Tag Archives: FDA Regulations

Smoking VS Vaping

 

Vaping VS SmokingWith the Tobacco Deeming Regulations’ announcement last week, it has come to light that many people, especially those who are not entirely familiar with vaping, may not know exactly what the difference between the two methods may be. Here is a run down detailing the distinctions, offering a perspective on how especially contrasting the two products are from one another. If you are wondering how vaping differs from smoking, these are the main things you need to know.

Smoke & Vapor: What’s the Difference

Smoke is smoke, the byproduct of burning matter, such as tobacco leaves, or wood, or paper, or any other substance that can be burned.

Vapor is vapor, it is condensation, evaporation in action. The vapor from e-cigarettes is the product of e-liquid, which typically is comprised of just a few ingredients, such as Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin, water, nicotine (which is optional) and flavorings. Nothing is burned, there is no smoke produced, and vapor dissipates to basically nothing in minutes after exhalation.

Analog VS Digital

Analog cigarettes are traditional cigarettes. They are tubes of paper filled with chemical-laden, dried tobacco leaves. Pretty basic. Digital cigarettes, AKA electronic cigarettes, are the modern, digitized version in which technology has recreated the original method, replaced the tobacco with clean e-liquid, and allows the user to control every aspect of the device.

Smelly VS Not Smelly

Tobacco has an awful, putrid odor to it. Vapor does not. Sometimes light, aromatic scents waft through the air as a result of e-liquids, but even these fragrant scents dissipate quickly.

On the Subject of Chemicals

Tobacco cigarettes (in addition to the foul substances contained within the tobacco itself, and that come as a result of the burning, such as the lingering tar) are full of thousands of toxic chemicals. These end up inside the body when smoked.

Vapor cigarettes, which use e-liquids, are a different story altogether. Sure, there are some shady liquids out there, but that does not constitute the whole industry on any level. Many e-liquid brands, including all IVG brands for example, are stringent on self-regulating, and maintaining the highest standards in e-juices possible. You can read about it HERE, if you’d like, but to put it simply, chemicals are not part of the product whatsoever.

So, these are just some of the basic differences between smoking and vaping. The FDA’s stance on regulating the two items as the same is clearly an irresponsible move, because simply, they are not at all alike. In the meantime, we are urging everyone to write to your legislators in favor of HR 2058, the FDA Deeming Authority Clarification Act of 201. We also encourage you to sign the Petition asking the White House to have more consideration towards the many millions of people who will be negatively affected by this biased and unfair legislation. And last, but not least, it would not hurt to send a message to your state’s Attorney General urging them for support. Clearly tobacco and vapor cigs are very different products, and we must, as an industry make this evident to those who construct such legislation.

FDA Announces E-Cigarette Regulations

FDA E-Cig RegulationsThe tobacco deeming regulations were announced this week by the federal government, after years of speculation as to how they would impact the electronic cigarettes industry. As the industry has long been unregulated, it was a continuous discussion that everyone knew wasn’t about if; it was about when. Well, that when is now, and if Congress doesn’t act to overturn these rules, there is the potential for the industry to be quite negatively as a result.

The most confounding aspect of these regulations is that the FDA is categorizing an entire industry’s worth of products that contain no tobacco, as tobacco products. This is done simply to adhere to the February 2007 “grandfather date” and does not account for the thousands of products that simply did not exist at that time. For companies that manufacture vapor products, being able to keep their products on the market will require lengthy paperwork for every product sold, with application costs that can reach as high as $1 million per application. Not many companies, outside of the massive few, and those owned by cigarette companies will be able to front this. And simply, this type of regulation, which targets a growing market is blatantly wrong.

