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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.

FDA will propose e-cigarette regulations

A customer holds the electronic cigarette he purchased at the Vapor Shark store on September 6, 2013 in Miami, Florida. E-cigarette manufacturers have seen a surge in popularity for the battery-powered devices that give users a vapor filled experience with nicotine and other additives, like flavoring. Joe Raedle, Getty ImagesThe Food and Drug Administration for months has vowed to crack down on the sales and marketing practices of e-cigarette companies. Now the regulatory agency says it plans to propose rules for makers of the products as early as this month.The policies will have big implications for a fast-growing, largely unregulated industry and its legions of customers.If the regulations are too strict, they could kill an industry that offers the hope a safer alternative to cigarettes that could potentially help smokers quit. But the agency also has to be sure e-cigarettes really are safer and aren't hooking children on an addictive drug."This is a very complicated issue and we must be quite careful how we proceed," said David Abrams, executive director of the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at the American Legacy Foundation, in a recent panel discussion. "I call this sort of the Goldilocks approach. The regulation must be just right. The porridge can't be too hot, and it can't be too cold."The regulations will be a step in a long process that many believe will ultimately end up being challenged in court.Play VideoCBS This MorningE-cigarette debate smolders over health claimsSales of electronic cigarettes are on fire, at nearly $2 billion a year, but they're not regulated by the FDA. CBS News contributor Dr. David Agu...Recently, members of Congress and several public health groups have raised safety concerns over e-cigarettes, questioned their marketing tactics and called on regulators to address those worries quickly. Research conducted so far on e-cigarettes -- even by the FDA -- indicates they might not be completely safe, and suggests the devices don't help smokers quit.The FDA is likely to propose restrictions that mirror those on regular cigarettes, which includes banning sales to minors. Federal regulators also are expected to set product standards and require companies to disclose their ingredients and place health warning labels on packages and other advertising.Where the real questions remain is how the agency will treat the thousands of flavors available for e-cigarettes. While some companies are limiting offerings to tobacco and menthol flavors, others are selling candy-like flavors such as cherry and strawberry which may appeal to children.Regulators also must determine if they'll treat various designs for electronic cigarettes differently, some of which have been linked to nicotine poisoning. To prevent that, the FDA could mandate child-resistant packaging.The FDA also will decide the grandfather date that would allow electronic cigarette products to remain on the market without getting prior approval from regulators -- a ruling that could force some, if not all, e-cigarettes to be pulled from store shelves while they are evaluated by the agency.Many also anticipate the agency will address issues surrounding the marketing of such products. Companies won't be able to tout e-cigarettes as stop-smoking aids, unless they want to be regulated by the FDA under stricter rules for drug-delivery devices.The FDA's proposals could curb advertising on TV, radio and billboards, ban sponsorship of concerts and sporting events, and prohibit branded items such as shirts and hats. The agency also could limit sales over the Internet and require retailers to move e-cigarettes behind the counter.
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E-Cig Industry Awaits Looming Federal Regulation

