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Vape News In Brief: July 18th, 2019 Edition

 Vape News In Brief: July 18th, 2019 Edition


Welcome to Breazy Briefs, where we take a look around the globe, searching for news, science, and the occasional tasty pop culture tidbit related to vaping and the life of vapers. Today, let's talk about…


…Seattle's mayor who, following the blanket vaping ban in San Francisco, says her city should follow suit. Predictably, there's already a backlash from Seattle vape shop owners, who point out the hypocrisy in attacking vaping while doing nothing to rein in smoking, a far deadlier practice. Washington has already passed a Tobacco 21 bill that will raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco and vapor products beginning next year, and vape advocates say it should be given a chance to rein in underage vaping before measures are taken that would push adult vapers back to smoking.


File to: influence peddling. The vapor industry has spent nearly $200,000 this year – just in Vermont – on lobbying efforts aimed at curbing bills that threaten vapers' rights. The vast majority of these dollars are coming from Big Tobacco giants Altria (33% owners of Juul) and RJ Reynolds (makers of the Vuse cigalike), and were targeted at a three-pronged approach Vermont legislators say would have attacked underage vaping. The industry was supportive of a Tobacco 21 initiative but sought, unsuccessfully, to curb a 92% tax on vapor products. Curiously, a law to specifically crack down on underage nicotine consumption by raising penalties on violators was not enacted despite seeming support from all parties.


Media: streaming giant Netflix says it will ban smoking and vaping in any new original programming it produces with ratings of TV-14 or PG-13 and below, "except for reasons of historical or factual accuracy." For adult programming, the company says it'll still tightly restrict depictions of smoking or vaping "unless it's essential to the creative vision of the artist or because it's character-defining."


E-cig manufacturers, particularly Big Tobacco-backed brands like British American Tobacco's Vype, are facing criticism in England for using young celebrity spokespeople to market their products. The British government, following America's dive into Juul marketing practices, is investigating whether the ads are encouraging young fans to take up vaping.


We've been hearing for years about how vaping causes people to start smoking, despite a lack of evidence that this has ever happened – until now. We've finally found someone who has quit vaping to start smoking. Granted, the author here was a former smoker who successfully quit by vaping, then found herself too dependent on the ultra-high nicotine in her Juul. While there are a lot of concerns about nicotine addiction, particularly with the high doses modern closed-system cigalikes deliver, we've got to say this strategy is stupid and would strongly encourage the writer to consider switching to an open-system vape that would allow her to taper her nicotine use down over time.


California's legislature has introduced a bill that would ban the sale of flavored e-cigs in nearly all retail locations, impose fines on young adults caught with vapor products of any kind (California's minimum vaping age is 21), and mandate anti-tobacco education for minors caught smoking or vaping. Critics, however, say the bill doesn't go far enough in that it allows brick-and-mortar vape shops to remain in business and allows adults to purchase flavored products from online stores that adhere to age-verification laws. The state had earlier toyed with the idea of banning all flavored vapor products statewide, but a backlash from the vaping community (aided by a hefty sum of lobbying cash from Big Tobacco) killed the much more restrictive measure opponents are clamoring to bring back.


Unsurprisingly, the head of a convenience store trade group is unhappy about an FDA proposal that would limit the sale of vapor products in convenience stores. The author of this op-ed wants to lay the blame for minors being able to purchase vape gear on the operators of age-gated websites and brick-and-mortar locations, but in his argument the biggest flaw in the FDA proposal is exposed: 70% of teens who vape don't buy vapor products directly, they get an adult to do it for them. This lends more weight to measures like the Tobacco 21 initiative that would make it less likely a teen would have access to a sympathetic older friend in their peer group willing to illegally purchase products on their behalf, but ultimately it makes clear that all retailers, be they vape-centric or otherwise, are by and large only a small part of the underage vaping problem.


Pop culture is weird: apparently a YouTube celebrity recently decided to sell baby food jars full of her dirty bath water for $30. Interest in this product was so high, she sold out. Another YouTube celebrity was among those purchasing said dirty bath water, and he proceeded to vape it.


Regular readers will be well aware that England has a much more receptive attitude toward vaping, but have you heard the government is now opening vape shops in hospitals? Two British hospitals have now opened their own brick-and-mortar vape shops as part of a policy to make their campuses 100% smoke-free. Access to vapes is the carrot, but it's combined with a stick in the form of £50 fines issued to anyone caught smoking. The money collected will be used to further anti-smoking efforts; the nation hopes to be smoke-free by 2030 and sees e-cigs as a tool to help them achieve that goal.


We'll just leave this nugget here as an example of a well-meaning old trying to convince the youngs not to vape…it's sadly just a little off the mark.


We'll leave off here for this week, but as sure as vape news is going to continue to break, you can count on your Breazy Briefs team to be here to fix it…sometime next week.