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Vape News in Brief: August 7th, 2017 Edition

Vape News in Brief: August 7th, 2017 Edition



Hardly a day goes by without something, somewhere in the world of vaping making headlines. Let's settle in once again and review what topics have been trending over the last week…

Early in the week, aftershocks from the monumental FDA announcement that a move to regulate vaping as we know it out of existence would be delayed by five years continued to rock the industry. Financial Times* reports that Big Tobacco stocks dropped by a whopping $25 billion following a speech from FDA chief Scott Gottlieb announcing the delay and a push to get cigarette makers to reduce the nicotine content of their products.

This is a British piece, but its theme carries weight in the US market as well - investment in tobacco stocks is something many people, even nonsmokers, may be unknowingly reliant upon. Stateside, with municipal governments and state universities shedding tobacco stocks from their investment portfolios, many private retirement accounts rely on them for the amount of income they tend to produce. As tobacco use continues to decline, workers' savings may begin to feel a hit.

Remember the old tales about cigarettes being used as a form of alternative currency behind bars? It appears e-cigs are taking their place, and jailers are none too happy about it.

We've run several pieces over the years with regard to vaping and etiquette. It appears the outside world is taking notice – Debrett's, a Miss Manners-style official guide to conduct, is out with their own version this week.

Getting back to last week's FDA bombshell, here's some legal commentary on what the delay actually means to the vape industry. Most notably sample bans, age restrictions, warning label provisions, and a requirement to compile ingredient lists in e-liquids on the market before August 8, 2016 remain in effect. We've said before, though, that more changes could be coming, so we'll continue to watch and wait.

Haven't heard enough yet about why the FDA regulations were so wrongheaded in the first place? Here's a great editorial laying out the reasons, including one that's not often mentioned – Philip Morris actually lobbied *in favor* of the measures, which ensure its primary Marlboro cigarette products don't face competition from upstart vape innovators who wouldn't be able to pay to register their products.

Quite a few ex-smokers will remember their evangelistic phase. After years of fruitless quit attempts, we're so excited to have found success in kicking a tobacco habit with vaping that we're compelled to shout it from the rooftops, encouraging everyone else we know that still smokes to give vaping a try. Many even go on to start vapor-related businesses - Here's the story of one such convert in Hannibal, Missouri.

As more cities consider bans on flavored e-liquid (Minneapolis, which already bans everything except tobacco and menthol flavoring, is considering cutting menthol from its approved list), local papers are fighting back. While the fact that taking away flavoring limits vaping's appeal to adult smokers who might otherwise try to quit isn't new, one item is mentioned here that deserves consideration – according to the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, only one percent of youth who vape could be considered "never smokers." That leaves the other 99 percent who would likely be smoking if they weren't vaping.

We strive to remain apolitical in this column with one exception: the politics of vaping. Viewed from solely this angle, it's hard to dispute that for the most part, elected Republicans are more likely than their Democratic counterparts to advance issues that protect vapers' rights. Longtime conservative stalwart Grover Norquist certainly acknowledges this, and says that he hopes advocating for vaping will help lure young people (most vapers are between 18 and 44, and Republicans have historically had trouble appealing to youth) from the left to the right side of the political spectrum.

A while back we covered the small town of Hartland, Wisconsin, which was preparing to sue the FDA over job losses from its deeming regulations. Hartland is the home of Johnson Creek, one of the nation's oldest e-liquid manufacturers. As it turns out, though, the day after the town delivered its pre-suit letter to the agency came the announcement that regulations would be delayed.

That's our news for this week – until next week, happy vapor trails…