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"The White House has significantly modified proposed Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tobacco regulations, so that the online sale of e-cigarettes is not restricted, Reuters reported Wednesday.
Charged with analyzing the economic implications of policy, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) looked in detail at the FDA draft, which had included a prohibition of non-face-to-face sales, in effect banning online sales.
OMB changed the language, so that the ban applies only to vending machines. Due to lobbying from the cigar industry, OMB also addressed cigars, modifying the existing two-part rule which separates regulated from unregulated into a two-option rule, which exempts premium cigars.
The cigar industry’s concerns were voiced by 24 Republican legislators in a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.
“As you know, premium cigars are a niche product with an adult consumer base, much like fine wines. The majority of people who enjoy a cigar do so occasionally, often in social or celebratory settings,” they said.
In response back in April, Erika Sward, assistance vice president for national advocacy at the American Lung Association was concerned.
“The part of the proposal we are deeply troubled by is the sweetheart deal for the cigar industry,” she said.
Despite recent Senate hearings regarding the safety of e-cigarettes, various health concerns were also removed by the OMB. Additionally, requirements that would mandate reviewing variable nicotine content, poor quality control, and a chemical used in e-cigarettes called diethylene glycol, have all been removed. According to the FDA, diethylene glycol is a chemical that has caused mass poisonings.
Associated cost-benefit analyses have also been deleted. One deleted economic analysis in particular, regarding premium cigar exemptions, calculated that the exemption would save manufacturers anywhere from $1 million to $3 million. However, the resulting cost on public health would range from $32.6 million to $34.2 million."
Read more at http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/06/25/white-house-deletes-fda-e-cigarette-regulations/#X4p1WyGpG1GZrI3K.99X
Wow could it be, positive steps are finally be taken to back the e-cigarette industry. We are glad to hear something beneficial for once!
"E-cigarettes are either going to save millions of lives by helping people to quit smoking or they are going to destroy millions of lives by luring children and young people into the habit. It is very hard for the onlooker to know what to believe, when the rhetoric is flying in both directions from very eminent people who all have a passionate commitment to public health.
The latest letter to Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organisation, swings the pendulum firmly back to the position of the opponents of a free market in e-cigarettes.
The language is tough and uncompromising. It is signed by those who fear, based on decades of evidence of bad behaviour, that the tobacco companies are getting involved in the nicotine delivery devices in order to undermine bans on cigarette advertising and smoking in public places.
The letter is a response to one from 53 scientists to Chan, sent on 3 June, which said in no less direct language that treating e-cigarettes like tobacco would deprive smokers of a new and increasingly popular way to quit. E-cigarettes, the scientists say, are a very useful harm reduction tool, allowing smokers to get their nicotine fix without the deadly tar in cigarettes. Among those who signed the earlier letter were Professor Gerry Stimson, of Imperial College, who has been at the forefront of harm reduction advocacy in drugs; the former government drugs adviser David Nutt; and Michel Kazatchkine, ex-head of the Global Fund, whose primary interest is HIV.
The opposing letter has twice the number of signatories, from all over the world. They fear a comeback by Big Tobacco, which is becoming the biggest player in the e-cigarette market. They do not believe claims that the industry wants to diversify. E-cigarettes may prove to be a profitable market, but globally tobacco is enormous, and growing in the developing world. Why would Big Tobacco support e-cigarettes if they are likely to shrink that market, the opponents ask.
The WHO has been moving in their direction. Some smaller European countries, such as Slovenia, have been asking for advice, and there are stories of e-cigarette shops opening outside schools. In October the WHO will meet to discuss whether to bring e-cigarettes into the framework convention on tobacco control, one of the proudest achievements of the WHO, although the man who played the lead role in its development while at the WHO, Derek Yach, now of the Vitality Institute in New York, is one of the 53 signatories opposing that.
