Vaping News Headlines:
JUUL Good and Bad News – Military Veterans Vape Ban – Stop Smoking Charity Slammed – Vape Influencers Investigation Latest – Amazon Bans Flavoured E-liquids – India says E-cigs Are Drugs and BAT Lit Cig Sales Slump
JUUL The Good News and the Bad News
JUUL never seems to be out of the headlines and this week saw an investigation begin into its impact on the so-called youth vape epidemic and also pledging $7.5 million dollars into vape research.
First up the bad news that a House Sub-Committee led by Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi will be investigating claims JUUL is solely behind and indeed the driving force behind the alleged teen vape epidemic. This could result in JUUL management being forced to give evidence in Washington.
The safety and well-being of America’s youth is not for sale.
I am extremely concerned about reports that Juul’s high nicotine content is fueling addiction and that frequent Juul use is sending kids across the country into rehab.
A little over-dramatic if I’m honest lol.
However, JUUL says they’re more than happy to help with a spokesman responding:
We share the subcommittee’s concerns about youth vaping and welcome the opportunity to share information about our aggressive, industry-leading actions to combat youth usage.
Meanwhile, the company has pledged $7.5million to the Meharry Medical College, Nashville, for research into e-cigarettes with complete ‘autonomy’ into the findings and publications.
The college is made up of predominantly students from minorities and CEO Dr James Hildreth said:
The grant from Juul Labs gives Meharry the unique opportunity to take the lead on a new line of fully independent research in this critical area of public health.
Smoking has had disproportionately negative effects on minority, and particularly African-American, populations for decades.
At Meharry, we have been on the front lines of treating those impacted by this scourge and see firsthand how smoking can destroy lives.
Our goal is to help set a new course for education, prevention and policy surrounding the use of tobacco and e-cigarettes.
Here in the UK JUUL has announced it will now be selling the device in 357 Asda stores from this week.
This follows on from the company selling the brand in Sainsburys and UK sales director John Patterson said:
Asda has over 18 million customers using its stores every week and is the third-largest tobacco retailer in the UK, so we are delighted to be able to work with them to widen the reach of Juul products.
Tobacco is the largest single cause of preventable death in the UK so the more smokers we can get to make the switch, the more lives we can improve. The agreement will also provide Juul Labs with more touchpoints and a more diverse customer base to engage with adult smokers.
Following news about JUUL is a rollercoaster, to say the least lol.
Injured Military Veterans Banned From Vaping and Smoking
All VA hospitals will be smoke and vape free by October this year.
The Department of Veteran’s Affairs made the announcement back in March and have rubber stamped the ban order.
This will mean the removal of smoking shelters and designated smoke and vape areas and affect hundreds of thousands of veterans.
A recent survey found the 3 in 10 military veterans used lit tobacco or e-cigarettes a number higher than the general public.
A spokesman for the VA said:
Although VA has historically permitted smoking in designated areas, there is growing evidence that smoking and exposure to secondhand and thirdhand smoke creates significant medical risks, and risks to safety and direct patient care, that are inconsistent with medical requirements and limitations.
Accordingly, VA’s Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has collaborated with key stakeholders to update and recertify the policy to be consistent with the department’s commitment to Veterans and the community.
Whilst I can kind of understand the move to ban lit tobacco products, given e-cigarettes are known to be at least 95% safer and there’s no evidence of harm from the second-hand vapour, the ban is misguided.
Big Tobacco’s Stop Smoking Charity Criticised
Health experts say the PMI backed the Foundation for a Smoke Free World spends more on PR than it does research.
The ‘charity’ is partly funded by Phillip Morris Inc and in an article in last week’s lofty medical tome the Lancet, Professor Anna Gilmore from Tobacco Control Research Group at the University of Bath, said far from being a ‘scientific body’ the charity is simply another arm of the Phillip Morris public relations team adding:
This greater expenditure on public relations than on research does not match the picture the Foundation paints of itself as a scientific body but instead supports the growing consensus that the Foundation provides a key public relations function for Philip Morris International.
It’s been revealed the charity spent $7.5m on outside communications and just $6.4m on research.
Since its launch, the Foundation for a Smoke Free World has been dogged by health organisations including WHO refusing to have anything to do with them.
