Was the Vape Conference A Load of Hot Air or Useful Event For the Industry?
Last week’s Amsterdam based conference on the state of vaping following the introduction of the TPD saw a whole host of speakers tackling the future of the industry.
The speakers included health professionals – vaping experts and manufactures and included a preview of the much anticipated pro-vape documentary A Billion Lives.
The results of the conference [at the time of writing] have not been released – we’re waiting on the press office – however I shall endeavour to make sense of the event using the speaker’s PowerPoint presentations.
You can view each speaker’s full presentation by clicking the link at the end of each segment – they are well worth a read.
The speakers are in order of appearance – my apologies in advance if the info garnered from the PowerPoint’s are in places a little vague – as much as I’d have liked to have attended the last time I was in Amsterdam it took me a week to recover!
Dan Irwin-Brown – ECigIntelligence
ECigIntelligence is a news led group tracking the legal changes in the e-cig industry. To that end this guy knows exactly what’s happening in the world of e-cigs and up to the minute changes in regulation and legislation.
Judging from the results of surveys in Europe it is France and the UK who are by far the largest e-cig users. America is the largest showing the country to have more than half of all known vapers in the world.
Belgium and Scandinavian countries are currently in the process of ‘relaxing’ vape laws whilst Spain and Italy are slowly coming around to vaping as a real alternative to smoking.
Ominously Dan suggests that the dreaded ‘taxation’ on vape stuff might be a key factor in the sectors future whilst adding that Big Tobacco is still showing an interest and indeed getting involved in the vape industry.
Read Dan’s full presentation HERE
Chris Dodge – General Secretary of the Global Vaping Association
Judging from his presentation Chris might come across to smaller vaping companies as a bit of a doomsday merchant.
Describing the majority of vape vendors and producers as ‘hobbyists’ he says their products cost are far too high and unless they adapt pretty quickly – especially with all the new laws – they will go under.
Nothing wrong in selling to shops but don’t become a business that NEEDS it. Many companies are making their products for too much and they will not survive as prices come down. He said.
A stark warning indeed. However on a lighter note he suggested thinking globally but acting locally – food for thought.
Read Chris’ full presentation HERE
Prof. Pasquale Caponnetto – Centre for Prevention and Care at the Nicotine addiction, University of Catania
At last a breath of fresh air in the shape of a professor no less.
He hammered home the message of just how much safer e-cigarettes are compared to the dreaded cancer sticks.
Nicotine, he said, is not a poison it’s a neurostimulant and does NOT cause smoking related illnesses and deaths. Neither is it a carcinogen nor does it cause lung disease – stick that in your pipe and smoke it anti-vaping types!
Reporting on a whole host of medical studies into the effects of e-cigarettes Professor Caponnetto positively extoled the virtues of vaping over smoking – I like this guy!
On the effect of e-cigs on a study group of asthma sufferers for instance he found:
- EC (e-cigs) use improves lung function, respiratory symptoms, subjective asthma outcomes
- Improvements were also reported in dual users
- Exposure to e-vapour in this vulnerable population did not trigger acute symptoms
- ECs are a safe alternative to cigarettes in smokers with chronic airways disease
The professor also reported that a recent study in Italy showed if 50% of all smokers switched to vaping over 19,000 lives per year would be saved saving an absolute fortune in under pressure health care costs.
Summing up he said:
It’s very important not to forget the potential that this tool has to reduce smoking addiction and smoking related diseases in the world.
Like I said this guy was literally a breath of fresh air and he makes valid point after valid point.
You really do need to read all of his presentation.
Read it HERE
Norm Bour – Founder & Chief Business Mentor VapeMentors
His surname suggests his presentation might have been a little ‘boring’ maybe 😉
However his piece titled Starting, Growing, Branding and Maximizing your Vape Business certainly wasn’t – it was packed with sound advice for established and fledgling vaping businesses alike.
He reckons – and despite the raft of new legislation putting a possible smack-down on the vape industry – that from a current global market of $6billion this year vaping will hit $32billion within 5 years.
Now that’s great growth and if vaping companies can fight or at least stay ahead of legislation such as the TPD and TCA – there’s a boom time coming.
He has some fascinating pie charts showing who’s vaping and even why.
It would appear as a 50 something I’m one of the 10% with you millennial types by far the largest vapers by age group – well done you young folk!
This looks to have been an excellent presentation – particularly for vape businesses – and it’s packed with sage advice and a pdf file you really should download keep and read.
All I can say is Cheers Norm – boomers will get that – millennials will need to google the Norm I’m on about!
Read the full presentation HERE
Michael Young – Vape Emporium
Have to say the Vape Emporium looks a classy joint and manager Michael was the first of the speakers to actually follow the conference’s guidelines of the future of vaping in a post TPD Europe.