Smokers are increasingly turning to battery-powered electronic cigarettes to get their nicotine fix. They're about to find out what federal regulators have to say about the popular devices.The Food and Drug Administration will propose rules for e-cigarettes as early as this month. The rules will have big implications for a fast-growing, largely unregulated industry and its legions of customers.Regulators aim to answer the burning question posed by Kenneth Warner, a professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health: "Is this going to be the disruptive technology that finally takes us in the direction of getting rid of cigarettes?"The FDA faces a balancing act. If the regulations are too strict, they could kill an industry that offers a hope of being safer than cigarettes and potentially helping smokers quit them. But the agency also has to be sure e-cigarettes really are safer and aren't hooking children on an addictive drug.Members of Congress and several public health groups have raised safety concerns over e-cigarettes, questioned their marketing tactics and called on regulators to address those worries quickly.Here's a primer on e-cigarettes and their future:WHAT ARE E-CIGARETTES?E-cigarettes are plastic or metal tubes, usually the size of a cigarette, that heat a liquid nicotine solution instead of burning tobacco. That creates vapor that users inhale.Smokers like e-cigarettes because the nicotine-infused vapor looks like smoke but doesn't contain the thousands of chemicals, tar or odor of regular cigarettes. Some smokers use e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking tobacco, or to cut down.The industry started on the Internet and at shopping-mall kiosks and has rocketed from thousands of users in 2006 to several million worldwide who can choose from more than 200 brands. Sales are estimated to have reached nearly $2 billion in 2013.Tobacco company executives have noted that they are eating into traditional cigarette sales. Their companies have jumped into the business.There's not much scientific evidence showing e-cigarettes help smokers quit or smoke less, and it's unclear how safe they are.WHAT IS THE FDA LIKELY TO DO?The FDA is likely to propose restrictions that mirror those on regular cigarettes.The most likely of the FDA's actions will be to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to people under 18. Many companies already restrict sales to minors, and more than two dozen states already have banned selling them to young people.Federal regulators also are expected to set product standards and require companies to disclose their ingredients and place health warning labels on packages and other advertising.Where the real questions remain is how the agency will treat the thousands of flavors available for e-cigarettes. While some companies are limiting offerings to tobacco and menthol flavors, others are selling candy-like flavors like cherry and strawberry.Flavors other than menthol are banned for regular cigarettes over concerns that flavored tobacco targets children.Regulators also must determine if they'll treat various designs for electronic cigarettes differently.Some, known as "cig-a-likes," look like traditional cigarettes and use sealed cartridges that hold liquid nicotine. Others have empty compartments or tanks that users can fill their own liquid. The latter has raised safety concerns because ingesting the liquid or absorbing it through the skin could lead to nicotine poisoning. To prevent that, the FDA could mandate child-resistant packaging.The FDA also will decide the grandfather date that would allow electronic cigarette products to remain on the market without getting prior approval from regulators — a ruling that could force some, if not all, e-cigarettes to be pulled from store shelves while they are evaluated by the agency.The regulations will be a step in a long process that many believe will ultimately end up being challenged in court.WHAT ABOUT MARKETING?There are a few limitations on marketing. Companies can't tout e-cigarettes as stop-smoking aids, unless they want to be regulated by the FDA under stricter rules for drug-delivery devices. But many are sold as "cigarette alternatives."The FDA's proposals could curb advertising on TV, radio and billboards, ban sponsorship of concerts and sporting events, and prohibit branded items such as shirts and hats. The agency also could limit sales over the Internet and require retailers to move e-cigarettes behind the counter.WHAT DOES THE INDUSTRY THINK?The industry expects regulations, but hopes they won't force products off shelves and will keep the business viable.E-cigarette makers especially want the FDA to allow them to continue marketing and catering to adult smokers — some of whom want flavors other than tobacco. They believe e-cigarettes present an opportunity to offer smokers an alternative and, as NJOY Inc. CEO Craig Weiss says, make cigarettes obsolete."FDA can't just say no to electronic cigarettes anymore. I think they also understand it's the lesser of the two evils," said James Xu, owner of several Avail Vapor shops, whose wooden shelves are lined with vials of liquid nicotine flavor, such as Gold Rush, Cowboy Cut and Forbidden Fruit.WHAT DO PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS THINK?Some believe lightly regulating electronic cigarettes might actually be better for public health overall, if smokers switch and e-cigarettes really are safer. Others are raising alarms about the hazards of the products and a litany of questions about whether e-cigarettes will keep smokers addicted or encourage others to start using e-cigarettes, and even eventually tobacco products."This is a very complicated issue and we must be quite careful how we proceed," said David Abrams, executive director of the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at the American Legacy Foundation, in a recent panel discussion. "I call this sort of the Goldilocks approach. The regulation must be just right. The porridge can't be too hot, and it can't be too cold."———Michael Felberbaum can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/MLFelberbaum.
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E-cigarette sellers borrowing a page from Big Tobacco

