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E-cigarettes may not be the savior of the tobacco industry

By Angela JohnsonAFP/Getty Images E-cigarettes have been heralded as a potential savior for a tobacco industry desperate for new products and customers in the face of a shrinking number of smokers and punitive damages such as the $23.6 billion awarded by a Florida jury last week.But it turns out that regular smokers prefer the real thing.“There is consumer dissatisfaction with the product, which leads to high levels of rejection” said Vivian Azer, tobacco and beverages analyst at Cowen & Co. in New York. “Consumers are willing to try the product, but they are not satisfied.”Indeed, U.S. sales of e-cigs, which look similar to a traditional cigarette, but use a battery to vaporize rather than burn the nicotine, have been declining for the past several months.According to Nielsen convenience-store data, e-cig sales declined 17% in the period ending June 7. What’s more, prices have been negative for six sequential monthly periods, driven by unit declines of 2.8% and lower year-over-year net pricing of 14.2%.Bonnie Herzog, a senior analyst at Wells Fargo & Co., said the drop in sales tells only part of the story.“We believe the negative pricing trends could be due to increased penetration of kits which offer a lower price/cartomizer.” The average price per unit was $5.64.Cartomizers are disposable cartridges with atomizers built into them. The idea is that there is a brand new atomizer in each cartomizer offering maximum vapor production, according to a description on the website of My Vapor Store, an online electronic cigarette superstore.“Further, we believe the sales decline is more reflective of volume moving to vapors-tanks-mods, which tend to be sold in non-tracked channels, especially vape shops,” said Herzog. Vape shops are storefront locations that cater to the vaping community.There are still many questions about the health implications of e-cigs In April The Food and Drug Administration announced a proposal to deem e-cigarettes a “Tobacco Product” which means it can treat the e-electronic product the same as traditional cigarettes.Lorillard Inc. /quotes/zigman/511272/delayed/quotes/nls/lo LO +0.79%  controlled 42% of convenience store e-cigarette sales market with its Blu e-cigarette product before it was acquired by Reynolds American Inc. /quotes/zigman/334469/delayed/quotes/nls/rai RAI +0.29%  last week. As part of the merger, Reynolds said it is selling Blu to Imperial Tobacco /quotes/zigman/167179/delayed UK:IMT -0.15%   to stave off anti-trust regulators as well as to promote its own e-cigarette brand, VUSE.Brand Logic is in second place in convenience store sales with a 25.5% share of sales and NJOY comes in third with a 10% share, according to Wells Fargo Securities Nielsen Convenience Store Data. The size of the vapor market as a whole is $2.5 billion, with e-cigarettes accounting for $1.4 billion of that total.Tobacco companies are still facing thousands of lawsuits from former smokers and the families of dead smokers in wrongful death suits.Last week, a Florida jury told Reynolds., the nation’s No. 2 cigarette manufacturer, to pay $23.6 billion to the widow of a smoker who died of lung cancer. Legal experts expect that sum to be greatly scaled back, either by the judge in the case, or on appeal.But the case highlights that the public continue to blame tobacco companies for the impact their products have on human health./quotes/zigman/511272/delayed/quotes/nls/loUS : U.S.: NYSE$ 60.96+0.48 +0.79%Volume: 1.40MJuly 24, 2014 3:02pP/E Ratio20.08Dividend Yield4.03%Market Cap$21.77 billionRev. per Employee$1.72M/quotes/zigman/334469/delayed/quotes/nls/raiUS : U.S.: NYSE$ 57.33+0.17 +0.29%Volume: 1.21MJuly 24, 2014 3:02pP/E Ratio19.79Dividend Yield4.67%Market Cap$30.37 billionRev. per Employee$1.57M/quotes/zigman/167179/delayedUK : U.K.: London2,618.00 p-4.00 -0.15%Volume: 1.01MJuly 24, 2014 4:36pP/E Ratio0.37Dividend Yield2.96%Market Cap£25.09 billionRev. per Employee£406,232Angela Johnson is a MarketWatch reporter based n New York.Original author: Riley
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Federal Judge to FDA: Tobacco Advisory Panel Tainted by Conflicts of Interest

“The presence of conflicted members on [FDA Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, TPSAC] irrevocably tainted its very composition and its work product” and “the Committee’s findings and recommendations…are, at a minimum, suspect, and, at worst, untrustworthy.” So ruled federal judge Richard Leon this week (here).A lawsuit by Lorillard et al. claimed that the FDA appointment of TPSAC members Neal Benowitz, Jack Henningfield and Jonathan Samet was “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and otherwise not in compliance with the law” because they had conflicts of interest. The evidence was abundant and uncontested. Here are excerpts from the judge’s opinion:“Since the 1980s, Dr. Benowitz has consulted for numerous pharmaceutical companies about the design of the NRT and other smoking-cessation drugs. He consulted for affiliates of Pfizer, Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) as to such products, even while serving on the TPSAC…Dr. Benowitz has also served as a paid witness for lawyers suing tobacco-product manufacturers. He testified as a paid expert witness while serving on the TPSAC, and…he was designated to testify in 585 pending tobacco cases.”“Before and while serving on the TPSAC, Dr. Henningfield consulted for GSK and other drug companies as to NRT and other smoking-cessation drugs. He also had ownership interest in a company that was developing a patented NRT drug. Dr. Henningfield has testified as an expert for GSK and for lawyers suing tobacco-product manufacturers… he was designated to testify in 350 pending tobacco cases.”“Dr. Samet received grant support from GSK at least six times, including in 2010. He also led the Institute for Global Tobacco Control, funded by GSK and Pfizer. Dr. Samet also testified for lawyers suing tobacco-product manufacturers…he was designated to testify in two pending tobacco cases.”Judge Leon’s ruling notes that the composition of TPSAC is different from other FDA advisory committees, because the enabling legislation bans any expert “who received ‘any salary, grants, or other payment or support’ from any tobacco company in the 18-month period prior to serving on the TPSAC.” TPSAC was structured to exclude qualified authorities who have had industry support. Experts with industry support are not precluded from serving on other FDA advisory committees, in which scientific issues are more important than industry demonization. Judge Leon noted that the provision should apply evenly to any conflict of interest: “If Congress deemed that past remuneration from tobacco companies constituted a conflict of interest, it stands to reason that past remuneration from direct competitors of those companies, such as manufacturers of smoking-cessation drugs, would also constitute a conflict of interest.” Judge Leon’s ruling bars the FDA from using a 2011 TPSAC report on menthol, and it also “enjoins the FDA to reconstitute TPSAC’s membership so that it complies with the applicable ethics laws.” Dr. Samet is the only conflicted member remaining on TPSAC, as chair (until 2016). Another member, Claudia Barone, may have a conflict, because she received a Pfizer Educational Grant through 2013 and was appointed to the TPSAC on April 1, 2014 (here).Although the ruling applies specifically to committee actions on menthol cigarettes and dissolvable products, it is relevant to all TPSAC activities until conflicted members are removed. It is common for experts to be co-opted by financial support from organizations committed to a tobacco free society, a euphemism for the obliteration of the tobacco industry (an objective that is at odds with the principle of regulation). Any individual who is funded by organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation should be ineligible for membership on TPSAC.(Updated July 23)Original author: Cody
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What's Wrong Here? Michigan Medical Society Opposes Bill to Ban E-Cigarette Sales to Minors

