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Mountain Vapor Blog

Welcome to the blog area of our site where we hope to keep you updated on the trends of the e-cigarette industry as well as product reviews.

For e-cigarette makers, a $10 billion market at stake

Device manufacturers are worried about the potential impact of government regulations.FORTUNE -- Electronic cigarette makers just can't catch a break these days.This week, the cities of New York and Chicago banned the use of electronic smoking devices in bars, restaurants and other public places, effectively treating them the same way as traditional tobacco products.And in April, the Food and Drug Administration, which has yet to review the safety of e-cigarettes, unveiled a plan that would have the government agency review e-cigarettes and their ingredients for the first time, and ban the sale to minors of tobacco products that are currently unregulated, including e-cigarettes.All this has e-cigarette companies crying foul."They don't have the scientific expertise," said Craig Weiss, a U.S. patent attorney and CEO of NJOY, whose NJOY King device remains one of the top-selling e-cigarette devices on the market. Given the lack of scientific study at the FDA, Weiss argues, why limit a market that may offer significant health benefits and prevent 480,000 deaths a year stemming from traditional tobacco use? Kill the password. And the PIN number. And the car key."If the FDA lacks the scientific research to form data and science based conclusions, how does it make sense for any other government body to regulate ahead of that?" explained Weiss, who says he's all for market regulation so long as due diligence is performed.Proponents of New York regulations say the goal is to prevent the public from perceiving smoking as more acceptable again, particularly impressionable teens who might view e-cigarettes as a stepping stone toward old-school tobacco products. Dr. Thomas Farley, the New York City health commissioner under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, recently argued that permitting electronic cigarettes in bars and restaurants would also undermine existing bans on tobacco products.Stricter regulations would affect smokers like Lori Abiuso, an animal trainer based in Cherry Hill, N.J."I prefer an actual cigarette, but e-cigs negate the need for me to bring cigarettes with me when I am going out with non-smoking friends, or places like Disney World where there are few smoking sections, or smoking is completely banned," Abiuso explained.Powered by a battery, e-cigarettes don't contain as many harmful chemicals as regular cigarettes, but they do contain nicotine, which is heated into a vapor that's inhaled. Critics say the devices may encourage children to use them, while proponents argue they can help regular cigarette smokers kick the habit. How much is water really worth?There's also a huge market opportunity at stake. E-cigarette companies have gathered considerable steam in recent years, largely marketing their products as the healthier alternative for smokers, especially those trying to quit. Indeed, of the 44 million American smokers, nearly 70% of them want to stop, according to the Center for Disease Control. Bonnie Herzog, an analyst at Wells Fargo Bank, estimates e-cigs were a $2 billion global market last year. That number could swell to $10 billion by 2017, according to Herzog, outpacing traditional cigarettes sales for the first time ever.The eye-popping figure does not factor in the potential impact of government regulations would have. But garnering widespread support for e-cigarettes may also prove a challenge."They're a PR nightmare," said one tech public relations executive, who argues it's an uphill battle for the products to shake the stigma held around their more traditional tobacco counterpart, not to mention the likelihood companies will have to spend significant financial resources on lobbying and legal funding.Industry insiders like Weiss argue they just want their products to undergo fair process. Adds Weiss: "All we've ever asked is that FDA do the research."Original author: Raquel
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CDC goes full-Orwell in opposition to tobacco harm reduction


by Carl V Phillips The CDC has been one of the most dedicated opponents of people avoiding the risks from cigarettes by using low-risk alternatives.  This dates back from before I started working in the area, long before e-cigarettes happened. … Continue reading →Original author: Carl V Phillips
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Smoking, no. Vaping, maybe.

It's lunch time, and William Brown has stepped away from his desk for a nicotine fix in the lobby of the building where he works. The city employee isn't allowed to smoke here, but he can vape.He flips the switch on his sleek black electronic cigarette, with its digital readout to gauge the nicotine, and inhales. He sucks in on the plastic tip and blows out a big white cloud that dissipates fast.People pass by, but Brown says he rarely gets a reaction."E-cigarettes have gotten so popular that when you spew out vapor, people put one and one together," said Brown, who works for the Municipal Telephone Exchange. "Though a year ago, I got a lot of 'What the heck is that?' I would go through the spiel of how it works and how it helped me stop smoking."Electronic cigarettes turn nicotine-laced juices into an inhalable vapor. The e-cigarette industry claims it's a safer way to take in nicotine, and they say e-cigarettes can help smokers quit. But skeptics aren't convinced. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced last week that it's seeking regulatory power over e-cigarettes, something it doesn't now have.Efforts to regulate vaping failed in the recently ended Maryland General Assembly session when a bill that would have treated e-cigarettes as traditional cigarettes died in committee. This week, the Baltimore City Council took up the issue when Councilman James B. Kraft, who represents Southeast Baltimore, introduced a similar bill that would ban e-cigarettes at all places where smoking is banned.Kraft called e-cigarettes a "new threat" and said they "create an impression on the young that smoking is OK." It will likely be several months before the bill's fate is known.For now, with no formal regulations about the practice, it's up to individual workplaces, restaurants and other businesses to determine whether vaping will be allowed on their premises."Legally, people can vape anywhere in Maryland. But policy is at the discretion of employers in the workplace, just as it is at the discretion of other public establishments," said Jeff Blumenfeld, who works at the Westminster corporate office of S.S. Vape, a chain that sells the devices and juices.Blumenfeld likes to partake when he eats out."I won't vape in family restaurants like Bob Evans or Chick-fil-A out of courtesy for people who are not comfortable with it. But I do it in every other restaurant I go to," he said, adding that if he gets a reaction, it is one of curiosity. He says he quit two packs a day of Newports, cold turkey, the day he bought his e-cigarette starter kit.Gordon Harden, co-owner of Souris' Saloon in Towson, is happy to give vapers a place to partake of their e-cigarettes."They are not breaking laws," he said. "It is not putting out an offensive odor or lingering smoke, and I have heard no complaints."While some have no qualms, others are skeptical."There is no conclusive evidence that nicotine heated in liquid is less harmful than nicotine burned in tobacco," warns Cynthia Hallett, executive director of the Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation. "It is not proven that secondhand exposure is not toxic. And because e-juices are not FDA-regulated, they have been shown to have varying degrees of nicotine and, sometimes, other chemicals."And as e-cigarette use has risen, so have calls to poison control centers related to their nicotine — up from one call per month nationwide in September 2010 to 215 per month in February 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And just over half of those calls were for children under age 5."Use of these products is skyrocketing, and these poisonings will continue," CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a statement. "E-cigarette liquids as currently sold are a threat to small children because they are not required to be childproof, and they come in candy and fruit flavors that are appealing to children."With no federal or state guidelines to follow, some local employers and organizations are proceeding with caution.Baltimore County employees were told in March that e-cigarette use at work is prohibited. Dr. Gregory Branch, the county health officer, advised, "Given the lack of scientific information regarding the safety of e-cigarettes, I believe it is prudent to treat them as we do regular cigarettes and tobacco products in the workplace."The Johns Hopkins University has no organization-wide policy, but beginning this fall, vaping will be banned in student housing at the university's Homewood campus.Original author: James
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White Cloud’s Response to the Recent FDA Proposals

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This past Thursday the federal government moved to add new levels of monitoring and authority over those who use, make and sell electronic cigarettes. The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed a sweeping set of rules to crack down on what many outlets are – somewhat inaccurately – deeming a “Wild West” of e-cigarette manufacturers and distributors.