Reset your passwordEnter your email and we will send you a link to reset your password.Email Reset my password CancelOK Resend EmailYou must have browser cookies enabled to view our site.Account issueWe're sorry, your shared access privileges have been removed by the subscriber. You can still look at a limited number of articles per month.Account issueWe're sorry, this account no longer has full access. You can still look at a limited number of articles per month.
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FDA reveals its views on ecigs in new publication (part 2)


by Carl V Phillips This continues from the first post on the series (which you should read to understand what I am doing and why). It has been an interesting few days in the world of rumor and inference about forthcoming FDA … Continue reading →Original author: Carl V Phillips
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White Cloud and the Environment: Celebrating Earth Day, Every Day

Every Earth Day, nearly every type of company – from e-cigs to eHarmony – boasts about how “green” their practices are, and how dedicated they remain to bettering our planet. White Cloud is no exception.

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Vaping: The battle for acceptance is rising

“The main thing is this is an alternative to smoking cigarettes.”Kate AckermanThe Electronic Cigarette Trade Association of CanadaNatalia Jakobowska has not tried any of the cheesecake varieties yet.“But I’d love to,” says the 29-year-old nurse, who has settled so far on plain old vanilla as her flavor of choice.There are dozens and dozens of other taste options she could pick from in the connoisseur market that is emerging around electronic cigarette smoking in Canada.But ah, that word — smoking! It’s verboten among the tens of thousands of people in this country who have taken up the tobacco alternative in recent years.“We’re vapers,” Kate Ackerman says emphatically.“Cigarettes produce smoke. So that’s smoking. Electronic cigarettes produce vapour. So that’s vaping,” says Ackerman, a director of the Electronic Cigarette Trade Association of Canada.The vapour electronic cigarettes produce is all but odourless and, many argue, far, far safer than tobacco smoke for users and anyone within second-hand range.While odourless, however, so called e-cigarettes are producing the stench of controversy as their popularity rises.Take our pollThis mostly revolves around regulatory questions about their actual safety and where they can be used. There is also concern among many that electronic cigarettes could be a gateway to the tobacco variety.Jakobowska has vaped in shopping malls, on smoking-restricted patios and at the Cambridge cosmetic clinic where she works, all without a whisper of complaint, she says.“No one has ever said anything,” says the long-time smoker, who hasn’t had a puff of tobacco since she took up e-cigarettes last year.Just last month, however, complaints were launched about a passenger vaping on an Air Canada flight from Calgary to Toronto, the CBC reported.Air Canada forbids in-flight vaping.In several jurisdictions, both here and in the United States, there are now concerted attempts to shrink vaping spaces to the dismal, butt-strewn plots allotted smokers.“But smoking legislation was created because smoke has been proven to be dangerous,” says Ackerman, who runs her own e-cigarette company outside Calgary. “It’s dangerous to the bystander, it’s unpleasant, it stinks. It’s a bad thing.”Lacking evidence to show second-hand health impacts — and any offensive smell — electronic cigarettes have largely escaped indoor bans.But that’s left a free-for-all in terms of allowable vaping space, with businesses and institutions largely left to classify their premises as they see fit.No one knows quite how many vapers there are across the country right now. Last month Health Canada said it would commission a $230,000 study on the number of e-cigarettes sold here over the past two years.But Ackerman says usage is booming, with the number of shops and web vendors specializing in the devices and their muliplying accessories having risen from half a dozen to more than 200 since 2010.And the number of available flavours has grown proportionately.The flavourings are among e-cigarettes’ key selling points says Ackerman, with everything from cherry cheese cake and blueberry pie to tobacco, liquor and wine tastes being infused into the products.And as with cigar or wine aficionados, Ackerman says a burgeoning vaping culture, “an incredibly huge social network,” has gown up around the devices.Ackerman says Facebook pages and Internet chat rooms now abound and attract thousands of vapers to discussions about flavorings, recipes and the myriad delivery devices coming onto the market. These can range from $10 corner store disposable products to refillable, rechargeable systems that can run between $25 and $150.There are also handmade, “artist” models. Some hard-core vapers will pay up to $300 and $400 for one of those.The problem with these customized devices is that some of the artists have proved poor electrical engineers. “There have been stories of batteries blowing up,” Ackerman says.But electronic cigarettes’ main selling point, says Ackerman, is the presumed health improvements over burned tobacco products.