The Michigan Medical Society has opposed legislation that would protect the public's health by prohibiting the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.If that sounds strange, I'll repeat it so that you realize this is accurate.The Michigan Medical Society - representing the state's physicians - is opposed to legislation that would do nothing more or less than ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.Even the e-cigarette industry itself supports this legislation. How ironic, then, that the state's physicians, along with other "anti-smoking" groups, are opposing this bill, which was enacted by the legislature and awaits the governor's signature. The "anti-smoking" and "health" groups are urging the governor to veto the bill.How is it that anti-smoking advocates and health groups, including the state's physicians, could possibly oppose a simple ban on the sale of e-cigarettes to minors?The Rest of the StoryAs is so often the case, the answer is money.In banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, the legislation defines e-cigarettes the way they should be defined: as vapor products or alternative nicotine products.However, the "health" advocates want e-cigarettes to be defined as tobacco products. Even though they are not tobacco products and do not contain any tobacco.Why?For two reasons.First, the advocates want e-cigarettes to be taxed, and it would be easier to tax these products if they are defined as tobacco products. It's hard to turn down a revenue stream when you see one, and "anti-smoking" advocates are apparently no different. They see a nicotine-containing product that some people are using for pleasure, and they immediately want to tax it, regardless of the fact that taxing e-cigarettes will increase cigarette use and kill people by removing the economic incentive for smokers to switch from real cigarettes to e-cigarettes.Second, the advocates want the same type of marketing and other restrictions that apply to cigarettes to apply equally to e-cigarettes. They are afraid that defining electronic cigarettes honestly might put a damper in those plans.But e-cigarettes should not be treated the same as cigarettes. Doing so removes the incentive for people to switch from real cigarettes to e-cigarettes and therefore will increase smoking, and with it, death.The rest of the story, then, is that health advocates in Michigan are so blinded by ideology (that anything that looks like a cigarette is evil) that they are on the exact opposite side of the issue as they should be. First, they are opposing the prohibition of the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. Second, they are in favor of protecting the sale of tobacco cigarettes by removing all competitive advantage that e-cigarettes hold in the marketplace.Dr. Ken Warner, a nationally recognized tobacco control expert, doesn't buy it. He was quoted as stating:  "Would I like (e-cigarettes) to be regulated by a organization like FDA that can make those subtle distinctions among tobacco products? Yes. Do I want them to be regulated exactly like other tobacco products? No, because not all tobacco products are the same, and too many people think they are and act like they are."Former Michigan legislative aide and public policy expert Ken Braun also sees through the anti-smoking groups' smokescreen:"Inhaling tons of smoke from burning sticks full of harsh chemicals and dried leaves has been proven to be a highly efficient method of creating many murderous cancers. But while very addictive, not healthy, and not something we should be letting children purchase, nicotine use by itself is but a tiny fraction of tobacco’s threat. Confusing these problems is like comparing shoplifting a t-shirt with aggravated murder. Reporting recently on the toxicology of e-cigarettes, the British National Health Service stated the vapors contain 1/1000th the hazardous chemicals of real cigarettes. Those anti-smoking billboards on roadsides showing people with chunks of their face and lungs missing are showing the ravages of tobacco smoke, not nicotine use. To conflate the two ... is - at best - blindingly stupid regarding the facts ... . At worst, it is profoundly immoral propaganda that confuses and distracts people with a lethal addiction regarding a life-saving alternative. We now have the ability to separate smoking death from nicotine addiction. That should be a goal of health policy, not an obstacle.""Half a dozen smokers have contacted me since I began writing about this issue, each speaking of a much healthier lifestyle with clean lungs from switching to e-cigarettes. Their clothing smells normal and they no longer assault bystanders with tobacco smoke. They have their life back because they know the difference between tobacco and nicotine. It’s a shame lying politicians seek to confuse other tragic people who seek such peace."Original author: Michael Siegel
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Vaping takes off as smoking’s latest alternative

Delivers nicotine with new flavors and no ashesBuy This PhotoBrian Swaine demonstrates vaping, an alternative to cigarette smoking.Rich Beauchesne/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 23, 2014 2:00 AMPORTSMOUTH — Brian Swaine was a pack-a-day Marlboro "Reds" smoker who switched to vaping and now has a preference for Honey Pearry flavored e-juice.He also spends a lot of time explaining what vaping and flavored e-juice is.As spokesman for Federal Cigar's new electronic cigarette and vaporizer business, called Cloud 9 Vapor, Swaine staffs a tasting bar in the newly located Portsmouth tobacco shop, where curious customers can try electronic smoking devices that deliver nicotine through flavored vapor.Some of the devices are cylindrical, one looks like a hand grenade and the most popular seller stays attached to a palm-sized battery. They all deliver nicotine through clouds of vapor that smell like dessert, not ash.Behind Federal Cigar's display case of vaporizers is a menu of available flavors for the so-called e-juice — a blend of water, vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, nicotine and flavoring. Federal Cigar carries its own Cloud 9 branded flavors, including cafe latte, which does taste like coffee, as well as apple, butterscotch, banana bread and root beer.The store also carries The Vapor Chef line, which this week includes the flavor Unicorn Poop."Blueberry cupcakes with white chocolate frosting and raspberries on top," are the flavors that compose Unicorn Poop, said Swaine, an Exeter native who builds his own computers and also serves as Federal Cigar's information technology manager."Life's too short to smoke swill," it says under his e-mail signature line.Swaine said he does a lot of "time-consuming" educating about electronic smoking for tourists and locals who are drawn into the Market Street smoke shop by a large window display devoted to vaping contraptions.Like the word vaping, the industry has spawned its own language, with people who vape referred to as "vapers" and the act of hacking vaporizers to create larger clouds of vapors known as "clouding." "Cloud chasers" are people who modify their vaporizers to make bigger clouds of vapor, Swaine said.He explained that he likes vaping because he, his car and his home no longer smell like cigarettes. And he said vaping is about $2,000 a year cheaper than smoking cigarettes, at New Hampshire prices."I would never go back to smoking," he said. "I feel more freedom from vaping because I'm not tied down to one brand of cigarettes."Instead, he and other vapers buy small glass bottles of flavored e-juice that's put into the vaporizer with a dropper, then heated electronically by the push of a button to create flavored vapor to be inhaled. Bottles of flavored e-juice range from $11 to $14.99 and last about a week, Swaine said.He claims that research shows the amount of nicotine released into the air through vaping is 0.82 to 6.23 micrograms, or 0.00082 to 0.00623 milligrams of nicotine. That, he said, is 10 times less than the amount of nicotine exhaled through smoke from a cigarette.Swaine said he's barred professionally from discussing any perceived health benefits from vaping as opposed to smoking cigarettes. But "as a person," he said, "I would say it's healthier."Portsmouth Health Officer Kim McNamara warned that electronic cigarettes "still give off dangerous compounds.""It's a misconception to say that these are safe," she said, while noting they're "relatively new to the market" and there are "not a lot of health studies."Another reason Swaine promotes vaping is because, he said, it can be done indoors. He said he's vaped in downtown Portsmouth restaurants and bars, after asking if there was any objection, and not once has he been told he couldn't do so. His vaporizer was once mistaken for a drug pipe in a downtown bar, but when staff saw it wasn't, Swaine was allowed to continue using it, he said.McNamara said the city is treating electronic cigarettes like tobacco-filled cigarettes and said they are not allowed in city restaurants and bars."We recognize it still as smoking," she said.McNamara explained that unless a public park is posted as prohibiting smoking, electronic cigarettes are allowed in outdoor public places. She also added that if electronic cigarettes are helping people to quit smoking tobacco-filled cigarettes, that's a good thing.Swaine said he switches vaping flavors and the Honey Pearry flavor he's liking lately is a mix of honeydew, pears and strawberries. Some customers tell him they "don't want to vape any cake," or "I don't want to smoke cake," he said. But the same customers have come back to buy sweeter dessert flavors after growing accustomed to vaping using tobacco or coffee flavors.To introduce customers to the tastes and vaping experience, Cloud 9's tasting bar has disposable plastic tips for use on various vaporizers for would-be vapers to sample different flavors."I think most people have heard of it, but most have not encountered it," Swaine said.Members of Portsmouth's Taxi Commission hadn't heard of vaping on Monday morning, when local cabbies were reminded there's no smoking in city cabs. One driver said his brother, also a cabbie, vapes in his cab, but the commissioners hadn't heard of it.The federal Food and Drug Administration reports that "e-cigarettes have not been fully studied, so consumers currently don't know the potential risks of e-cigarettes when used as intended, how much nicotine or other potentially harmful chemicals are being inhaled during use, or whether there are any benefits associated with using these products."Only electronic cigarettes that are marketed as therapeutic, to help cigarette smokers quit, are regulated by the FDA.The federal health agency reports that it has "issued a proposed rule that would extend the agency's tobacco authority to cover additional products that meet the legal definition of a tobacco product," including e-cigarettes.We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form. New comments are only accepted for two weeks from the date of publication.Original author: Irving
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Second Call to Prepare for FDA Proposed Regulations - Prepare/Refine Draft Comment

