Tag Archives: industry news

The Deal with Diacetyl

Sensient-Flavors-says-it-is-addressing-worker-health-and-safety-issues_strict_xxlRecent discussions of e-cigarettes and what is contained in e-liquids has been centered on a substance known as diacetyl. Diacetyl is a chemical typically used to impart a buttery flavor, and though it is regarded as safe for ingestion, it is absolutely not when inhaled.

Because of the info regarding diacetyl as unsafe for inhalation, many anti-e-cig media outlets have been assumptively, and erroneously, reporting that all electronic cigarettes contain this substance, based on the World Health Organization’s findings, in an effort to continue the negative stereotype that surrounds e-cigarettes. What they fail to realize and report upon is, is  that not all brands use the chemical as a flavoring, EverSmoke being among them.

In fact, on a test of a variety of brands of e-liquid to see if they contain diacetyl, done on a TV program in the UK, only 1 of the 4 tested contained the substance! 1 in 4!

So, the big deal with diacetyl in e-liquid is that it is linked to a horrific lung disease known as “popcorn lung,” or bronchiolitis obliterans. It can occur after prolonged exposure to diacetyl that has been heated and inhaled. It affects the bronchioles, causing them to be obstructed and inflamed, restricting airflow, making breathing difficult, and coughing and wheezing prevalent.

Currently, researchers are studying the effects of diacetyl, and testing different brands’ liquids to determine whether they contain the substance, and what effect it is having. Dr. KE Farsalions, a prominent European physician who has done many studies on the effectiveness and benefit of electronic cigarettes, has lead the research on diacetyl. In a presentation he did at the Global Forum on Nicotine in Warsaw this year, Dr. Farsalions sampled approximately 160 different e-liquids, mostly manufactured in Europe, in an effort to show what the exposure to diacetyl is exactly for vapers, particularly on a daily basis.

The outcome if this study showed that 74% of the e-liquids he tested contained some diacetyl, most often found in sweet liquid flavors. Even more disconcerting, however, was that a great number of these sweeter liquids contained levels of diacetyl that were higher than the safety limits were supposed to be. Even still, however, the range is anywhere between 10 and 100 times less than the exposure from traditional cigarettes.

So that is the current situation with diacetyl and vaping. Pick and choose your products wisely, and ultimately opt for a brand like EverSmoke, that is committed to keeping the diacetyl fake butter flavor out of our products! And for those of you who are scientifically-inclined, you can check out Dr. Farsalion’s study here (PDF download).

What is the Deal with Teens and Vaping?

Teen Use of E-CigsOne of the areas that concerns legislators and lawmakers most, on the subject of electronic cigarette products is that which regards usage by those who are underage, most often teens. The FDA recently ruled in favor of laws that prohibit minors from purchasing the alternative products, among the first e-cigarette regulations to come into effect nationally.

So what is the deal with e-cigarettes in the mainstream? Are teenagers even interested in them? Are they using them more voraciously than cigarettes? Do e-cigs really pose a problem that causes concern about teens becoming hooked on nicotine?

Teenagers have long been drawn to experimentation, and the majority of adult smokers picked up the habit during their teen years. Whether a result of rebellion or pleasurable escape, teens always have and always will be looking to test limits – be it their parents’, schoolteachers’, or those in place by society; cigarette usage among youth has always been a hot button topic. Even though tobacco companies marketed their products to impressionable young people in decades past, this practice has long been halted. Over the past 20 years, cigarette usage among minors has been on dramatic decline, especially when it is considered how unfashionable smoking has become. Less teens are looking at smoking as a cool way to rebel and create an image.

As recently reported by Forbes, the most recent statistics on high school students smoking, shows numbers that have fallen from 15.8% to 12.7%, which are the lowest numbers ever. While the usage of e-cigarette use by high schoolers has rose, from 1.5% to 4.5%, which includes those teens who have used a vapor cigarette at least once within a 30-day period, it is being looked at as less negative and rather encouraging. It is a suggestion that high school smokers are interested in alternatives, and are using electronic cigarettes instead of traditional cigarettes as a means to stop using tobacco.

If teen tobacco smoking is declining at great numbers, and teens in general are not interested in smoking, yet are turning to electronic cigarettes as alternatives, it is clear that vapor smoking is not serving as a gateway to traditional smoking for impressionable youth as anti-smoking groups claim.