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Call to Action! Delaware Bill Would Ban E-Cigarette Use Wherever Smoking is Prohibited

UPDATE 4/30/14 P.M.:  Due to the massive number of emails and calls from vapers generated by this Call to Action, the House Health and Human Development Committee has postponed the hearing on HB 309.  The new hearing date will likely be Wednesday, May 7th, 2014.  We will update this call to action as more information becomes available.*********Introduced late yesterday (4/29/14) and set for a hearing today (4/30/14) before the House Health and Human Development Committee, HB 309 seeks to amend Delaware's Clean Indoor Air Act to treat smoke-free e-cigarette use the same as smoking.  Delware citizens should be outraged at the lack of notice, a clear attempt to eliminate any honest discussion on the issue.We appreciate that given the lack of notice, it is impossible for most people to attend a hearing today.  However, if you can, please attend the hearing at 2:30 p.m., House Chambers inside the Legislative Hall (411 Legislative Ave, Dover, DE).  Whether or not you can attend the hearing today, Delaware vapers and harm reduction advocates are urged to take IMMEDIATE ACTION to call and email members of the House Health and Human Development Committee to express opposition to this bill and the lack of notice.If enacted, HB 309 would:Prohibit the use of smoke-free electronic cigarettes wherever "smoking" is bannedHB 309Committee Meeting NoticePlease contact the members of the House Health and Human Development Committee and your representative and let them know:

1.You are a resident of Delaware, and while yousupport banning sales of e-cigarettes to minors, you OPPOSE including smoke-free e-cigarette use within the definition of "smoking."  (If you are responding to this Call toAction and are not a state resident, please mention any connection you have tothe area, for example, you travel to Delaware on vacation or havefriends/family in the area.)

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Should E-cigarettes Be Allowed In The Workplace?

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Leonardo DiCaprio won’t be vaping at next year’s Golden Globe awards. The actors caused a stir in January when they puffed on electronic cigarettes during the ceremony. But as of April 19, e-cigarette use was banned in bars, restaurants and other public spaces throughout Los Angeles.E-cigarettes, battery-charged devices shaped like cigarettes or cigars, have a heating element that vaporizes a liquid nicotine solution, which the users, or “vapers,” inhale into their lungs and then puff, producing an odorless water vapor that e-cigarette advocates say is harmless to bystanders. In fact if vapers hold their breath for a few seconds after inhaling, they emit no vapor at all.But critics of the $2-billion-a-year e-cigarette industry, like the American Lung Association and the non-profit Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, say that preliminary studies show that dangerous toxins could be present in the exhaled vapor. Along with nicotine, the liquid contains propylene glycol, glycerin and nitrosamines. E-cigarette advocates say that these chemicals have proved to be harmless. Propylene glycol and glycerin are present in toothpaste and asthma inhalers, and nitrosamines, which are known carcinogens, are in such tiny amounts that they pose no danger, say proponents. E-cigs also contain cadmium, lead and nickel, in very small doses. But, says Erika Sward, assistant vice president for national advocacy at the American Lung Association, “the bottom line is we don’t know enough about these products.”A December 2013 World Health Organization paper concedes that e-cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes, but that they “still deliver some toxins,” while a study in the Journal of Public Health Policy said “a preponderance of the available evidence shows [e-cigarettes] to be much safer than tobacco cigarettes and comparable in toxicity to conventional nicotine replacement products.”In the face of inconclusive evidence and a dearth of definitive studies, employers are wrestling with whether to allow vaping in the workplace. Some 28 states and the District of Columbia ban smoking at work, but only three—New Jersey, Utah and North Dakota—have added e-cigarettes to those bans. Meantime, 150 municipalities have banned vaping in public spaces including restaurants, bars and offices.  The list is rapidly expanding. In January, only 100 cities and towns, including Seattle and Boston, had vaping bans. Just today, broad bans are taking effect in New York City, San Francisco and Chicago.As city vaping bans are spreading, employers are rapidly imposing them too. Wal-Mart Stores, the largest private employer in the U.S., with 1.3 million workers, has decided to lump e-cigarettes in with traditional cigarettes, banning it in its offices and stores. Wal-Mart spokesman Randy Hargrove says the company views e-cigarettes as tobacco products. General Electric, which has more than 100,000 workers in the U.S., and Target, with 361,000 U.S. employees, and Home Depot with 331,000 employees  all have the same policy as Wal-Mart.But one thing that’s striking about company, state and municipal bans, which view e-cigarettes as equivalent to cancer- and emphysema-causing, tar-  and smoke-emitting traditional cigarettes: they consider e-cigs to be tobacco products because they contain nicotine, which is derived from tobacco. But the companies don’t ban nicotine patches, lozenges or gum. In fact Wal-Mart gives those away for free as part of its smoking-cessation plan for employees. To some extent, the differing treatment comes from the fact that the FDA already regulates nicotine substitutes as drugs. E-cigarettes, which have been available in the U.S. since around 2006, are not regulated at all. Finally last week the FDA announced it intended to regulate e-cigs not as drugs but as tobacco products, like traditional cigarettes. The agency has proposed banning their sale to minors, and to further study their safety. E-cigarette opponents lamented the FDA’s announcement because it said nothing about restricting marketing to children or regulating the liquid. E-cigarettes come in flavors like watermelon and Bavarian cream.For this piece, I reached out to a dozen large private employers. Only four got back to me. The Wall Street Journal reported in January on a half dozen employers, most of whom have vaping bans: Along with Wal-Mart, CVS Caremark forbids it in its corporate offices and Starbucks bans vaping among both customers and workers. United Parcel Service, which charges non-union tobacco users $150 extra in monthly insurance premiums, has a striking policy: it makes e-cigarette users pay the higher price as well, despite no evidence that vaping causes cancer or emphysema. McDonald’s was the only exception the Journal found. At least as of January, the company allowed both employees and customers to vape in stores and offices.Through a new industry group, the American Vaping Association, I reached one employer who not only permits vaping, she pays for it. Cheryl Dooley, 56, CEO and president of Ebsco Spring Company, a Tulsa, OK-based maker of springs used in industrial machinery, was a hardened smoker who put away two packs a day. She tried, and failed, to quit 15 times. But after doctors found a blood clot in her lungs, she tried vaping, which finally got her off cigarettes. “I realized that even bad addicts can quit with e-cigarettes,” she says. Since more than a third of her 75 employees smoked, she decided to take an unconventional step: She bought 28 vaping kits for $100 each and gave them to workers for free.To get started with e-cigarettes, vapers have to buy a battery, charger, nicotine-liquid cartridges and a vaping pen. The kits can cost as little as $30 but good ones run $100 or more. So far, Dooley says that half of the smokers at Ebsco have used the kits to quit smoking.  She says she wasn’t trying to boost productivity or save on health care costs. “Our health care costs are crazy no matter what,” she says. “I wanted people to know that it’s possible to quit.”But it’s doubtful that other employers will follow suit. Instead, says George Boue, head of human resources at Stiles Corporation, a property management company in Fort Lauderdale and member of the discipline panel at the Society for Human Resource Management, the trade group recommends that as long as there are no definitive studies or FDA ruling on the safety of e-cigarettes, employers should treat them like traditional cigarettes. At Stiles, there was no company policy until three months ago when an employee in a satellite office complained about a colleague vaping, claiming it irritated her allergies. At the same time, Boue got a request from a reporter to discuss the issue. He realized that the company had better make a vaping rule.Though studies have yet to prove that inhaling second-hand vapor causes health problems, and none have suggested that e-cigarette vapor promotes an allergic reaction, acknowledges Boue, “you’re still releasing a foreign substance into the indoor environment.”  Employees who see a vaper puffing what looks like smoke are bound to complain, he says. “In the HR environment you want to make as many people happy as you can,” he adds. “It seems similar enough to smoking cigarettes that you’d want to stick with whatever policy you have on smoking.”What about Dooley’s idea that vaping will help smokers quit? Though studies are also thin on proof that e-cigarettes are effective smoke-cessation devices and some opponents say they lure young people to become smokers, advocates insist that e-cigarettes are an important tool for getting addicts to quit smoking traditional cigarettes, which kill some 480,000 people a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Secondhand smoke causes  an additional 42,000 deaths, says the CDC. Not to mention a reported $150 billion a year in productivity loss from premature death. Advocates point to a 2013 study by Drexel University public health professor Igor Burstyn who found that e-cigarette vapor caused no harm to vapers or bystanders.What should companies do? While I find some of the pro-vaping arguments convincing—the vapor is odorless and I don’t worry about inhaling trace elements of drugs when I’m already breathing in bus fumes and car exhaust, and no study has proved that vapor will make me sick—I understand that watching colleagues puffing out a plume of what looks like smoke will make people uncomfortable. Though I find hardcore smoker Dooley’s decision to give vaping kits to her employees to be generous, I also relate to the distrust people feel of big cigarette makers like Lorillard, Altria and Reynolds, which are all now in the e-cigarette business, and it seems to me that nicotine addiction can’t be a good thing to promote. Stiles of SHRM probably has it right: “Any HR professional who has to deal with keeping people happy, understands why you would want to restrict e-cigarettes in the workplace.”Original author: Halley
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Can We Please Stop Overreacting to E-Cigarettes?