Derek Yach – the foundations’ president said:
Our first-year communications costs are in line with what it takes to build a global foundation from scratch addressing a health problem that impacts over a billion people.
Among these initial investments, we reached millions of smokers using insights derived from our survey of 18,000 people in 13 countries.
These early start-up cost structures have shifted markedly to grant-making.
The foundation plans to spend around $100m on research in the next few years.
Lily Allen Vape Ads Still Under Investigation
A handful of so-called ‘vape influencers’ have been cleared of ‘wrongfully’ promoting e-cigarettes on social media, however, ‘pop star’ Lily Allen’s case is still being investigated by the UK’s Advertising Standards Agency.
The latest #HoHxVype collection will be revealed this weekend at #LFW, with @lilyallen and @HouseOfHolland #govype #vape #vapecommunity #vapenation #londonfashionweek #LilyAllen #HenryHolland #HouseOfHolland Vype e-cigarettes contain nicotine. 18+ only. Read leaflet in pack. pic.twitter.com/kvHPMKOlBH
— Vype UK (@govype) February 14, 2019
Posts from Sophie Louise, Chloe Hill, Rae Eleanor and Amiie Giffen – none of whom I’ve ever heard of lol – have been cleared of any wrongdoing as ASA explains:
In these instances there was no commercial relationship in place between the brands and the influencers.
As there was no payment or reciprocal relationship in place and no editorial control of the posts by the brand, this is not classed as advertising.
However, the agency is still looking at the Vype social media posts featuring Lily Allen and are also investigating social media posts from three vape companies, Global Vaping Group, Attitude Vapes and Ama Vapes Lab.
Amazon Clamps Down On Flavoured E-liquids
Amazon has warned its sellers they could be banned for selling certain types of flavoured e-liquids as they shake up its ‘tobacco policy’.
The ban includes any e-liquids that are promoted with a ‘cartoon character’ and as you’ve guessed any flavours deemed ‘attractive to kids’.
These include candy, sweets, desserts, milkshakes, pancakes, waffles, bubble gum and popcorn as well as ‘rainbow’ flavours…whatever they are lol.
I spotted this one over on Vaping With Vic’s Facebook page and as you can imagine it’s caused a bit of consternation lol.
You can read the full ‘ban list’ which includes herbal vaporizers on Amazon’s policy page for Tobacco and Tobacco Related Products.
India Moves To Classify E-Cigs As Drugs And Ban Them
Despite a number of pharmaceutical type smoking cessation aids allowed to be legally sold in India, the Government may agree to classify all vape products as drugs and ban them outright.
One state has already banned them outright under the ‘poisons’ act and now as the Indian Government struggles to get to grips with the use of e-cigarettes the Drug Technical Advisory Board recommends the:
…manufacture, sale and distribution of ENDS, including e-cigarettes and similar products, should be prohibited under Section 26A of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, while their import should be outlawed under Section 10A of the legislation.
This would be devastating news for the vapers and of course smokers in the country especially when you realize the country makes up a staggering 12% of the world’s smokers leading to around 1million deaths per year.
Not only is this shocking, but it’s also downright criminal if the Indian Government goes down this route.
BAT Shares Slide As Vaping Takes Over
British American Tobacco [BAT] is the second largest tobacco company in the world and says the sale of its cigarettes is falling as vaping takes over.
They say this is down to a steep decline in lit cigarette sales in the USA as more American smokers move away from Lucky Strikes and Dunhill to the healthier e-cigarettes.
BAT was expecting a 3% drop in sales this year however it was revealed last week the drop is 3.5% meaning the blue chip company lost a fifth of its value this year alone.
Market analyst David Madden said:
There is some profit taking, but the stock is still suffering from the wider changes in the industry.
The group will need to beef up its vape related sales in order to shake off the wider negative sentiment.
BAT agrees and says it will be concentrating more on it’s ‘New Category’ brands such as Vype and Glo as well as entering into the snuff and other alternative markets.
Other Big Tobacco companies are also feeling the pinch with Imperial Brands the makers of Blu seeing a US sales decline of around 5% and Phillip Morris Inc has agreed there is an ‘industry wide’ slowdown of lit cigarette sales.
More vaping news on Wednesday!