On Thursday, May 8th, 2014, CASAA released the Overview of its Action Plan Regarding Proposed FDA Regulations.   As noted in CASAA's Action plan, this is not a battle that is going to be won based solely on comments to the proposed regulations. Accordingly, we are attacking this on several different fronts. Before the draft regulations were published, we had envisioned a single Call toOriginal author: Julie
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E-cigarette explodes at family home

E-cigarette explodes at family home in RingwoodUpdated 12:32pm Tuesday 22nd July 2014 in News By James Johnson, Senior ReporterThe aftermath of the incidentA mother is lucky to be alive after a faulty charger caused an explosion at her Ringwood home.The charger, connected to an e-cigarette, caught fire and overheated the pressurised canister of an air horn, which then blew up.Now trading standards officers have warned the public that only chargers supplied with electrical items should be used.The incident is the latest in a string of incidents in the UK involving the use of cheap or inappropriate chargers and firefighters said the woman is lucky to have received no injuries.The woman was alerted to the fire in an upstairs bedroom of the house on Southampton Road by her smoke alarm, which had only had its battery changed the previous week.After discovering the fire, she managed to escape downstairs before the explosion, caused by the heating of the pressurised canister of an air horn that was in the room."This then overheated and caught light to the bedding, and the fire then caused the canister to expand and explode."Plugs need to be appropriate for the device they are charging and not all can be transferred between devices. The consequences of using the wrong charger with the wrong device can be devastating and we are extremely relieved that on this occasion no-one was harmed."In May, a Welsh woman was burned after her e-cigarette exploded when it was plugged into her phone charger and a barmaid in North Yorkshire was also injured earlier this year when a charging e-cigarette overheated.While e-cigarettes can be susceptible to overheating due to the type of battery they contain, Hampshire's Trading Standards are keen to stress the importance of using the right charger for all devices and raise awareness of the dangers of cheap alternatives.A spokesman from Hampshire County Council Trading Standards said: "The message is do not buy cheap or unbranded chargers for use with e-cigarettes, mobile phones or any other devices. They are invariably dangerous and illegal."At the least, they are capable of destroying your device. At worst, they have the potential to give a fatal electric shock or cause a very serious house fire."Our officers regularly stop and destroy large quantities of unsafe chargers as part of their work at ports. This is a widespread problem, with many being sold through internet sellers."Always make sure that the rated output of your charger is matched to the product you are charging."Fire crews from Ringwood were quickly on the scene and entered the house using breathing apparatus and extinguished the flames. Fire investigators then traced the cause back to a USB plug that had an e-cigarette charging in it.Group Manager Dan Tasker said: "We discovered that the woman's son had lost the charger that came with the e-cigarette kit he had bought, so he had plugged it into a different USB charger and then gone out.Original author: Gwen
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E-cigarettes could save the government billions

Innovation is a powerful thing. It has dramatically increased our quality of life, and the entrepreneurial spirit behind it continues to amaze us. If someone from 1964 were to see the computers, automobiles or medical diagnostics we have today, they would be astounded. But former U.S. surgeon-general Luther Terry, who released the first ground breaking Report of the Surgeon General on Smoking and Health 50 years ago, would be saddened that cigarettes have not appreciably changed. They are still the same deadly and defective delivery system for nicotine and they remain, by far, the leading cause of preventable death, despite sound policy and improved treatment.Although there has been little to no innovation in cigarettes (evidence suggests they may actually be more harmful today than they were in the past), there have been great advances in potentially massively less harmful ways to deliver nicotine to the body, such as electronic cigarettes. Unfortunately, Health Canada’s policy to these game-changing devices has been confused, to say the least.We have known for decades that smokers smoke for the nicotine, but die from the smoke. It is the latter that is the overwhelming cause of the cancers, as well as heart and lung diseases. In other words, it’s the smoke, stupid. Were we to ingest caffeine by smoking rather than brewing tea leaves, the result would likely be the same. Approximately five million Canadians (one in five adults) continue to smoke cigarettes and get exposed to roughly 7,000 chemicals, including 60 that cause cancer. Others face health risks due to second-hand smoke. Many treatments for nicotine addiction, including nicotine gums and patches, are more effective than quitting cold turkey, but still not optimal.Failure to distinguish between the nicotine and the smoke leads society to miss a huge opportunity to address the seemingly intractable problems associated with cigarette smoking. The quit or die approach is unethical. It is akin to thinking that anyone who drove a car the 1960s, when there were much less stringent safety standards, should totally forgo driving, rather than have easy access to alternate, potentially less risky, products.Entrepreneurs have found a way to meet the needs those unable, or unwilling, to forgo nicotine by developing, marketing and selling products that can deliver the drug in ways that promise to reduce the associated health risks, simply by getting rid of the smoke. Electronic cigarettes, which deliver nicotine in a combustion-free vapour, are currently the most visible example. But these products are just the beginning of what has the potential to be a tsunami of innovation that could do to smoking what sanitation did to cholera. The products on the market today are just the beginning.Over a billion smokers worldwide are spending over $800-billion a year on cigarettes. The desire for a safer alternative, however, has led to massive growth in e-cigarette sales. The private sector has an incentive to meet this demand, and if it’s done right, we could have a self-funding public-health revolution, with the potential to save the health-care system billions of dollars by reducing the prevalence of diseases caused by inhaling smoke.This has happened before. Only a couple of decades before that first surgeon-general’s report, stomach cancer was the leading cause of cancer deaths. But within 50 years, it had been relegated to a minor cause of mortality. This was largely due to refrigeration. Manufacturers were able to harness the technology and innovate to make the products more consumer-friendly, promoting healthier diets and the subsequent reduction in stomach cancer cases. Such actions by the private sector are easily replicable because they are profitable and thus don’t require government subsidies. We now have the potential to virtually eliminate lung cancer and many other smoking-related diseases. Such a revolution in public health would be among the biggest in history. It would work with, rather than against, the market to make combustible tobacco obsolete.Peter Selby, David Sweanor and John Hughes, National Post  E-cigarettes could save the government billionsOriginal author: Leanora
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D.C. District Court Invalidates TPSAC Menthol Report Because of Conflicts of Interest of Panel Members