However whilst his presentation offered a lot – once again there was no definitive way to tackle TPD instead he concentrated on how to comply with the regulation.
Is it me or are our vape leaders shrugging and getting on with it rather than doing all they can to fight it?
Maybe I’m just an old activist but I would hop in such a vibrant world as vaping there’d be some more radical ideas coming out – but I digress.
Back to Michael.
His presentation pointed out the effect TPD was and will have on vaping in the UK and whilst recognizing Brexit ‘may’ change this country’s approach, he didn’t seem hopeful.
However he was excited at the prospect of the new regulations ridding us of such ludicrous – read lies – claims from a particular e-liquid company that claimed its juices could rid the vaper of such things as acne and alcoholism – I know totally mental lol.
Quoting Hazel Cheeseman (real name) for ASH (boo hiss) he said:
Good regulation is important to drive up standards. Elsewhere in the world countries are opting to ban e-cigarettes. In Europe we will have a balanced model of regulation that will keep safe and effective products on the market.
There is also much scope for improvement. Balanced regulation can drive innovation and improve the market as a whole.
I guess I have to agree with that.
As to Brexit and the hope from vapers this might mean the TPD is quietly stubbed out he said:
Although Brexit may take years to implement, the lack of political support for TPD in the UK may mean that implementation can be adapted/relaxed sooner rather than later.
Let’s hope so.
Summing up Michael announced the Vape Emporium was embracing the new regulations and building a new lab to mix ‘compliant’ e-liquids to be sold internationally.
You can read Michael’s full presentation HERE
Ron Tully – Next Generation Labs
If you thought the TPD was a nightmare American Ron Tully (not the guy from Sons of Anarchy) opened the can of worms called the FDA’s Deeming Regulation.
By his account this legislation will decimate the US vaping scene for both users and businesses when it comes into effect in 3 days’ time (August 8th).
Here’s a just a handful of the new laws and the effect they will have:
- Any vape store mixing their own liquids will be required to register as a manufacturer
- Any vape store offering „rebuilds‟ to devices will be considered a manufacturer
- Manufacturers or importers must file new tobacco product applications for every e-liquid brand SKU and device they have on the market within 2 years costing $500k to $1.5million per product!
That list has barely scratched the surface and add to that the US Governments declaration that even synthetic nicotine and nicotine derived from such produce as an egg-plant shall be deemed tobacco – shows you the fight US vapers have on their hands.
Grim reading maybe – but read Ron’s presentation HERE
Gregory J. Conley – President, American Vaping Association
Under the title “Lessons to be Learned from the United States’ War on Vaping” well known vaping advocate and campaigner Greg likened the growth and promotion of vaping to sex – when in Amsterdam one supposes lol.
In effect he was saying that the promotion of condoms has gone from a safety aspect to actually mentioning sex.
This he argues is the way public health tackles sexual diseases whilst completely ignoring the health benefits of vaping over smoking – an interesting allegory.
In a thumbs down to Public Health organizations across the globe promoting nicotine patches – gums etc as an alternative to smoking he produced a report stating they have failed miserably with a success rate helping folks quit maxing out at of 9%!
Pointing out that young people in the US are turning their backs on smoking in their droves he showed conclusively how misinformation of the pros of vaping is prevalent in the States.
In a call to action he listed what needs to be done:
- Create advocates
- Form national and local trade organizations
- Cooperation is key
- Engage with the government now, not later
- Don’t endorse anti-competitive regulations
- Know your enemy
You can read Greg’s presentation HERE
To Sum Up
The event was to end with a preview of the documentary A Billion Lives – sadly until I get an answer from the conference’s press office I can’t say for sure if this happened or if its director Aaron Biebert made an appearance.
However looking at the presentations that we have for me there was some great points made and information shared however as to how to tackle the legislation we’re facing not much if anything was mentioned – a case of comply or die in effect (excuse the pun).
Sure it was great to see such interest and enthusiasm around the topic – but hardly anyone if at all – suggested what we do to combat legislation that is literally going to decimate the vaping industry as we know it.
It was all earnest words and there’s certainly a ton of ammo there to add to the growing call to leave us vapers alone.
As Jonny and myself chatted about yesterday – the anti TPD protests seem to have died down somewhat.
However as November 2016 approaches we may see them spark up again.
November 2016 is important as that’s when the first regulations impact.
- Bans stronger e-cigarettes/juices (nicotine above 20mg/ml)
- Bans e-liquid bottles above 10ml
- Bans e-cigarette ‘tanks’ above 2ml
Your local vape store or online retailer will have until May 2017 to sell their existing stock – what happens after that is anyone’s guess – E-Cig Police maybe?