ANPRM Regulation of Flavors in Tobacco Products

By Cali Steam Blogger
on March 20, 2018

ANPRM Regulation of Flavors in Tobacco Products

So the long rumored advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) has been released by the FDA. The current press announcement was released today, March 20, 2018, and posted to the FDA website. The final, full ANPRM will be posted to the Federal Register tomorrow.

So what does this all mean?
Well, for starters it begins to outline how the FDA is going to approach further regulation in the tobacco industry, including ENDS products or vaping as we know it. The posting of the ANPRM opens a period of 90 days for anyone to provide comments to the FDA regarding these additional regulations. It calls upon “all stakeholders to share data, research and information that can inform our process for examining the role that flavors – including menthol – play in initiation, use and cessation of tobacco products.” In an effort to, “consider the most impactful regulatory options the FDA could pursue to address this issue.”

So how did we get here?
Well, on June 22, 2009, The Tobacco Control Act was enacted amending the FD&C Act and providing the FDA with the authority to regulate tobacco products. On May 10, 2016, the FDA issued a final rule deeming all products that meet the statutory definition of “tobacco product” in section 201(rr) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 321(rr)), except accessories of deemed tobacco products, to be subject to FDA’s tobacco product authority (the deeming rule). So products like electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), cigars, water pipes, pipe tobacco, nicotine gels, dissolvables that were not already subject to the Tobacco Control Act became labeled as “tobacco products” and subject to the governance of the FDA.

So what does this ANPRM say?
Well, it’s over 30 pages of information regarding the future regulation of flavors in tobacco products. It asks the public, i.e. vapor companies and other scientific community members to define the role of flavors in tobacco products, how those flavors appeal generally to the public and more specifically, how those products appeal to the youth. Furthermore, it outlines an interest in understanding how flavors impact potential harm reduction in tobacco use and how flavors impact the regular use of tobacco. It goes on to further ask for studies that outline flavor preferences of youth, young adults and adults and what type of chemicals might reside in flavor filled tobacco products.

Does the FDA not recognize that flavored tobacco products help smokers quit?
The short answer, yes. The FDA realizes that flavored tobacco could be a mechanism to help in the transition from cigarettes to other tobacco products that may pose less risk; however, they are asking for studies to support this hypothesis.

The posted ANPRM outlines a multitude of specific areas the FDA would like to receive general comments on including:
- The Role of Flavors (Other Than Tobacco) in Tobacco Products
- Flavors (Other Than Tobacco) and Initiation and Patterns of Tobacco Product Use
- Particularly Among Youth and Young Adults
- Flavors (Other Than Tobacco) and Cessation, Dual Use, and Relapse Among Current and Former Tobacco Product Users
- Tobacco Product Standards
- Sale or Distribution Restrictions
Leave your comments below of your take on this recent announcement from the FDA.

Latest Updates from the FDA

By Cali Steam Blogger
on March 15, 2018

Latest Updates from the FDA

“Today, we’re taking a pivotal step,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on a conference call with media on March 15, 2018.

The FDA plans to file two more rulemaking notices, one on the impact of flavored tobacco, including menthol, and one on premium cigars. The FDA will also continue to consider other nicotine delivery systems that are potentially less harmful.

Gottlieb further said, "our plan demonstrates a greater awareness that nicotine, while highly addictive, is delivered through products on a continuum of risk...In order to successfully address cigarette addiction, we must make it possible for current adult smokers who still seek nicotine to get it from alternative and less harmful sources.”

Gottlieb fell a bit short of outlining what specific methods or devices the FDA might be looking into that they'd consider are less harmful sources of nicotine. However, this could certainly open the door for additional inclusion of ENDS products and provide a more friendly regulatory environment to continue to bring advancements to market.

“This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to greatly accelerate progress in reducing tobacco use,” Gottlieb said in a statement. “Today’s action is a first step, but it will only have an impact if the FDA quickly develops and implements a final regulation.”

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Gaming and Your Health

By Sponsored Post
on March 15, 2018

Gaming and Your Health

Gaming is fun. Everybody knows this. If this wasn't true, gaming would not be a multibillion-dollar industry, and there would not be things such as Super Mario Day, celebrated every year on the 10th of March. However, few would be brave enough to suggest that gaming mayb actual be health for you.

Some empirical research in the last few years has shown that gaming can have a positive effect on your health, despite popular misconceptions. This is particularly true of cognitive health. For example, gaming can strengthen the areas of your brain that are involved in processing data related to spatial awareness, memory and long term planning. Furthermore, gaming can actually help patients get over trauma or accidents. One study showed that playing games such as Mario Cart can aid patients in more quickly getting over a difficult event.