These initial regulations are still being examined, and some rules are less concrete than others, at the moment. Some of the regulations that will go into effect 90 days from now include:

  • No free samples of vapor products can be distributed
  • No sales via vending machines
  • Age verification will be required for purchase, as no sales will be permitted to those under 18, whether online or in retail locations

However, other areas of the nearly 500 page text detailing the deeming regulations are less set in stone, and subject to Congress overturning them. It certainly goes without say, the entire vapor products industry as well as all the researchers involved in examining the benefits of e-cigarettes have been up in arms. There is an overwhelming amount of support for these products, and many feel the positives they possess far outweigh the few negatives.

Currently there is a lot going on as the vape Industry prepares to fight for our rights of equality and by no means is this the end. We have long been ready for these regulations, and we are urging our customers to sign this petition to make it clear to the White House, and to Congress how beneficial vapor products are, and how destructive this type of legislation can be.

To all of our customers, we are here to support you throughout it all, and we look forward to continuing to serve you with the finest in vapor for years to come.

Amendment Passed to Save Vaping!

Good News  for Vaping: Amendment Passed to Protect the Industry!For many months now, the vapor products industry has been anticipating the announcement of the revised FDA Tobacco Deeming Regulations. This has been a continuously looming threat to the industry, and if it were to stand in accordance with how these regulations were initially drawn up, the entire industry would be facing major setbacks. Thankfully, this week the House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment to the agriculture bill that was designed to protect the majority of electronic cigarette businesses. While the amendment still has to get passed by the House, the action taken thus far is a major step in the right direction.

The big deal over the Tobacco Deeming Regulations has been that if the original date was to remain the same, all electronic cigarette products that have entered the market since 2007 would be forced to go through a rigorous and costly application process. Known as the Premarket Tobacco Application, all products that have emerged since 2007 would have to apply, and the cost would have been millions of dollars per product. Definitely not a financial figure most small businesses could front, this uphill battle would obviously force most of them into termination. The industry as a whole is highly relieved as a result, because it is evident of positive action in the right direction being taken.

The amendment was proposed by GOP Rep. Tom Cole and Democrat Rep. Sanford Bishop, passing with 31 – 19 votes. Among the amendment’s greatest opposers was Democratic National Committee Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who has voiced her opposition to electronic cigarettes openly.

However, despite the fact that the bill will have still have to get passed to officially become a law, the impending regulations are looking quite positive. This is exactly the kind of action the vapor industry has been hoping for, and we are entirely relieved that politicians are standing on the side of reason, and protecting what has evolved into a major asset for those looking for alternatives to tobacco.

The vapor products industry is a multi-billion dollar industry now, and it has been majorly influential in offering smokers a variety of options for handling their smoking with lifestyle choices. We are exceedingly pleased that we are headed towards regulations that make sense for all involved.

Vapor Product Trends Outlook for 2016

2016 Vaping TrendsWith a new year right upon us, we are looking forward to what’s to come. Every year, we watch the vapor products industry evolve in new directions, unveil all sorts of new innovations, and experience the technology in action.

In 2015, the availability and options in regards to the most high-tech box mods, sub ohm devices, and exceptionally high quality e-liquids became extremely mainstream. What used to be reserved for only the most eager of DIY vape enthusiasts became accessible to any and everyone who wanted to experience the power of taking the control of a box mod into their own hands. In a few short months, the industry changed entirely. Trailing on this trend, we expect 2016 to offer even greater offerings in terms of technology, and making very advanced products available to those who want them, without having to construct them on their own, if they do not want to.

As for regulations, we are awaiting them because it seems rather imminent in the US. One way or another, (and hopefully they will be created with fairness and common sense in mind), it is only a matter of time before they are here. While we do not know what to expect exactly, we do hope that all regulations instituted are fair and not oppressing to the industry and its users.

It has been predicted that the overall sales of electronic cigarette products sales for 2015 would be somewhere in the vicinity of $3.5 billion; quite a legitimate market when you weigh all angles. In fact, current models show that by 2018, the vapor products industry is expected to reach the $10 billion range. The growth is imminent, and despite the impending regulations that are clearly an obstacle the vapor products market is contending with, this industry is way greater than a single trend; it’s a thriving niche.

