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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.

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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Local Alert! Baytown, Texas E-Cigarette Usage Ban

The Baytown, Texas City Council is considering adoptingan ordinance that would ban e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited.  (The ordinance would also ban sales to minors,  a move which CASAA supports.)The City Council is considering four alternatives:Prohibit the sale, possession and use of e-cigarettes by minors, and/orProhibit the use of e-cigarettes in areas where conventional cigarettes are prohibited; orProhibit the use of e-cigarettes in areas where conventional cigarettes are prohibited except in "bars" (more than 51% of their revenue from alcoholic beverages); orTake no regulatory action at this time.

CASAA supports Option No. 1 (ban on sale, possession and use by minors).

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Call to Action! Alaska HB 360 Would Impose a Statewide Smoking Ban and Define E-Cigarette Use as "Smoking"

(last updated 4/11/2014)

4/11/14:  With less than 24 hours' notice, SB209 is being heard in the Senate Finance Committee via teleconference TODAY, 4/11/14, at 9:00 A.M. local time (1:00 P.M. Eastern).  Link to list of Senate Finance Committee Members.  (Click on individual names on that list for contact information.)4/8/14 update:  SB209 Senate Health & Social Services Committee hearing was canceled yesterday (4-7-14). The new hearing for this bill is tomorrow, WEDNESDAY, April 9th at 1:30 pm AST, 5:30pm EST.4/5/14 update:  SB209, which would ban smoking and e-cigarette use in workplaces in Alaska, moved out of the State Affairs Committee Friday (4/4/14) and has a hearing before the Health & Social Services Committee on Monday at 1:30 PM (5:30 PM EST) on Monday via teleconference.  (Link to Agenda)  Please be sure to send an email or make phone calls to the members of the Senate Health & Social Services Committee and, if you are a resident of Alaska,  plan on testifying via teleconference.

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CASAA presents at FDA listening session in San Diego

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San Diego -- April 5, 2014

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How to Pay-it-Forward with Your E-Cigarettes

Pay-it-Forward by swapping
Payit-Forward by Recycling
Just Pay-it-Forward!

I’m quickly approaching my three-year mark of being a vaper. One thing I realized after all this time is that it’s VERY easy to build up a large amount of batteries, cartridges and items you either didn’t like, or from which you’ve simply moved on.

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Call to Action! New York State Bill Would Ban E-Cigarette Use Wherever Smoking is Prohibited

UPDATE 4/8/2014:  AB 8178 passed the Assembly Health Committee and is now pending in the Assembly Codes Committee.  Updated contact information provided in the Call to Action.

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Call to Action! New York State Bill Would Ban Sale of E-Cigarette Liquid

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The Passing of the Torch: A message from out-going CASAA President, Elaine Keller

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It has been my extreme pleasure and privilege to serve as president of The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association for the past 2-1/2 years. But the time has come for me to devote more time to family, so I must relinquish some of my CASAA responsibilities. That's the bad news.

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Call to Action! New York State Bills Would Impose a 75% or 95% tax on E-Cigarettes and Raise the Tax on Low-Risk Smokeless Tobacco

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