There are thought to be two million people using e-cigarettes in the UK, and many of them say they have managed to stop smoking as a result. Many argue passionately that they have been rescued from harm and that everybody should have a right to use them if they want to. Strong feelings have led to outbursts of anger and even vitriol on Twitter, and some public health doctors say they have been threatened. That has increased their own conviction that malign forces – in the shape of the tobacco industry – must be pulling the strings.
In the end, only good scientific evidence will persuade the critics of e-cigarettes that they are not a danger. The studies that have been done, such as a recent one by Professor Robert West, from University College London, which showed that e-cigarettes were more effective than nicotine replacement therapy in helping people quit smoking, are not enough, opponents say. Their argument is that, until we know, we should opt to be safe rather than sorry."
What do you all think? People keep saying its luring kids into smoking, its not intended to do that. Frankly kids are "lured" to cigarettes also, but it doesn't stop them from selling cigarettes now does it?
Original Article Here: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jun/16/strong-rhetoric-ecigarettes-debate-tobacco-quit
"A certificate from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hangs on the shop wall. Behind the counter, small, thin battery-powered devices sit in rows, along with vials of what is known as “e-liquid”.
Vape City at Mya Yeik Nyo Hotel is the first shop to sell e-cigarettes in Myanmar. Opened by actress Hsu Pan Htwar just four months ago, it has quickly sparked debate over whether its products are legal and how they should be regulated in future.
E-cigarettes, also known as “vapes”, simulate smoking by producing a vapour that resembles smoke, and giving the user a hit of flavoured nicotine.
While some argue they make it more convenient and socially acceptable to smoke, Vape City manager Ko Yar Zar told The Myanmar Times in an interview last week that most users turn to e-cigarettes in an effort to cut down on smoking.
E-cigarettes contain less of the harmful chemicals that are found in normal cigarettes and the smoke they emit is not dangerous for others.
“Vapes are a new product in our country. It is used by people who would like to stop smoking,” he said.
With e-cigarettes, which can be reused, being relatively expensive – at Vape City they range from K70,000 to K200,000, while e-liquid is K10,000 – they are unlikely to be bought by people consuming nicotine for the first time. Ko Yar Zar said most customers are middle-aged and have a long history of smoking. While he insists they are trying to cut down on their cigarette intake, he also admits that e-cigarettes have become trendy in certain circles.
But are these customers buying cigarettes, or a completely new type of product? The answer has important regulatory implications – not least because it is generally illegal to import cigarettes.
Ko Yar Zar said that because they do not contain tobacco, e-cigarettes should not be considered a tobacco product.
But health experts say they should be considered a tobacco product because they contain addictive chemicals found in traditional cigarettes.
“Vapes [e-cigarettes] are a kind of tobacco product because they have nicotine,” said Dr Nang Naing Naing Shein, a director of the Ministry of Health’s Tobacco-Free Initiative. “You can become addicted to them like a normal cigarette.”
As they are considered cigarettes under the Control of Smoking and Consumption of Tobacco Product Law, they cannot be legally imported, she said. This could soon change, however.
“We are considering allowing them to be imported because the Ministry of Commerce told us one company is trying to get permission to import [e-cigarettes] into Myanmar,” she said. “But until now we haven’t given any permission to important this product because we have no specific policy for it.”
Ko Yar Zar insisted Vape City was selling the products legally, adding that they had been imported through an agent with approval from Customs.
Limited research has been conducted into the main arguments of e-cigarette advocates – that they are less harmful than regular cigarettes and can serve as a safer substitute, or even be considered a form of nicotine replacement therapy.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said it is reviewing the existing evidence around e-cigarettes and similar devices and expects to release a paper at a tobacco control convention later this year. In the absence of clear evidence and international guidelines, countries have come up with vastly differing regulatory responses.
In the United States, where sales are estimated at US$2.2 billion a year, the FDA recently proposed considering e-cigarettes as tobacco products, which would give the agency vastly stronger powers to regulate the market.
In February, Cambodia banned not only e-cigarettes but also the flavoured tobacco used in water pipes, known as shisha or hookah, on the grounds that the high levels of nicotine made them more dangerous for users than normal cigarettes.
