And you through e-cigs were safe from the clutches of Uncle Sam. A recently proposed bill would essentially place a staggering 95% tax on all electronic cigarettes, e-liquids and personal vaporizers sold in the state of Washington. Whether you’re an e-cig user or not, you should voice your opinion regarding this bill to your state’s lawmakers. Allowing Congress to pass this bill could result in devastating consequences to the e-cig industry.
Senate Bill 6965 aims to classify e-cigs as “tobacco products.” This would place them in the same category as traditional tobacco cigarettes, which we all know are taxed to high heaven. Proponents of the bill claim this tax hike would raise valuable tax dollars for the state, with a projected estimates hovering around $40 million per year. This money could be used to build schools, fix roads, set up parks, improve healthcare, and more.
Those against Senate Bill 6965, however, say it will do more harm than good. If the bill passes, it would place a significant burden on gas station owners, convenience store owners and small businesses, all of whom are already struggling with the recent tax hikes imposed by President Obama.
The American Tax Reform (ATR), who is against Senate Bill 6965, sent a letter to the Washington Senate stating the following:
“By imposing a 95 percent tax on e-cigarette and e-vapor products, some suggest that S.B. 6569 will generate upwards of $40 million for the state. Small businesses that are struggling to make ends meet will bear the burden of this tax increase. Convenience store owners will be hardest hit because they rely on tobacco and vapor products for a large share of total store sales. This is particularly troubling in a time of tepid economic growth and in light of the 20 new and higher federal taxes that have been imposed by Congress in the last few years.”
The bottom line is that raising taxes isn’t the answer to Washington’s financial problems. Sure, it may raise some money for the state, but it’s not a long-term solution. I guess you could say it’s like placing a band-aid over a serious wound.
If this bill passes (let’s hope it doesn’t), some people would probably resort to tobacco cigarettes for their nicotine fix. This would likely lead to higher smoke-related deaths and illnesses, which in turn increases the state’s medical expenses. Again, taxing is not the answer!
Electronic cigarette convention: photo by lindsay-fox.
To say the electronic cigarette industry has come a long ways over the past decade would be an understatement. There’s now an e-cig available that allows users to make phone calls while vaping (no, this isn’t an early April Fools Day joke), but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg.
Known as Supersmoker, this device uses wireless Bluetooth technology to sync with your cell phone. Assuming you own a cellphone that’s compatible with Bluetooth technology, you can sync it with your Supersmoker e-cig for a rather ‘unique’ vaping experience. With the two devices synced, you can essentially receive phone calls using your e-cig. We’re not sure how functional or useful this will prove, but it’s a cool trick to show your buddies at the very least.
The company’s official website, SupersmokerBluetooth.co.uk, posted the following about their new device:
“World first! In 2007, we introduced the first electronic cigarette in the world; 7 years later, we are changing the world of electronic smoking for good with the first Supersmoker that can be used to make calls and receive via Bluetooth and play music via the built-in microphone!”
After syncing your Supersmoker e-cig to your cellphone, it will vibrate whenever there’s an incoming call. You then press the middle button to answer the call and start your conversation via the e-cig.
Of course, users can also listen to music on their Supersmoker e-cig. Since it uses Bluetooth technology, you can listen to all of the same MP3s or internet radio that’s stored on your cellphone.
“Some of the people told us, in European markets, that we have made this product so cool and techy that people who are not smoking will start smoking. But the American market is much more enthusiastic,” said Supersmoker Bluetooth general manager Roy Steijger.
There are some concerns regarding the device’s utility, however. For starters, are users really going to lay down their cellphones to talk into an e-cig? With all of the recent advancements in smartphone technology, there’s really no reason why people would swap out their cellphone for an e-cig.
And what about the microphone function of the device? Are users expected to raise the Supersmoker e-cig up to their ear? These are some questions that must be answered in order for it to become successful.
Video: Supersmoker Bluetooth Commercial
Check out the official Supersmoker e-cig commercials above. It’s just under two minutes and shows how the device works.