No, seriously, please make the fear-mongering stop.

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Users bemoan e-cigarette bans in New York City, Chicago

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Laws in New York and Chicago making electronic cigarettes subject to the same regulations as tobacco are taking effect, and their sellers and users are steadfast in their opposition.The New York ban — along with the measure in Chicago, one that previously went into effect in Los Angeles and federal regulations proposed last week — are keeping debate smouldering among public health officials, the e-cigarette industry and users.Proponents of the bans which began Tuesday say they are aimed at preventing the re-acceptance of smoking as a societal norm, particularly among teenagers who could see the tobacco-free electronic cigarettes, with their candy-like flavourings and celebrity endorsers, as a gateway to cancer-causing tobacco products.Dr. Thomas Farley, the New York City health commissioner under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, says allowing electronic cigarettes in bars and restaurants would undermine existing bans on tobacco-based products."Imagine for a moment you're at a bar and there are 20 people who are puffing on something that looks like a cigarette and then somebody smells something that smells like tobacco smoke," Farley says. "How's the bartender going to know who to tap on the shoulder and say, 'Put that out'?"Makers of the devices say marketing them as e-cigarettes has confused lawmakers into thinking they are the same as tobacco-based cigarettes. They say the bans ostracize people who want an alternative to tobacco products and will be especially hard on ex-smokers who are being lumped into the same smoking areas as tobacco users.Their defenders also say they're a good way to quit tobacco, even though science is murky on the claim.Peter Denholtz, the chief executive and co-founder of the Henley Vaporium in Manhattan, says electronic cigarettes "could be the greatest invention of our lifetime in terms of saving lives" by moving smokers away from traditional cigarettes."This law just discourages that," he says.Chris Jehly, a 31-year-old Brooklyn resident, also defended the devices as a vehicle for quitting."The tougher they're going to make it on vapers, the tougher it is people are going to find an actual vehicle for quitting or as a supplement to cigarettes," Jehly said from his perch at the counter at Henley. "There's no need for it. This is working so much better than patches or gum or prescription drugs."Robin Koval, chief executive of the anti-smoking Legacy Foundation, said that while ingredients in electronic cigarettes are not as harmful as those in tobacco products, they are still a concern because they contain highly addictive nicotine. The National Institutes of Health said users could expose themselves to toxic levels of nicotine while refilling the devices or even use them to smoke other substances.Since little evidence exists on the effect of the devices on smoking — whether as an aid in quitting, a gateway for non-smokers or a bridge to keep smokers hooked longer — she says she favours a legislative approach that balances public health with the development of safer alternatives."The right way forward will be a way that promotes innovation that helps us do everything we possibly can to get combustible tobacco to be history," Koval says. "We want a generation of Americans where, for them, cigarettes are a thing of the past — an artifact like a roll of film or a rotary telephone."
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CDC Director Frieden explains that he hates ecigs because he is clueless


by Carl V Phillips I interrupt the analysis of the deeming regulation, because this article simply must be commented on.  CDC Director Tom Frieden “explains what he hates about electronic cigarettes” to the Los Angeles Times.  That is the actual … Continue reading →Original author: Carl V Phillips
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E-Smokers Stage ‘Vape-In’ to Protest NYC Ban

