On December 17, the FDA hosted a public hearing in regards to Section 918 of the Tobacco Act. There were many Tobacco Harm Reduction advocates that testified that day. Now, the FDA is actually asking for your testimony. Between now and January 16, 2013, you have the ability to submit your testimony about your e-cigarette experience. The FDA will use your testimonies, in combination with those given at the hearing on December 17, as valid input for the the Tobacco Act report to Congress.
Don’t let this opportunity pass you. Now is your chance to make a difference in the world as it pertains to electronic cigarettes and their success in the United States. Below is the information on how you can submit your comments to the FDA, electronically:
- Visit: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FDA-2012-N-1148-0011 (Link updated 1/3/13)
- Click the “Comment Now” button
- Comments that you type into the comment field are limited to 2,000 characters; If your comment is longer, you can upload a file that contains your comment and just type “See attachment” into the Comment field
If you prefer to sumbit a comment by mail (which we encourage you to do soon since the time is drawing to a close) you can follow these instructions:
- Send to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852
- Identify comments with the docket number [Docket No. FDA-2012-N-1148]
For more information about what you should say in your testimony to the FDA, visit the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alernatives Association website.
You never want to start out a blog post with a *sigh* but that is exactly how I wanted to start this one. My story today brings us back to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), which is always a solemn topic in itself. So, when it involves using the general public to monitor tobacco advertising, it is even more of a solemn topic to cover.
On Tuesday, the Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced that it approved the FDA’s request to call on the general public for help finding tobacco advertisement violations. The FDA will soon make a form available to the people, called a “Potential Tobacco Product Violations Report” form. This will be available in a smartphone app or a downloadable PDF that can be mailed in to the FDA.
This form allows the public to label the violation and leave contact information for the FDA to inquire more information about the instance that is being reported. The categories of violation are as follows:
- Sales to minors
- Flavored cigarette sales
- Advertising/promotion/marketing (of any kind)
- Free samples
- Vending machine/self-service displays/direct access to cigarette or smokeless tobacco
- Sales of cigarettes in packs of less than 20
- and the ever famous “Unsure”
Currently, e-cigs are regulated as tobacco products, but not held to the same advertising laws as traditional tobacco. This is where this new violation report could be a detriment to the smokeless cigarette category. The general public is a bit confused about electronic cigarettes at this stage in their development, which means that those who participate in this kind of reporting system will most likely be those that are confused and do not understand that e-cigarettes are NOT tobacco cigarettes. Plus, the FDA announced in May 2012 that it would scouring the internet for electronic cigarette ads for a full 12 months – they announced they would be compiling the data and “releasing their findings” sometime in 2013.
Nevertheless, I will leave my opinions on the matter there. I will not delve too far into my personal feelings on the subject matter but I will allow you to form your own opinion.
To read the full article, visit the OMB Approves FDA’s Potential Tobacco Product Violations Reporting Form on CSP’s website.
The french author, Jean-Francois Etter just released a new book on November 26, 2012, that introduces electronic cigarettes to a market that may not understand them yet. Etter explains the exploding market of e-cigarettes and how even search results are surpassing those of smoking cessation devices. He also outlines the current “knowns” about smokeless cigarettes, refillable cartridges, as well as other insightful reflections that will help the consumer make their decision about electronic cigarettes.
Jean-Francois Etter, PhD, has spent 18 years researching smoking prevention and tobacco dependence. A professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva in Switzerland, Etter has published over 120 research reports that are original to his own studies. He has pioneered e-cigarette research, preforming some of the first studies ever done on the vaping community.
The book is available on Amazon for the Kindle Fire for only $9.99. We encourage you to pickup your copy today:
According to E-Cigarette Forum, there are so controversial points covered in this book that we may not all agree with. However, it is a good start!
Smokeless cigarettes are becoming a big thing not only in the US but the UK as well. We hear about opposition that we face here in the states all the time, and now the UK is also facing some interesting opposition – about vaping in the workplace. The question being posed to employers is whether or not they should allow it. And the question being posed to employees is if they saw someone vaping at work, would they challenge it?
Because of what employers feel is a “grey area”, many employers have already started to ban them from being used in the workplace at all. They ban the vapers to vape with the smokers instead. Oxymoron? Perhaps. Seems like vaping at your desk would increase your productivity since you don’t have to go outside to vape/smoke anymore, but that isn’t the point that is being made. The point being made is that allowing employees to vape in the workplace “re-normalizes the concept of smoking”. (BBC UK)
If you could see me, you would notice that I’m hanging and shaking my head. Really? Re-normalizes it? Sheesh.