Earlier this week, five U.S. Senators — Barbara Boxer, Richard Durbin, Tom Harkin, Richard Blumenthal, and Edward Markey — proposed a bill aimed to regular advertisements and promotional material involving electronic cigarettes. If passed, the new bill would prohibit the targeting of children in e-cig advertisements.
While e-cigs are undeniably a safe alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes, they still contain nicotine, which is the driving force behind this proposed bill. Lawmakers want to keep all nicotine — whether it’s tobacco cigarettes, chewing tobacco or e-cigs — out of the hands of children.
Nicotine alone isn’t a dangerous substance; in fact, there are several known health benefits associated with its use, some of which includes improved digestion, mental clarity, and a possible lower risk of Parkinson’s Disease. With that said, nicotine remains an addictive chemical that may encourage some people to smoke (never a good idea!).
The proposed bill would grant the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) authority to determine what constitutes as marketing e-cigs to children. This is somewhat of a gray area since manufacturers probably don’t advertise pictures or commercials of children using their device. However, the FTC may decide that a commercial depicting flavored e-liquids as “targeting towards children.”
“E-cigarette makers are adopting the deplorable marketing tactics once used by tobacco companies to entice children and teenagers into using their addictive product. With fruit and candy flavors and glossy celebrity ads, e-cigarettes makers are undeniably targeting young people. Unfortunately, it’s working. We must take action now to prevent a new generation from walking down the dangerous path towards nicotine addiction," said Senator Durbin.
But e-cig manufacturers claim they are not targeting children in their advertisements. Electronic cigarette manufacturers say they are only trying to reach an adult audience who’s 18 years of age and older.
Dr. Michael Siegel, practicing physician and professor at Boston University, said the following about e-cigs:
"The thing about electronic cigarettes is they replace all the other aspects of smoking. They look like cigarettes, they feel like cigarettes, you hold them, you see the vapor, there’s a throat hit that you get. You can associate the same feelings with smoking."
This bill is still in the early stages of approval, so it may take a while to go through (if it happens). Until then, be sure to check back with us here at the Vapor Vixxen Blog for all of the latest news surrounding e-cigs!
How do you feel about the proposed bill to regular e-cig advertisements?
Zensis e-cig vaporizer: photo by lindsay-fox.
Because electronic cigarettes are still a relatively new product (when compared to tobacco cigarettes at least), there’s some concern regarding the general public’s view towards their use. We know that e-cigs are safe to use and do not create the same cancer-causing secondhand smoke as tobacco cigarettes. However, many people avoid using their device in the public, fearing that it will upset strangers who are unfamiliar with e-cigs.
And to make matters worse, some of the e-cigs available for sale are designed to mimic both the look and feel of a tobacco cigarette. If you’re sitting on a park bench using one of these devices, people around you may assume that you’re smoking a cigarette.
According to a recent study performed by the market research firm Harris Interactive, approximately 2/3 of respondents claim they are okay with people using electronic cigarettes in their personal space.
John Wiesehan, founder and CEO of Mistic electronic cigarettes said the following:
“Because they look like traditional tobacco cigarettes, there might be an immediate reaction to ban them on the spot. The fact is e-cigarettes don’t possess any of the negative attributes commonly associated with traditional tobacco. There is no smoke, only vapor, and they don’t smell, they don’t invade clothes or leave ash or stubs. More importantly, many of the negative side effects associated with smoking are minimized by switching to e-cigarettes.”
Only about 33% of respondents said they would be bothered by someone using an e-cig in their personal space. This is certainly a monumental study that shows just how the public perceives electronic cigarettes. If you asked those same respondents how they felt about tobacco smoke in their personal space, you would probably get a very different set of results.
Does this mean you should vape in public areas where other people are nearby? Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to this question, as it depends on several different factors. For starters, certain places, such as New York City and Chicago, have already banned the use of e-cigs in public places, and breaking this law leaves you subject to a fine.
The key thing to remember when using an e-cig is to remain courteous of people in your surroundings. You can read more about e-cig etiquette in our previous blog post, but the general idea is to ask before you vape in restaurants, bars, clubs, etc.
V2 disposable electronic cigarette: photo by lindsay-fox.