To put it bluntly, the electronic cigarette industry aims to market and sell their products exclusively to adults over the age limit, and as teens will inevitably get their hands on things they have no business with (traditional and electronic cigarettes alike), vapor cigs are not luring teens into lifelong smoking habits.

And the Word of the Year is… Vape!

imagesVapor smoking, AKA Vaping, AKA to vape. It’s all gotten quite popular and mainstream year by year. And now the act of using electronic smoking devices has gotten so great, that the fine folks at Oxford Dictionaries have declared “vape” the word of the year for 2014. The electronic cigarette industry is quite pleased, as we should be!

The ‘word of the year’ is typically bestowed upon a term that has garnered a great amount of attention, has gained widespread acceptance, and appears to have obvious staying power. Vape managed to surpass other cultural favorites for 2014 such as “bae” and “bud tender,” due to it’s constant presence in popular culture. In major US cities, it has become as common to see traditional smokers as much as vapers, using their devices on the streets and in other public places.

What this is also indicative of is that vaping is here to stay, whether or not the tobacco industry, legislators, or naysayers like it. Millions of smokers have experienced the difference in what vaping brings to the table, and have chosen to smoke without the tobacco.

And now vaping has become such a culture of its own, with it’s own slang, millions of hashtags and posts across social media pages, thousands of retail shops appearing all over the country, and people obsessing over every different type of product they can get their hands on! Most importantly, though, vapers are able to get a highly satisfying experience in a method they are exceptionally comfortable with, and are noticing much greater results in comparison to smoking cigarettes. This is further evidence that shows that vaping is the future of smoking, and it is completely overtaking smoking.

To directly quote the editors at the Oxford Dictionaries precisely, as they explain why “vape” is the perfect term of the year: “As e-cigarettes (or e-cigs) have become much more common, so vape has grown significantly in popularity. You are thirty times more likely to come across the word vape than you were two years ago, and usage has more than doubled in the past year.”

Yes, it is clear. Electronic cigarettes are officially mainstream. Vape has entered the English lexicon.

E-Cigs: Great for Saving Money and the Economy

Improve-the-EconomyIf you’re an e-smoker, you are probably aware of how amazing e-cigarettes are for so many reasons, however one of the best is that they are having an excellent effect on the economy. Here’s a look at how this amazing industry is contributing to the growth of our economy.

-Most electronic cigarette businesses are small businesses, and small businesses drive the economy. It is a positive sign of economic recovery when individuals are starting businesses and succeeding. Many e-cigarette businesses are mom-and-pop endeavors, which add jobs, services, and revenue to their local communities.

-Innovative products contribute to growth. Technology is everywhere, and people are more and more interested in technologically advanced products. E-cigarettes provide an advanced method of a traditional product; cigarettes, while adding benefits, eliminating negatives, and fulfilling needs while costing less.

-Added jobs. As the electronic cigarette industry grows and expands, despite the predictions of e-cigarette regulations, the market’s need for workers expands as well in so many areas. The need for jobs shows economic growth and stability, as so many jobs were lost in due to the recession of 2008-2009.

-Sales are soaring. The e-cigarette market is growing into a $2 billion industry this year; which is no small feat for an industry that barely existed a decade ago. What’s even more exciting is that the industry is expected to continue this fast-paced growth, and statistics anticipate within 10 years the market will hit $10 billion annually.

-Smokers now have a valid alternative to traditional cigarettes, unlike cessation devices that do not provide the same sensations and feeling of smoking. As an “alternative,” electronic cigarettes give users everything they want, without actual tobacco, smoke, odor, or tar.

As you can see, the electronic cigarette market is having a very positive effect on the economy. This industry has inspired smokers to choose a more modern, more convenient product that comes with the benefit of being smoke, and tobacco-free. Business is booming, jobs are being added, and products are selling. It is definitely a great moment for the smoke-free movement.

Where the E-Cig Industry is Headed

558750_475283232573762_170760175_nElectronic cigarettes are growing in use and popularity, and as the market begins to transition from a niche to a more mainstream sector, there are a variety of factors playing into where the industry is headed. As a whole, the success has been exceptional, with millions of smokers having tried the products, and many having switched outright to using them over traditional cigarettes. While we have a very good understanding of where the market is headed, these are the factors that are currently playing the largest role in the future of electronic cigarettes.