A D.C. District Court judge has invalidated the FDA's Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) report on menthol because of severe financial conflicts of interest of several of its panel members.The decision comes in response to a lawsuit brought by Lorillard on two grounds. First, the companies alleged that three TPSAC members (Drs. Benowitz, Henningfield, and Samet) were conflicted because "they have made tens of thousands of dollars as paid expert witnesses in litigation against tobacco products manufacturers." Second, the companies alleged that Drs. Benowitz, Henningfield, and Samet are conflicted because of "their continuing financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies that make smoking-cessation products."As a result of the decision, the FDA will not be able to rely upon the findings and conclusions of the TPSAC menthol report. In addition, the Court instructed the agency to reconstruct TPSAC by replacing any members who have conflicts of interest. Dr. Samet is the only current TPSAC member who appears to be implicated by this instruction.In October 2011, commenting on Lorillard's lawsuit, I wrote:"I believe that the second grounds - the existence of severe financial conflicts of interest by virtue of these panelists financial connections to pharmaceutical companies that manufacture smoking cessation products - is entirely compelling. In fact, I revealed these conflicts of interest and called for the resignation of Drs. Henningfield, Benowitz, and Samet from the TPSAC panel in the first few days after the TPSAC members were announced by the FDA."In fact, I went so far as to call for the removal of four FDA Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) panel members - Dr. Neal Benowitz, Dr. Jack Henningfield, Dr. Dorothy Hatsukami, and Dr. Jonathan Samet - because they had significant conflicts of interest with pharmaceutical companies that made it impossible for them to offer objective advice to the Agency on federal tobacco regulatory policy matters.In September 2010, I pointed out specifically that:  "The next major issue that TPSAC will consider (after menthol), in fact, is dissolvable tobacco products. Now that GlaxoSmithKline has come out in strong opposition to these products and directly petitioned the FDA to remove these products from the market, it is not possible for any TPSAC member who has a financial conflict of interest with Glaxo (or similar companies that manufacture smoking cessation products) to impartially participate in discussions on this matter." The Rest of the StoryAs I had suggested in my September 2010 column, Judge Richard Leon's decision was based in large part on his finding that Dr. Benowitz's ongoing conflict of interest with pharmaceutical companies rendered him unable to objectively consider the issue of dissolvable tobacco products (DTPs)."The FDA erred in concluding that current, ongoing financial relationships with drug manufacturers did not constitute a conflict. Since manufacturers of smoking-cessation drugs compete with manufacturers of DTPs, ... and since Dr. Benowitz stood to profit from the sale of NRT drugs, he faced a conflict with regard to providing advice in the TPSAC's report on DTPs. ... the TPSAC was charged with studying the public health impact of a drug (i.e., DTPs), and Dr. Benowitz had an ongoing business relationship (i.e., consulting work) with companies developing "alternative" or competing drugs (i.e., smoking-cessation drugs). Accordingly, I find that the FDA's conclusion with regard to Dr. Benowitz was a 'clear error of judgment.'"Judge Leon also found that a similar conflict existed on the menthol issue because a ban on menthol would increase the market for smoking cessation drugs by causing many smokers to want to quit. Thus, having a current financial interest in a pharmaceutical company was a clear conflict of interest.While I still disagree with Leon's finding that serving as an expert witness is a relevant conflict because I do not see any relevant financial interest in the absence of the pertinence of a matter to a specific legal contract for hire of an expert, I do agree completely with his decision regarding the pharmaceutical conflicts of interest.Perhaps the most discouraging aspect of the story is that the FDA failed to acknowledge these conflicts of interest. I explained in a previous post why the guidelines used by the FDA to determine eligibility for the TPSAC were inappropriate. Hopefully, this decision - having exposed the ridiculousness of those guidelines - will force the FDA to reformulate the guidelines so that they do actually screen out expert panelists with relevant conflicts of interest.Will this decision have any impact on the regulation of menthol by the FDA? No. There are plenty of other sources that the agency could rely on for information if it wishes to regulate menthol. The bottom line is that the FDA is not going to ban menthol, with or without the TPSAC report.The major implication of this decision is that it exposes the degree to which financial conflicts of interest are plaguing the current tobacco control movement. It should force anti-smoking groups and federal agencies to take conflicts of interest more seriously.For years, the anti-smoking groups and public health agencies have taken tobacco industry conflicts of interest seriously. Now it is time to have some integrity and fairness and to consider all corporate conflicts of interest, whether they involve Big Tobacco or Big Pharma.Original author: Michael Siegel
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After Years of Research, the Worst that E-Cigarette Opponents Can Say Is: "They are Not Harmless"

While there is still a lot we do not know about the exact magnitude of any long-term risks associated with electronic cigarette use, vapers should be quite reassured that after at least five years of research into the health effects of vaping, the worst that electronic cigarette opponents can say is: "Well ... they're not harmless."In a news article, SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) attempted to demonize electronic cigarettes, providing a quite biased and one-sided look at the risks associated with these products. The article fails to report the results of surveys and clinical trials, which have shown that e-cigarettes are a bona fide smoking cessation aid that have helped thousands of smokers to quit.Despite its obvious bias against electronic cigarettes, what was the worst thing that SAMHSA could say about the health risks of vaping:"“There’s so much we don’t yet know about e-cigarettes,” said Douglas Tipperman, M.S.W., a public health advisor at SAMHSA. “They are not harmless. We don’t know the health impact at the individual or the population level.”The Rest of the StoryIf "they are not harmless" is the worst that opponents can say about electronic cigarettes in 2014, then there doesn't seem to be much of a controversy over whether these products are much safer alternatives to smoking. Likewise, there doesn't appear to be much of a controversy over whether switching to e-cigarettes is a wise choice for smokers who want to quit but feel unable to do so cold turkey (which is, of course, the best option).The SAMHSA article is full of ridiculous statements and poor reasoning, such as the conclusion that electronic cigarettes are repeating the Big Tobacco story because their ads use celebrities:"Similarities are evident between advertisements for the e-cigarettes of today and the cigarette ads from the 1950s. For example, both sets of ads use celebrities to appeal to their target audiences."By that reasoning, Rolex, Pantene, and Save the Seals are also targeting youth for a lifetime of addiction, taking a page out of Big Tobacco's playbook. The weakness of the scientific argumentation of those opposed to electronic cigarettes demonstrates that in 2014, there simply is not much of a scientific argument to fall back on in opposing this innovation. The science isn't going to do it, so opponents have to rely on trite and meaningless assertions like:"They aren't harmless.""There's a lot we don't know about them.""They still have nicotine in them.""Their ads use celebrities."Hopefully, the FDA will look towards a little higher level of scientific evidence and reasoning before it promulgates its final e-cigarette regulations.Original author: Michael Siegel
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In the Face of Contrary Evidence, the CDC Still Denies that Electronic Cigarettes Can Help Anyone to Quit Smoking