“The main thing is this is an alternative to smoking cigarettes, it’s a harm reduction product,” she says.The e-cigarettes utilize small heating elements to vapourize a propylene glycol liquid. It’s the same stuff that produces fog at rock concerts.“It’s also what’s used in asthma inhalers, it’s used in hospitals to purify the air,” says Ackerman, who smoked for decades before turning to e-cigarettes. “And it doesn’t take a lot of heat. It vaporizes very readily.”While propylene glycol is a known irritant, Ackerman says, it has none of the carcinogenetic or artery-hardening properties that tobacco smoke carries.And the myriad tastes, when blended by reputable manufacturers, come from the same regulated, flavour additives the food industry uses every day, she says.“Some people like crème de menthe, some people like whiskey flavours, cooler flavours,” Ackerman says. “And because it’s just food flavoring, you can really do a lot, you can get very connoisseur driven.”In many countries outside of Canada, however, the propylene glycol fuel is also infused with nicotine. Though it’s the addictive agent in cigarettes, nicotine itself is not a carcinogen and is classified most often as a stimulant in the same vein as caffeine.But citing nicotine’s addictiveness — and a lack of evidence that smoking-cessation benefits outweigh potential risks — Health Canada has refused to approve the sale or import of devices or liquid refills containing nicotine.That hasn’t stopped many — likely the majority — of Canadian vapers from buying the nicotine juice online.Yet even with a nicotine additive, electronic cigarettes remain far safer than their tobacco alternatives, many experts say.Dr. Gopal Bhatnagar, a cardiac surgeon at Mississauga’s Trillium Health Centre, is so certain of their health benefits that he founded the e-cigarette company 180 Smoke to help people quit the tobacco version.Bhatnagar, who has seen his share of cigarette-ravaged hearts, says vapor is far safer than tobacco smoke as a nicotine delivery medium.“Tobacco smokers, people who take combustibles, they want the nicotine, it’s the tobacco byproducts that kill them,” the former Trillium chief of staff says. “Tobacco has over 6,000 carcinogens in it . . . stuff that also stiffens arteries, which leads to cardiovascular disease as well.”Importantly, Bhatnagar says, vaping can calm the powerful psychological cravings for cigarettes — whether it’s delivering nicotine or not. He says traditional nicotine replacement products — like gum and patches — wean only a quarter of smokers who try them off of cigarettes.“People want the oral and manual sensation of a cigarette . . . they want to put something in their mouth, they want to hold something,” Bhatnagar says. “I do feel the electronic cigarette, it provides that.”That was nurse Jakobowska’s experience when she was quiting tobacco.“It helped psychologically,” she says. “When you’re talking on the phone, when you go outside, have a drink, when you’re driving, it’s helpful in those situations.”One of the key e-cigarette critiques, however, has been that the nicotine-laced varieties could be gateways to tobacco smoking for young people.But Bhatnagar says vaper demographics would argue strongly against this, with the vast majority of e-cigarette users being former smokers, or people trying to quit. While he cites U.S. Food and Drug Administration studies showing e-cigarettes produce exceedingly low levels of toxins, Bhatnagar admits there is no conclusive evidence that vaping is an effective smoking cessation therapy.“But if you’re asking me as a physician in terms of tobacco harm reduction, I strongly believe from a public health policy point of view that electronic cigarettes (could be) a very significant answer.”He has the backing of Dr. Peter Selby, one of Canada’s leading tobacco experts. Selby, the head of addictions at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, says e-cigarettes have the potential to be a winning weapon in the long battle against tobacco.“If this is part of a bigger plan to figure out a way to get rid of combustible cigarettes and ban them, then it’s a fantastic opportunity,” says Selby. “It will be revolutionary, similar to when we decided to get rid of leaded gasoline.”Should Canada find the will to ban tobacco products, e-cigarettes would provide a safe, cheap and acceptable replacement for those who would otherwise smoke, Selby says.As it stands now, however, Health Canada is blocking their widespread use as nicotine alternatives by insisting that they be approved under the agency’s medical device category.“If this comes in as a medicine it will kill it and it will keep combustible cigarettes on the market,” Selby says. “We’ve seen that with other nicotine replacements. It’s never been able to replace cigarettes.”Instead, Selby says, regulations should ensure that the percentage of people who need or will turn to nicotine have the safest delivery product available. He says the federal health agency is likely having trouble classifying e-cigarettes because they are neither tobacco nor medicines.“The way I look at it, they have a round hole and a square hole, and this is a triangle,” he says. “And they are trying to stuff it into one of those two holes and both are wrong. They need to create a triangle.”
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E-cigarette ban planned by council