Highlighting the regulatory uncertainty in Myanmar, Vape City does not advertise in print media, which is banned from publishing tobacco advertisements. Instead it pushes its products through social media, particularly Facebook, where photos of celebrities using its products are common.
U Nay Soe Maung, rector of the University of Public Health, said he hoped regulators follow the path of Cambodia and ban e-cigarettes from being sold.
“I don’t think they can reduce the health risks of smoking, and certainly they are not a medicine,” he said. “But at the moment it is hard for us to say if it is legal to sell e-cigarettes.”
Original article here: http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/10630-regulators-grapple-with-e-cigarettes.html
E-cigarettes deliver a nicotine hit in vapour form. Fans say they are safer than regular cigarettes and shouldn't face the same regulations and advertising restrictions. The UK's Faculty of Public Health says it doesn't know yet whether e-cigarettes do more good than harm. And the World Health Organisation is due to give guidance to governments later this year.
Now, a group of 53 scientists has published an open letter calling on the WHO to "resist the urge to control and suppress e-cigarettes". So, who is right? Should e-cigarettes be classed as tobacco products and face the same restrictions as cigarettes? Or should they be welcomed as effective aids to giving up smoking, and be prescribed free on the NHS?
They do seem to work. E-cigarettes heat liquid nicotine to a vapour, which is inhaled. Realistic touches like a light in the tip and water vapour "smoke" make them look and feel like a regular cigarette. They deliver the nicotine rush that smokers are addicted to, without the tar and chemicals that can cause cancer and disease.
A large survey of smokers in England conducted by University College London (UCL) found that one in five of those who are trying to quit manage to do so while using e-cigarettes. Of course, that suggests that four out of five don't manage to quit. But nicotine is a highly addictive drug and giving it up is notoriously hard. This quit rate is still 60% higher than if people try to quit without any professional input, even if they buy nicotine products over the counter. Smokers who go it alone hardly ever manage to quit. And proponents say that as the devices get more sophisticated, with different strengths and flavours of nicotine, more people may switch from regular cigarettes.
So e-cigarettes can help smokers to give up, but they are not as good aspitching up at an NHS stop-smoking service, according to Professor Robert West, director of tobacco studies at UCL, lead author of the study and a signatory to the open letter. He says these services "almost triple a smoker's odds of successfully quitting compared to going it alone or relying on over-the-counter products".
Professor West has said that banning the sale of e-cigarettes to under-18s is a sensible precaution to prevent adolescents starting with e-cigarettes and then going on to tobacco. And the BMA has also expressed concern about children taking up smoking after being introduced to e-cigarettes .
There is nothing to stop you puffing on an e-cigarette in a restaurant or public place. The nicotine vapour is odourless and it would be hard for fellow diners to complain. In reality, you may feel a bit of a prat as non-smokers look on disapprovingly and "real" smokers acknowledge their pariah status by going outside.
Critics of e-cigarettes say they may be less risky than regular cigarettes, but we can't say that they're harmless. The devices can be unreliable and of variable quality. Their growing popularity is undoing decades of hard work trying to persuade people that smoking isn't cool and can kill you. Kids and non-smokers may be tempted to take up smoking as a result of positive media images.
But experts such as the 53 signatories of the open letter feel that e-cigarettes are a valuable way to reduce the terrible burden of smoking-related disease. It's true that rates of smoking have fallen from 40% in the 1970s to 20% now. But that's still 10 million smokers in the UK, of whom half will die of a smoking-related disease an average of 10 years younger than non-smokers.