In her article on CDC's "Tips from Former Smokers" anti-smoking campaign, Nancy Wride of Elements Behavioral Health made an interesting observation. On its web site describing a variety of possible strategies to quit smoking, the CDC does not list electronic cigarettes. Wride therefore asked the CDC why electronic cigarettes are not included on its web site as a potential smoking cessation aid.The CDC's response:"while we have heard from some former smokers who say e-cigarettes helped them quit, there is not yet any conclusive scientific evidence that e-cigarettes can work as a cessation aid."The Rest of the StoryIn other words, what the CDC is saying is:"While we have heard from former smokers who say e-cigarettes helped them quit, we have to ignore their statements because we just can't bring ourselves to admit that something which looks like a cigarette could possibly be a good thing and could have positive benefits like helping a smoker get off of tobacco cigarettes."The CDC's statement is wrong on its face. If there is reputable evidence from former smokers that e-cigarettes helped them quit smoking, then there is indeed conclusive scientific evidence that e-cigarettes "can work" as a cessation aid.In fact, there are literally thousands of testimonials from ex-smokers as well as thousands of identified ex-smokers in surveys who testify that for them, e-cigarettes did work as a cessation aid. There is no legitimate scientific debate over whether e-cigarettes can work as a cessation aid. They can work, and they have worked for literally thousands of smokers.Since the CDC admits, in the first part of its statement, that e-cigarettes have indeed worked as a cessation aid for some former smokers, it is clearly lying in the second part of its statement, in which it claims there is no scientific evidence that e-cigarettes can work as a cessation aid.Why is the CDC unable to tell the truth? Why can't the agency even issue a statement that is internally consistent on this issue? Why is the CDC ignoring the wealth of evidence that it admits exists, which shows that many ex-smokers have used electronic cigarettes effectively as a smoking cessation aid?One possible answer appears in Wride's column. She writes:"So why doesn’t the CDC include e-cigarettes among its cessation and quitting tips? “The real reason is that they don’t condone anything that looks like smoking, even if it delivers none of the smoke and even if it delivers no nicotine,” Siegel said. “It is the ideology of the smoking action that they oppose.”"In a recent column in Forbes magazine, Jacob Sullum reviews some of the evidence which demonstrates that many former smokers have quit smoking successfully using electronic cigarettes as a cessation aid. Sullum writes:"The new survey [published by the E-Cigarette Forum] ... provides further evidence that e-cigarettes help smokers quit... . Eighty-nine percent of the respondents reported that they had smoked at least 10 cigarettes a day before they started vaping, and 88 percent said they were not currently smokers. Those findings are similar to the results of another survey focusing on people who participate in online vaping forums, reported last April in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. That study, which included more than 19,000 vapers from around the world, found that almost all of them (99.5 percent) were smokers when they started vaping. Four-fifths of them had stopped smoking completely, while the rest had reduced their cigarette consumption, on average, from 20 to four per day.""It should be emphasized that neither of these studies was designed to capture a representative sample of all vapers. Instead they focus on the most enthusiastic among them, whom you would expect to have had especially satisfying experiences with e-cigarettes. The high success rates in these surveys therefore are unlikely to be seen among the broader group of smokers who try to quit with e-cigarettes, let alone among smokers who merely try the product out. But these surveys do indicate that e-cigarettes have helped many smokers quit.""It borders on bizarre that critics like [West Virginia Senator Jay] Rockefeller continue to question the existence of those former smokers, even while arguing that e-cigarettes should be restricted or banned based on the entirely hypothetical risk that vaping will lead to smoking among teenagers who otherwise never would have tried tobacco."The CDC is even worse. It actually acknowledges the existence of these former smokers, but still argues that there is no evidence that electronic cigarettes have helped any smokers quit.Clearly, the actual scientific evidence doesn't matter to an agency that is being guided purely by ideology and which has come to a pre-determined conclusion that e-cigarettes are evil. Today's story demonstrates how a strong pre-existing schema, propped up by ideology, leads to such preposterous scientific statements such as arguing that although many ex-smokers have used e-cigarettes successfully as a cessation aid, there is no evidence that any ex-smokers have used e-cigarettes successfully as a cessation aid.Original author: Michael Siegel
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Startup of the Week: Smokio

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Smokio makes an electronic cigarette that connects wirelessly to an app in order for smokers to monitor their consumption. It's designed to help better coach smokers into quitting tobacco. It was founded by former GroupOn exec Steve Anavi, Wimdu.com founder Alexandre Prot and electronics manufacturing entrepreneur Emrah Yuceer. Wired.co.uk caught up with Prot. By: Olivia Solon, Continue reading ...Original author: Leanora
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First Call to Prepare for FDA Proposed Regulations - Prepare Draft Comment

As noted in CASAA's Action plan, this is not a battle that is going to be won based solely on comments to the proposed regulations. Accordingly, we are attacking this on several different fronts. Before the draft regulations were published, we had envisioned a single Call to Action with several suggested actions. However, upon seeing the details, we decided the best strategy to effect positive change is to prepare a comprehensive Action Plan which consists of several Calls to Action issued at staggered dates to maximize effectiveness, and extending beyond comments to the FDA docket.

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E-cigarette researchers count puffs, scour Facebook to assess risks

