Latest News from the FDA Regarding Potential Vape Sale Restrictions

By Sponsored Post
on November 12, 2018

Latest News from the FDA Regarding Potential Vape Sale Restrictions

This week it’s expected that the FDA will ban closed pod systems from being sold in convenience stores as reported by the Washington Post. Furthermore, it’s rumored that they will go as far as banning the sale of certain flavors to help curb the use of vapor products by minors.

This regulatory change will have great impacts on customer choices as it could drive lots of foot traffic back to vapor stores or online to get their products. It’s unclear how any of these changes will be regulated and the timeline for these changes.

Just a few months ago the FDA did send warning letters to four major vape producers including JUUL Labs to present plans within 60 days of how they were going to curb underage usage. These potential additional changes might be the FDA’s response to those proposed plans from these companies.

The FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. continues to hold vaping as an “epidemic” for teenagers. He’s already threatened on multiple occasions to ban flavored e liquid and enhance restrictions on obtaining vapor products.

As you can imagine, big tobacco manufacturers have seen an increase in their stock prices and customers could undoubtedly return to smoking conventional cigarettes as the barriers to obtain vapor products continues to increase. This is something we obviously do not want to happen. We’ll be watching these activities closely and posting additional updates to our website when official statements are made by the FDA. If restrictions extend to flavors we’re sure to see additional changes within the industry to adapt to these changes.

Comment below of what you feel about this developing story.

City of Los Angeles Sues Several Local Vape Companies

By Vape Contributor
on November 08, 2018

City of Los Angeles Sues Several Local Vape Companies

The city attorney of Los Angeles in California has filed suit against three vaping retailers, charging that they sell products online without proper age verification. He has also accused them of marketing to underage customers through social media and selling products to minors.

The L.A. city attorney is just the latest ambitious prosecutor to take aim at the vaping industry. Earlier this year, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced an investigation into JUUL Labs, the maker of the most popular vaping device on the U.S. market. Following Healey’s lead, the North Carolina AG has also begun an investigation.

Feuer is seeking injunctions against NEwhere Inc and its subsidiary VapeCo, and also KandyPens Inc. NEwhere operates three websites selling vapor products, according to Feuer: newhere.com, madhatterjuice.com, and vape-co.com. KandyPens also sells from its own website.

Feuer alleges that city employees were able to make online purchases “on multiple occasions” from the companies “while posing as teen customers using fake email accounts and a prepaid gift card.” The legal age for purchasing tobacco products in California is 21.

“Underage vaping is an emerging public health epidemic, and luring kids to use dangerous and addictive vaping products, as we allege here, has got to stop,” said Feuer in a press release. “In fact, kids shouldn’t have access to these products at all. The lawsuits we filed today send a strong message that if you put children at risk for the sake of profit, you’ll face serious consequences.”

The Los Angeles city attorney is just the latest ambitious prosecutor to take aim at the vaping industry. The city attorney is asking the court to grant injunctions prohibiting the companies from selling online without appropriate age verification, selling deemed products with FDA approval, and “targeting youth” in their marketing.

The FDA Takes the Lazy Way Out on Vaping

By Vape Contributor
on September 14, 2018

The FDA Takes the Lazy Way Out on Vaping

If you haven't been under a rock the last couple of days and tune into vaping news you've certainly heard the recent comments layout by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding a potential flavor ban.

The FDA has “declared war” on vaping, what National Review’s Kevin Williamson calls “the most popular smoking-cessation tool on the market.” The FDA’s has ordered the largest companies in the vape business (3/4 of them are actually Big Tobacco companies) to submit plans to keep their products out of the hands of minors or be taken off the market.

This sporadic and unexpected call for immediate action is what many are calling the FDA's predictably lazy federal approach to vaping regulations. The organization has further threatened the industry that they have damning evidence to show teen vaping is at "epidemic" levels. Last time we checked we have obese children approaching epidemic levels yet the FDA has done little to nothing to stop that train wreck.

The industry as a whole fully supports fair regulations to a product that is not deemed for underage consumption. However, the alternative approach that would require laborious but straightforward actions to deal with those who sell vaping products to minors, “investigate, arrest, charge, fine, repeat — and, if necessary, jail major offenders” is just too much for the FDA to handle.