And the worry about kids or non-smokers taking up smoking after trying an e-cigarette seems misplaced at the moment. 99% of people who use e-cigarettes in the UK are ex or current smokers and very few are kids.Smokers who are trying to quit prefer e-cigarettes to other nicotine-replacement therapies, even though they're not licensed and can't be prescribed.E-cigarettes may help some, but realistically once you are a smoker the odds are against you ever quitting. The holy grail is to stop people from starting to smoke. Smoking must be portrayed as deeply uncool; smokers must remain huddled in doorways and not let back inside; and public health messages must be clear and unambiguous. The professionals' bickering about e-cigarettes will confuse the public and muddy the waters. Time for them to smoke the peace pipe.X
"THURSDAY, May 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- When young smokers see someone "vape" a smokeless e-cigarette, it may help trigger the urge to smoke a traditional cigarette, a new study finds.
"There could be effects of being in the company of an e-cigarette user, particularly for young smokers," study author Andrea King, professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Chicago, said in a statement provided by the university.
"For example, it's possible that seeing e-cigarette use may promote more smoking behavior and less quitting," she said.
In the study, 60 young adult smokers took part in what they thought was a study about social interactions. An actor talked to them while smoking an e-cigarette or regular cigarette, and then the participants were tested about their urge to smoke.
Watching someone else smoke an e-cigarette boosted the urge to smoke a regular cigarette at about the same level as watching someone smoke a regular cigarette, according to researchers.
"We know from past research that seeing regular cigarette use is a potent cue for someone to want to smoke," King said. "We did not know if seeing e-cigarette use would produce the same effect [on smokers], but that is exactly what we found. When we retested participants 20 minutes after exposure, the desire to smoke remained elevated."
The researchers stress that the study took place in a laboratory setting, so it's not clear what would happen in real life.
"E-cigarette use has increased dramatically over the past few years, so observations and passive exposure will no doubt increase as well," King noted.
The study appeared this month in the journal Tobacco Control."
Original Article Here: http://consumer.healthday.com/cancer-information-5/lung-cancer-news-100/watching-someone-use-an-e-cigarette-might-spur-smoker-s-urge-for-regular-cigarette-688234.html
Sign us up! We can't wait to do this sort of thing in the future! Nothing cooler than going into a cafe and spending the night trying all different kinds of ejucie and units!
"A VAPING cafe — thought to be one of the first in the country — has opened in Bolton.
The Flavour Vapour cafe in Manchester Road, Burnden, sells e-cigarrettes alongside hot and cold drinks and cakes.
The opening follows the launch of the country’s first e-cigarette cafe which opened in the trendy London district of Shoreditch last month.
Owner Ian Hopkinson, aged 40, had run an e-cigarette shop at the premises, since October 2012, but recently decided to expand his business into a cafe.
He said: “What we want to do is to provide people with a relaxed atmosphere where they can freely use e-cigarettes and enjoy a coffee — but people who don’t smoke e-cigs are more than welcome here too.”
Smoking e-cigarettes — or vaping — is generally permitted in pubs and restaurants, but the Royal Bolton Hospital and Bolton Council have both banned staff from using e-cigs inside.
Bolton South East MP Yasmin Qureshi attended the launch day yesterday.
She said: “I think the e-business is great because smoking causes so many illnesses, these products are also cheaper but the main benefits are for health — I know someone who was a chain smoker and switched to e-cigarettes and it really worked.
There are a number of shops selling the electronic products in Bolton, but the Flavour Vapour cafe is the first cafe dedicated to the product.
It sells e-cig start-up kits, chargers and accessories, as well as a huge variety of flavoured refills, including Champagne, blueberry, mango and mojito.
Mr Hopkinson, who himself switched from smoking normal cigarettes to their electronic alternatives three years ago, believes there is a lack of education on the subject.
He added: “I think the national media can often muddle things up when it comes to e-cigs. I have been using them for three years and have had no problems.
“People like to say it is a gateway to normal smoking but I have never experienced that — I only know of people going the other way.”
The cafe also says it will not sell its products to people who do not already smoke.
Mr Hopkinson added: “We are pitching this as an alternative to smoking — we don’t want to encourage people to become addicted to nicotine if they aren’t already — we also won’t sell to under 18s.”
Director of public health Wendy Meredith said the council could not comment on individual businesses.