Fortunately, vapers in the UK have advocates on their side, just like we have groups like CASAA and Tobacco Harm Reduction. The Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association is encouraging employers to “consider allowing staff to us them at work.” (BBC UK) Saying that, “it [certainly] depends on the situation and whether or not you have a customer-facing role…It should be regarded in exactly the same way as having a cup of coffee on your desk at work. If that is allowed in your workplace, then e-cigarettes should be allowed too.”
What are your thoughts? Would you prefer to be allowed to vape at your desk? Do you still feel obligated to go outside to vape with the smokers? Are you still forced to go outside with the smokers?
To read more on this story, visit this link to BBC News UK.
What better way to start a week (a week of Thanksgiving, nonetheless) than to report on some great news! We have received information from an e-cig activist on the E-Cigarette Forum that the California Association for Alcohol & Drug Educators (CAADE) has just formally endorsed electronic cigarettes. Our information sources from Fr. Jack Kearney, Professor of Human Services and Addition Studies at Cypress College and Loyola Marymount University.
CAADE is the first educational group to formally endorse smokeless cigarettes in their addiction treatments. While this is not a huge step for the smokeless cigarette industry, it is a step nonetheless in a good direction.
The official policy statement is below:
“The California Association for Alcohol & Drug Educators (CAADE) supports efforts by the addiction treatment community to utilize its treatment expertise in developing tobacco cessation tools that include both abstinence-based and harm-reduction models including the use of electronic cigarettes.
“CAADE accredits addiction studies programs in over 40 colleges and universities in California, Arizona and Nevada. It also issues the highest level of addiction counselor certification in California, and currently represents more than 6000 counselors, college faculty members and students.”
If you’d like to join in on the forum discussion about this new endorsement, visit this link for the E-Cigarette Forum post.
Have a great Thanksgiving all!
Exciting news to share on this Monday morning! We have recently found out about a merger in the smokeless cigarette industry that is great news for all of us vapers. The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA), which you’ve heard us make mention of quite a bit in our blog posts, have recently merged with the Tobacco Harm Reduction (THRo) project that was started by the University of Alberta Department of Public Health Sciences. THRo has, for many years, been at the head of research and public knowledge on tobacco harm reduction. Now, joining forces with CASAA makes them even more powerful and knowledgeable.
“Elaine Keller, the president of CASAA, noted that the merger is a perfect fit because THRo has been “the only scholarly group focusing on tobacco harm reduction that puts the consumer first, treating nicotine product users as rational people whose welfare matters.”" (Online PR News)
These two groups can do great things together and already have a comprehensive plan put in place of which group will be doing what part of the advocating from here forward. THRo will primarily be a research and development type organization while CASAA will handle the majority of implementation. They really will be two peas in a pod!
Thank you to all those involved in this project – we look forward to great things for the smoke-free cigarette category!
If you’d like to read more about this story, visit Online PR News’ “Tobacco Harm Reduction Non-Profit Announces Merger, New Director” story.
Here in the United States we are facing some opposition to the smokeless cigarette. Some cities have banned them indoors, while others are banning the use of them outdoors as well (in public/community areas). We have even heard about some apartment complexes that are beginning to label apartments as “smoking” units even when they haven’t been smoked in, just vaped in. But, then you have Canada. An entire country that has banned the use of smokeless cigarettes completely, except for 0% nicotine items and accessories. They have been known to even stop packages at the border and confiscate them if they are even remotely related to e-cigs. US based e-cig companies are prohibited from sending their product across the Canadian border.
But, one man speaks out. Russell Daikens of New Hamburg. A previous two-pack-a-day smoker, Daiken orders his smokeless cigarettes online, but always with the risk of them being confiscated and never seeing his package. But, Daiken is determine. He was introduced to e-cigs in the winter of 2011 when he was visiting Florida and he has been determined ever since.
Health Canada is primarily responsible for the opposition of e-cigarettes saying, “Although these electronic smoking products may be marketed as a safer alternative to conventional tobacco products and, in some cases, as an aid to quitting smoking, electronic smoking products may pose risks such as nicotine poisoning and addiction.” Now, in the US we are careful not to market our products as safer, due to the limited testing that is available at this time, but really? They are concerned with the risk of addiction? What about the millions of people that are addicted to tobacco around the world, even in third world countries? Seems like there is a bigger underlying reason, but I will leave my comments at that. I believe you probably all know how I feel about the rest.
I will however share Daiken’s thoughts on the matter, “They’re just tightening up on this. They don’t want people playing with this stuff. You’re up against Big Tobacco, and you’re up against the government, too, because they want their revenue.” (METRO News Canada) What do you think? Think Daiken has something perhaps? Maybe. I will let you decide.