An e-smoker attends Vape In in New York City om April 28, 2014 to protest indoor e-smoking ban.Courtesy Anthony Collins PhotographyMore than 300 e-smokers showed up for a "vape-in" at Manhattan's Museum of Sex Monday night to protest a New York City ban on indoor e-cigarette smoking. They thumbed their noses at e-cigarette prohibitionists by dancing and vaping the night away until well past midnight, when the ban went into effect.Reason magazine, the Museum of Sex and Henley Vaporium organized and hosted the vape-in. Prominent critics of e-cigarette regulations, including Bill Godshall, the director of SmokeFree Pennsylvania, and Dr. Gilbert Ross, medical director of the American Council on Science and Health, delivered presentations and fielded questions from the audience and press.Many of the vapers who attended the event took to social media to express their disapproval of "nanny state politics" that place restrictions on e-smoking.In 120 minutes all these people will be criminals #ty4v pic.twitter.com/PFejYN1i1m— Russ (@burnt_wick) April 29, 2014It's been illegal to vape in public places in NYC for 1/2 hour. Any tickets yet, @NYCMayorsOffice? @MikeBloomberg is watching #ty4v— Jeff Stier (@JeffaStier) April 29, 2014.@BilldeBlasio this is a NYC pro-vaping event we will vape past midnight & break the law just letting you know #ty4v pic.twitter.com/q0VCSiWKLb— Russ (@burnt_wick) April 29, 2014Tara Lober, a 21-year-old from Brooklyn who attended the event, said she thinks the ban is silly."This is a health issue, yes, but I see it as closer to a civil rights issue," Lober said, adding that she currently smokes about three packs of tobacco cigarettes a month and hopes that vaping will help her kick the habit.Courtesy Anthony Collins PhotographyPHOTO: Daniel Gluck, Owner of the Museum of Sex and co-sponsor of the Vape In protest event, April 28, 2014.But so far there's no evidence that vaping is better for overcoming tobacco addiction than any other type of smoking cessation tool. In a few small studies, e-cigarettes seemed to be about as effective as nicotine patches in helping smokers kick the habit. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has called for more research on the topic.But many vape ban protesters claim the public health community is ignoring the science.Talia Eisenberg - @henleyvape - The harm of public #vapebans is they promote misconception that #vaping = #smoking. #ty4v #EcigsSaveLives— Mr. Alex Clark (@Hello_Alex) April 29, 2014“@GregTHR: Bill Godshall and the NYT's John Tierney now speaking about FDA regs and e-cigs being clearly less hazardous. #ty4v”— B Fojtik (@PositiveEnerG) April 29, 2014They point to the FDA's own report, which found that the toxicity levels in e-cigarettes are far lower than those found in tobacco cigarettes. But the FDA only tested two brands of e-cigarettes, and there are dozens on the market. The agency recently proposed new rules requiring all ingredients in e-cigarettes be approved and listed on the packaging.Some vapers even see the rules and restrictions as a plot by the government and drug companies.#ecigs will enjoy a #freeMarket for 4yrs then #FDA regs will promote a #blackmarket - Bill Godshall #ty4v— Mr. Alex Clark (@Hello_Alex) April 29, 2014Big Pharma the new enemy of health? Money behind the crusade to ban #ecigs? There IS a lot of $ in failed cessation drugs. Hmmm. #TY4V— pamela gorman (@PamelaGorman) April 29, 2014SOCIAL MEDIA EMBED CODE
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Scientific claims in the FDA deeming regulation (part 1 of ???)


by Carl V Phillips [Update -- this series continues with: Part 2 (mostly about flavoring, p.19-20) Part 3 (mostly about usage patterns, p.21-22) Part 4 (mostly about claims of what goo the regulations would do p.24-26) Some closely related posts … Continue reading →Original author: Carl V Phillips
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FDA regulation of e-cigarettes: huge costs, little or no benefit, says CASAA

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, April 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its long-awaited draft regulations for electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and other low-risk alternatives to smoking. The regulations offer little benefit, according to The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), the leading advocate for the current and future consumers of low-risk alternatives to smoking. However, CASAA believes that should the FDA finalize the rule in its current form, it will inflict devastating harm on consumers.

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As e-cigarette popularity leaps, worries of illegal drug use follow

E-cigarettes have fired up controversy in Minnesota this year as lawmakers wrestle with how to regulate the battery-powered devices that deliver nicotine without burning tobacco.Nicotine, though, isn't the only addiction the products can deliver. E-cigarettes are also perfect for vaporizing illegal drugs and that has federal and state officials increasingly concerned. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week said it would seek new regulatory powers over the devices.It's an issue that has the attention now of Minnesota law enforcement."Any type of water-soluble drugs -- and synthetic drugs would certainly fall into that category -- can be consumed through these e-cigarette devices that we're seeing more and more of," said Paul Wilson, a sergeant in the narcotics unit of the Rochester Police Department.E-cigarettes heat up very quickly and vaporize flavored liquid that comes in small cartridges. But instead of dissolving nicotine into the liquid, users can dissolve drugs like methamphetamine, powdered cocaine, and synthetic drugs like bath salts, Wilson said. The vapor has little to no odor, making it hard for officials to detect, he added."This just makes it a little more easily to conceal and a little more easily to do in public," Wilson said. "You could easily drive down the street and smoke this and no one's going to look twice, whereas if you've got a meth pipe up to your face, people are going to take notice."Statewide, law enforcement officials with the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association say there haven't been many arrests. In Rochester, police had their first in February. Officials in nearby Dodge County made a recent arrest, too.Industry officials say e-cigarettes should not be demonized because some people abuse the devices. What's needed is more consumer education, product regulation and enforcement, said Ray Story, founder and chief executive of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, an industry group."People will abuse certain products and not use it for its intended use. That doesn't necessarily mean that the product has to change," Story said. "You don't change the car that you're driving to only go 50 miles an hour. You set up speed limits and make sure that it's enforced by those regulatory bodies that enforce it."The FDA's proposal would extend the agency's tobacco authority to cover the regulation and restrictions on the sale of e-cigarettes.Regulating the $2.5 billion e-cigarette industry is one thing. But, scientists say the potential for misuse adds to concerns they already have about the device's long-term health effects.Richard Hurt, director of Mayo Clinic's Nicotine Dependence Center, expects the use of e-cigarettes for drugs other than nicotine to continue to increase -- in part because of the device's discreet nature.That's concerning, he said, because inhaling a drug is the most efficient way to get it to the brain."Inhalation of any drug helps determine its addictive potential. The faster you get it into the blood stream, the more addicting it is," he said. "That's why crack cocaine is more addicting than snorting cocaine. Because when you smoke crack cocaine it goes into the outer reaches of the lung and produces a very high level that gets to the brain very quickly."A few arrests don't yet constitute a trend, Wilson acknowledged. But officers, he said, are becoming increasingly aware that these devices can be used for more than just nicotine."The possibility for using controlled substances out of these, and the fact that it could be used in such a public manner is real, it's out there," he said. "We have to be aware of it."
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E-cigarette users reach 2 million

E-cigarettes contain liquid nicotine which is less harmful than smoking tobacco The number of people who use electronic cigarettes in the UK has tripled over the past two years to 2.1 million, a health charity estimates. It says just over half of current or ex-smokers have now tried electronic cigarettes, compared with 8% in 2010. Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) surveyed more than 12,000 adult smokers. A separate study found that most e-cigarette users were using them to reduce smoking. Use of e-cigarettes among people who have never smoked remains small at 1%, Ash said. Ash has commissioned a series of surveys on electronic cigarette use since 2010, with the latest survey conducted in March. Of those now estimated to be using electronic cigarettes, around 700,000 are thought to be ex-smokers and 1.3 million to be using them alongside normal cigarettes or tobacco. Current smokers using the cigarettes regularly have risen from 2.7% in 2010 to 17.7% in 2014. When ex-smokers were asked why they used electronic cigarettes, 71% said they wanted help giving up smoking. Among smokers, 48% said wanted to reduce the amount of tobacco they smoked and 37% said they used e-cigarettes to save money. Smoking rate fall Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Ash, said: "The dramatic rise in use of electronic cigarettes over the past four years suggests that smokers are increasingly turning to these devices to help them cut down or quit smoking. Significantly, usage among non-smokers remains negligible." Another study, The Smoking Toolkit Study, which covers England, has found that electronic cigarettes are overtaking the use of nicotine products such as patches and gum as an aid to quitting smoking. It also found that the proportion of smokers who gave up smoking in the past year had increased and smoking rates in England were continuing to fall. Study leader Prof Robert West said: "Despite claims that use of electronic cigarettes risks renormalising smoking, we found no evidence to support this view. "On the contrary, electronic cigarettes may be helping to reduce smoking as more people use them as an aid to quitting." Ms Arnott added: "While it is important to control the advertising of electronic cigarettes to make sure children and non-smokers are not being targeted, there is no evidence from our research that e-cigarettes are acting as a gateway into smoking." Ash's survey suggests that most electronic cigarettes users, or "vapers", use a rechargeable product with replaceable cartridges or a reservoir. Simon Clark, director of Forest, a group that supports smokers, said it welcomed the rise of e-cigarettes and was glad people had a choice of what to smoke. But he suggested that most smokers using e-cigarettes were experimenting with them rather than using them to give up smoking altogether. "We haven't seen a significant fall in smokers. Most smokers still find electronic cigarettes quite basic and it will take a few more years for the technology to improve."
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Embracing #VapeLife

