Nicotine Alliance pens UK government over India’s illegal vape seizures

March 23, 2020

The New Nicotine Alliance (NNA) has written to the UK Government about a situation in India. The country that receives over three quarters of a million UK visitors every year has taken to confiscating legal vaping equipment. Despite a ban on the sale of vape equipment, the act of vaping remains legal – but Indian officials are not following the legislation.

The NNA is a registered UK charity staffed by consumer volunteers, formed to increase understanding about the benefits of “new” risk-reduced nicotine products and a better recognition of long-term recreational use of nicotine as a powerful incentive for smoking cessation. It has noted:

The Indian government has passed a law banning e-cigarettes, but it excludes personal consumption. The Indian Civil Aviation Ministry has misunderstood the law and is seizing and destroying the property of unsuspecting UK visitors.

Thousands of UK citizens potentially affected; the NNA has asked the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to update travel advice. The NNA states: “UK visitors to India who use e-cigarettes to improve their health on the advice of British health organisations are having their devices confiscated at airports.”

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Largest vape shop chain in Britain remains open during COVID-19 crisis

March 23, 2020

Britain’s largest vaping chain has vowed to keep its shops open amid the coronavirus crisis to stop ex-smokers turning back to cigarettes and is urging the Government not to close vape retailers in a lockdown.

VPZ, which has 155 outlets across the UK, said Britain must follow the lead of countries such as Italy and Spain by ensuring that vaping stores join the list of essential shops allowed to stay open in the event of a total lockdown, according to a story in the dailymail.

The Edinburgh-based group said ex-smokers could be put at significant risk of complications with Covid-19 if they end up relapsing on cigarettes because they are unable to buy vaping products.

This could put the NHS under unnecessary extra strain, VPZ said.

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Vape shop inspections suspended by US FDA due to COVID-19 concerns

March 23, 2020

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ended activities such as domestic compliance checks and vape shop inspections, the health regulator said, as its staff switch to teleworking amid the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak.

The health regulator has been scaling back domestic and foreign inspections in the wake of the outbreak, which has infected more than 227,700 people across 175 countries, based on a Reuters tally, according to a story on Reuters.com.

In the United States, the virus has infected over 10,000 people and caused 150 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for disease Control and Prevention.

The FDA has already temporarily deferred all domestic routine surveillance facility inspections and postponed most foreign inspections through April.

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U.K. vapor industry asks government to keep vape shops open

March 20, 2020

The U.K. vapor industry is urging the government to keep vape stores open across the country, rather than forcing them to close as part of any intensification of its coronavirus containment strategy. Closing vapes stores, the industry argues, would be a potentially counterproductive move that could place further strain on the already overstretched National Health Service.

In an open letter to Nadhim Zahawi, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the U.K. Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA), the largest trade body representing the vaping sector in the U.K., calls for vape shops in cities, towns and rural areas to stay open and be exempt from any government lockdown.

In the letter the UKVIA cites the experience of Italy, the country in Europe hit hardest by coronavirus so far and where the government reversed its decision to close vape stores as part of its containment program.

The letter to the British Minister reads: “We recognize and support the government’s intensified containment plan for the virus but would urge you and your colleagues to look at the example of Italy.

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Nearly all California EVALI patients used black-market THC products

March 10, 2020

A new study of vaping-related lung injuries in California reinforces the evidence implicating black-market cannabis products, even in states that have legalized the production and distribution of marijuana for recreational use, according to an article on reason.com.

In a sample of 160 patients, just 9 percent reported vaping only nicotine—a claim that is doubtful in the absence of blood or urine testing. Just 1 percent of the patients who reported vaping THC identified a state-licensed retailer as the source of the products they used.

In this study, which was published last Friday in JAMA Internal Medicine, 75 percent of the admitted THC vapers said they obtained the products from informal sources.

Among the 25 percent who initially said they had bought vapes from legal sources, just one patient named a licensed retailer. The rest either could not name their sources or said they bought cannabis products from pop-up shops, other individuals, or from a storefront that was not listed in the Bureau of Cannabis Control’s database of licensees.