There are few restrictions on the use of e-cigarettes throughout the UK Electronic cigarettes could be banned from use in council-owned buildings and vehicles in the Caerphilly county borough. If agreed, the move would see so-called e-cigarettes treated in the same way as conventional cigarettes. A report on the proposals says the move is in line with the stance taken by Aneurin Bevan University Health Board. The Welsh government recently announced its intention to ban e-cigarettes in public places in Wales. Caerphilly council said the proposal was sparked "because of a number of incidents with employees wishing to use electronic cigarettes within council premises". A separate report by the Directors of Public Protection Wales, looking at the impact of e-cigarettes since their introduction in 2007, found they often caused problems for enforcement officers. 'Normalise smoking' Caerphilly council had received complaints of taxi drivers smoking in vehicles, which were later found to be e-cigarettes, it said. The same problem was also reported in Cardiff, Swansea and Wrexham. The proposal to prohibit their use in Caerphilly council premises must be agreed by its cabinet before it can be introduced. Earlier this month ministers in Wales said they would consider banning the devices - which can contain nicotine - in public places. This was in response to concerns they normalise smoking and undermine the smoking ban.
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Local Vape Store Owner Opposed to Proposed E-Cigarette Legislation

The owner of a local electronic cigarette chain says he's threatened with closure.Vapor King on the Vestal Parkway is one of two e-cigarette retail stores co-owned by John Burns.E-cigarettes vaporize a flavored liquid that typically contains nicotine, the highly addictive stimulant found in tobacco products like traditional cigarettes.Vapor King sells more than 150 different flavors with varying amounts of nicotine.Consumers purchase the vaporizer and refill it with the different flavored liquids.A Republican New York State Senator from Long Island has introduced a bill that would ban the sale of liquid nicotine.Senator Kemp Hannon argues that the health affects of higher doses of nicotine haven't been fully studied and that the fruit or candy flavors are too appealing to children.Burns says he's not trying to sell to kids."We make sure that everybody's 18 years or older before they enter the store. That's a rule, you can only buy these products if you're 18 years and older. As for flavoring and minors, I believe that adults like flavors too. The flavoring is a big aspect of this. If we couldn't sell our flavors, then we wouldn't have much to sell over here," said Burns.While he doesn't claim that e-cigarettes have no health risks, Burns argues they're not nearly as bad as smoking tobacco because the vapor does not include tar or carbon dioxide.Burns says many people use e-cigarettes to transition away from nicotine altogether, like using a patch or gum.And he predicts that if liquid nicotine is banned, many other users will simply return to smoking.
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Quick outsources to Rodu and Grant


by Carl V Phillips I will resume several more posts about my take on the FDA CTP shortly.  In the meantime… Read this post by Brad Rodu.  It offers some great additional insight about the failings of the Dutra-Glantz paper that claimed … Continue reading →Original author: Carl V Phillips
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Local Alert! Watauga, Texas has Banned Sale of E-Cigarettes.