Lots of people who vape -- that is, smoke e-cigarettes and other similar devices -- are really, really into it.Before it became a $2 billion industry and caught the attention of the FDA, which now wants to regulate it, vaping was a subject of passionate discussion on the Internet.“It’s kind of like a smoking cessation device turned hobby turned lifestyle,” Aaron David Ross, 29, an avid vaper and electronic musician in New York City, told NBC News.The word “vaping” refers to the vapor that is produced when the liquid, known as the “e-liquid” or “e-juice,” hits a heating coil in an electronic cigarette. (There are hundreds of different ways to vape, but each device basically works the same way).E-cigarettes first hit U.S. shores in 2006 from China. Today, there is an entire subculture devoted to vaping.On E-Cigarette Forum, which boasts nearly 200,000 members, people share tips and debate everything from the best e-juice to vaporize to the politics behind the proposed FDA regulations.This Video Player Requires JavaScriptIt has come to our attention that the browser you are using is either not running javascript or out of date. Please enable javascript and/or update your browser if possible.The forums are also filled with people talking about how vaping changed their lives. While the long-term effects of smoking e-cigarettes, which contain nicotine and other chemicals, is unknown, some studies indicate that it's at least as effective as nicotine patches in getting people to quit tobacco cigarettes."My boyfriend's father died of lung cancer directly caused by cigarette smoking," Elizabeth Brigham, 25, who blogs and posts videos about vaping under the name SugarVapor, wrote in an email to NBC News. "Getting people off cigarettes and into the 'vape life' is my mission because e-cigarettes are more than just about fun, it's about saving people's lives."On YouTube, there are more than 40,000 videos detailing “vape tricks,” where vapers channel their inner Gandalf from “Lord of the Rings” and blow out elaborate smoke creations.A search on Instagram for the tag #vaporn yields all kinds of custom vaping devices, known as “mods,” that people have built for fun.“It’s akin to car culture,” Ross said. “People know an insane amount of information about this one very specific thing, so when you find other people who share that knowledge, there is this great camaraderie.”This Video Player Requires JavaScriptIt has come to our attention that the browser you are using is either not running javascript or out of date. Please enable javascript and/or update your browser if possible.Ross, like Brigham, started vaping after he quit smoking tobacco cigarettes, a decision that came after a family friend was diagnosed with lung cancer. Now he finds himself vaping a few times an hour, he said, and put together a compilation of “music by vapers for vapers” with other musicians.Even Pinterest has pages devoted to the joys of vaping. And, of course, Twitter and Tumblr is full of people sharing messages about the #vapelife.Zachary Kaplan, community manager for Rhizome, a non-profit arts organization, does not vape. But he was so fascinated by the subculture that had popped up around the practice that he organized a one-day symposium in February at the New Museum in New York City called "This is the ENDD: The E-Cigarette in Context.""Right now is a moment when people who are really into it get to define what vaping looks like and what it means," he said. "As it becomes more corporate and massive corporations start defining it with their own advertising strategies, it will change. The subculture, the one we were able to witness in February, won't exist anymore."First published April 27 2014, 3:36 AM
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Electronic cigarettes: the truth behind the smoke and mirrors