Is gaming fun? Check! Is gaming good for winding down on the weekend? Check! Is it actually good for you? Double check! So, replace that beer with a light beer, go easy on the chips, and swap that cigarette for a vape. Oh, and maybe get some exercise!

To find out more about the health benefits of gaming, see the infographic from our friends at Computer Planet.

A Metamorphosis of Tobacco Consumers

By Vape Contributor
on March 10, 2018

A Metamorphosis of Tobacco Consumers

A metamorphosis is taking place that bodes well for the electronic cigarette industry. Tobacco consumers are becoming more sophisticated using more complex devices and multiple types of nicotine delivery systems to get their daily fix.

An average vaping starter kit can range from $30 to $100, with the cost of electronic liquids in the $65 to $85 dollars a month range (for a pack-a-day smoker). In comparison, an average pack-a-day smoker can spend as much as $185 per month on cigarettes.

The potential new demand for e-cigarettes and other ENDS is happening alongside developments at the federal level. In a series of decisions, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) committee rejected the claim put forth by New York-based Philip Morris International (PMI) that its iQOS heat-not-burn device would reduce the risk for tobacco-related diseases. While the FDA still needs to decide what to do with the committee’s decision, it’s a potential blow to PMI’s marketing plans. The FDA must still rule on whether to allow PMI to sell iQOS in the United States.

Despite this setback, the tobacco industry remains hopeful, especially because the FDA’s attitude toward tobacco appears to have pivoted. It’s all due to the entry of FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. Despite reservations about teenagers’ e-cigarette usage, Gottlieb has softened the agency’s hardline stance on adult users and has cited e-cigs’ potential in helping smokers quit.

“One finding that’s particularly troubling is that kids who experiment with e-cigarettes are more likely to try smoking,” Gottlieb said during comments about an ENDS report commissioned by the FDA and released in January. “At the same time, the report finds that current smokers who completely switch to e-cigarettes may see improved short-term health outcomes.”

Gottlieb called for more research on the matter.

Vaping has shown strong, consistent consumer growth for a year and a half and remains the fastest-growing subcategory within tobacco and all projections look for further growth.

Join the tobacco revolution and try our products today. Check out our homepage for our current vape deals.

Vaping Around the World

By Cali Steam Blogger
on March 05, 2018

Vaping in the European Union

There are many stark differences in the news today coming from the United States and the European Union as it pertains to vaping. These differences vary greatly in how their regulatory bodies are embracing the advances of alternative nicotine delivery systems. Below is a sampling of recent news headlines.

United States Newspapers
“Teens inhale cancer-causing chemicals in e-cigarettes”
“Teens using e-cigarettes show evidence of same toxic chemicals as smokers: Study”
“Teens who use e-cigarettes exposed to toxic chemicals, study finds”

European Newspapers
“Public Health England's latest report re-affirms findings of e-cigarettes being significantly less harmful than”
“E-cigarettes 'should be on prescription”
“UK experts urge smokers to switch to e-cigs for big health gains”

One could question if we are even talking about the same industry of how different these viewpoints are. Hopefully as additional studies begin to be released in the United States we’ll have greater insight and better acceptance among the general population.

As always, we encourage our customers and friends of the industry to always tell your vape story. Share why you love vaping and engage your local and national government leaders to tell them how important the industry is to you. Drip Vape Repeat

Op Ed - Current Vape News

By Vape Contributor
on February 26, 2018

Op Ed - Current Vape News

If you’ve seen the news lately regarding vaping you’ve probably been bombarded with “study” after study of the negative effects of vaping including metals that have been found in e-cig vapor.

Interestingly enough, most e liquid manufacturers have already completed extensive testing for e-cig vapor in order to file their applications in the European Union. Most, if not all, of those studies fail to show dangerous levels of metals in it’s vapor. In other words, very small amounts of those metals are found in everyday smog or air that we breath and aren’t necessarily toxic. Additionally, further advances in coil construction and mod production will most certainly address these trace amounts of metals and improve the vapor quality of e-cigs.

The industry continues to see various articles regarding battery explosions. It’s interesting to note that the majority, if not all, of those explosions occurred due to operational errors. If vapors follow manufacturer guidelines safety is greatly increased. Similarly to enhancements we are sure to see with coil production we will certainly see this will battery and mod production as well. These technologies are innovating quickly and providing safer and safer technologies for the market almost on a monthly basis (faster than enhancements of your smartphone).