To say smoking cigarettes is “bad for your health” would be a monumental understatement. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarettes kill more than 5 million people worldwide each year, making it the leading cause of preventable death. The growing trend of electronic cigarettes, however, offers consumers a safe new way to enjoy nicotine without all of the harmful side effects commonly associated with smoking.
The good news is that national rates of cigarette smoking continues to decline with each passing year. The bad news is that an estimated 18% of the adult population in the U.S. continue to smoke. It’s hard to believe that anyone would choose to smoke given all we know about it and how it affects the body.
Facts About Tobacco Cigarette Smoking:
More than 16 million Americans suffer from a disease caused by cigarette smoking.
Cigarette smoking causes cancer, cardiovascular disease, lung disease and diabetes.
The average lifespan of a smoker is 10 years less than a non-smoker.
Tobacco cigarette companies spent $8.4 billion advertising their products in 2011.
Tobacco cigarettes remain the single most traded item in the world.
They contain a slew of nasty chemicals, including arsenic, ammonia, carbon monoxide, nitrogen and formaldehyde.
Why The Growing Demand For E-Cigs?
Aside from the fact that e-cigs are easier to use and come with dozens of delicious flavors, the main reason why so many people are tossing out their cancer sticks in favor for their devices is because they don’t create any combustion.
Electronic cigarettes use a heating element to ‘warm’ nicotine just enough so there’s a list, water-vapor of nicotine. Without any fire or combustion present, users can enjoy unadulterated nicotine that’s found in traditional tobacco cigarettes.
“Few, if any, chemicals at levels detected in electronic cigarettes raise serious health concerns. A preponderance of the available evidence shows [e-cigarettes] to be much safer than tobacco cigarettes and comparable in toxicity to conventional nicotine replacement products," said researchers in a 2011 study in the Journal of Health Policy.
But there’s a problem that lawmakers fail to realize: placing heavier laws and regulations on e-cigs will only encourage people to continue smoking rather than vaping. If we want to see a decline in the amount of smoke-related deaths, we should encourage smokers to switch to e-cigs.
Preparing to clean an electronic cigarette: photo by johannakoll.
It’s been nearly half a century since the UK banned television commercials for tobacco cigarettes and products. With cigarette smoking killing millions of people worldwide, it only makes sense for the UK — and US — to ban commercials featuring them.
Recently, however, British American Tobacco (BAT), a leading European tobacco company, announced plans to air an electronic cigarette commercial on British television in the upcoming week.
BAT Enters The E-Cig Industry
BAT launched their first electronic cigarette product, named Vype, roughly 6 months ago. Vype follows the principle of current e-cigs on the market by heating liquid nicotine high enough to create a mist-like vapor but low enough to prevent combustion. This allows consumers to enjoy nicotine without all of the harmful side effects commonly associated with smoking.
BAT isn’t the first big tobacco company to enter the e-cig market. We blogged about Marlboro maker Altria taking the plunge into e-cigs earlier this month. With sales of tobacco cigarettes steadily on the decline, big tobacco companies are seeking alternative sources of revenue, and e-cigs seems to be the perfect solution.
Des Naughton, managing director at Nicoventures said:
“It has been a successful first six months for Vype and we’ve built good brand awareness and expanded our distribution from online to being present in over 10,000 retail outlets. We’ve come a long way, gained good consumer feedback and learnt a lot about this exciting emerging sector. We strongly believe that advertising and availability is key in making this innovative product category grow further.”
What About The Original TV Commercial Ban On Cigarettes?
The ban on British TV commercials featuring tobacco cigarettes and cigars did not specific e-cigs; therefore, companies are able to use this as a loophole to televise e-cig commercials. The original ban occurred back in 1964 — long before electronic cigarettes were invented.
There’s no official word yet on whether or not the UK government will modify the ban to include e-cigs. However, BAT remains confident they are abiding by all laws governing commercial advertising of their product.
Video of The BAT E-Cig Commercial
Here’s the actual television commercial for BAT’s Vype e-cigs that’s scheduled to run on British television next week. It’s a short 30-second promo showing a man and woman running through a door before jumping into a cloud of what we’re assuming is vapor. It’s kind of abstract commercial with no central theme, but I guess it could work considering it’s the only e-cig commercial on TV.