So who’s the winner of a broader war on vaping? Well, shares of all the tobacco titans increase over 7% since these announcements. We urge the FDA to reconsider these statements and recognize that actions to prevent the industry from moving forward is just going to drive more people to traditional cigarettes and that is not a viable option.

Don’t Let Fear Mongering Guide Vaping Debate

By Vape Contributor
on September 04, 2018

California Vibes Drum Set

The number of teens who reported using tobacco products declined from 4.5 million to 3.6 million from 2011 to 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last year, youth use of e-cigarettes fell from its peak in 2015. You might think that health activists and their allies in the press would be celebrating this reality. You would be wrong.

Many activists have chosen to simply ignore the large declines in tobacco and e-cigarette use, pointing instead to the availability of flavored e-cigarette products and the rise of independent competitors to Big Tobacco like Juul. Instead of acknowledging that e-cigarettes are helping millions of Americans transition to products estimated to be at least 95% less harmful than cigarettes, a vocal minority is dead set on spreading misinformation about the dangers of vaping. This is unfortunate and a disservice to a productive dialogue about improving public health.

Since Aug. 8, 2016, it has been against federal law to sell e-cigarettes to minors and to introduce new vaping products without a government premarket review. The Food and Drug Administration began aggressively enforcing the youth sales ban this year against noncompliant retailers, a move supported by vaping advocates. The FDA could easily ramp up that enforcement even more.

The vaping industry has now been regulated by the FDA for more than two years. The vast majority of companies comply with FDA rules. However, without much-needed reforms, upcoming regulatory deadlines could force these overwhelmingly small businesses to close their doors.

This is a debate that should be shaped by real facts and sound science. With use of all tobacco products by teens falling sharply and increasing evidence that e-cigarettes — especially flavored ones — actually help incentivize adult smokers to quit, it is important that we not let fear mongering and misinformation guide the public discourse.

Vaping: Parents, School Districts, and FDA Face E-Cigarette Learning Curve by the Numbers

By Vape Contributor
on August 31, 2018

Vaping: Parents, School Districts, and FDA Face E-Cigarette Learning Curve by the Numbers

In reading the news, one would suspect that every high school student is vaping. However, let's take a look at actual numbers of the data.

2 million: The number of middle school, high school and college teens using the battery-powered devices to heat liquid-based nicotine into an inhalable vapor.

12 percent: The percentage of high school students who reported using an e-cigarette in the past 30 days.

4 times: Young adults who use e-cigarettes are more than four times as likely to begin smoking tobacco cigarettes within 18 months as their peers who do not vape.

$3 billion: The valuation for Juul, one of the leading companies producing vaping products.

10 million: The number of youths being targeted in an FDA vaping prevention campaign being launched in mid-September.

2022: The year vaping products must go through a rigorous FDA approval process to remain on the market. The federal agency last year delayed the deadline.

Although the vaping industry has been featured negatively in the news we still believe here at Cali Steam that vaping is the future. The flavors of eliquid provide a much easier bridge for those to reduce smoking traditional cigarettes.

Weighing the Benefits of Flavored E-liquid

By Vape Contributor
on August 27, 2018

Weighing the Benefits of Flavored E-liquid

The FDA is tasked with balancing the benefit to public health of flavored vape liquid enticing adults to quit smoking against the likelihood that a young person who has never smoked will become hooked.

Many of the more than 500,000 commenters to the FDA about flavored tobacco and e-cigarettes have weighed in on their take. The evidence shows that flavors are important to a large percentage of teen and younger vapers; however, it’s also one of the critical factors articulated by long term smokers for kicking their habits.

This helps to explain why Juul, which has a $3 billion company valuation and sweeping appeal, has become so ingrained in social media and youth culture that "juuling" became a verb. Many people don’t even consider juuling to be vaping since it’s more concentrated, trendy and easier to use.

"It's a very convenient way to get a nicotine high anywhere you are," one juuling customer said.

The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and other groups urged the FDA in a letter Tuesday "to take quick and aggressive action to enforce the law before one or more of these products become the next juul phenomenon among our nation’s youth."

