Vape News in Brief: May 2nd Edition
Vape News in Brief: May 2nd Edition
As the month begins we put a focus on bringing you the latest and (hopefully) greatest developments in the world of vaping. Here we go…
Let's start with an excellent opinion piece from *The Hill*, which points out to those not "in the know" that Big Tobacco has had little to do with the rise of vaping. While they indeed control 60% of the vaping market when you consider products sold at gas stations and convenience stores, seasoned vapers know you don't buy liquid or hardware from these vendors. Factoring in brick-and-mortar vape shops and online sales, tobacco companies control less than a quarter of a market that's now worth billions annually. What's more, rather than innovating most of the cigarette companies' e-cig" developments" are nothing more than polish put on devices originally developed by dedicated vaping entrepreneurs.
Kentucky vapers are pushing back against a proposed law that would add vapor as a type of "smoke" subject to Louisville bans on smoking indoors. Vape advocates are looking for a carve-out to the rule for vape shops, where they say a customer's ability to sample e-liquids before purchase is a critical component of the shopping process there. No vaping in vape shops means no sampling, which in turn means customers would flock from the brick-and-mortars to online vendors, where liquid is generally much more affordable.
Another week, another exploding e-cigarette story. This one is unique because it identifies the device (a Caravela, a mechanical tube mod popular in the early 2010s), and makes extensive note of "acid burns" suffered by the victim. Note, however, that e-cigs contain no acid – but batteries do. Let this be your weekly reminder to learn about proper battery safety if you haven't already, and to *never* use a mechanical mod unless you have a working understanding of battery chemistry and Ohm's Law (check our Learn blog for plenty on both of these topics).
In another move that could be good news for the ongoing backlash against the FDA's burdensome deeming regulations former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has been removed from his post. Murthy was responsible for penning several statements demonizing vaping, and his ouster clears the way for the ascension of a new top doctor who we hope will choose instead to focus on vaping's vast possibilities for harm reduction.
According to this economics blog post, vaping bans might actually create more health problems than they solve. The logic is pretty straightforward – as governments from the community to the federal level make it harder to vape, there are more nicotine users who revert to smoking than elect to give up nicotine consumption entirely. Similar connections have been drawn to youth and smoking – while teen e-cigarette use is regrettably rising, youth smoking rates are plummeting to lower levels than have ever been recorded.
According to this opinion piece, the go-to stereotype when it comes to vapers is "guys in beanies bragging about blowing fat clouds." That's unfortunate, but the following commentary that attempts to de-stigmatize vaping isn't.
So, where can vapers go to congregate and avoid social stigmatization? Bowling alleys, like this one in Winnepeg, Canada. It may seem weird, but we've witnessed vape-friendly lanes in Southern California (an anti-smoking hotbed, if there ever was one), and have heard reports of others across the country. Who'd have thought?
Rural San Diego's vaping congresscritter, Rep. Duncan Hunter, has introduced a bill that removes vaping from the FDA's purview entirely, overturning the deeming regulations. We'll see how this pans out, with cautious optimism – the congressman is currently under investigation for a host of purported ethics violations, including an alleged plane ticket purchased with campaign funds for a pet rabbit.
"Fake news" has been a bit of a thing lately. This piece does an excellent job of examining what that means for those of us in the vape world, though if you've been around this blog for a while you're probably already well aware that combating it occupies a significant portion of our time. Another new study suggests that the vast majority of vapers are former smokers, contradicting a popular narrative that non-smokers are often lured into acquiring an otherwise-absent nicotine habit. The findings are drawn from an online poll, so take them with a grain of salt, but some of the other particulars make for an interesting read.
That'll do for now, but look for News in Brief to transition to a regular feature running Wednesdays and Sundays (or something like that) starting next week – there's no shortage of stories to share, and we'll keep the best ones coming!