Vaping in Public: there are restrictions in some places regarding vaping in public. Many nonsmokers and many people in the general public are not aware of e-cigarettes, how they work, and the fact that they produce no odor or smoke. Many business owners are still on the fence on how to regard electronic cigarettes, so they (unfortunately) prefer to group them into the same category as traditional cigarettes, because even though they are alternatives, they would rather avoid confusion or confrontation. Where this goes in the future remains to be seen, however certain cities, such as New York, have banned e-cigarettes from public use, just like traditional cigarettes. Hopefully other major cities do not follow suit in such an unjust way.

Public Health: The subject of e-cigarettes and public health has garnered a lot of attention as of late. A group of international scientists recently wrote an open letter to the World Health Organization citing electronic cigarettes as a valid alternative to tobacco cigarettes, especially in regards to public health, and how they can potentially save lives, from a scientific viewpoint. The subject of health remains one of the most poignant issues surrounding e-cigarettes, and we can certainly expect regulations that approach this topic.

FDA Rulings: The FDA recently set forth e-cigarette regulations that will prohibit them from being sold to minors, a move most companies hoped for, giving further credibility to the industry, as well as keeping products intended for adults out of the hands of those who are underage. The FDA has also began regulating standards of production, which also benefits the industry in a positive way.

Industry Concerns: Before the recent FDA rulings, many feared that the products would be limited drastically, even banned, leaving customers unable to purchase them. Fortunately, it seems that this sort of action will not be taking place, as the FDA and the e-cigarette industry will be working together in a cooperative manner.

E-Cigarette Marketing: There are rules for everything, and the FDA does not take lightly to how e-cigarettes are marketed. Online and in the tangible world, marketing language for e-cigarettes is very specific. E-cigarettes are strictly intended for use as an alternative to other products, and companies are prohibited from calling them an aid to quit smoking. In order to be considered as such, a product needs strict regulation and guidelines from the FDA.

The road of success is rarely a simple or obstacle-free one, however despite these circumstances, we are confident the industry will continue to flourish. In the meantime for e-cigarette users, one of the most important factors to keep in mind for their own personal benefit is to stay up to date with current  e-cigarette laws, which will inherently affect them as the industry grows and evolves.

Top Scientists Urge WHO to not Classify E-Cigarettes as Tobacco Products

scientistsIn the ongoing international debate over electronic cigarette research, the most recent news on this front has come from the World Health Organization, aka WHO, and the international group of renowned scientists who are urging the UN agency to avoid classifying the tobacco alternatives as “tobacco products.”

In an open letter to Margaret Chan, the Director General of WHO, scientists from across the world including Asia, Australia, North America, and Europe, stated that electronic cigarettes are a part of the answer, and that they are not the problem, in the fight against smoking. They also stated that they are low-risk products, and have the potential to drastically reduce the number of fatalities and illnesses associated with smoking. Considering that these are experts in the field of science, hopefully WHO will take into consideration their stance on the usefulness of the electronic alternatives.

WHO has continuously held a checkered relationship with the products, and has even gone so far as to consider them as a threat. However, as more and more research comes out in the international scope, top scientists are pushing for e-cigarettes to be viewed as positive, even citing them as very promising in the long run in the fight against tobacco and tobacco-related illnesses. It is general knowledge that tobacco is related to millions of deaths worldwide, and is one of the contributing factors behind increased risk of heart disease, many types of cancer, and serious respiratory illnesses.

“These products could be among the most significant health innovations of the 21st century – perhaps saving hundreds of millions of lives. The urge to control and suppress them as tobacco products should be resisted,” wrote the scientists.

As electronic cigarettes are still in their infancy, and research is being performed throughout the world, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for this burgeoning industry, especially in terms of international e-cigarette regulations. In the meantime, it is certainly a positive that many of the world’s top scientists are willing to support the cause in favor of electronic cigarettes, seeing their many benefits, and voicing their beliefs to a major force such as the World Health Organization.

CVS is Dropping the Habit

cvs_logo_largeRecent news to hit the tobacco cigarette industry was that CVS has decided to drop tobacco sales from all of their 7,600 locations throughout the country. Set to go into effect on October 1, the move marks the company’s decision to create a more healthful image. CVS Caremark is the nation’s largest pharmacy, based on their prescription revenue, and this move to end tobacco sales has been praised by both President Obama and a variety of different health organizations.