One team of researchers assessing the risks of electronic cigarettes is counting the puffs taken by volunteer "vapers." Another will comb Facebook for posts on how people are tinkering with e-cigarettes to make the devices deliver extra nicotine. A third is building a virtual convenience store for 13-to-17-year-olds, measuring how e-cigarette displays and price promotions influence whether minors buy the increasingly popular devices.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is spending $270 million on these and 45 other research projects to determine the risks of e-cigarettes before millions more Americans become hooked on the devices.ADVERTISEMENTADVERTISEMENT"They want data and they want it yesterday," said Dr Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin of Yale University, who is leading four projects."Yesterday," however, is years away.Final results may not be available before 2018, researchers leading the FDA-funded projects told Reuters. That timetable, which has not been reported before, underscores how the slow pace of science is contributing to a regulatory vacuum, allowing e-cigarette makers to sell their products virtually unchallenged.To be sure, studies of e-cigarettes not funded by the FDA are also under way, and the agency can factor those results into any action it takes. But the FDA chose these 48 projects because they address questions central to future regulations.The e-cigarette industry, which Wells Fargo Securities estimates will make $2 billion in global sales this year, says the FDA must wait for the results of the research before it issues any regulations, or manufacturers risk being driven out of business by unproven fears about their products."There shouldn't be regulations akin to those for cigarettes without evidence of similar health impact, especially since the preliminary evidence is positive for the industry" when it comes to comparing the contents of e-cigarette vapor to tobacco smoke, said attorney Bryan Haynes. His Richmond, Virginia-based firm Troutman Sanders represents e-cigarette manufacturers.Backed by the world's biggest tobacco companies, the industry is aggressively expanding its marketing across the country. More than 14 million U.S. adults and nearly 2 million teens and tweens have used e-cigarettes, and the rate of use among high-schoolers doubled from 2011 to 2012, the latest data available.The FDA "will always make regulatory decisions based on the best available science,” said an agency spokeswoman. “With regard to e-cigarettes, the agency does not believe it will take many years to create the regulatory framework” once the FDA has the basic authority to regulate the products, which could happen next year.   The missing science includes basic questions such as what compounds are in the vapor produced by e-cigarettes. It also includes complicated ones like whether flavors such as butterscotch and bubble gum entice children to vape, how e-cigarette displays in online stores affect teenagers' desire to buy vaping liquid, and, perhaps most crucial, whether e-cigarettes will reduce the number of smokers or produce millions of new nicotine addicts.The Yale team, for instance, will study whether menthol and flavors such as chocolate and cherry increase the appeal of e-cigarettes, especially to 16-to-18-year-old smokers or "dual users" who both smoke and vape. If that turns out to be the case, the FDA would have scientific support for regulating."We'll have the first results within two years" and complete ones in four to five, Krishnan-Sarin said.REAL-TIME EXPERIMENTAs an uncontrolled experiment in public health, the use of electronic cigarettes is rivaled only by conventional tobacco smoking, a habit adopted by half of American men and one-third of women during its peak in the 1960s. The first Surgeon General’s report on the health dangers of cigarettes was released in 1964, when more than 40 percent of American adults were already hooked. To date, more than 10 million Americans have died from illnesses tied to smoking tobacco.Research on e-cigarettes has moved more quickly, partly because scientists can draw on regular tobacco research to establish the biological effects of vaping.The cartridge-like devices were first introduced in the United States by start-up manufacturers in 2007. Now, the U.S. market is dominated by blu, a brand owned by Lorillard Inc.Other leading tobacco companies are making a big push for a share of the growing market: R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co., a subsidiary of Reynolds American, began selling its Vuse e-cigarette nationwide last month and Altria's NuMark subsidiary plans to do so with its MarkTen later this year.The FDA got authority to regulate tobacco products, both traditional and novel, with the 2009 Tobacco Control Act. In April, the FDA proposed banning e-cigarette sales to minors, angering public health advocates who want more far-reaching prohibitions on online sales, advertising and flavors.The FDA began funding e-cigarette research in 2012. An FDA-funded project at the University of Louisville in Kentucky illustrates why the pace of science is slow.Scientists there will look at three or four brands of e-cigarettes and analyze their volatile organic compounds, flavorings and particulate matter to see how they affect lung and other cells in lab mice, said lead researcher Dr Sanjay Srivastata.This spring, he began exposing the animals to e-cigarette vapor for up to six months, with full results expected in 2015. While those findings could help FDA quantify risks from vaping, results extending the conclusions to humans are as much as five years away.THE 'PLEASURES OF NICOTINE'Another crucial question researchers are trying to answer is whether e-cigarettes will be used mostly by nicotine newbies, including adolescents; by ex-smokers craving a nicotine hit without the carcinogens of tobacco; or by smokers trying to quit.To get a handle on who is likely to use e-cigarettes, scientists at Georgia State University School of Public Health will conduct online surveys of 6,000 people to assess whether they perceive e-cigarettes as less harmful than the traditional kind, why those who have switched from the latter to e-cigarettes did so, and what influences people's perceptions of the product's risk."This is the kind of research that is going to be informing the FDA's regulatory process," said Michael Eriksen, dean of the School of Public Health and leader of three FDA-funded projects on tobacco.The FDA's proposed e-cigarette rules would give it the power to regulate the ingredients in the vaping liquid, but are silent on the plumes of vapor produced when the liquid is heated. According to research at Virginia Commonwealth University, that may be a dangerous oversight: a form of e-cigarettes called tank systems can get so hot the vapor can contain the carcinogen formaldehyde and other toxic compounds."We want to know what's in the emissions, not just the ingredients," said VCU toxicologist Robert Balster, who is helping to oversee four FDA-funded projects.To find out, VCU engineers are constructing mechanical vaping devices to measure how temperature, voltage, and other parameters affect the content of the plumes from e-cigarettes. They will next comb through Facebook and blog postings to see whether vapers like super-hot temperatures, for instance. Combining the results of the mechanical vaper and real-life habits should show what emissions people are exposed to."If it turns out that people are tinkering with the electronics to increase the voltage of e-cigarettes, and FDA regulations limit the maximum voltage, that's useful to know," since it may justify a requirement that the devices be tinker-proof, said Balster.Full results are years away, he said, "but we're mindful of getting information to FDA in a timely manner. They're under a lot of pressure to get moving."Original author: Barry
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Reynolds gains in menthol, gives up e-cigarette brand

By Anjali Athavaley and Siddharth Cavale (Reuters) - Reynolds American Inc's proposed $25 billion acquisition of smaller rival Lorillard Inc shows how the tobacco company is placing its bets on the market for menthols even as a growing number of smokers opt for e-cigarettes. With the deal, Reynolds American picks up Newport menthol cigarettes, one of the few U.S. brands that is gaining share in a shrinking market. At the same time, Reynolds is giving up blu - the top-seller in the e-cigarette market seen by many as the tobacco industry's future - to Britain's Imperial Tobacco Group. As part of the deal, Imperial will buy Reynolds' Salem, Winston and KOOL and Lorillard's Maverick brands in a move meant to ease potential antitrust concerns. Experts say that still may not satisfy regulators. Sources familiar with the transaction said gaining the blu brand made the deal more attractive to Imperial. While cigarette sales volume has been falling about 4 percent a year, e-cigarette sales have been booming. Reynolds sells its own e-cigarettes under the Vuse brand but controls less than 5 percent of the market, according to market research firm Euromonitor International. But Reynolds' chief executive officer, Susan Cameron, says Vuse has a "superior technology" that will make it a strong contender in the e-cigarette market. The company, which started selling Vuse roughly a year ago in Colorado and Utah, is rolling out the product nationwide this quarter. Meanwhile, Reynolds' purchase of Lorillard's Newport brand gives the company a stronger presence in the market for menthol cigarettes. Menthols now make up 31.4 percent of the total market compared with 26 percent in 2002, according to Morningstar. "The e-cigarette category is very small today," said Cameron. "It's growing and consumers are interested in it, but this transaction is really about adding Newport to our portfolio." Menthol is a mint-flavored additive that may reduce the irritation and harshness of smoking when used in cigarettes, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Experts say menthols have disproportionate popularity among young people, lower-income smokers and African-Americans. The FDA last year released a preliminary review that said that a majority of African-American smokers use menthol cigarettes. Menthols were also associated with lower socioeconomic status, according to the FDA review of available studies. But the deal shows that Reynolds isn't banking on significant regulation of menthols by the FDA, which regulates the substance in medical products but not in cigarettes. The agency is conducting its own studies on the topic and has said it would consider restricting the use of menthols. In an interview, Lorillard’s CEO, Murray Kessler, said both companies are confident there is no justification for regulating menthol cigarettes differently than nonmenthols. Analysts have also said that smoking-related lawsuits are leveling off in the United States, making it a ripe time for consolidation in the industry. "I think the industry believes the litigation environment is manageable and has certainly improved over the last decade," said Kessler. Still, health advocates have raised concerns that the proposed acquisition would bring together two companies they say have a history of marketing to children and minorities. "A bigger tobacco company is not better for public health," said Lisa Henrikson, a senior research scientist at Stanford Prevention Research Center, part of the Stanford University School of Medicine. Lorillard and Reynolds declined to comment. The companies also downplayed concerns that the deal wouldn't pass antitrust scrutiny. The planned divestitures could be just a starting point, with more offered if regulators balk at allowing the deal, said Andre Barlow, an antitrust expert with Doyle, Barlow & Mazard Pllc. "We are very confident we will close this in the first half of 2015," Cameron said. Cameron will continue to be president and CEO of Reynolds, the company said. Kessler will join RAI’s board after the closing of the transaction. DEAL DETAILS Reynolds, whose brands include Camel and Pall Mall, offered $68.88 per Lorillard share, representing a premium of 2.5 percent to Lorillard's Monday close. Lorillard's shares, which have risen about 37 percent since reports of the deal first surfaced in February, were down 7.5 percent at $62.19 on Tuesday. Reynolds' shares were down 4 percent at $60.61. Imperial's shares were down 3.4 percent at 2,647 pence in London. Including debt, the deal is valued at $27.4 billion. Reynolds said it expects to have over $11 billion in revenue and about $5 billion in operating income annually after the deal closes. Reynolds had sales of $8.24 billion in 2013. British American Tobacco, Reynolds' largest shareholder, will buy shares to maintain its 42 percent stake in Reynolds through a $4.7 billion investment. BAT's shares were down 1.8 percent at 3,532 pence on the London Stock Exchange. Reynolds' financial advisers are Lazard and J.P. Morgan Securities, while Lorillard is being advised by Centerview Partners and Barclays Plc. Legal advisers to Reynolds are Jones Day, while Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is advising Lorillard. BAT is being advised by Deutsche Bank and UBS. The legal advisers to BAT are Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Herbert Smith Freehills. Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs advised Imperial. Allen & Overy represents Imperial Tobacco. The team is led by London partner Jeremy Parr and U.S. partner Eric Shube and was supported by Elaine Johnston, David Ernst, Brian Jebb, Shira Selengut, Mark Davis, Sarah Shaw, Mike Maier, Jochem Beurskens, Loren Thomas and Natalie Montano. In-house counsel was Anthony Pickard-Rose. (Additional reporting by Sweta Singh, Sagarika Jaisinghani and Shailaja Sharma in Bangalore, Martinne Geller in London, and Jilian Mincer in New York; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Prudence Crowther)Consumer DiscretionaryInvestment & Company InformationReynolds Americanmenthol cigarettesLorillard IncOriginal author: Halley
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Research and Markets: E-cigarette Market in India Markt Report 2014-2018: Market Set to Grow at a CAGR of 63%

DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/spk7pc/ecigarette) has announced the addition of the "E-cigarette Market in India 2014-2018" report to their offering. The E-cigarette market in India will grow at a CAGR of 63.38 percent over the period 2013-2018. An e-cigarette is an electronic inhaler that simulates tobacco smoking. It is a battery-powered inhaler designed to provide inhaled doses of tobacco by way of vaporizing the solutions and simulating the effects of smoking by heating a nicotine liquid into vapor, which the user then inhales and exhales. An e-cigarette is also known as an e-vaping device, a personal vaporizer, or an e-nicotine delivery system. It contains a heating element that vaporizes liquid nicotine or a flavored liquid. The e-liquids used in e-cigarettes are available in different flavors such as pink bubble gum, menthol, watermelon, and peach. This report covers the present scenario and the growth prospects of the E-cigarette market in India for the period 2014-2018. To calculate the market size, the report considers revenue generated from sales of e-cigarettes and related products such as cartridges, refills, and e-liquids. The market forecast is based on the understanding that e-cigarette sales during the forecast period may not be affected by the socio-political and legal dynamics in the country. The report, the E-cigarette Market in India 2014-2018, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report focuses on India; it also covers the E-cigarette market landscape and its growth prospects in the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in this market. Key Vendors A S SMOKEFREE Electronic Cigarette India Pvt. Ltd Jet Age Creations Niew Focus Global Impex Pvt. Ltd RRR Chemicals Shenzhen Joye tech Co. Ltd SteamLite Sales Pvt. Ltd Steamz Agro India Pvt. Other Prominent Vendors Altria Group Inc. Ballantyne Brands LLC British American Tobacco plc CB Distributors Inc. FIN Branding Group LLC Gamucci Ltd Imperial Tobacco Group plc Logic Technology Development LLC Lorillard Inc. Nicotek LLC NJOY Inc. Reynolds American Inc. Vapestick Group Ltd Vapor Corp. VMR Products LLC Zandera Ltd. Key Topics Covered: Executive Summary List of Abbreviations Scope of the Report Market Research Methodology Introduction Market Landscape Product Life Cycle Analysis Buying Criteria Market Growth Drivers Drivers and their Impact Market Challenges Impact of Drivers and Challenges Market Trends Trends and their Impact Vendor Landscape Key Vendor Analysis For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/spk7pc/ecigarette Consumer DiscretionaryPersonal Investing Ideas & StrategiesIndia Contact: Research and MarketsLaura Wood, Senior This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. E.S.T Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call 1-800-526-8630For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900U.S. Fax: 646-607-1907Fax (outside U.S.): +353-1-481-1716Sector: TobaccoOriginal author: Barry
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Reynolds American to buy Lorillard in $27.4 bn deal

New York (AFP) - US tobacco giant Reynolds American will acquire rival Lorillard to create a behemoth aimed at conquering the growing e-cigarette market, the companies announced Tuesday.Reynolds, the second-biggest US tobacco producer with its Camel and Pall Mall brands, will buy the US number-three Lorillard for $68.88 per share in a deal worth $27.4 billion, including debt, the companies said.The two companies also plan a major divestment of assets to British firm Imperial Tobacco. Following the completion of the Reynolds-Lorillard deal, Imperial will acquire leading Reynolds and Lorillard brands, including Kool, Salem, Winston and Blu, an e-cigarette.Imperial will pick up Lorillard's manufacturing and research site in Greensboro, North Carolina, which includes 2,900 employees.Imperial, the maker of Gauloises and Davidoff cigarettes, will pay $7.1 billion in cash for the assets.Reynolds will receive $4.4 billion after taxes from the Imperial deal, which is contingent on the closing of the Reynolds-Lorillard transaction. View gallery The combination of Reynolds American Inc. the second-largest US tobacco company, with number-three L …The divestment is intended to enable antitrust approval as both Lorillard's Blu and Reynolds's VUSE brands are e-cigarettes.Reynolds chief executive Susan Cameron expressed confidence the deal would win regulatory approval and told analysts on a conference call the transactions were structured to create a "strong third competitor" in Imperial after the industry leader, Altria, and Reynolds.Under the terms of the cash-and-stock agreement, Lorillard shareholders will receive, for each Lorillard share, $50.50 in cash and 0.2909 of a share in RAI stock at the closing of the transaction.That represents a premium of 40.4 percent to the share price on February 28, before initial media speculation on a possible tie-up.The addition of the popular Newport brand and other Lorillard holdings "will enhance our ability to compete in the combustible cigarette and smokeless categories," Cameron said in a statement. View gallery Camel cigarettes, manufactured by Reynolds American, are displayed at a tobacco shop on July 11, 201 …British American Tobacco, Reynolds's largest shareholder, backed the deal and will maintain its 42 percent stake through an investment of about $4.7 billion in Reynolds. Lorillard shareholders will hold 15 percent of the new combined company, which will have more than $11 billion in revenues and about $5 billion in operating income, the firms said.Cameron will retain the chief executive post in the new company. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2015.Wall Street's reaction to the deal was disappointment. Reynolds dropped 6.9 percent to $58.84, while Lorillard sank 10.5 percent to $60.17.RBC Capital Markets analyst Nik Modi rated the transaction price a "positive" for Reynolds given that RBC viewed $70-per-share a "takeout price" for Lorillard. View gallery Packages of Lorillard's Newport cigarettes are displayed at a tobacco shop on July 11, 2014 in S …On the downside, RBC said a pledge by Reynolds for annual cost-savings of $800 million came in below the $900 million expected.-Growing e-cigarette market-Tuesday's deal could remake the US tobacco market, one of the world's most important with annual sales of more than $90 billion in 2013, according to Euromonitor.Reynolds currently holds 25 percent of the US market, while Lorillard has 15 percent. Rival Altria, owner of the popular Marlboro brand, holds about 50 percent of the market.To compete with Altria, which has been slower than some peers to enter e-cigarettes, Reynolds is eyeing stronger growth in e-cigarettes and cigars.Reynolds plans to heavily promote its VUSE "vapor product" brand of e-cigarettes and will develop new brands in the growing segment with British American Tobacco.Cameron told analysts the decision to divest Blu instead of VUSE was "a business decision" to go with what it feels is the "superior" product."We have such confidence in VUSE superior technology, that it is a game-changing product," she said. "And we believe that VUSE will be very successful, and is showing great signs as we have embarked on our national rollout."The e-cigarette business continues to gain global market share and accounted for $7 billion in sales last year, said Euromonitor. The market could get as high as $50 billion in 2030, Euromonitor said.The growth in e-cigarettes, which deliver nicotine in a vapor rather than smoke, comes as conventional cigarette sales drop amid tight consumer spending and health concerns.Investment & Company InformationFinanceLorillardReynolds AmericanBritish American TobaccoOriginal author: Raquel
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Survey Shows Adults Who Use E-Cigarettes To Quit Smoking Prefer Supposedly Juvenile Flavors