No smoke without fire: (From left) Catherine Ryan, Andrew Washbourne and Leon Alegria all use e-cigarettes and fear the WA ban will spread nationally. Photo: Wolter PeetersThey arrived in black station wagons, pouncing with the purpose and precision of a crack undercover police team.Within 90 minutes, a suburban home in Perth had been turned upside down, the officers emerging with large garbage bags full of hardware.Puff daddies: E-cigs deliver nicotine in vapour. Photo: Wolter PeetersIt was a scene reminiscent of a counter-terrorism raid. But this was the West Australian Health Department swooping on small-time electronic cigarette supplier Vincent van Heerden who, they claimed, was in breach of the Tobacco Products Control Act.Advertisement Two years on, that sting has sparked a landmark legal test case that made Western Australia the first territory in the world to outlaw the sale of electronic cigarettes.The move contrasts with the approach of other places such as London, where a new cafe, The Vape Lab, not only sells e-cigarettes but rents them by the hour, offering 19 different flavours including bubblegum and custard.Advocate: Leon Alegria says the ruling lacks focus. Photo: Sahlan Hayes"We just don't need e-cigarettes here,'' said Cancer Council Australia's director of advocacy, Paul Grogan, last week. ''There are already approved services for people who claim they need these types of things to quit tobacco.''Users of e-cigarettes currently need to sidestep local restrictions and import ''personal amounts'' of nicotine from overseas. But it was thought unlikely that the actual devices would fall foul of tobacco legislation, mainly because they don't use tobacco. Then came the controversial Western Australian Supreme Court decision which, on April 10, ruled that if an e-cigarette device involves ''a hand to mouth action'' and results in the ''expulsion of vapour'', then it resembles a tobacco product and is therefore illegal.The ruling has been celebrated by anti-tobacco lobbyists. Australian Council on Smoking and Health president Mike Daube told the media that the decision was an important step in the continuing battle against smoking.Unnecessary: Becky Freeman says aids aren't needed. Photo: Marco Del GrandeIn turn, it has shocked the community of Australian e-cigarette users - many of whom are former smokers who now fear a blanket ban.''I've been trying to get off tobacco for 15 years, and having found something that works, I'm finding a rabid push to shut it down,'' says Owen Phillis, of Botany. ''I'm scared that I, and thousands of others, will wind up back on tobacco and a cancerous end if this avenue is closed.''According to a recent worldwide survey of more than 19,000 users, 81 per cent of respondents reported having completely substituted smoking with e-cigarettes. But while users may no longer be pumping up to 4000 different chemicals and carcinogens into their bloodstream, there remains no long-term studies about the actual health effects of filling lungs with vapour, morning, noon and night. On Thursday, the US Food and Drug Administration announced that all electronic cigarettes are to carry health warnings under new rules aimed at bringing e-cigarettes in line with tobacco. The regulations will also cover pipe tobacco and cigars - two products that somehow had previously been treated more leniently.The changes follow a rise in complaints from US e-cigarette users that, according to Reuters, included trouble breathing, headache, cough, dizziness, sore throat, nosebleeds, chest pain or other cardiovascular problems, and allergic reactions such as itchiness and swelling of the lips. One woman wrote that her husband began smoking e-cigarettes liberally in his car and at home after being told they were safe and that the vapour was ''just like water''.''E-cigarettes are products that prey on the most vulnerable,'' Sydney pharmacist Paul Melas says. ''Who are the most vulnerable? Those that fear early death brought on by tobacco-related diseases.''He claims the ''perception of safety'' around e-cigarettes demotivates a person from ''quitting completely'', and instead allows them to think they have more time to ''sort themselves out'' before actually making the move to quit. ''E-cigarettes do not have a place in current therapy because they do not have established safety profiles,'' he says.Sydney University lecturer in public health Dr Becky Freeman agrees: ''The reality is, most people who quit smoking don't need any quitting aid, be that gum, patches or e-cigarettes … they wake up one day and think 'Yes, I'm done with this'.''In the aftermath of the WA ruling, ''vaping'' forums have been asking how authorities can outlaw a product on the basis that it mimics another product that is legal - and kills you? ''It just doesn't add up,'' says Leon Alegria, who runs the Sydney-based e-liquid website Delicious Monsta and is an advocate for the industry to be ''regulated''. ''Aren't we losing focus on the ultimate goal? To have fewer people consume tobacco products?''But Grogan says the biggest threat from e-cigarettes is not necessarily the threat they pose to individual health, but their role in normalising smoking again."We [Cancer Council Australia] are most concerned about the aggressive way these things are being marketed to young people in particular. It's really naive not to see them as something commercial interests would like to proliferate," he says.Grogan says when he was growing up, it was normal to see teenagers smoking. "But I've got kids now, one in high school, and it kind of seems weird to them when they see someone smoking," he says. "It has been a generational change, and we have got so much to lose if we start making smoking normal again."The user: Still hooked but happyCatherine Ryan was the epitome of a typical heavy smoker.After becoming hooked at the age of 16, she developed a 25-a-day habit that jumped to as many as 40 on a ''big night out''. She languished in that cycle for 20 years.''In all that time I never once tried to quit because I loved it so much,'' she says.''My addiction was so bad, I would walk hours for a cigarette. But then last year, a friend gave me an electronic cigarette starter kit. I have never looked back.''Today, a phone app informs Ryan she is now on her 315th ''smoke-free day'' and it calculates the money she has saved as being almost $8000.''I feel so much better physically and I'm still a little shocked that I was able to move away from a habit which I had no intention of addressing.''Ryan believes electronic cigarettes successfully helped her quit because, unlike patches or lozenges, it replicates the habitual hand to mouth action. ''It feels like I'm smoking,'' she says.While acknowledging she is ''still hooked on nicotine'', Ryan says: ''I'm now down to consuming a third of the nicotine I was absorbing as a smoker. I actually see a day now when I will stop altogether.''The legal issues: Case watched closelyAll eyes are focused on Perth resident Vincent van Heerden, who has three weeks to appeal the landmark ruling by the WA Supreme Court effectively banning e-cigarettes in the state. Van Heeden's company, Heavenly Vapours, was prosecuted for selling dispensers and nicotine-free ''e-juice'' through a website.Some believe the decision could trigger a nationwide ban on electronic cigarettes.Van Heerden told Fairfax Media he wants to fight the decision, but will ultimately be guided by legal advice. ''What happens next has repercussions not just here, but internationally,'' said van Heerden. ''The sale of hardware has now been outlawed in Western Australia. Once that spreads to other states, importation will be classed as some form of loophole that also needs to be blocked. Then Australia will be known as the first country to have completely banned e-cigarettes. And, of course, other countries will follow.''In 2011, the WA Health Department targeted van Heeden over alleged breaches to section 106a of the Tobacco Products Control Act, which prohibits the sale of anything such as food or toys that mirrors a tobacco product. But in September last year, a magistrate's court judge dismissed the case ruling there was insufficient evidence that the e-cigarettes in question looked anything like traditional cigarettes or cigars, adding they resembled a ''fountain pen''.But to van Heeden's surprise, the WA Health Department lodged an appeal that proved successful. In her judgment, Justice Janine Pritchard stated: ''In my view, the evidence … supports the conclusion that the items were designed to resemble a tobacco product because they were intended to be used to inhale vapour in a manner very similar to the inhalation of tobacco smoke when using a cigarette.''The signs appear ominous for e-cigarette users in NSW. The Health Department confirmed last week it was ''continuing to monitor'' the case and waiting to see ''whether the decision may be appealed''.The health implications: Vapour warningsE-cigarettes may not contain the same lethal chemicals and carcinogens as cigarettes, but health experts warn there is still no comprehensive research into the risks of frequently inhaled vapour.Earlier this month, a US study on the effects of e-cigarette vapour on human lung cells found it could potentially change gene expression in a similar way to tobacco. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in California, the research analysed human bronchial cells that contained mutations found in smokers at risk of lung cancer. It found that cells grown under medium exposure to e-cigarette vapour changed in a similar fashion to those exposed to tobacco smoke. However, researchers acknowledge the work is only at a preliminary stage.In the meantime, most research points to e-cigarettes being a safer alternative to the old-fashioned gasper. Last year, a US study of 12 e-cigarette brands found that while certain toxicants were present, levels were between nine and 450 times lower than smoke created from combusted tobacco. Another study, led by Chris Bullen at the University of Auckland, recruited 657 smokers who wanted to quit smoking. Two groups were given a 13-week supply of either patches or e-cigarettes that delivered nicotine vapour. Another 73 were given e-cigarettes without nicotine. The success rate among the nicotine e-cigarettes was 7.3 per cent, compared with 5.8 per cent in the patch group and 4.1 per cent in the non-nicotine e-cigarette group.While no e-cigarette users fell ill from using the product, researchers said its long-term safety was unclear. ''E-cigarettes, with or without nicotine, were modestly effective at helping smokers to quit, with similar achievement of abstinence as with nicotine patches, and few adverse events,'' said the study, published in The Lancet. But, it adds: ''Uncertainty exists about the place of e-cigarettes in tobacco control, and more research is urgently needed to clearly establish their overall benefits and harms.''The US has announced all electronic cigarettes will carry health warnings. Users have reported headaches, dizziness, cardiovascular problems and allergic reactions.The role of big tobacco: Giants scrap for e-cig marketThe introduction of plain packaging had many predicting the end for Big Tobacco. Then along came a smoke-free product that some saw as an opportunity to reinvent themselves.Most big tobacco companies have already muscled in on an industry that generated a reported $US2 billion in sales last year in the US. There are an estimated 5 million users in the US alone.Lorillard, manufacturer of the Newport brand, forked out $135 million to buy Blu - the US's leading e-cigarette. Reynolds, which makes Camel, has unleashed a product called Vuse. Philip Morris International, meanwhile, has joined forces with rivals Altria, makers of Marlboro, to launch and market several new designs, including MarkTen.It is this rapidly changing landscape that, in recent days, has prompted the national regulation agency in the US to announce a crackdown on the sales and marketing of e-cigarettes. The Food and Drug Administration will force manufacturers to disclose ingredients.However, firms will still be allowed to advertise e-cigarettes - as long as they do not feature health claims. Companies will also be allowed to continue offering flavours perceived by anti-tobacco lobbyists as an attempt to target teens.How they work: Range of 'tanks' creates new fashion''E-cigarettes'', or personal vaporisers, are battery-powered devices that deliver nicotine through a solution that is heated into vapour, then inhaled and exhaled.''Vapers'' presently have to buy their nicotine in ''personal amounts'' from overseas because it remains classified as a ''dangerous poison'' and can only be sold within Australia, in the form of cigarettes, under licence.Fairfax Media reported last year that Australian e-cig community AussieVapers.com has 4000 members who swear by the gadgets, with one devotee saying ''e-cigs are the greatest innovation in health since the invention of penicillin''.The cheapest ''tanks'' can be bought for as little as $20, with some designed to look like traditional cigarettes - complete with glowing tip. But as the industry has developed, so has the range of devices and accessories. Fairfax Media caught up with several vapers last week whose habit has become their hobby, spending thousands of dollars on handcrafted limited edition tanks from around the world, complete with luxury ''drip tips'' - the mouthpiece attached to the top of device.And the latest undisputed king of tanks? The ''Piston Steampunk Mod'' built by SteampunkVapors in Albuquerque, New Mexico. At $700, it comes with its own hand-stitched leather This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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CASAA Assessment of FDA Deeming Regulation, April 25, 2014