She added: “While it is likely that e-cigarettes are considerably less damaging to health than smoking tobacco, they cannot currently be recommended as part of the clinical management for stopping smoking.
“This is because they are unregulated and there is insufficient evidence as to whether they are safe, effective or made to a consistent standard of quality.”
Original article seen here: http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/11219580.One_of_the_country_s_first__e_cig_cafes__opens_in_Bolton/
Theres been many articles like this one, focusing on youths. It keeps being said that e-cig companies continue to market to youths with their flavours and advertising. We wish that people would realize just because something is candy flavoured doesn't automatically make it targeted at young people... adults like these things too ya know. We can finally give in to our cravings and not have to worry about the calories! Just because its sweet doesn't mean its only for kids!
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -
There is a push now to ban e-cigarette marketing campaigns targeted at children.
Senator Charles Schumer says companies are marketing their battery-powered nicotine devices directly to children by adding flavors such as vanilla, bubble gum, or cotton candy to the products.
He is co-sponsoring a bill that would require the federal trade commission to ban such marketing.
The Senator says a recent study found middle and high school students who smoke e-cigarettes are seven times more likely to smoke traditional cigarettes.
E-cigarettes started being sold in the United States in 2007.
To date, there are approximately 1000 different brands available for purchase in the US.
Very interesting article. It's a shame that we all have to hang in the balance while they make a decision. People always tend to focus on negatives of things instead of embracing them for positive change. Regulation is fine because we agree - minors shouldn't be able to buy these. Why punish all of the people trying to quit when this has been the most realistic harm reduction created for them? What are your thoughts?
"The government's chief tobacco regulator told Congress today that e-cigarettes are almost certainly healthier than tobacco, that much more research needs to be done, but that it needs to regulate them now anyway.
“If we could get all of those people [who smoke] to completely switch all of their cigarettes to noncombustible cigarettes, it would be good for public health,” Mitch Zeller, director of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Tobacco Products said today at a hearing that could help determine the fate of e-cigarettes in the United States.
But that's not stopping the agency from asking Congress for the authority to restrict the products now—regardless of whether the health impact is positive or negative. The FDA official told the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions that it has "far more questions than answers" when it comes to the effects of e-cigs on the people who use them, but that its current existence outside the FDA's regulatory authority is unacceptable.
"We don't need to have the answers to those questions to have regulatory authority," Zeller said. The FDA is currently funding "dozens" of scientific studies to find out, he said. However it's basing regulatory decisions on a "guilty until proven innocent" mindset in the meantime.
Earlier this month, the FDA proposed new e-cigarette regulations that threaten to choke out the burgeoning vaping industry, which supporters say has helped thousands of people quit and has helped millions cut back on their cigarette smoking.
The proposed regulations would make e-cigarette makers get FDA approval for any new products, a move that could completely remove small vaping companies from the industry, leaving Big Tobacco's e-cig products to dominate the market.
Instead of exploring the potential health benefits of vaping over smoking tobacco, government groups such as the Centers for Disease Control and some lawmakers are pushing for complete abstinence, saying that e-cigs' flavored nicotine juices couldn't possibly be enjoyed by adults.
Among those opponents is Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who recently put out ascathing report about e-cigarettes, and spent most of the hearing proving he knows little-to-nothing about the growing vaping movement.
At one point, Harkin picked up a mod (and its plug, which, shockingly, is the "electronic" part) and said, "They’re buying these fancy things here. Look, it goes in the wall—it looks like a computer plug. I don’t know what that costs, but these are all geared toward young people."
The CDC's Tim McAfee offered the common anti-vaping hardline stance, suggesting that, though e-cigarettes could potentially help adults stop smoking, it wasn't worth "experimenting" with the lives of the "millions of children" who look at vaping as sexy and could eventually become addicted to regular cigarettes.
