigarettes can be displayed, making it illegal to showcase them in public places (the ban also intends to do this to smokeless tobacco products).

Banning the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes and e juices, aside from traditional tobacco and menthol flavors outside of specialty “tobacco bars”.

Making it illegal to sell electronic cigarettes, or any other vapor products, outside of their original packaging.

We take issue with these changes for a few reasons. Firstly, defining electronic cigarettes in the same manner that you define tobacco cigarettes is just plain illogical. They are not the same product, nor do they have the same health effects. Based on that alone we do not feel that they should be lumped in with tobacco, simply because it is easier on lawmakers. Secondly we take issue with the ban on flavors. As we said, vapor is a different product than tobacco. One of the great things about vapor is that it is available in a wide variety of flavors. The counter argument to this is that some feel that flavored vapor is meant to be marketed to minors. We disagree with this. To be honest we here at feel that vapor products should only be sold to adults. It is a grown up indulgence, one that is not meant for kids. We do not gear any of our electronic cigarette reviews, tips or news updates towards children, and feel that e cig vendors shouldn’t be selling to minors. In reality most of the major manufacturers and vendors around the country already limit their sales to adults. Those opposed to vapor like to bring children into the argument in order to gain attention and bring those who are on the fence about electronic cigarettes over to their side. Adults shouldn’t be denied a variety of flavors just because opponents are willing to utilize scare tactics. Another thing to point out about the electronic cigarette flavor ban in New York is that under current law no more licenses are to be sold to open up these specialized ‘tobacco bars”. This means that existing electronic cigarettes stores would have to take a huge assortment of products off of their shelves. This limits small business and works in favor of a select minority of vendors who are lucky enough to be grandfathered in to existing laws.

Lack of advocacy and education about electronic cigarettes is the main culprit behind these changes. We like to keep our eyes open for any new developments in the vapor world. If we as vapers ensure that we are informed, then we can work together to advocate regulations that are fitting, as opposed to laws that only serve to limit the availability vapor devices. Feel free to share your thoughts on this possible legislation in our comments section or to further join in the conversation with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Recent Research Brings Good News for Electronic Cigarette Enthusiasts

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Tuesday 2 July 2013 9:33 pm

There is a lot of debate around electronic cigarettes in general. While nearly every medical practitioner that we have come across or seen quoted in the press advises that vapor is better for the body than smoke, there aren’t yet enough studies to provide a ruling that everyone will abide by. We agree that there should be more legitimate electronic cigarette studies performed, as a result we are very pleased to report on the latest findings.

An Italian research team recently completed a yearlong study on how smokers who didn’t intend to quit reacted to switching to vapor. The study intended to provide Recent Research Brings Good News for Electronic Cigarette Enthusiastsinformation on how smokers handled the switch. In the end it gave us more evidence that supports the fact that e cigs can help those who want to quit tobacco. The research team collected three hundred regular smokers to collect data from. They split them into three groups of one hundred people each. One group used electronic cigarettes that equal most full strength brands’ nicotine output. The second group started on that level of nicotine infused vapor, then switched to a lower nicotine level half way through the study. The third group smoked e cigs without any nicotine in the vapor at all. Neither the researchers nor the participants were told which group the smokers participating in the study belonged to. The participants in the study checked in with the researchers nine times over the course of the study. During the check-ins the participants reported back about how many tobacco cigarettes they had smoked per day, whether they had had any issues brought about by vaping, and took carbon dioxide emission tests.

At the end of the study the researchers took all of the information that they had collected and reported back that 10.7% of the smokers used less tobacco than they did before, and a whopping 8.7% had stopped smoking tobacco altogether. Interestingly the researchers did not find a lot of difference in the results between the three groups of participants. This means that those who didn’t get nicotine infused vapor smoked less and quit at about the same rate as those who received electronic cigarettes with significant nicotine levels. An interesting thing to think about considering how hard it is to kick a nicotine habit.

This study was very similar to another Italian study that came out some time back. This latest study collected data from considerably more smokers, which is a good thing to anyone who is on the lookout for research that the general public will accept. Like the last study it was put up for peer review, meaning that other scientists and medical professionals are invited to review the research process and the results. Hopefully this study will create more interest in electronic cigarette research. While we obviously support electronic cigarettes, mods and any other vaping device out there we want to see more reliable research. Vaping is clearly healthier than smoking tobacco, but research will help to better educate e cigarette users and may even assist in making better e cigs and e juices. For more information or to form your own unique opinion take some time to review the study for yourself.

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Big Tobacco Is Looking to Make Their Mark on Electronic Cigarettes

Posted by Chris | E-Cig News | Thursday 20 June 2013 7:55 pm

Electronic cigarettes and similar devices have officially joined the mainstream. With more and more smokers joining the ranks of vapors on a daily basis comes more and more manufacturers putting out products. The major tobacco manufacturers have taken notice of vaping and are officially beginning to throw their hats in the ring. We’ve put together our thoughts on how this trend will affect vaping, and gathered an update on some of the vapor products soon to be offered by traditional tobacco makers.

While some vapers may complain that major players joining the electronic cigarette industry will cause harm, it’s important to point out that one of the most popular brandsBig Tobacco Is Looking to Make Their Mark on Electronic Cigarettes of e cigs out there is currently owned by a traditional cigarette company. Lorillard Inc. (the maker of Newport Cigarettes) has owned Blu Electronic Cigarettes for over a year now. Blu consistently puts out a great product that is enjoyed by thousands of loyal vapers. Lorillard was the first major tobacco company to step into the electronic cigarette market; they will soon be joined by R.J. Reynolds and the Altria Group. Just this week executives from R.J. Reynolds (Camel Cigarettes)  held a press conference to introduce their first e cig. It will be called Vuse and will make its debut in the state of Colorado beginning July 1. Vuse is said to deliver a better vaping experience due to the fact that it will be capable of putting out a full bodied drag of vapor, even on the first puff. R.J. Reynolds claims that it will be a “game changing” product. As people who have a hankering for reviewing electronic cigarettes we are looking forward to giving one a shot once they are released. A month after Vuse hits stores the Altria Group (Marlboro Cigarettes) plans to release their electronic smoking option in the state of Indiana. They plan to call it Mark Ten and offer both a tobacco and a menthol flavor. Their e cigarette will have a four draw tip, which means that the cartomizer will have four holes in it which is said to enhance the vaping experience by offering more consistent drags.

One thing that the Big Tobacco companies do not seem to be interested in offering is variety. They are all sticking to one nicotine level and two flavors; tobacco and menthol. This alone will allow other electronic cigarette companies to put out competing products simply by giving vapers more options when it comes to their e cigs. There are also no plans for selling e juice or providing products for vapers who prefer mods at the current time. While Big Tobacco will be stepping into the market, and their ability to distribute e cigs from coast to coast will certainly give them an advantage over smaller companies, there will still be room for all of the other brands to grow. The electronic cigarette market is still relatively small compared to the number of analog smokers out there. As the number of vapers increases the smaller companies will still be able to survive and even grow as long as they keep putting out good products.

Even as Big Tobacco is turning their attention to vapor pre-existing electronic cigarette makers are standing their ground and growing quickly. NJoy recently finished with a round of fund raising. In the end they raised $75 million and took on famous investors like Bruno Mars and Sean Parker. This readies them to compete with larger companies and solidifies what every vaper already knows; that e cigarettes really are the future. They will continue to grow and in time become a staple. Even the business community agrees, as evidenced by the fact that they are now willing to be electronic cigarette makers themselves. It will be very interesting to see how everything plays out. We are certainly looking forward to giving all of the new products a try and following up by providing you with our first hand reviews.

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