Vape News In Brief: September 4th, 2018 Edition
Vape News In Brief: September 4th, 2018 Edition
VNIB is a semi-regular column in which we take a look around the globe, searching for news, science, and the occasional pop culture reference related to vaping and the life of vapers. Today, let's talk about…
A sticky subject: vapes on a train. That report from British Parliament we covered a couple weeks back that recommended easing restrictions on vaping in public is facing massive pushback, essentially proving the report's main findings: many people are misinformed when it comes to the actual danger posed by vapor products. The link here is a great read, and effectively argues – yes, cloud chasing in a crowded space such as a train or bus is rude and disturbs others, so is eating food with an overpowering aroma. But while no one is advocating for fogging up the subway, decriminalizing people who are already "stealth" vaping would help the public recognize the real, substantiated difference between vapor and smoke.
Smoking gun? An Australian paper claims to have "laid bare" secret funding a group of doctors fighting for the legalization of vaping accepted from e-cigarette manufacturers and vendors. The Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association"says it doesn't accept tobacco company donations and its directors have no financial relationships with e-cigarette companies. Some find this statement misleading because the group has accepted donations from e-cigarette firms. The Association's chair says that accepting donations while remaining "at arm's length" is no different from other groups like the country's National Heart Foundation accepting donations from pharmaceutical companies. The Association's website at one time displayed the logos of sponsors Nicopharm and Nicovape, but they were reportedly removed to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, which would be illegal. Anti-vapor advocates say the logos should go back up in the name of transparency.
You know we're not going to make it through a VNIB without at least one Juul reference – now’s that time. This week we're talking about the FDA investigation into alleged youth marketing by linking to an article that leads with a photo of children using a device that is decidedly not a Juul, a fitting yet unintended commentary on the depth of knowledge with which many journalists covering vaping are equipped. Interesting timeline notes: the company began its marketing efforts in 2015 using models who were aged 21 or older (read: old enough to legally use its products). By 2017, ads had shifted to only include models over age 35, which the piece argues marked a "shift in focus to target adult smokers." In June, the campaign shifted again, featuring real-life vapers who've successfully quit smoking. That's probably a good idea, but it's debatable whether the earlier promotions that all featured subjects over age 21 (remember, the legal tobacco/vapor product age is still 18 in many states) were specifically intended to target children. We'll see how the investigation goes, but it appears Juul is in full damage control mode at the moment.
Marlboro's UK head says he wants to quit selling cigarettes tomorrow. That is, he wants to replace the cigarettes he's currently selling with cigarettes. Oops. We mean, IQOS, a device that uses small paper tubes fitted with a filter and filled with shredded tobacco which are decidedly (allegedly?) not cigarettes to create vapor.
In a move that bucks a nationwide trend toward increasing the purchase age for tobacco/vapor products in the US, the governor of Illinois has vetoed a bill that would raise the statewide legal age to purchase such products from 18 to 21. His rationale: people (presumably the ones under the new legal age) would be pushed to buy from illegal vendors, or they'd cross state lines to make their purchases. Fourteen counties in Illinois, including Chicago's Cook County, have already imposed the stricter age limitation.
After the sudden death of a Canadian teen earlier this year, reports flourished that he was killed by the e-cigarette that was found at his side. The news was buoyed by support from the mayor of Lions Bay, British Columbia, whose son was a close friend of the victim. It turns out, however, that the boy died of a stroke that was unrelated to vaping. Regardless, the outcome is a tragedy, but it's regrettably one that was politicized using a false narrative.
Brick-and-mortar vape shop owners in Milwaukee are continuing to speak out against a new law that prohibits vaping anywhere smoking is banned, including inside vape shops. They're calling the new regulations a double standard, as tobacco smoke is still allowed inside hookah-specific shops and lounges. The city alderman who proposed the ban said he'd like to shut those down too, but state law forbids the kind of tobacco regulation he seeks. In the meantime, vape shops are seeing their sales hurt as customers are forbidden from sampling flavors or testing out their gear inside the shops.
We'll leave it with that for now, but there's always more to come – stay tuned!