A class-action lawsuit filed at U.S. District Court in San Francisco by Juul users alleged that the vaping giant used a two-pronged approach to target adult smokers and teens

James Xu, owner of Avail, one of the largest vaping companies in the world, started the business when he saw how e-cigarettes helped his wife kick her smoking habit. Xu, who owns other businesses such as home goods retailer Plow and Hearth, said vaping doesn't "speak to me" like his other companies, "but I'm not ready to quit anytime soon because every day, I hear those moving stories touching people’s lives."

He's going to keep up the "fight for flavors" with the Global Vapor Standards Association run out of his Richmond, Virginia, headquarters where he makes about 100 flavors.

"The main reason people are able to switch away from tobacco is because of the flavors offered to them," Xu said. "If nobody uses it, why bother?"

Vape Flavor Survery Results for FDA Rule Making

By Cali Steam Blogger
on August 22, 2018

Vape Flavor Survery Results for FDA Rule Making

American vapers who no longer smoke cigarettes prefer fruit and dessert e-liquids over other choices, according to the findings of a major survey conducted by researchers this spring. The survey assessed the flavor preferences of almost 70,000 vapers.

The results of the flavor survey have been compiled and submitted to the FDA as a comment on the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on vape (and other “tobacco product”) flavors.

Below is a summary table of the respondents flavor preferences.

Flavored Vape Preferences Survey

After eliminating duplicate entries, there were 69,233 responses. Participants came from all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, and 72.4% were male. The mean age of the group was 34.6 years old. Almost 95% of the survey participants had at least tried cigarettes in their lives, and 81.6% were established smokers at some time.

A large majority of participants, 81.3%, were former smokers, and 68.2% quit smoking more than 12 months ago. That means that the results show the preferences of experienced vapers, the kind of people who see themselves as vapers, and participate in activities that inform their understanding of vaping.

Among former smokers, 83.2% vape fruit flavors at least some of the time, 72.3% vape dessert sometimes, and 47.7% vape candy. Dual users also preferred those kinds of flavors, as did never-smoking vapers.

The results may reinforce the comments to the FDA from thousands of vapers, many of whom plead with the regulatory agency not to ban the vape flavors they used to steer clear of combustible cigarettes. Unfortunately, only about 23,000 of the comments have been reviewed and published on the Regulations.gov website so far. There are over a half-million comments waiting for review, but many of those are believed to be bot-generated spam, part of a campaign to destroy the credibility of the comment process.

FDA Launches a Comprehensive Tobacco Reduction Plan

By Vape Contributor
on August 10, 2018

FDA Launches a Comprehensive Tobacco Reduction Plan

In the FDA's continued fight against tobacco based products they launched three new initiatives this week. These are said to be geared towards reducing the usage of tobacco use among young adults and teenagers.

  • Expediting action on flavors: The issue of flavors, including flavored e-cigarettes and e-liquids, is at the forefront of any discussion of youth use. However, some flavored tobacco products may also play a role in helping some adults quit smoking cigarettes. Now that the comment period has closed, we intend to expedite the review and analysis of the comments so that we can leverage the information into policy as quickly as possible, should the science support further action.
  • Developing an e-cigarette product standard: The FDA has also begun exploring a product standard for e-cigarettes to help address existing concerns. As part of the standard, the agency will consider, among other things, levels of toxicants and impurities in propylene glycol, glycerin, and nicotine in e-liquids. While the process for establishing a product standard takes time, we recognize the urgency in setting some minimum, common sense standards, and will work to address this on an accelerated timeline.
  • Exploring ways to accelerate enforcement: We’re also looking at ways that the FDA can act even more efficiently when we become aware of violations affecting youth use of e-cigarettes, such as illegal product marketing to youth. We need to be faster and more agile when we identify new risks. We’ve also become aware of reports that some companies may be marketing new products that were introduced after the FDA’s compliance period and have not gone through premarket review. These products are being marketed both in violation of the law and outside of the FDA’s announced compliance policies. We take these reports very seriously. Companies should know that the FDA is watching and we will take swift action wherever appropriate. We are evaluating new ways to strengthen our partnership with sister agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission. We will also announce a robust series of additional enforcement actions in the coming months.

