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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Purdy gets appointed as COO at Turning Point Brands

November 19, 2019

Turning Point Brands has promoted Graham A. Purdy to chief operating officer.

Since joining the company in 2004, Purdy has held a range of leadership positions. Among other accomplishments, he built and ran the company’s sales organization, launched the Nu-X new product development engine and led transaction teams for many of the company’s strategic initiatives.

In his new role as chief operating officer, Purdy will oversee the day-to-day operations of the business.

“I have worked with Graham for the past 15 years. He has great intuition for the consumer, anticipates new market trends and builds strong internal processes to capitalize on those growth opportunities,” said Larry Wexler, president and chief executive of Turning Point Brands.

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Cannabis credentials approved for Global Labs

November 19, 2019

A2LA has renewed accreditation of Global Laboratory Services (GLS) to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 for cannabis testing. Based in Wilson, North Carolina, USA, GLS is the first cannabis testing laboratory accredited in the state.

ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation confirms that laboratories have management, quality and technical systems in place to ensure accurate and reliable analyses as well as proper administrative processes to ensure that all aspects related to the sample, the analysis and the reporting are standardized, measured and monitored.

“At Global Laboratory Services, we always strive to keep pace with industry needs,” said Kim Hesse, business development manager at GLS. “We saw the need for an accredited laboratory in the hemp industry and therefore added CBD and THC testing to our scope. Our next step is to expand our service offerings to include agrochemical analysis of industrial hemp.”

A2LA is an independent nonprofit accreditation body in the United States.

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Black market CBD vaping device blamed for death in Belgium

November 19, 2019

An 18-year-old has become the first person to die of vaping in Belgium after authorities blamed his respiratory failure on e-cigarette use, according to a report in The Brussels Times.

The vaper, who lived in Brussels, died on Nov. 6 after using a device with cannabidiol (CBD), a popular and legal hemp component with mild soothing properties that is also sold on the black market mixed with illicit and dangerous products.

“The link with the electronic cigarette is established,” said Health Minister Maggie De Block when questioned in Belgian parliament. “There is no other explanation for such severe pneumonia in this patient.”

The case follows an outbreak of vaping-related hospitalizations and deaths in the United States that have been mostly blamed on vitamin E acetate, a thickening agent in vaping oil.

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Apple ditches vaping apps

November 19, 2019

Apple has removed 181 vaping-related apps from its app store, citing health concerns, reports CNN.

“Recently, experts ranging from the CDC [Centers for disease Control and Prevention] to the American Heart Association have attributed a variety of lung injuries and fatalities to e-cigarette and vaping products, going so far as to call the spread of these devices a public health crisis and a youth epidemic. We agree, and we’ve updated our app store review guidelines to reflect that apps encouraging or facilitating the use of these products are not permitted,” the company said in a statement.

Apple said the apps are a mix of stores, social networks, news and games and represent 0.00010 percent of the 1.8 million apps available through the app store.

The apps now banned from the app store will continue to work for customers who already have them downloaded on their devices, and they can be transferred to new devices.

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Cigarette smoking prevalence continues historic decline

November 19, 2019

In its annual study released on Nov. 14, the U.S. Centers for disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the U.S. adult smoking prevalence rate for 2018 was 13.7 percent or 34.2 million people, slightly down from 2017.

The U.S. adult e-cigarette prevalence rate for 2018 was 3.2 percent, up from 2.8 percent in 2017. Brian King, deputy director for research translation in the CDC’s office on smoking and health, noted that young adults spurred the increase as 7.6 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 24 vape.

“What we don’t want to be doing is playing a game of public health whack-a-mole where we let the use of some products go up while others go down, particularly among the young adult population,” said King.

Category: Breaking News

(Originally posted by GTNF Trust)
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Vitamin E acetate ‘likely culprit’ in THC-related lung illnesses

November 19, 2019

U.S. health officials have found vitamin E acetate in the lung fluids of 29 people sickened in the recent outbreak of vaping-related injuries, according to reports by The Washington Post, Reuters and other sources.

Described as a “breakthrough,” the discovery points to the oil as a likely culprit in the outbreak that has affected more than 2,000 people and killed at least 39.

The findings are significant because for the first time, scientists have been able to connect results from product testing with clinical specimens from patients.

“These findings provide direct evidence of vitamin E acetate at the primary site of injury within the lungs,” said Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director at the Centers for disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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San Fran vapor ban upheld by major majority of voters; deadly combustibles still being sold

November 7, 2019

San Francisco’s upcoming ban on the sale of e-cigarettes will remain in place, as voters soundly rejected a ballot measure Tuesday that would have overturned the prohibition approved by the Board of Supervisors in June. The city will still allow sales of combustible cigarettes.

According to a story posted on sfchronicle.com, Proposition C was losing by 4-1. The measure would have allowed the sale of vaping devices and nicotine cartridges with some new restrictions. It would have limited the number of vaping products a person could buy to two devices and five packs of cartridges per transaction in brick-and-mortar stores, and two devices and 60 milliliters of nicotine liquid each month online.