Although we don’t know for certain, there’s strong evidence suggesting that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) intends to regulate electronic cigarettes. Last month, the FDA released a statement highlighting the importance of regulation among smokeless tobacco products. It appears as if they are trying to broaden the definition of “tobacco product” to include items like e-cigs. So, what does this mean for the industry as a whole?
Jenny Haliski, FDA press officer, said the following:
“The FDA intends to propose a regulation that would extend the agency’s ‘tobacco-product‘ authorities — which currently only apply to cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco — to other categories of tobacco products that meet the statutory definition of ‘tobacco product.”
E-liquid flavor varieties: photo by lindsay-fox.
According to the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association (TVECA), there are an estimated 4 million e-cig users in the U.S. with thousands more making the switch each month. The e-cig industry has grown above and beyond even analysts’ expectations. Now, it’s a $1.5 billion dollar industry that’s drawing attention from government officials, lawmakers and Big Tobacco.
The FDA’s Current Stance on E-cigs
The FDA published an article on their website regarding the use of electronic cigarettes. They claim that since e-cigs have not been fully researched, consumers are unaware of the potential risks of using them, how much nicotine they are consuming, and if there are any benefits of using them.
Currently, the FDA only regulates e-cigs which are marketed for “therapeutic purposes.” However, we’ve heard from several people whom claim the FDA plans to regulate all e-cigs in the near future. There’s still no official word yet on when this will happen, but there’s a good chance we’ll see FDA regulation by the end of the year.
Now For The Good News…
There is some good news to this story, however. In a statement to the Associated Press (AP), the FDA said that it will not attempt to regulate e-cigs under the strict drug-delivery guidelines. Instead, they will categorize and regulate it as a typical tobacco product.
With the FDA opting for a more lenient classification, regulation should have little-to-no effect on the industry as a whole. Some of the smaller companies who product cheap devices may get left in the dust, but FDA regulation will likely have minimal effect. Be sure to check back with our blog here at Vapor Vixxen for all of the latest news and details surrounding the FDA’s decision on e-cigs.
Electronic cigarettes have quickly become one of the hottest smoking alternatives on the market. As we continue to learn more about the health risks of smoking, people are looking for safer ways to enjoy nicotine, and e-cigs is the perfect solution. They allow individuals to enjoy unadulterated liquid-based nicotine (known as e-liquid) in a mist-like vapor form without all of the harmful toxins and cancer-causing chemicals commonly associated with smoking.
If you’re contemplating making the switch to e-cigs, there are a few things you should know regarding etiquette. Although there’s no written set of written rules dictating how people should use their e-cigs around others, there are some steps you can take to enjoy your smoke-free nicotine while keeping everyone around you happy.
E-liquid for sale at a California vape shop: photo by lindsay-fox.
Know The Laws
I’m sure this is common sense to most people, but you should familiarize yourself with local cigarette and tobacco product laws before using your e-cig in public. Technically, e-cigs aren’t placed in the same category as tobacco cigarettes; e-cigs operate by heating liquid nicotine just enough to create a mist-like vapor, while tobacco cigarettes use fire and combustion to create a thick, chemical-ridden smoke.
Unfortunately, overzealous lawmakers in certain U.S. cities have gone out of their way to classify e-cigs as a “tobacco product,” which in turn places the same cigarette restrictions on them as well. Last month, for instance, the Chicago City Council approved a ban which places e-cigs in the same category as tobacco cigarettes, essentially banning their use in public buildings.
When In Doubt, Ask!
Before using your e-cig in a restaurant, bar, club or building, check with an employee to make sure it’s allowed. Just because smoking is banned indoors doesn’t necessarily mean e-cigs are, too. It only takes a couple minutes to ask whether or not e-cigs are allowed, and by doing so you could find a new vape-friendly establishment.
Just remember to let the employee know that you wish to vape, not smoke. Smoking is a big no-no in all public establishments, but vaping is oftentimes allowed. A major part of e-cig etiquette is knowing and abiding by the rules, so check before you vape.
E-cig etiquette is something that’s bound to change in the years to come. As more and more studies continue to show the benefits of e-cigs, the public will grow more accustomed to them.