Our mission is to ensure the availability of effective, affordable and reduced harm alternatives to smoking by increasing public awareness and education; to encourage the testing and development of products to achieve acceptable safety standards and reasonable regulation; and to promote the benefits of reduced harm alternatives.

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Local Alert! San Jose, California - E-Cigarette Usage Ban

Memorandum from Councilmember Ash KalraThe City of San Jose is considering adding e-cigarettes to its smoke-free ordinance, effectively banning e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited (including many outdoor venues).  The Rules and Open Government Committee members will be hearing from staff regarding the ordinance TODAY, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2014 at 2:00 P.M. (City Hall Wing Room 118/119, 200 E. Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA  95113).  Parking can be found below City Hall, and you should ask to receive validation at the Committee Meeting.   (When you arrive at the meeting, please fill out a yellow speaking card to be recognized to speak.)Councilmember Rose Herrera sent an email yesterday to members of her district asking that residents show up in support of the ordinance, noting that, "Going up against big tobacco and addiction is not an easy feat and I need your help."  She apparently doesn't realize that the battle she is waging isn't against "big tobacco," but, rather, against thousands of individual vapers in San Jose who have improved their health and dramatically reduced their health risks by switching (either in whole or in part) to a product estimated to be 99% less hazardous than smoking.  CASAA is asking residents of San Jose to show up, call, and email to let the City of San Jose know that you oppose any efforts to treat low-risk, smoke-free e-cigarette use like smoking, Please (1) emailand call members of the Rules and Open Government Committee to explain whyyou oppose efforts to ban e-cigarettes wherever smoking is prohibited, and (2)attend the meeting and offer testimony in opposition to an ordinance treating the use of low-risk, smoke-free e-cigarettes the same as smoking.

(As a sign of respect, we request that you refrain from vaping during the  meeting.)

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CASAA Testimony - Vermont Senate Finance Committee April 8, 2014