The measure also would have required online sellers to apply for a permit, similar to what brick-and-mortar stores must do.

The regulations would have taken the place of the outright sales ban on e-cigarettes that supervisors approved to combat the rise in teen vaping. The legislation, slated to take effect in January, suspends the sale of e-cigarettes that have not passed a Food and Drug Administration review — which includes all e-cigarettes now on the market. But the ban may not be permanent; it would be lifted for any e-cigarettes that eventually pass FDA review.

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Germany seeks to limit outdoor e-cigarette advertising

November 7, 2019

Germany’s new drug commissioner, Daniela Ludwig, has called for restrictions on outdoor tobacco and e-cigarette advertising.

While fewer Germans use cigarettes, vaping is becoming far more popular, especially among young people, according to the 2019 national drug and addiction report

“We’re seeing that the use of e-cigarettes is clearly increasing, especially among teenagers and young adults,” Ludwig said. “This trend has to be stopped.”

Ludwig stressed that there needed to be a bigger push to help people with addictions as well as a more open dialogue about drug policy rather than “ideology-based debates.”

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China closes door on online vapor, e-cigarette sales

November 1, 2019

China’s tobacco regulator on Friday issued a notice asking e-commerce platforms and businesses to shut online stores that sell electronic cigarette products, in a move aimed at stopping minors from purchasing e-cigarettes through the internet, according to a story on Reuters.com

The notice comes not long after online platforms and retailers in the U.S. launched similar takedowns amid government scrutiny toward vaping’s effect on public health.

It also arrives as a bevvy of Chinese startups race to capture a piece of China’s massive potential market for e-cigarettes, the story states.

The notice, which was dated October 30, was published one day later on the website of state monopoly China Tobacco, which is overseen by the country’s tobacco regulator.

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Malaysia wants to regulate vapor products

October 21, 2019

E-cigarettes and vaping devices (EVC) have dominated the public and academic debate on tobacco control since its introduction into the market. Now, Malaysia is looking to introduce stricter regulations on the sale and use of EVC, placing it together with tobacco products under a single law that would prohibit promotions and advertising, usage in public areas and use by minors. 

E-cigarettes and vapes are different. An e-cigarette is usually shaped like a pen and filled with nicotine, while vapes are handheld devices that may not have nicotine in its e-juice or oil. In Malaysia, a ban on vaporiser liquids containing nicotine has been in place since November 2015, according to a story on the aseanpost.com. 

There is a rising uptake of EVC among Malaysia’s youth. Due to this, the Health Ministry there is not discounting a total ban on the products. “Everything is currently in the planning stage. We are examining whether to fully implement the ban on vape use, like some other countries,” said Deputy Health Minister, Dr Lee Boon Chye.

Research in the Journal of Community Health by Li Ping Wong et al. in 2016 revealed that 39 percent of e-cigarette smokers are youths in universities while 36 percent are young professionals. Their main reason for using EVC is to quit the smoking of tobacco, according to the story.

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Vuse has submitted for review to FDA for PMTA, jumping Juul

October 12, 2019

Reynolds American Inc said on Friday it had filed for a review of its Vuse e-cigarettes by the U.S. Food and Drug administration (FDA), giving it a jump ahead of its main rival Juul Labs.

The FDA has set a May 2020 deadline for e-cigarette makers to submit a formal application to keep their products on the market amid its efforts to curb the use of e-cigarette among teens, according to a story by Reuters.

Reynolds, whose Vuse e-cigarettes deliver nicotine via a cartridge-based vapor system, said it had provided the health regulator with over 150,000 pages of documentation, including information on the composition, design and manufacturing process associated with its product, as well as safety data, according to the story.

The company said it had also worked with a team of more than 100 people to prepare the filing, including multiple regulatory experts and scientists, according to the story.

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Federal judge denies restraining order, allows Massachusetts vapor flavor ban

October 5, 2019

A federal judge denied a vapor industry attempt to put on hold Massachusetts’ four-month ban on the sale of vaping products, keeping intact the nation’s strictest prohibition.

“The court finds that plaintiffs have not demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success on the merits or that the balance of hardships between the parties weighs in (their) favor,” according to the decision.

But the industry may still get relief. The judge scheduled an Oct. 15 hearing for arguments on whether she should issue a preliminary injunction against the ban, according to a story on Reuters.com.

An attorney for vapor industry stakeholders argued that the Massachusetts ban is overly broad and suggested it should instead target “black market products sold by drug dealers.”

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Walmart stops e-cig sales

September 23, 2019

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, will end sales of e-cigarettes at its locations in the United States, reports The New York Times

The announcement was made on Friday in response to rising concerns about sicknesses and deaths seemingly linked to vaping.