So, 2016 is almost here and we are most definitely looking to the future with promise and optimism. We expect growth, innovation, and continuing to evolve with this ever-changing industry. From everyone here at IVG, we wish you a super, happy New Year!

CASAA Call to Action: Stop FDA Tobacco Deeming Regulations

CASAA Call to Action for Bill HR 2058Right now, the very existence of the electronic cigarette and vapor products industry is being challenged, and if the FDA has their way, these products may not be available for sale within the next 2 – 4 years. No, this is not some crazy exaggeration or spun-off news story; it’s for real!

Last week, the CASAA, or the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association released a national, and urgent call to action for the entire industry, pleading with everyone involved to make it known to those in Washington DC, as well as to local representatives, how unfair, detrimental, and harmful such regulations will be, as well as to ask for support in favor of Bill HR 2058. Within the first few days of the announcement, thousands of vapers were calling in and emailing the White House, to the extent of making it nearly impossible to get through. Yeah, it’s that major!

Bill HR 2058 is a counter to the FDA’s Tobacco Deeming Regulations, which date back to 2007, and were in regards to the earliest electronic/ vapor cigarette devices. If these regulations are allowed to go into effect, 99.9% of all alternative tobacco-type products will be removed from sale, and vapers will be left with no options. The industry has evolved many times over in that time, and these regulations have no place governing, banning, or controlling the products currently on the market. Also, in the past 8 years, millions of smokers have switched to vapor cigarettes, showing that not only has this trend failed to fade away, but also that consumers are taking full advantage of their many choices and are able to control their habits much more profoundly than traditional cigarettes allowed.

This life-changing, highly beneficial, amazing industry is at stake, and if you are among the millions whose life has been positively affected by vapor products, please show your support by making a call to the White House and emailing your local Congressional Representatives and Senators asking for their support of Bill HR 2058. Consumers deserve the right to options; don’t allow yours to be taken!

Where to Call: The White House: (202) 456-1111

Alternate Number: (202) 456-1414

Where to send an email to Support HR 2058 – Send an Email

 

DC Goes Extreme on 67% Excise Taxing on E-Cigarettes

DC Excise E-Cig TaxThe latest news on e-cigs is that vape shops in DC need to watch out! And so it begins… massive taxes have finally hit the e-cigarette world, at least in the nation’s capitol, Washington DC. Vapers have long been dreading this, though many have expected it for quite some time. 

On October 1st, 2015, DC implemented a new 67% excise tax on all products related to electronic smoking products, including electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, and e-liquids. As part of the 2016 budget proposal, which encompasses the Vapor Product Amendment of 2015, officially halts the classifying of e-cigarettes into the same grouping as traditional cigarettes in regards to sales tax. The increase is monumental; when regarded as tobacco products, e-cigarette products were subject to a 5.75%  sales tax; a far cry from the crippling 67% consumers are now faced with. Though it does not extend to online shopping, the law is aimed at the many vape shops that have opened up throughout the DC area.

While this is not a nationwide law, those in the DC area are going to see a lot of big changes in how e-cigarettes are sold locally. This regulation was enacted as an effort to raise money, in which the mayor of DC, Muriel Bowser anticipates an increase of $400,000 to be gained, and used towards local efforts.

This new amendment officially declassified electronic cigarettes as tobacco products, and goes in for the kill by giving them their own category; allowing municipalities to take the taxation to the extreme.

We have long advocated the implementation of regulations within reason, and laws that are made on behalf of the people who use the products, and above all, done in the name of common sense; not exploitation in an effort to raise money.

What may seem like such a small move has the potential to be catastrophic. Because it directly targets brick and mortar shops, along with gas stations and convenience stores, it is expected that stores in the area will be closing, customers will be driven away due to high cost, and people will most likely lose jobs. Doesn’t sound very economically stable, or growth-inducing, does it, considering this law was enacted to stimulate the local DC economy?