It wouldn’t be unreasonable to say that the FDA should look to ways to properly advise and control the vape industry in a way that would continue to advance these technological advantages to vaping. The alternative would be to let the industry run dry and send people back to conventional cigarettes.

On a bigger scale, the e-cigarette movement represents a business and economic revolution. Vaping revenues have exploded skyward since the industry’s first real introduction. An increasing number of people are not only vapers, but are either vape employees, or have initiated vaping-related businesses.

To ignore this financial synergy would be a crime under any presidential administration, especially one that touts business acumen. Furthermore, American companies are by far among the greatest innovators within vaping. The vape culture is rapidly ingraining itself globally.

Hopefully despite all the current rederic our legislators and regulators will see the benefits of vaping as an effective, health based alternative to the dangers of tobacco smoking.

Vaping Laws in Central and South America

By Vape Contributor
on February 18, 2018

Vaping Laws in Central and South America

Vaping regulations in Latin American countries range from nonexistent to downright draconian. Before traveling with e cigs, do extensive research, and leave your e-cigs at home if you have concerns about getting in trouble. Nothing ruins a trip abroad more than a mandatory visit to the local courthouse.

Nonetheless, don’t take this guide as legal advice. Gathering accurate information about the laws in foreign countries can be time consuming, and local jurisdictions can impose their own vaping regulations, so use this guide just as a starting point to steer your research. The following information has been compiled from accounts of vapers who have actually traveled with e-cigs in these countries.

Vaping in Central America

Central American countries tend to have less restrictive vaping laws than other places in the western hemisphere. One country has even medically approved e-cig use specifically to help with smoking cessation.

Vaping in Costa Rica

E-cigs and e-liquids are regulated as tobacco products, so vaping is permitted anywhere that smoking is permitted.

Vaping in El Salvador

Public vaping is legal in many places. Doctors can even issue medical cards, which explain that e-cigs are smoking cessation aids, and that they pose no danger to bystanders.

Vaping in Honduras

Vaping is subject to the same laws as smoking, which means no vaping indoors.

Vaping in Nicaragua

A few years ago, a horror story surfaced online about an American who was locked up in Managua, Nicaragua for possessing e-liquids because liquid nicotine is banned in the country. Vaping laws appear to be changing because Reddit users have since reported taking vapor products through customs with no problems.

Vaping in Panama

The importation and sale of e-cigs is illegal in Panama, but personal use of vapor products is generally tolerated.

Vaping in South America

Some South American countries ban vaping altogether, so taking your e-cigs could land you in serious trouble. Since enforcement is often left up to local authorities, you might find vape shops in places where they are technically illegal, but be weary of buying e-liquids abroad. When traveling with e-cigs, take the absolute minimum of vaping supplies you need to avoid issues with customs officials. If a customs officer tries to confiscate your vapor products, just cooperate and cut your losses so they don’t suspect you of smuggling with intent to distribute.

Vaping in Argentina

Vaping is illegal throughout the country. You cannot legally purchase, sell or import e-cigs, and even nicotine free e cigs are banned.

Vaping in Brazil

Vaping was criminalized in 2014. You can’t buy, sell or even use e-cigs. The country’s public health agency, Anvisa, has led an effective campaign to label e-cigs as “tobacco imitation.”

Vaping in Colombia

The country’s e-cig laws are unclear, but Colombia is hosting the first Central and South American Vape Expo in the late summer of 2017, so it’s certainly OK to vape there.

Vaping in Peru

You might be able to find vape shops in Peru since there are no known regulations against them.

Vaping in Venezuela

The purchase and sale of e-cigs were presumably banned in Venezuela, but the federal vaping laws are ambiguous.

If you plan on traveling with e-cigs to any countries not covered in this guide, conduct your own research prior to your trip. Laws change, so keep an eye out for pending legislation and the current political climate whenever you travel to a new place.

Is Scott Gottlieb Preparing Us For a Flavor Ban?

By Vape Contributor
on February 16, 2018

Is Scott Gottlieb Preparing Us For a Flavor Ban?

The following are a series of tweets over the last week from Scott Gottlieb, M.D. @SGottliebFDA, 23rd Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“Protecting future generations from all nicotine-containing products remains a top priority. #FDA’s efforts seek to restrict youth access, limit youth appeal. We’ve also expanded public education efforts to include messaging re: dangers of youth use of e-cigarettes.”

“The troubling reality is that e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among youth. Preventing youth from initiating the use of any tobacco product, including e-cigs, is critical…”

“Per new #FDA & @CDCgov findings: most common reasons for youth to ever use an e-cigarette in 2016 were:

▪️ 39% - use by friend or family member

▪️ 31% - availability of flavors

▪️ 17% - belief that they’re less harmful than other tobacco products…”

Does this mean a flavor ban is eminent?