At a Senate hearing last month, Jay Rockefeller noted that electronic cigarette fluid is available in a wide variety of flavors—conclusive evidence, to his mind, that e-cigarette companies want to hook children on nicotine. “I am an adult,” the West Virginia Democrat said. “Would I be attracted to Cherry Crush, Chocolate Treat, Peachy Keen, Vanilla Dreams? No, I wouldn’t.”Call it the Rockefeller Rule: If an e-cigarette flavor does not appeal to this particular 77-year-old senator, it could not possibly appeal to anyone older than 17. Rebutting that claim, Jason Healy, founder and president of Blu eCigs, cited a customer survey that found “the average age of a cherry smoker is in the high 40s.” Survey results released today by E-Cigarette Forum, an online gathering spot for vaping enthusiasts, reinforce Healy’s point, showing that grownups prefer the flavors that Rockefeller insists are strictly for kids.(Image: E-Cigarette Forum)The survey, conducted in late June and early July, included more than 10,000 members of E-Cigarette Forum, 78 percent of whom live in the United States. Their ages ranged from 18 to “65 and over,” with 74 percent between 22 and 54. When they were asked which flavor they used most, 22 percent said tobacco, while an additional 3 percent said menthol tobacco. In other words, three-quarters of these adult vapers favor flavors other than tobacco, including fruit (31 percent), bakery/dessert (19 percent), and savory/spice (5 percent).That make sense, because the proliferation of flavors—The New York Times reports that “more than 7,000 flavors are now available and, by one estimate, nearly 250 more are being introduced every month”—is especially evident among vapers who, like most of the participants in this survey, use devices with refillable tanks, rather than e-cigarettes that are either entirely disposable or take disposable cartridges. Refillable vaporizers, available mainly online or in specialized outlets, are less likely to interest teenagers than the cheaper “cigalikes” sold in supermarkets and convenience stores.(Image: Vape Lounge)The new survey also provides further evidence that e-cigarettes help smokers quit, a proposition that Rockefeller and other critics question. Eighty-nine percent of the respondents reported that they had smoked at least 10 cigarettes a day before they started vaping, and 88 percent said they were not currently smokers.Those findings are similar to the results of another survey focusing on people who participate in online vaping forums, reported last April in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. That study, which included more than 19,000 vapers from around the world, found that almost all of them (99.5 percent) were smokers when they started vaping. Four-fifths of them had stopped smoking completely, while the rest had reduced their cigarette consumption, on average, from 20 to four per day.It should be emphasized that neither of these studies was designed to capture a representative sample of all vapers. Instead they focus on the most enthusiastic among them, whom you would expect to have had especially satisfying experiences with e-cigarettes. The high success rates in these surveys therefore are unlikely to be seen among the broader group of smokers who try to quit with e-cigarettes, let alone among smokers who merely try the product out. But these surveys do indicate that e-cigarettes have helped many smokers quit.“You’re what’s wrong with this country.” (Image: Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee)It borders on bizarre that critics like Rockefeller continue to question the existence of those former smokers, even while arguing that e-cigarettes should be restricted or banned based on the entirely hypothetical risk that vaping will lead to smoking among teenagers who otherwise never would have tried tobacco. But what do you expect from a politician who thinks a sample of one—himself—is perfectly adequate to reach sweeping conclusions about a product’s intended use?Notably, two-thirds of the ex-smokers in the E-Cigarette Forum survey said nontobacco flavors were important in helping them quit. Survey data reported in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health last December likewise indicate that flavor variety is important in quitting. That study, which involved about 4,500 vapers, found that they tended to prefer tobacco-flavored fluid initially but later switched to other flavors. Most reported using more than one flavor on a daily basis and said the variety made the experience more interesting and enjoyable.Nontobacco flavors  may assist in quitting because learning to associate your nicotine fix with a new taste creates an additional barrier to backsliding: Returning to conventional cigarettes would mean getting used to the flavor of tobacco smoke again. Alternatively, the flavor of tobacco may trigger an urge to smoke.More than nine out of 10 vapers in the E-Cigarette Forum survey said they worried that government regulations demanded by save-the-children alarmists like Rockefeller will remove products they use from the market. It’s not hard to see why. “Why in heaven’s name are you going ahead and marketing these things and selling these things?” Rockefeller asked Healy and another e-cigarette executive during last month’s hearing. “I don’t know how you go to sleep at night.…You’re what’s wrong with this country.”Rockefeller’s research methods begin and end with his own prejudices. The Food and Drug Administration, in deciding how to regulate e-cigarettes, should aspire to higher standards.Original author: Keitha
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Imperial Tobacco to snag U.S. e-cig lead thanks to deal

[unable to retrieve full-text content]By Jilian Mincer, Martinne Geller and Anjuli Davies NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - When Imperial Tobacco Group Plc agreed Tuesday to buy a group of brands from Reynolds American Inc and Lorillard Inc as part of their merger, the British company insisted the assets include Lorillard's blu e-cigarette unit. The brand gives Imperial, which will become the third-largest U.S. tobacco company overall, a ...Original author: Reyes
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Snus Nicotine Lowers Risk for Multiple Sclerosis, May be Therapeutic for Other Nerve Disorders

New research published in Multiple Sclerosis Journal (abstract here) and authored by Anna Hedström of Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute of Environmental Medicine confirms that snus users have a significantly lower risk for multiple sclerosis (MS) than nonusers of tobacco. I discussed the researchers’ earlier findings on this subject five years ago in this blog (here). Hedström’s study is based on some 7,900 Swedes with MS and 9,400 controls. Compared with never users of tobacco, snus users had a lower risk for MS (odds ratio OR = 0.75, 95% confidence interval, CI= 0.63 – 0.90). Hedström also showed an increased effect at higher duration-dose levels of snus. For example, users with greater than ten packet-years (the number of snus doses per day and years of use) had an OR of 0.45 (CI= 028 – 0.68). Smokers had modestly increased risk (OR= 1.49, CI= 1.40 – 1.59), a finding that is similar to that reported in Hedström’s previous study.Scientific research is methodically unveiling the benefits of nicotine and smoke-free tobacco use with respect to degenerative brain diseases. A finding that nicotine may improve performance in people with mild cognitive impairment (discussed here), has resulted in calls for more research on nicotine’s effect on dementia (reference here).The impact of nicotine/tobacco use on Parkinson’s disease is well documented. An American Cancer Society study (here) provides clear evidence that smokeless tobacco use may be protective for Parkinson’s disease (RR = 0.22, CI = 0.07 – 0.67). In fact, nicotine is being discussed as therapy for this disorder (here, here and here).Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and Parkinson’s disease is the fourteenth. The role of nicotine and smoke-free tobacco in reducing risk of or treating these disorders is of significant import.Original author: Reyes
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Electronic Cigarettes International Group Receives Strategic Equity Investment from the Mansour Group of up to $60 …

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Electronic Cigarettes International Group, Ltd. , today announced that it has signed a major investment agreement with Man FinCo Ltd., the investment arm of the Mansour Group to provide up to $60 million of equity capital to ECIG.Original author: Shirlee
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