“Given the growing federal, state and local regulatory complexity and uncertainty regarding e-cigarettes, we plan to discontinue the sale of electronic nicotine-delivery products,” Walmart said in a statement.

The company will continue selling the devices until its current inventory of e-cigarettes is exhausted.

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VV EXCLUSIVE: Lawsuit could extend PMTA deadline beyond May 12, 2020

September 17, 2019

The deadline isn’t set in stone. The court-ordered deadline for vapor companies to submit premarket tobacco applications (PMTA) to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could be extended beyond the current May 12, 2020, deadline if a Motions to Intervene and Stay the court order succeeds while an appeal to the ruling makes its way through the courts.

Lawyers with the law office of Keller and Heckman (KH), a Washington DC law firm that represents the vapor industry, filed Motions to Intervene and Stay with the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland pending appeal of the July 12, 2019 Memorandum Opinion and Order (Remedies Order) on behalf of several vapor trade associations. The trade associations represent small U.S. businesses that manufacture, distribute and sell vapor products to adults. A Stay will temporarily suspend the District Court’s initial ruling which started the 10-month PMTA clock.

KH also filed a Notice of Appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on July 30, informing the appellate court of its intent to appeal the District Court’s order denying the trade associations initial attempt to intervene in the case on the remedies issue.

In its Motion to Stay, KH attorney Eric P. Gotting argued, among other things, that “the remedies issue – and in particular whether the Court properly set a PMTA deadline instead of remanding back to FDA for further consideration – turns on the appropriate application of the D.C. Circuit’s ‘extraordinary circumstances’ exception.” KH stated that it was “not aware of any case in which the Fourth Circuit has applied that principle” previously.

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Utah state lawmaker says 84% of vapor products in Salt Lake County tested positive for opioids

September 12, 2019

According to a story on fox13now.com, 84 percent of e-cigarette liquid sold in Salt Lake County vape shops tested positive for opioids and other illegal drugs, according to Utah State Rep. Paul Ray.

The Davis County Republican said Wednesday the samples were purchased from the shelves of Salt Lake County vape shops and that they tested positive for opioids and other illegal drugs in laboratory tests, the story states.

He called the findings a “health emergency” and called a 4 p.m. news conference to discuss a potential ban on the sale of e-cigarette products in Utah.

Drug Enforcement Administration District Agent in Charge for Utah, Brian Besser, will join Ray at the news conference to answer questions and discuss black market sales, according to the story.

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Trump’s proposed vapor ban leaves industry in state of turmoil, confusion

September 12, 2019

Banning flavors for vapor products will send consumers to the black market. Even worse, a ban could send some vapers back to deadly combustible cigarettes. This was the consensus of several vapor organizations and tobacco harm-reduction health groups after President Donald Trump announced his intent to ban all flavored vapor products except for tobacco on Wednesday.

Katherine Mangu-Ward, the editor-in-chief of Reason magazine, probably stated it best when she tweeted “My god. The intense stupidity of this logic: 1) Black market vape cartridges made people sick, so, 2) let’s pass a bunch of regulations to push more popular types of vape cartridges into that same black market; 3) Lives will be saved! Wait, no. THAT WON’T WORK AT ALL. Argh.”

Alex Clark, CEO of The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), a vapor industry advocacy group, said in a statement that removing vapor products from the market and prohibiting the sale of nicotine vapor products in flavors other than tobacco will “inevitably lead to the creation of a massive, unregulated underground market” that exposes consumers to dangerous and unnecessary risks.

“Flavored vapor products were developed by consumers who wanted better quality and more effective alternatives to smoking,” Clark wrote. “That grassroots entrepreneurship and innovation is at the core of the vaping community and the industry it supports.”

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US Senator Romney calls for e-cigarette product recall

September 11, 2019

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney has urged federal health authorities to consider recalling e-cigarettes in the wake of recent hospitalizations and deaths associated with vaping, report The Hill.

In a letter sent Wednesday to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Romney expressed concern that experts don’t know what’s been causing people to become ill, other than the fact that they had used e-cigarettes.

For the Food and Drug Administration to consider recall, a product must be dangerous and defective to the extent that it “predictably could cause serious health problems or death.”

In his letter, Romney said Azar should consider whether e-cigarettes meet this threshold.

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NZ vapor retailer says US reports ‘deceiving and misleading’

Mysterious lung illnesses in the United States are being linked to vaping, but health officials in New Zealand have not received any such reports here, according to an article in the NZherald.

No reports any lung conditions could be linked to vaping had been lodged with the Ministry of Health as of Friday but concerns had been raised.

The main issue appeared to be what was being vaped, a ministry spokesperson told the Herald.

“THC [tetrahydrocannabinol] from unlicensed sources purchased on the street has been identified in at least some of the cases.


“Inappropriately administered substances, adulterated or contaminated products appears highly likely. At this stage it is difficult to know what exactly is causing the problem,” according to the article.

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