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PMI angry that leading scientist not allowed to speak at vapor forum

February 20, 2020

Philip Morris International (PMI) has taken Vital Strategies to task after the special interest group prevented Moira Gilchrist, one of PMI’s leading scientists, from participating in a forum about e-cigarettes.

“The world is home to more than 1 billion people who smoke today,” PMI wrote in a statement. “Can we at least talk about their right to better alternatives than continuing to smoke?”

The company says there is growing recognition among governments, scientists and public health experts that scientifically substantiated smoke-free alternatives—in combination with existing measures to prevent initiation and encourage cessation—can play an important role in addressing the global public health issue of smoking.

“What’s wrong with having an open, informed debate, with all sides involved?” PMI wrote. “We believe it’s OK to disagree, but we adamantly refuse to accept an honest debate is not possible—or necessary.”

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AMV acquires Kure brand vape shops, raises retail presence to 113 stores

February 19, 2020

AMV Holdings (AMV) one of the largest independent specialty vape retailers in the vaping industry with retail and manufacturing operations, announced on January 31, 2020 that it had acquired through a wholly-owned subsidiary, substantially all of the assets of Kure Corp.

AMV already operates a multi-branded retail footprint, including names such as Madvapes and Alohma, KURE brings another leading specialty vape retail brand to the organization.

Following the closing of the acquisition, AMV expects that the combined business will employ over 350 people, operate 113 stores in 19 states, as well as international operations in Europe and will have significant retail, manufacturing, and distribution capabilities that will be focused on the goal of providing its consumers with the best selection, service, and quality. Following this transaction, AMV’s plans to continue to expand through acquisitions with the long term goal of eventually undertaking an initial public offering.

“This is a significant development in the retail vape industry. We believe KURE to be the “Starbucks” of the specialty retail vape industry. KURE has been a great brand in our sector, we are excited to add their distinct line of custom blended high-end flavored e-Juices to our portfolio of proprietary e-liquids, as well as one of the largest selections of the most recognized third-party hardware and e-liquid brands. We are excited about taking this grow this brand and its dedication to customer service, customer experience and unique product experience. I believe that the scale of the combined operations will enable us to increase our investment in quality assurance, science, and regulatory efforts adding both depth and scale to our team. We remain committed to being strong industry stewards and believe increasing scale will matter more and more as companies work to navigate changing industry dynamics and dealing with the forthcoming PMTA applications” said Sam Salaymeh, president of AMV.

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Health Canada investing ad for violation of Tobacco and Vaping Products Act

February 10, 2020

Health Canada and its Quebec counterpart are investigating a vaping ad by Imperial Tobacco to see if it violates advertising laws, reports CBC.

The ad warns of “an epidemic of disinformation” and “hypocrisy” surrounding vaping.

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act states that it is illegal to “promote a vaping product, including by means of the packaging, by comparing the health effects arising from the use of the product or from its emissions with those arising from the use of a tobacco product or from its emissions.”

Imperial’s “Facts not Fear” website appears to violate that section of the law on the home page and at least seven times on the three pages accessible from the main site, according to Health Canada.

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Survey: Teenage vaping epidemic concern could be ‘overblown’

February 9, 2020

“How Juul hooked a generation on nicotine” was a New York Times headline from 2018 on the new addiction apparently sweeping the youth of the US. It wasn’t the only media outlet to cover the rise in e-cigarettes, as a US government survey from that year showed that vaping among teenagers was on the rise, according to an article on newscientist.com.

But the full figures from this survey have now been newly analysed and they suggest that the original coverage didn’t give the whole picture – in some ways, the results could even be seen as good news for teenagers’ health.

E-cigarettes are meant to be a safer way for people to inhale nicotine without taking in the multiple harmful substances produced by smoking tobacco, like tar and carbon monoxide, the story states.

There have always been worries that, as well as helping smokers quit, they might lure in non-smokers. But in the past few years, concerns have spiralled in the US over small vaping devices branded Juul that deliver a high hit of nicotine, with a choice of flavours.