Common Myths About E-Cig Regulation

E-Cigarette Regulations and MythsRegulation continues to be a hot subject in the e-cigarette community due to the lack of definitive action and acute direction. The media has a tendency to blow things out of proportion, focusing on issues of little importance, and not paying attention to definitive facts, leaving the actual, factual reality from reaching the public. Ah, the media. Where would we be without their dramatically entertaining spin on real life? Sure, we’d be bored, but we’d probably be better informed. So, if you find yourself part of the vast majority who are interested in hearing the facts, and want to know the real facts behind e-cigarette regulation, here is a look at common e-cig myths, and the truth that backs them up.

  1. The FDA is trying to ban e-cigarettes.

False. The FDA is not willing to endorse or approve products until there has been a sufficient amount of research behind them. At this time, the FDA has no interest in banning electronic cigarettes, and has begun working with the e-cigarette industry. The ultimate goal is to provide a standard of safety, quality, and assurance that manufacturers can abide by to sell the safest products.

  1. The Gateway Effect.

Yes, a gateway to vapor, freedom, choices, and the ability to have nicotine without the smoke and tar. Not a gateway to tobacco! The myth that e-cigs propel users into a lifetime of traditional smoking, by re-normalizing smoking, is simply wrong. All scientific data on this one point in the opposite direction, with no evidence whatsoever that users start smoking as a result of vaping.

  1. All E-Liquids are Dangerous.

This could not be further from the truth because with so many brands on the market, all products do not fit into the same level of standards. You pay for what you get, and if you purchase liquids off some random guy on the street, who’s wearing a trenchcoat that opens up into a mini-street-corner shop, you can’t expect top quality, as you would with brand-assured products. All IVG brands are committed to quality, and standards of the highest level. We disclose what goes into our liquids, and quality is part of what we do on every level.

When it comes to regulations on e-cigarettes, they’re on the horizon. Fortunately, the FDA is going cautiously, and hopefully everything that regulations cover will be for the best in terms of safety, standards, quality, and benefitting for all parties involved.

E-Cigs: Gateway or Excuse?

e-cigarettesAs the popularity of electronic cigarettes continues to grow and smokers continue to use these products in lieu of traditional tobacco, more and more bizarre excuses emerge on why these alternative devices are better off avoided.

One of the latest tirades is that e-cigarettes are causing harm because they are a gateway to smoking for youth. How such rant is even possible is a mystery, however here is a look why the vast majority of smokers who use them are not using them as an entry into the world of tobacco smoking.

Likening electronic cigarettes to drugs, as in, labeling it as a “gateway to smoking” is ludicrous. Studies that have examined e-cigarette usage show not even a full percentage of e-smokers started using electronic cigarette alternatives as a means to start smoking with. There are no statistics on smokers who began using e-cigarettes and transitioned into tobacco as a result, because the great majority of users turn to the products as an alternative to tobacco; not the other way around. In studies done on youth smokers who are vaping, they too are using the products in efforts to avoid smoking, not vice versa. However, there are studies that show e-cigarettes are not being used as an entry point for smokers.

Such labeling is reminiscent of marijuana being targeted in the past as “the gateway drug,” which can be considered an erroneous misnomer as well. Electronic cigarettes do not contain any substance other than nicotine, and should not be likened to drugs such as marijuana. Less and less people, including underage teens, begin smoking every year, and alternative cigarettes have an opposite effect of luring people into the trap of cigarettes. Yes, it cannot be denied that there are underage teens using e-cigarettes, however it must not be overlooked that teens are an exceptionally curious demographic. One finding in studies of underage e-smokers, however, is that the majority of them do not become addicted to nicotine as a result of their experimentation, nor do they have a tendency to become regular users of tobacco products as a result.

This argument is beyond pointless; it can be considered an entirely meaningless issue, as e-cigarettes are generally marketed as an alternative to the traditional products. Electronic cigarettes are used as alternatives to the conventional, and they really have no draw to nonsmokers. It’s time for lobbyists and regulators to take a good, clear look at their usage and trends, and see that calling them a gateway to smoking is simply not evident of the truth.