Testimony of CarlV. Phillips, PhD, Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free AlternativesAssociation (CASAA)in Oppositionto bill H 884I am Carl V Phillips, PhD, Scientific Director of CASAA, TheConsumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association.  I live in xxxx, New Hampshire.  I urge you to not support H 884, which would inappropriatelyplace a disproportionate tax burden on people who have used e-cigarettes toquit smoking and discourage further switching to this low-risk alternative tosmoking.I am a public health scientist and award-winningepidemiologist.  I spent most of mycareer as a professor of public health, and most of that focusing on tobaccoharm reduction.  I have been doingresearch on smoke-free alternatives to smoking, including e-cigarettes, forlonger than almost any other researcher in the world and have publishednumerous journal articles and other writings on the topic.  I am here on behalf of CASAA, which is apublic health NGO and consumer representative, not an industry group.  CASAA is a volunteer organization and I amnot being compensated for providing this testimony.Imposing a punitive tax on e-cigarettes is a terrible idea,first and foremost, because it will be harmful to public health.  E-cigarettes are approximately 99% lessharmful than smoking.  While this aloneseems like sufficient motivation to switch from smoking, the reality is thatmany smokers are motivated by purchase price in the short run.  That is, a lot of smokers try e-cigarettesjust because they are cheaper (even though the products are inherently moreexpensive, the high taxes on cigarettes make them cheaper to buy).  Even smokers who are seriously consideringswitching for health reasons would be discouraged from doing so if e-cigaretteswere considerably more expensive.  Comefor the savings, stay for the near elimination of health risk.While there are much-hyped concerns about nonsmokers experimentingwith e-cigarettes, almost all e-cigarette use is by smokers who are trying toswitch or at least reduce their smoking, or by ex-smokers who are remainingex-smokers thanks to their use of e-cigarettes. Moreover, paying a few dollars extra for a one-time or occasionalpurchase is not going to discourage experimenters.  However, it will discourage many smokers whoexpect to pay that premium thousands of times.It is easy to show, as a matter of economic science, that ifimproving public health is the goal, then low-risk alternatives to smoking likee-cigarettes should actually be subsidized.  As far as I know, I am the only one who hasactually run the math on that, which you can find at this Robert Wood JohnsonFoundation working paper: http://healthpolicyscholars.org/sites/healthpolicyscholars.org/files/w50_phillips.pdf.  Of course, a subsidy for e-cigarettes is noton the table and no one is proposing it as a practical option.  The point is that adding a punitive tax is astep in the wrong direction for public health.Additionally the tax would create a burden for those who arenot discouraged and choose to pay it, basically punishing them for quittingsmoking.  Taxes on cigarettes create asubstantial and regressive burden on people, often cutting substantially intotheir family budgets.  Such taxes areregressive both because they consume a much larger portion of a lower-incomeperson’s budget, but also because people who smoke tend to be lower income thanaverage.  This extra tax burden imposedon lower income people is justified by its proponents because of the goal ofdiscouraging smoking.  But quitting smoking is obviously not abehavior we want to discourage – it is the ostensible goal of the highcigarette taxes.  And yet quitting isexactly the behavior that would be both discouraged and punished by ane-cigarette tax.I say “ostensible goal” because high cigarette taxes areoften really motivated by trying to balance state budgets in a politicalenvironment where it is hard to raise other taxes.  As sales of cigarettes are reduced bye-cigarettes and other social forces, states become desperate to make up thelost tax revenue.  It is tempting to lookto the substitutes for cigarettes to find the extra revenue.  But not only does this fly in the face of thesupposed justification for the cigarette taxes, but all the ethicaljustifications for trying to balance the budget on the backs of lower-incomecitizens disappear.  All that is left isan unfairly regressive tax that harms public health rather than improving it.Finally, for Vermont, the revenue might not work out ashoped.  While a smoker who is tempted tobuy a disposable e-cigarette at the gas station might be discouraged by thehigh taxes, and thus buy his usual cigarettes instead, experienced e-cigaretteusers tend to buy expensive reusable hardware and inexpensive refillliquid.  It is easy to make the shorttrip to New Hampshire or other states to buy the hardware and months worth ofrefill liquid, which is easy to keep a large stock of and that, unlikecigarettes, does not rapidly lose freshness. Indeed, I am sure that there are e-cigarette merchants in New Hampshirewho would really love to see this pass. For consumers who do not want to make the occasional drive, purchasingover the internet, where sales tax laws are often evaded, is a popularoption.  A 92% tax may actually be welldown the backside of the Laffer Curve, raising the price so much that taxcollections are actually reduced compared to just continuing to collect thestandard sales tax.  In summary, this tax is regressive, punishes people forquitting smoking, and discourages smoking cessation.  It does almost nothing to discourage the rareexperimentation by nonsmokers.  If thegoal is improving public health, a subsidy would be in order, not a tax; thetax will harm public health.  If the goalis revenue, this is a particularly inappropriate way to get it, and mayprofoundly fail to do so.
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Local Alert! Oceanside, California - E-Cigarette Usage Ban

The City of Oceanside is poised to deceptively define smoke-free e-cigarette use as "smoking."  The ordinance is set for a public hearing (and is expected to be voted on) TOMORROW, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2014 at 5:00 P.M. (300 North Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA  92054).  Please (1) emailand call the mayor and members of the City Council to explain whyyou oppose efforts to ban e-cigarettes wherever smoking is prohibited, and (2)attend the meeting and offer testimony in opposition to efforts to define smoke-free e-cigarette use as smoking.