The FDA said, "we will pursue all of these policies simultaneously. Each is interconnected. Each element supports the others. We intend to achieve all of the elements." We'll continue to follow these policies and how they impact our industry.

August 10th: New Labeling and Ad Requirements

By Cali Steam Blogger
on August 05, 2018

New Dawn of Vaping Regulations as Sun Rises on California Pier

In just a few days on August 10th, new regulations enacted by the FDA will begin to take effect. It’ll be mandatory to place a bold, black and white warning on every nicotine containing e-liquid and closed pod system. Additionally, advertisements must warn customers that nicotine is present in products and that it’s an addictive substance.

The exact warning must read, “WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.” So if you haven’t already started to see new packaging for most companies on store shelves you’ll quickly start to see much more. There is a one month grace period to sell products already on the market but after September 10, 2018, you shouldn’t see any products on the market without the proper labeling.

FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, recently tweeted, “#FDA remains committed to warning public about nicotine in tobacco products. It’s imperative that people are adequately informed of the presence of nicotine in these products & understand the risks – esp. kids, who research shows are misinformed.”

The law specifically states the following items must be followed in applying the warning statements to packages:

  • Be located in a conspicuous and prominent place on the two "principal display panels" of the package;
  • Comprise at least 30 percent of each of the principal display panels;
  • Be printed in at least 12-point font size and must occupy the greatest possible proportion of the warning label area set aside for the required text;
  • Be printed in conspicuous and legible Helvetica bold or Arial bold type or other similar sans serif fonts and in black text on a white background or white text on a black background in a manner that contrasts by typography, layout, or color, with all other printed material on the package;
  • Be capitalized and punctuated; and
  • Be centered in the warning area in which the text is required to be printed and positioned such that the text of the required warning statement and the other information on the principal display panels have the same orientation.

In addition to the warning label that must occupy 30% of the packaging manufacturers also need to include the following information on the packaging in order to be compliant with these new regulations:

  • the name and place of business of the tobacco product manufacturer, packer, or distributor;
  • an accurate statement of the quantity of the contents in terms of weight, measure, or numerical count;
  • an accurate statement of the percentage of the tobacco used in the product that is domestically grown tobacco and the percentage that is foreign grown tobacco.

As if these weren’t enough regulations for manufacturers to deal with the FDA is allowing manufacturers of zero nicotine e-liquid to use an alternative warning: “This product is made from tobacco.” Yes, if there is no nicotine, there is certainly no tobacco, but that’s the rule. Of course, to use the alternative warning, the manufacturer must submit “a confirmation statement certifying to be true and accurate that the product does not contain nicotine and that the tobacco product manufacturer has data to support that assertion.”

Although we at Cali Steam began to implement these labeling requirements some time ago the rest of the industry will be quickly conforming to these new rules within the United States.

FDA's Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) for Flavored Vapor Products

By Cali Steam Blogger
on May 31, 2018

FDA's Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) for Flavored Vapor Products

If you've looked at the news recently, you've probably noticed that the "deceptive marketing and illegal sales of vapor products" are capturing the headlines. The United States Food and Drug Administration released an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) for flavored vapor products to respond to this public outcry. On June 19th, the deadline to submit public comments to the ANPRM will close. Prior to that deadline everyone has the ability to submit comments to why the FDA should not impose laws regulating the prohibition of flavored vapor products. We are encouraging all Cali Steam customers and vapers to submit a public comment to the FDA. The next two and a half weeks may be the last opportunity for vapers to comment on the flavors docket before the agency moves ahead with the rulemaking process.

Use this link to place a comment on the public docket to the FDA. In your comment you should include comments regarding your daily use of flavored vapor products and smokeless tobacco. You should included how many flavors you have in your shop, on your shelves at home, etc. You should also mention how many different flavors you use on a daily basis and what your favorite flavors are. Additionally, you should mention how you purchase your products (via online store, in a specialty store or at a convention). Also include when you started vaping and how you support regulation preventing the use of e-liquid by minors.

This is a very important time for our industry within the United States and a united response will help keep the innovation and vitality of our market alive.

Click here to make a comment in the public FDA docket to ensure flavored vapes continue on the market.