Yesterday’s FDA draft deeming regulation regarding e-cigarettes, other smoke-free alternatives, and other products is not as bad on its face as it might have been. However, a full review -- in the context of background knowledge and institutional analysis -- reveals that the proposed regulation is inappropriate, ill-founded, and potentially devastating for consumers.

1. The proposed regulation of non-combustible tobacco products, particularly including e-cigarettes, does almost nothing to address any real problems.

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What’s so bad about e-cigs?

The Food and Drug Administration says it plans to regulate e-cigarettes, along with cigars and other tobacco products. Health advocates say it’s about time, but many “vapers” who use e-cigarettes say regulation will damage a product that’s a far safer substitute for cigarettes.“The FDA has over stepped their boundaries,” supporters wrote in an online petition posted this week. “DoNot, allow the FDA to take control of a life saving product (sic).”Even health experts agree that electronic cigarettes, which deliver nicotine in a heated mist of water, glycerin and propylene glycol, might be useful in helping people who want to quit smoking. So where’s the harm in them?Mostly, it’s the unknown, the FDA says. “We can’t even tell you what the compounds are in the vapor,” FDA’s Mitch Zeller told reporters.This Video Player Requires JavaScriptIt has come to our attention that the browser you are using is either not running javascript or out of date. Please enable javascript and/or update your browser if possible.FDA regulation would require the companies to tell the agency, but not necessarily the public, what’s in their products. FDA is sensitive to protecting competitive secrets.The FDA is also asking for research on potential harms from inhaling the heated mixture. It might not be as harmful as burning tobacco leaves, but it might not be completely benign, either, says Dr. John Spangler, who runs a smoking cessation clinic at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina.“It is true that electronic cigarettes are safer than regular cigarettes. On the other hand there are some effects in the lung of the vapors which mimic the same kind of changes that go along with asthma,” Spangler told NBC News.“That happens within 5 minutes of using an electronic cigarette. We don’t know how long that will last or whether it will lead to permanent lung damage.”Vaping enthusiasts will argue that using the products allows them to skip regular tobacco cigarettes, whose harms are well-documented. If that’s the case, many health advocates say they are all for them. But there’s not much research to say whether that’s true.Spangler’s been studying this and doesn’t have final data yet. But in general, e-cigarettes appear slightly less effective than nicotine gum or patches or drugs such as Chantix, he says.“I do have about 20 percent of my smoking patients in my clinic who are using electronic cigarettes,” he said. “Of the patients who use them, about 10 percent of them actually quit smoking using electronic cigarettes.”"Most consumers would be shocked to realize the products they buy have less oversight than a bag of dog food."And experts argue that if e-cigarette makers wanted their products used as quit-smoking aids, they’d have submitted them to the FDA as such. Instead, manufacturers fought FDA’s attempts to regulate them in that way, and won in federal appeals court.Either way, people who use them should want them regulated, says pulmonologist Dr. Nathan Cobb of Georgetown University School of Medicine.“Electronic cigarettes may represent the next evolution of nicotine replacement, supplanting the gum, patch and the existing inhaler. However, most consumers would be shocked to realize the products they buy have less oversight than a bag of dog food, and are often manufactured and imported from countries that have histories of tainted pharmaceutical and food products,” Cobb added.The fear is that smokers will use e-cigarettes as a bridge that gets them through the day in a society that increasingly restricts cigarettes. And the even bigger fear is that e-cigarettes will appeal to children, who will get addicted to nicotine.“Kids should not be initiating even an e-cigarette that contains no burning tobacco leaves because of the effect that nicotine can have on the developing brain,” Zeller says. Several studies suggest nicotine might slow the growth of the adolescent brain.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and FDA say 10 percent of high school students have tried vaping, with numbers rising steadily. More than 21 percent of adults have tried vaping at least once.The e-cigarette industry itself welcomes the FDA’s proposal. “We have no problem divulging our ingredients,” says Miguel Martin, president of e-cigarette maker Logic. Martin and other makers also say they support restricting sales to people 18 or older."FDA has worked over three years to meet the regulatory challenges presented by this very new and technology-driven industry, while preserving and supporting the enormous potential for harm reduction it offers. We share that goal," added the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association.“You should always be suspicious when the tobacco industry applauds something."Public health advocates say even that worries them. “You should always be suspicious when the tobacco industry applauds something,” says Tom Glynn, senior director of cancer science and trends for the American Cancer Society.Glynn and others remember that the tobacco industry first told Americans that cigarettes were healthful, and then battled the U.S. government in court for decades when the Surgeon General declared that smoking caused cancer. It took decades to prove that tobacco companies colluded to make cigarettes ever more addictive and to cover up research showing tobacco caused not only cancer, but heart disease, stroke, emphysema and other diseases.They also point to industry attempts to market “light” cigarettes as less dangerous — research shows they are not — and companies have pushed menthol cigarettes despite evidence that menthol worsens the health effects.“Like cigarette companies, e-cigarette makers claim they don't market to kids. But they're using the same themes and tactics tobacco companies have long used to market regular cigarettes to kids,” says Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.And nicotine itself may not be so harmless. The concentrated nicotine juice used in vaping can poison people, and Spangler says nicotine build-up in vaping salons could be dangerous, also.“We don’t know what will happen to nicotine that settles into the environment,” he said.First published April 25 2014, 6:26 AM
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E-cigarette hazards, merits unclear