While CVS cultivates a healthier image, they are facing a loss of approximately $2 billion yearly. Some industry experts see that number as being on the lower end, and depending on market conditions they may face even greater losses as a result of the change.

CVS cites the Affordable Care Act as their main motive in changing, however they have long stood by prevention as the best health strategy. Despite the financial ramifications, CVS’s president and CEO, Larry J. Merlo, has stated that selling tobacco is not in line with their values. “Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health,” he said in a statement. “Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”

Interestingly, none of CVS’s competitors are considering the same cessation of tobacco sales. Considering that tobacco sales internationally topped the $554 billion mark in 2012, CVS tobacco sales account for a minute amount of that total.

Perhaps, however, it is time that CVS followed the lead of some of their competitors, such as Walgreens, which has sold electronic cigarettes for several years. While they are similar to traditional cigarettes, electronic cigarettes would have no problems fitting in with their more progressive image.

Even though this move is extremely bold, it certainly makes sense in terms of responsibility. It is obvious that the tobacco industry, as well as the electronic cigarette industry are in a point of major transition, and it will surely be interesting to see which retailers in the near future take the same stance as CVS. In the meantime, if you are interested in purchasing an e-cigarette starter kit, or want to learn more about them, feel free to browse our resources as well as products!

Tobacco Industry Prepares for Change with Altria’s Purchase of Green Smoke

vaping_jan_036-In recent electronic cigarette news, tobacco giant Altria announced that they purchased the Green Smoke brand through their subsidiary, Nu Mark LLC. At a price approximated at $110 million, with an expected closing sometime in the second quarter, this is major headway for the e-cigarette industry.

While they are not the first tobacco company to expand into the e-cigarette market, the move is significant because they are one of the largest, and Green Smoke is one of the most known brands of alternative tobacco products. What this sale signifies on a larger scale is how big electronic cigarettes are getting, and how much competition they’ve put on the tobacco industry.

Nearly two years ago, in April of 2012, Lorillard expanded into the e-cigarette market, becoming the first tobacco company to do so. They acquired the brand Blu, and set the trend for other tobacco companies to start cutting their losses from smokers switching to e-cigs, by joining the competition.

While there is still plenty of speculation from skeptics in regards to the safety, standards, and research regarding them, time continues to show that consumers trust these products and are fully aware of the facts about e-cigarettes. They have experienced such positive results that they are only furthering the industry and inspiring others to do so. Along these same lines, the impending FDA regulations for e-cigarettes will hopefully prove to be promising, giving further credibility to the industry with quality standards and monitoring for safety.

With big tobacco moving into the e-cigarette market, it only solidifies the strength of alternative cigarettes as an industry. Business predictions slate e-cigarettes to overpass tobacco cigarette sales entirely within the next decade. Smokeless cigarette sales are expected to hit around $1.7 billion this year, so these numbers are quite promising. The recent purchase of Green Smoke only furthers this prediction, as the tobacco industry prepares for an electronic renaissance in the coming years.

Tobacco Giant Philip Morris Entering Fast Growing Electronic Smoking Market

A few days ago, Philip Morris International announced it’s getting into the e-cigarette business, after dismissing the product in July according to The Washington Post. The tobacco giant will start selling e-cigarettes which directly compete with its tobacco product, since nicotine vapor is gaining popularity as an alternative to smoking by a growing number of Americans.

The world’s biggest tobacco company is spending $100 million to develop e-cigarettes that could destroy its 160 year legacy in the tobacco business.

There are three main reasons why Philip Morris is getting to the vapor smoking market:

  1. Competitors are already making e-cigarettes. A few of Philip Morris’s competitors have either developed their own e-cigarette or bought startups in the fast-growing electronic smoking market.
  2. Tobacco cigarettes are already disappearing. Fewer Americans are smoking than ever before, according to Gallup. Tobacco has been lucrative for well over 100 years, but companies are accepting the fact that products are facing a long-term decline. They have no choice but to develop a new product.
  3. The international tobacco market is slowing down. Philip Morris has always had strong name recognition, deep market penetration and the addictive nature of its tobacco cigarettes has made it internationally popular. 30 percent of its market share has been primarily in Southeast Asia. But the “cash-generating machine,” as Morningstar has referred to it, has started to fail in sales.

The key reasons Philip Morris wants a piece of the e-cigarette market is that the product doesn’t have many of the social and health challenges tobacco smoking faces but still deliver nicotine that users crave.