“We don’t think there’s any necessity to spend 5-10 years waiting to see if a 13-year old progresses from e-cigarettes to regular ones … it’s not something we need to or should fool around with,” McAfee said. "This is a huge experiment, and it’s not fair to ask kids to be the test subjects for some hypothetical benefit to adult smokers."
That's the kind of talk we've heard from federal officials before, and it jives with the sort of calls for complete nicotine abstinence that public health officials have made before.
But vapers had at least one clear voice on their side, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) said that it's far too early to ban e-cigarettes, and it's probably even too early to put stringent regulations on them, too. That comes in stark contrast to everything the FDA, CDC, and many other lawmakers, who are seeking regulation as soon as possible, have said.
“If we kill technology and innovation, which is, in essence, what some are attempting to do at the beginning, it’s not going to play a role in reducing the amount of Americans who smoke,” he said. “I can remember when opportunities for harm reduction were the goal, but the technology wasn’t there … well now, the technology is there, and how quickly we’ve moved to the point where harm reduction is no longer a goal.”
If there's a silver lining to vapers in any of this, it's that the FDA doesn't appear to agree with the CDC's hardline stance. In fact, the agency has proposed extending the 75-day public comment period past July to allow for more voices to jump into the conversation and study the products further.
The agency clearly believes there is room for e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid. Whether they think that vaping—and its culture of creating smokeless, flavored nicotine juice—should continue to flourish without strict regulation is another matter.
“We’ve been given an opportunity to make a serious dent in the death and disease toll, now that we can regulate these,” Zeller said. “Let’s not lose our focus on what the primary cause is for those 480,000 avoidable deaths each year—it’s primarily burning, combusting cigarettes.”
Zeller's comments were some of the first that suggest the FDA sees vaping as inherently less harmful than smoking. But the insistence that regulation is necessary despite conclusive medical evidence about the real effects of vaping is little change from a debate that has been filled with knee-jerk calls for new laws and new regulations restricting their use."
Original Article Here: http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-fda-says-e-cigarettes-are-less-harmful-than-smoking
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. -- The use of e-cigarettes are a growing industry across southern Colorado, but just how safe are they in the short and long term?
Since e-cigarettes are relatively new, there is some skepticism from doctors about inhaling the product which contains propylene glycol, vegetable oil (FDA approved), food coloring and nicotine.
"I do think that e-cigarettes are offering a substitution for traditional cigarettes that at least don't have as many carcinogens and don't have as many lung damaging products within them," said Dr. Timothy Rummel, Pulmonologist. "That doesn't mean they're safe."
Zachary Spinuzzi, a former tobacco chewer is a doctor himself and almost has his license to practice medicine in Colorado. He uses an e-cigarette. He said it helped him get off chewing tobacco, but he disagrees with Dr. Rummel's stance on safety.
"From what I have seen and read and studied in the past, it seems to be a safe alternative in the short term to smoking cigarettes," said Spinuzzi.
But both doctors do agree on the long term effects e-cigarettes may pose.
"You could surmise that the patients lungs will do better, but I don't think there are any long term studies that have been done on that," said Dr. Rummel.
Spinuzzi said it's just too difficult to see what the long term effects could have on a person.
"It would be pure speculation at this point," said Spinuzzi.
Vapor Source Owner Jason Casados has been smoke free for five years and vapes.
"What it's done for me has really allowed me to continue with that with something that's been a part of my life and what I believe to be a much cleaner product," said Casados.
As a business owner, Casados said he aims to tailor to those who want to make the switch to vaping whether it be with nicotine, weaning down, or even selling e-liquids that are completely nicotine free.
"There's too many smokers out there," said Casados. "There's people that start smoking each and every day and people that want to quit each and every day and we want to hit the people that want to quit smoking."
Dr. Rummel said at an absolute last resort, after many attempts at quitting cigarette smoking through patches, therapy, hypnosis or other ways to quit smoking, he would consider advising a patient to use an e-cigarette.X
Direct Link: http://www.fox21news.com/news/story.aspx?id=1048134#.U4NDWPldV8E