CVS shocked the nation when it announced plans to remove all cigarettes and tobacco products from their shelves by the end of October. Other major pharmacy chains throughout the country have tossed around the idea of dropping tobacco products, but CVS is the first one to actually do it.
In addition to dropping cigarettes from their inventory, there’s also some evidence suggesting they will begin offering e-cigs. To learn more about these changes to the nation’s largest pharmacy, keep reading.
Why CVS Decided To Stop Selling Cigarettes and Tobacco Products
Larry J. Merlo, chief executive of CVS, said the following in regards to CVS cutting ties with cigarettes and tobacco products:
“We have about 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners helping patients manage chronic problems like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease, all of which are linked to smoking. We came to the decision that cigarettes and providing health care just don’t go together in the same setting.”
Even President Obama, who was a smoker himself, praised CVS for cutting ties with tobacco cigarettes. Obama released the following statement praising CVS Caremark for their bold decision:
“As one of the largest retailers and pharmacies in America, CVS Caremark sets a powerful example, and today’s decision will help advance my administration’s efforts to reduce tobacco-related deaths, cancer, and heart disease, as well as bring down health care costs — ultimately saving lives and protecting untold numbers of families from pain and heartbreak for years to come.”
CVS pharmacy: photo by holidaygiftnation1.
Are E-Cigs Next For CVS?
Currently, CVS does not sell e-cigs in any other their 7,600+ pharmacies and stores; however, there’s some evidence suggesting the company may enter the e-cig market in the near future. CVS stated that they will likely lose several billion dollars in revenue as a result of their decision to stop selling cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes. Even for a large national company like CVS, billions of dollars in lost revenue is no drop in the bucket. The company may look towards e-cigs to help make up for this drop in revenue.
When questioned about whether or not they would sell electronic cigarettes, CVS responded by saying they were closely monitoring the FDA’s findings on the devices.
There’s no official word by CVS, but this evidence certainly suggests that e-cig sales are plausible in the near future.
Zig-Zag electronic cigarette: photo by lindsay-fox.
Green Smoke will now become an Altria Group, Inc. product.
Altria Group, Inc., makers of Marlboro, Parliament, L&M, Skoal, Next and dozens of other tobacco products, recently announced plans to purchase electronic cigarette company Green Smoke for $10 million. News of this acquisition came Monday morning, with Altia officials stating the deal will close in the second quarter.
Why The Acquisition?
This isn’t Altria’s first attempt to enter the e-cig market, but instead it’s just one more property they can add to their portfolio. There’s a growing shift from traditional tobacco cigarettes to electronic cigarettes, and companies like Altria are fighting to stay alive.
According to a report released by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smoking in the U.S. dropped to 18% in 2012, which is a huge improvement from 1997 when the rate of smoking was nearly 25%.
Among other things, the single greatest element that’s encourages smokers to kick the habit is the media attention surrounding the ill effects of smoking. Anti-smoking campaigns have really stepped up in the past few years, informing the public on the countless dangers of cigarettes. This, combined with the growing popularity surrounding e-cigs, has led traditional cigarette companies to look for alternative sources of revenue.
Stanton A. Glantz, medical professor at the University of California, stated the following:
“The fact that we’re below this theoretical sound barrier of 20 percent is important. This data shows that the whole premise that there is this hard-core group, where no matter what you do you can’t get them to quit, is just not true.”
Empty pack of Marlboro tobacco cigarettes: photo by Steve Snodgrass.
About Green Smoke
Green Smoke manufacturers several different electronic cigarette devices, all of which are designed to heat liquid nicotine (known as e-liquid) just enough to create a breathable plum of mist-like vapor. There’s no actual smoke being created with these devices, which is why they’ve become such a popular alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes.
Green Smoke was originally founded back in 2008 and currently operates out of two headquarters: one here in the U.S. and another in Israel. Last year, the company generated a reported $40 million.
So, how will this acquisition affect Green Smoke? It’s really too early to say, but they will likely continue manufacturing their electronic cigarettes and e-liquids while working to improve their technology. Green Smoke is a successful e-cig company and it’s doubtful Altria will want to change that.