Even, Deborah Leader, RN and writer for About.com had the following to say, “Many Canadians suspect the ban is not due to health issues at all, but to the millions of dollars in governmental tax revenue generated each year by the sale of tobacco products. If more people switch to e-cigarettes, less people buy the real deal, which places a big strain on the tobacco industry. It also means that there will be less tax dollars to fill the pockets of the Canadian government.” (About.com) Deborah does not claim to know much about e-cigs in general but even she has her suspicions.
To read both stories on the Canadian ban, follow the links below:
- METRO News’ Electronic Cigarette Smoker Wants End to Ban in Canada
- About.com’s E-Cigarettes Banned in Canada, but Smoking Isn’t?
October was Breast Cancer Awareness month. A month that has seen a lot of publicity across our nation for many, many years. Movember is not a new concept, but is finally gaining ground across the nation as a national awareness for prostate and testicular cancer. During October we get all excited about saving the tatas (and don’t get us wrong, if you remember our post from last month, Breast Cancer Awareness hits really close to home here at METRO), but then what about men who suffer from cancers that are specific to them? Well, men across the nation are taking a stand for Movember, including our office (those are our men to the left from last year’s Movember competition)!
So, you ask, what is Movember then? Movember is a movement in which men grow out their mustache’s for the month of November in order to create awareness for men’s health. “With their mo’s, these men raise vital awareness and funds for men’s health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.” (Us.Movember.com) The idea is to seek out sponsorships for your mo growing efforts in order to raise funds for mean’s health organizations.
At METRO we are doing it a little different. The men in our office have already started participating in Movember (as they did last year) but our way of asking for sponsorship from you, is to offer you a discount for our CAMO Designer Pack and Midnight Designer Packs during the month of Movember only. Then, we will donate 10% of those purchases to our local prostate cancer awareness foundation. Even if you are not a fan of black or camo, we appreciate your participation in Movember!
Have a great month as we help change the face of men’s health!
If you are interested in learning more about Movember or even signing up to be a Mo Bros, visit Us.Movember.com/About for more details.
Coupon Code: MOVEMBER10
Residents of North Dakota are faced with a difficult decision this year during the polls and most of them do not even realize it. Our friends at CASAA wrote a blog post a few days ago, revealing the hidden truth about Measure 4 on the North Dakota ballots. This Measure is a smoking ban. The vote seems easy enough, right? Well, it’s not that black and white though. What the ballot fails to reveal is that a “yes” vote will ban the vaping of e-cigs as well as tobacco cigarettes. CASAA strongly urges all electronic cigarette supporters to vote “no” on the Measure until an amendment can be made to remove the language that currently includes e-cigs.
To read more on this measure, make sure to checkout Anit-THR Lie of the Day’s “North Dakota’s Lies Freeze out Smokers and Former Smokers“, post.
Know before you vote. And don’t forget, voting is patriotic, so go out and do your patriotic duty today and vote at the polls!
In an industry that sees so much controversy, it is not often we hear about advocacy groups for the electronic cigarette. That is not to say that we do not appreciate groups like CASAA, TVECA and Bill Godshall with Tobacco Harm Reduction, but the advocate groups do not seem to be “popping up like daisies”, for lack of a better phrase. However, Ecig Advanced announced last week that The Voice of the Electronic Cigarette Industry, The Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association has just recently been launched. The primary focus of the group is to keep e-cigs out of the tobacco category.
Some would disagree with this philosophy, while others would applaud it. Me, I am kind of on the fence. If we aren’t regulated as a tobacco product, then the FDA will want to regulate us as a “drug” – I’m not sure I like either. But that is just my personal opinion on the subject.
It is still not clear exactly how SFATA will be managed and by whom. Or how decisions will be made. But, that is the nature of a growing venture – there are still a lot of unknowns that will work themselves out in time.
The main concern for SFATA is that if e-cigarettes are lumped in with tobacco products, FDA will have to opportunity to subject them to the same tax laws that tobacco cigarettes face today – making them much more expensive than what you see today. Online sales would most likely be done away with completely – making it harder for the consumer to find a good brand near them (unless all of us high quality electronic cigarette companies can increase our distribution at lightning speed!). SFATA would like to create a new category for electronic cigarettes. One that leaves them out of the tobacco category and the “drug” category. (I’m liking the sound of that.)
We would like to echo Ecig Advance’s wishes to SFATA, by saying, “Good luck and godspeed!”
To read more on this subject, read Ecig Advance’s original post on “Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association Launches”.
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