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Vape shop owners stressed as San Fran vape ban to take effect this week

January 27, 2020

San Francisco’s first-in-the-nation ban on e-cigarette sales, scheduled to take effect this week, is weighing heavily on Asad Sharifi, who owns Cheaper Cigarettes in the city’s Sunset District, according to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Sharifi worries he may have to close his business, which sells cigarettes, cigars, pipes and vapes, because it’s poised to lose 40% of its profits.

“I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do,” said Sharifi, who estimates he’ll lose $12,000 this year from vaping items he won’t be able to sell. “I doubt I’d be able to pay rent out here.”

Similar misgivings have been brewing among the 700-plus tobacco retailers in San Francisco — many of them family-owned and immigrant-owned corner stores, smoke shops and vape shops — since city officials passed an ordinance in June prohibiting the sale of many nicotine vaping products, specifically those that have not been cleared by a Food and Drug Administration review required under federal law, the article states.

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US presidential hopeful Bloomberg plans to ban all flavored vapes

January 17, 2020

Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg on Tuesday said he would ban the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes and raise taxes on traditional cigarettes if he wins the White House, according to an article posted on thehill.com. 

Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, said he would also push to reduce the amount of nicotine in traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products to “nonaddictive levels.”

Tobacco control has been one of Bloomberg’s top priorities as a philanthropist and as a politician, according to the article. 

Bloomberg Philanthropies announced in September a $160 million initiative to “end the youth e-cigarette epidemic.” 

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Juul Labs taps Cartwright to lead restructuring team; promotes Sinha as interim CFO

January 8, 2020

E-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc has named Chief Financial Officer Guy Cartwright as its chief transformation officer, a company spokesman told Reuters on Monday.

The spokesman said Cartwright would continue to focus on a restructuring at the company, which includes reducing operating expenses by $1 billion and aligning budget to key priorities.

The company appointed Chief Accounting Officer Saurabh Sinha as interim CFO, the spokesman added, according to the story. 

Category: Breaking News

Original author: GTNF Trust
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Public hearing coming for proposed flavor ban in US state of Rhode Island

January 8, 2020

In the US state of Rhode Island, public health officials have announced a public hearing on proposed regulations to permanently ban the sale of flavored vaping products in the state.

The state Department of Health said the hearing is scheduled for Tuesday in Providence, according to an article on apnews.com.

The department is considering making the temporary ban currently in effect in Rhode Island permanent.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo signed an executive order in September banning the sale of flavored vaping products. In response, the Health Department issued emergency regulations Oct. 4 to implement a four-month ban, with an optional two-month extension, according to the article.

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TPE 2020 to feature new attendee and exhibitor programming based on product

January 7, 2020

Tobacco Plus Expo 2020 (TPE 2020), the first major B2B tradeshow of the year for the tobacco and alternative industries is implementing the TPE Connect program. Through this online platform, attendees and exhibitors are matched together based on product, and can schedule meetings during show hours directly through the Connect program.

This maximizes time, optimizes schedules, and ensures that business gets done with time to spare for more browsing, networking, learning, and fun, according to TPE officials. To participate in TPE Connect, attendees or exhibitors must log in to their portal prior to the show and update their product preferences so they can be matched with the right people to meet with during the show.

TPE 2020 is also expecting a notable media presence to amplify industry trend and activity at the show. While TPE 2020 is B2B-focused, “these key players offer visibility to consumers, and drive traffic from their platforms to retail stores and products throughout the year,” according to press release.

To boost media efforts, the TPE 2020 Media Program offers perks to attendees from the media, including an at-show workspace with wi-fi and light snacks and early access to the trade show floor, allowing meeting time with manufacturers for info and photos before the show floor gets busy. To take advantage of these opportunities, media personnel and outlets will need to register under attendees as media at www.tobaccoplusexpo.com.

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Age to purchase all nicotine vapor and tobacco products raised to 21 across US

December 27, 2019

It’s official. You must now be 21 years old to purchase any nicotine vapor products. President Donald Trump signed a spending bill on Dec. 20 which included the age increase through statutory amendment.  It takes effect immediately.

The bill added a new sub-subsection to Section 906(d) of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act stating that “[i]t shall be unlawful for any retailer to sell a tobacco product to any person younger than 21 years of age.” 
 