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Local Alert! Pleasanton, California - E-Cigarette Usage Ban

The City of Pleasanton is considering adopting an ordinance that would deceptively define smoke-free e-cigarette use as "smoking."  The issue will be discussed at the regular City Council meeting TONIGHT, Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 7:00 P.M. (City Council Chamber, 200 Old Bernal Avenue, Pleasanton, CA 94566 ).  

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Local Alert! Corte Madera, California - E-Cigarette Usage Ban

The Town of Corte Madera is considering adopting an ordinance banning smoking in various areas.  They are considering two ordinances, one of which would include e-cigarette use in the ban, and the other which would not.  The ordinances will be discussed at the regular Town Council meeting TONIGHT, Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 7:30 P.M. (300 Tamalpais Drive, Corte Madera, CA 94925 ).  Please (1) emailand call the mayor and members of the Town Council to explain whyyou oppose efforts to ban e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited, and (2)attend the meeting and offer testimony in opposition to efforts to include  smoke-free e-cigarette use in a smoking ban

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Local Alert! Scotts Valley, California Ordinance - E-Cigarette Use Ban

The City of Scotts Valley is poised to deceptively define smoke-free e-cigarette use as "smoking."  The ordinance is set for a second reading and vote on the Consent Calendar for TOMORROW, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2014 at 6:00 P.M. (City Council Chambers, 1 Civic Center Drive, Scotts Valley, CA  95066).  In addition to banning e-cigarette use as "smoking," the ordinance also bans sales to minors and bans location of retail tobacco stores (50% or more of annual gross receipts are from sale of tobacco and/or e-cigarette products) near schools.  (CASAA supports bans on sales to minors and does not object to reasonable restrictions regarding location of shops selling e-cigarettes or tobacco products.)

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Local Alert! Newton, Massachusetts Ordinance E-Cigarette Use Ban, Flavor Ban, Restrict Place of Sale, Increase Age of Purchase to 21

Last updated 4-15-14UPDATE 4-15-14 P.M.:  We have received confirmation that the flavor ban will NOT apply to retail tobacco stores or retail nicotine delivery product stores.  However, it would obviously apply to e-cigarettes that are sold in other retail establishments, and CASAA opposes laws which limit the availability of adult consumers to these legal products.  Rather then banning the sale of  e-cigarettes with characterizing flavors in convenience stores and other non-specialty retail settings, the Board of Aldermen should simply enforce bans on sales to minors.  UPDATE 4-15-14 A.M.:  The measure passed out of committee with a favorable vote, and now will be heard by the full Board of Aldermen on TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2014 at 7:45 P.M., Newton City Hall (1000 Commonwealth Ave, Newton, MA 02459).We do not expect that testimony will be allowed at the hearing, but we are asking vapers and harm reduction advocates to (1) attend the hearing to show opposition to the ordinance, and (2) phone, email, and ask to meet in person with members of the full Board of Aldermen.  (Contact information below.)The ordinance being considered by the Board of Aldermen on TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2014 would impose devastating restrictions on e-cigarettes within the city, including (1) banning flavors, (2) prohibiting e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited, (3) prohibiting sales of e-cigarettes wherever tobacco products can't be sold, and (4) raising the minimum purchase age to 21.  (CASAA currently does not take a position on this last issue, but members are free to express their views.)

Unlike most anti-e-cigarette ordinances in Massachusetts, this one is NOT being considered by the local Board of Health (who are appointed, not elected).  Rather, this is being considered by the Board of Aldermen, elected officials who should be accountable to their constituents.  

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So, You’re a Smoker…

Apr 15

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Call to Action! California Ban on Internet Sales (AB 1500) and Ban on E-Cigarette Usage (SB 648)

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Last updated 4/14/14.

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Clearing the Air About E-Liquid “Steeping”

I’m going to risk the age-old adage and make an assumption. I bet most of you reading this have explored other sites to learn about e-cigarettes. Maybe not to buy them (why on earth would you do that?), but rather to learn e-cig terminology, best practices and whatnot.

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