1:00 AMAs the FDA gets set to regulate, health and public policy experts await more research on the devices.By Michael FelberbaumThe Associated PressWASHINGTON — The federal government’s move to regulate e-cigarettes is a leap into the unknown.click image to enlargeTalia Eisenberg, co-founder of the Henley Vaporium, uses her vaping device in New York on Feb. 20. Soon, the Food and Drug Administration will propose rules for e-cigarettes. The rules will likely have big implications for a fast-growing industry and its legions of customers.The Associated PressE-CIGARETTE FACTSThe Associated PressPipes are displayed at the Avail Vapor shop in Richmond, Va. The industry is facing regulation.THE BATTERY-POWERED devices made of plastic or metal heat a liquid nicotine solution, creating vapor that users inhale. Some models are disposable, and some are designed to be refilled with cartridges or tanks containing what enthusiasts call “e-juice.”Some e-cigarettes are made to look like a real cigarette with a tiny light on the tip that glows like the real thing.THE INGREDIENTS used in most e-cigarettes include nicotine, water, glycerol, propylene glycol and flavorings. Propylene glycol is a thick fluid sometimes used in antifreeze but also used as a food ingredient. While some e-cigarette makers are limiting offerings to tobacco and menthol flavors, others are selling candy-like flavors like cherry and strawberry.USERS SAY E-CIGARETTES address both the addictive and behavioral aspects of smoking. Smokers get their nicotine without the thousands of chemicals found in regular cigarettes. And they get to hold something shaped like a cigarette, while puffing and exhaling something that looks like smoke without the ash, odor and tar.SCIENTISTS HAVEN’T finished much research on e-cigarettes, their safety and whether they help smokers quit, and the studies that have been done are inconclusive. The federal government is pouring millions of dollars into research to supplement independent and company studies looking at the health risks of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products – as well as who uses them and why.– The Associated PressMost everyone agrees a ban on selling them to kids would be a step forward. But health and public policy experts can’t say for certain whether the electronic devices are a good thing or a bad thing overall, whether they help smokers kick the habit or are a gateway to ordinary paper-and-tobacco cigarettes.The proposed rules, issued Thursday by the Food and Drug Administration, tread fairly lightly. They would ban sales to anyone under 18, add warning labels and require FDA approval for new products.Some public health experts say a measured approach is the right one. They think that the devices, which heat a nicotine solution to produce an odorless vapor without the smoke and tar of burning tobacco, can help smokers quit.“This could be the single biggest opportunity that’s come along in a century to make the cigarette obsolete,” said David Abrams, executive director of the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at the American Legacy Foundation.Still, some wonder whether e-cigarettes keep smokers addicted or hook new users and encourage them to move on to tobacco. And some warn that the FDA regulations could have unintended consequences.“If the regulations are too heavy-handed, they’ll have the deadly effect of preventing smokers from quitting by switching to these dramatically less harmful alternatives,” said Jeff Stier, senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank in Washington.Scientists haven’t finished much research on e-cigarettes, and the studies that have been done have been inconclusive. The government is pouring millions into research to supplement independent and company studies on the health risks of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products – as well as who uses them and why.“There are far more questions than answers,” acknowledged Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products.But he said the proposed rules “would result in significant public health benefits, including through reducing sales to youth, helping to correct consumer misperceptions, preventing misleading health claims and preventing new products from entering the market without scientific review by FDA.”The FDA has left the door open to further regulations, such as a ban on TV advertising and fruit- or candy-flavored e-cigarettes – measures that some anti-smoking groups and members of Congress are demanding.“It is inexcusable that it has taken the FDA and the administration so long to act. This delay has had serious public health consequences as these unregulated tobacco products have been marketed using tactics and sweet flavors that appeal to kids,” the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said in a statement.The FDA said it wants more evidence before it rushes into more regulations.Any further rules “will have to be grounded in our growing body of knowledge and understanding about the use of e-cigarettes and their potential health risks or public health benefits,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said.Electronic cigarettes are becoming a big business. The industry started on the Internet and at shopping-mall kiosks and has rocketed from thousands of users in 2006 to several million worldwide, with a choice of more than 200 brands.Sales are estimated to have reached nearly $2 billion in 2013. Tobaacco companies have noticed that e-smokes are eating into cigarette sales, and they have jumped into the business, too. Tweet
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FDA proposals may help e-cigarette sales

The proposed regulations are broadly speaking "as expected, and not as restrictive as some had feared," wrote Herzog, who has predicted that e-cigs could overtake traditional cigarettes in total sales within a decade. Tobacco cigarette sales are currently about $80 billion annually.Herzog warned, however, that "our main concern remains around e-cig/e-vapor innovation, which, if stifled, could dramatically slow down industry growth and conversion from combustible cigs, which would ultimately result in net negative public health impact."Rob Burton, director of corporate regulation affairs at White Cloud Electronic Cigarettes, was pleased there was no outright ban on flavoring proposed by the FDA. White Cloud sells e-cig liquid in five different strengths—including zero-percent nicotine—and in 19 different flavors.Read MoreReynolds brings back Susan Cameron as CEO"We feel that just because you're an adult doesn't mean that you shouldn't have a choice of flavors," Burton said. "The wider the choice, the better the opportunity for them to switch to the alternative" from traditional cigarettes, he said.Burton also was happy that the proposed rules open the door to the possibility that e-cig manufacturers will be able to make health-based claims. The FDA said Thursday that such "direct and implied claims of reduced risk" could be made "if the FDA confirms that scientific evidence supports the claim and that marketing the product will benefit public health as a whole."Although e-cig companies currently do not make such health-based claims, many of their users have adopted the products in the belief that they are significantly safer than tobacco cigarettes, even as extensive studies on the new products has yet to be performed.Smoking tobacco products leads to the deaths of an estimated 480,000 people in the U.S. each year.That death toll was echoed in a response to the proposed regulations by Craig Weiss, president and CEO of NJOY, one of the top-selling e-cig companies.Read MorePassenger claims Air Canada let man 'vape' onboard"By resisting calls to regulate ahead of—and indeed in opposition to—the science and the data, today the FDA has brought NJOY a giant step closer to achieving its corporate mission of obsoleting cigarettes," Weiss said. "There are encouraging signs that 10 years from now, this date will be remembered as the beginning of the end of the tobacco epidemic."That said, the tobacco companies themselves are poised to exploit their huge piles of cash and retail-channel distribution networks as they try to gain market share in e-cigs.Wells Fargo's Herzog, in her research note, wrote that she expects the "e-cig battleground" to get hotter this year, "especially as the 'Big 3' tobacco manufacturers push further into the category.""We expect the 'Big 3' to ultimately have a meaningful presence and to accelerate growth in the category," Herzog wrote.Altria, in a prepared statement, said it and its tobacco companies "have expressed support of the FDA extending appropriate regulatory authority over cigars and e-vapor products.""With these proposed deeming regulations, we believe FDA has an unprecedented opportunity to advance public health goals by recognizing that some types of tobacco products may have significantly lower risks compared to cigarettes," Altria said. "We believe FDA should adopt a regulatory framework that recognizes the differences in tobacco products and fosters innovation that may benefit public health. The framework must be grounded in science and evidence. FDA is in the best position to assess the science and determine how best to communicate relative risk information to consumers.""We are in the process of reviewing the proposed regulations and will provide our perspective to the FDA."In its own statement, Reynolds American said, "We are currently reviewing the proposed deeming regulation and are not in a position to comment on anything specific at this time.""It's important to note that the issuance of the draft deeming regulation simply begins a process that includes a 75-day public comment period. We will provide comments on the draft regulation and participate in the rulemaking process," Reynolds said. "Additionally, the issuance of the proposed deeming regulation does not affect the current marketplace for e-cigarettes."—By CNBC's Dan Mangan.
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