The spending bill signed by Trump provides that the FDA has up to 6 months to propose updated regulations reflecting the increased age, regarding procedures for verifying the age of purchasers who appear to be under 30, and providing other direction and guidance for retailers. 

However, the amendment increasing the age is statutory in nature and effective immediately, according to Tony Abboud of the Vapor Technology Association (VTA), a vapor industry advocacy group. 

In an updated message on its website on Dec. 26, the FDA stated that “Note: On December 20, 2019, the President signed legislation to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and raise the federal minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years.

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BAT asked to end advertising of vapor products on social media app in UK

December 18, 2019

The U.K. Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ordered British American Tobacco (BAT) to stop advertising its e-cigarettes on Instagram.

The advertising watchdog also directed the company to remove all ads related to its Vype e-cigarette on the social media platform.

The decision follows complaints about seven Vype Instagram post that health groups said are likely to appeal to those below 18 years of age.

Action on Smoking and Health, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products also alleged the company had used models who appeared to be under 25, which is prohibited in the U.K.

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US FDA wins vapor regulation fight challenging deeming rule

December 18, 2019

The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has rejected arguments by a vapor manufacturer and an industry trade group that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) violated the Tobacco Control Act (TCA) and infringed on their First Amendment rights by creating a difficult pathway to premarket authorization and prohibiting free sample distribution of vaping products.

The D.C. Circuit, in an opinion written by Judge Cornelia T.L. Pillard, joined by Judge Judith W. Rogers and Senior Judge David B. Sentelle, affirmed the summary judgment, according to an article on lexislegalnews.com.

U.S. Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the District of Columbia in July 2017 granted summary judgment to the FDA, finding that the FDA’s decision to subject e-cigarettes to premarket authorization was nonarbitrary and supported by evidence of nicotine’s harmful and addictive nature.

Judge Jackson also held that the modified risk pathway to premarket approval — one of three pathways under the TCA — and the ban on distribution of free samples of tobacco products did not violate the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, U.S. Const. amend I.

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Vapor companies complain about S. Korea government’s anti-vaping stance

December 16, 2019

A controversy is brewing over the legal basis of the Korean government’s recommendation to refrain from using e-liquid. The government blames recent lung illnesses caused by vitamin e acetate on nicotine vapor products. The US Centers for disease Control and Prevention has said all illnesses in the US are related to THC-based vapor products, not nicotine.

As the recommendation has weak legal binding power, there is the possibility of e-liquid distributors and manufacturers backlashing and filing an administrative lawsuit against it.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety is conducting an e-cigarette risk investigation. Minister Lee Eui-kyung was supposed to announce the results of the probe in November, but no announcement has been made so far according to a story at businesskorea.co.kr.

Small and medium-sized distributors of e-liquid complained that damage to their business will definitely grow until a clear analysis comes out. If they set out to litigate, the recommendation can be a bone of contention as it does not have a clear legal basis.

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Flavored vapor ban bandwagon picks up Philippines as passenger

December 3, 2019

The Philippines’ Department of Finance is pushing for a ban on flavored vapor products to discourage youth from vaping, reports The Inquirer.

“Our original position has always been to make sure that the flavors appealing to the youth are not allowed,” said Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua.

President Rodrigo Duterte has reportedly said he wants e-cigarettes to taste only like tobacco.

Assistant Finance Secretary Tony Lambino said higher vapor product taxes would add about PHP2 billion ($39.2 million) in revenues if implemented next year.

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Trump says Tobacco 21 is coming soon along with e-liquid flavor decision

November 25, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump appeared to soften his position on banning flavored vapor products during a meeting with stakeholders on Friday, citing concerns about black market sales, according to reports in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and USA Today.

“If you don’t give it to them, it is going to come here illegally,” he said during a “listening session” at the White House that included vapor industry leaders, public health advocates and others on policies to address a surge in underage vaping.

Trump said that instead of legitimate companies “making something that’s safe, they are going to be selling stuff on a street corner that could be horrible.”

“Now instead of having a flavor that’s at least safe, they are going to be having a flavor that’s poison,” he said.

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