It certainly raises that concern, and calls into question the massive e liquid industry that relies on the multitude of flavors to please their current customer base.

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Over the next week we’ll hear much more on the position of the FDA and their future actions. They are set to release next week a public docket on their “efforts to re-evaluate and modernize our [their] approach to development/regulation of nicotine replacement therapy products to help smokers quit cigarettes.”

Vaping: The Future of Cannabis

By Guest Writer
on February 12, 2018

Vaping: The Future of Cannabis

The vape pen is reshaping the burgeoning $7 billion legal cannabis global market in its own way. In fact, this stylish and sleek tiny device is quickly taking over cannabis consumption in the world’s largest cannabis market, California. Vaping has grown into a global movement that really can’t be stopped. Here are three interesting points to that rise:

Social Acceptance

When vape pens were introduced, they were met with skepticism.
Recent evidence shows that vaping can actually be far less harmful than smoking. This is because smoke contains harmful carcinogens. Also, vapers are exposed to fewer toxins than smokers are.

It’s been found by some studies that electronic cigarettes may be less harmful alternative to smoking and that considerable health benefits might accrue from switching. Vaping is a popular choice for medicinal marijuana users. This is because vaporizing actually allows the pain killing abilities of THC to experience its effect more quickly.

For many long time users and those just revisiting cannabis that don’t want to smoke something, for health reasons, the smell, or just because they don’t classify themselves as “smokers.” In fact, this pen takes the stigma of a bong or joint away, and makes ingestion unassuming.

Growth trend connected to convenience

According to Eaze, a marijuana delivery service in California, nearly a quarter of sales from 2016 were for cartridges.

According to BDS Analytics, states where cannabis is legal are showing massive percentage growth of approximately 75% for concentrates/cannabis oil.
Interestingly, it seems that easier and convenient forms of marijuana are preferred over the messy traditional marijuana buds. On top of those conveniences, cartridges are portable and inexpensive. Best of all, using a cannabis oil vape produces none of the characteristic smells or clouds of smoke associated with traditional cannabis consumption.

So Many Options Available

In this world of customized products, the e-cig is the perfect replacement for the traditional marijuana products. For the first time user, the vast world of vaping really is a cultural phenomenon. There are more vaping options available than ever before. Additionally, existing products have also improved in quality. Also, the cannabis oils come in just about any flavor you can imagine or you can create your own flavor which can add an extra level of enjoyment to your cannabis use.

The fast-paced cannabis industry is a sure-thing, vaping seems to be one of the trends that will continue to gain momentum.

The Great Vaping Divide: New Vape Health Findings in the United Kingdom

By Vape Contributor
on February 06, 2018

Vaping in the snow, blowing vape clouds in the trees

Public health authorities in the United States and the United Kingdom are looking at the same information on vaping, but finding two different outcomes.

Less than two weeks ago, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine issued a 600-page report that grudgingly admitted vaping is safer than smoking. It further went on to outline how vaping is a gateway for teens to smoking.

But the new e-cigarette report from Public Health England (PHE) says that the gateway evidence for British teens is poor, and goes on to suggest that the evidence is equally inconclusive in North America — practically trolling the American authors.

Key findings in the new PHE report include:

“Vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking and switching completely from smoking to vaping conveys substantial health benefits;

“E-cigarettes could be contributing to at least 20,000 successful new quits [in the U.K.] per year and possibly many more;

“E-cigarette use is associated with improved quit success rates over the last year and an accelerated drop in smoking rates across the country;

“Many thousands of smokers incorrectly believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking; around 40% of smokers have not even tried an e-cigarette;

“There is much public misunderstanding about nicotine. Less than 10% of adults understand that most of the harms to health from smoking are not caused by nicotine;

“The use of e-cigarettes in the UK has plateaued over the last few years at just under 3 million;

“The evidence does not support the concern that e-cigarettes are a route into smoking among young people. Youth smoking rates in the UK continue to decline. Regular use is rare and is almost entirely confined to those who have smoked.”

The authors are among the most respected smoking, nicotine, and addiction researchers in the world.

Vaper’s in the United States and United Kingdom were thrilled with this report from a major government’s health organization. However, many individuals are already challenging the report and calling certain facts into question.

With this report and previous ones by PHE vaping continues to take a front and center approach to tobacco control plans within the United Kingdom. Hopefully research and support in the United States will follow.

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