Time to Focus on Issues That Matter

e-cigarette negotiationsRecently, the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association Conference occurred, and was attended by vaping industry experts, insiders, and peoples of importance. It was an excellent meeting for those with great influence to discuss the current scene, as well as progressions for the future. Among those in attendance were Bonnie Herzog, the senior tobacco analyst for Wells Fargo, and Mitch Medder, the  Director of the Center for Tobacco Products for the FDA. Conversations between these two heavyweights revolved around the subject of e-cigarette and nicotine usefulness and regulations. Particularly focusing on matters at hand, and what issues are playing into the decisions on how e-cigarettes will be classified and considered in the future.

When it comes to e-cigarette regulations there has been a lot of focus on issues that don’t exactly play a crucial role, both parties agreed. With so much emphasis placed on under age users, flavors that err on the sweet side (you know, fruit, dessert, and candy flavored varieties), and the role of marketing, it seems as though we’re losing sight of the most important aspects of the products. While these hot topics are of course important, they should not be used to create drama unnecessarily.

Electronic cigarettes and vaporizers have the potential to offer smokers another avenue. Instead of turning to prescription drugs, or continuing on with smoking because they feel trapped, having the option of controling one’s level of nicotine in a similar manner enables an incredible method, and alternative to the traditional routes.

One of the issues discussed centers around the role of electronic cigarettes and how they may be used as a tool in harm reduction. While there is a huge focus on the necessity of scientific research and data, when it comes to defining regulations, Zeller emphasized that beginning a dialogue with stakeholders on the subject of nicotine is of great importance. Zeller also stated that the entire debate of the e-cigs and nicotine and the FDA (as well as other entities such as the center for drug evaluation and research and the center for devices and radiological health) needs to be addressed, especially in regards to nicotine being used therapeutically.

As far as news outlets and reporting go, sensationalism sells, however when it comes to electornic cigarettes, their benefits need not be overlooked in favor of outrageous, eyebrow-raising reports aimed at garnering attention. The real focus on these products and their future regulations should revolve around their effectiveness, usefulness, and scientific data.

The Future of E-Cigs: The Greatest Influencing Factors

the future of electronic cigarettesAs it is quite obvious the electronic cigarette industry has seen such growth so quickly over the past five years that projections place this sector to be a $10 billion industry by the year 2017. Many experts predict e-cigarettes to be the future of smoking and with the surging popularity, we are certain of it. Here is a list of the five factors that will be affecting the industry the strongest.

1. FDA Input
The FDA holds a tremendous amount of control over products on the market designed for human consumption, and having government input over legislative decisions add further credibility to the industry. While the first regulations the FDA instituted classified the devices as tobacco cigarettes and following regulations were set to control who purchases the products, the next round will include regulating production standards.

2. Industry Red Tape
There’s much concern throughout the e-cigarette community regarding unnecessary and unfair regulations. For instance, there has been talk that the FDA is looking into restricting the sale of e-liquid, which could entail limiting flavor availability. Fortunately this will most likely not come to fruition, however it has been discussed numerous times.

3. Public Vaping Bans
One of the biggest debates regarding e-cigarettes is public usage. Because of the lack of  education  on the products, many people are concerned about exposure to secondhand vapor. This has led to bans in certain places restricting usage of electronic cigarette devices. The antidote to this is education, and hopefully as time passes, more people will be understanding and knowledgeable about vaping, and they will no longer associate these products with traditional tobacco.

4. Public Opinion
Educating the public on electronic cigarettes is paramount. Stigma around tobacco cigarettes is well-deserved, however vapor cigarettes need to be distinguished as different.

5. Marketing
Marketing will be one of the most influential factors on electronic cigarette sales in the coming years. How a product is marketed can make or break it success and manufacturers have to abide by strict rules on terminology when marketing, particularly in regards to content on the Internet.