San Francisco is poised to be the first US city to ban the sale of both flavoured and menthol e-liquids from April next year.
Supervisor Malia Cohen, who sponsored the bill said:
“We’re focusing on flavored products because they are widely considered to be a starter product for future smokers.”
Such a sweeping ban will undoubtedly have a massive impact on local vaping businesses and it is also feared that other towns and cities could follow suit. New York is considering a similar ban (but it would not include menthol products) while Chicago restricts the sale of flavoured tobacco products in the vicinity of schools.
The San Francisco ban would see the end of sales of all flavoured cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco and shisha. Only tobacco products and e-liquids which are flavour and menthol-free would be legal to sell.
The reason given for the ban is that:
“Flavored tobacco products promote youth initiation of tobacco use,” while “menthol, in particular, cools and numbs the throat to reduce throat irritation and make the smoke feel smoother.”
Roy Story, CEO of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, branded the ban as “extremely irresponsible” because many smokers have used flavoured e-cigarettes to help them either cut down on cigarettes or stop smoking completely. He said a more sensible move would be to ban anything that appeared to target children such as packaging containing cartoon characters for example.
“At the end of the day, it’s an adult product,” said Story.
“Personally, I am absolutely against flavours like bubble gum or pink elephant or strawberry delicious because I think the name itself sends the wrong message. “But the adult looking for a less harmful alternative is not looking for these products. This ban makes absolutely no sense.”
Regina Dick-Endrizzi, director of San Francisco’s Office of Small Business, questioned the impact the ban would have on small businesses which sold tobacco products. She said:
“The SBC in general does not support outright bans as a means of achieving a policy objective,”
She added that such regulation would be better applied at the State level. Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, described the ban as “complete nonsense” and said it failed to take account the benefits of flavoured vaping products. He added:
“There is a great deal of evidence that flavours are critical to helping adults quit smoking by helping them disconnect from the taste of tobacco.”
Conley also highlighted new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which showed that the numbers of high school and middle school students using e-cigarettes was declining sharply – at 2.2 million last year, down from 3 million the previous year. He added:
“Unfortunately, San Francisco supervisors ignored that data and the stories about how vaping was the only thing that helped many smokers quit.”
By Staff Reporter.
To say that this show was a disappointment is an understatement in the extreme.
As vape expos go, this was absolutely woeful from start to finish.
When I arrived at the convention centre there was nothing to say that a vape expo was taking place inside. No posters, no banners, no signage, absolutely nothing at all. It was the same story inside – not a single clue that I had arrived at the right venue.
The online floor plan boasted 63 stands and a large stage but as soon as I stepped foot inside the door I was in for my next shock.
There was no stage, hardly any visitors at all and perhaps about 20 stands in total.
I had literally seen everything there was to see in my first two minutes and I am being generous if I say that I counted a couple of dozen visitors in total during the morning.
This was going to be a very long couple of days and I was wondering just how slowly I would have to walk to kill time.
Normally at shows I am so busy that I don’t have any time to fully engage with all the entertainment and listen to the guest speakers.
The show website featured two guest speakers described as: “Some of the top advocates in the country with one of the most beautiful advocacy panels yet,” so it was a rather intriguing build up.
Sadly I was to be disappointed once again because they were not anywhere to be seen and therefore I cannot comment on how beautiful or otherwise these vaping advocates actually were.
I heard unofficial estimates that less than 200 visitors attended the event over the two days and from my own observations I would say this is in the right ball park.
This was such a disappointment because Ireland has a vibrant vaping community but where was everyone at this show?
Many of the exhibitors I spoke to criticised the poor organisation and questioned whether the event had been publicised enough. After all even the most passionate vapours cannot attend an event they don’t know about.
Certainly any vapers passing the venue would have had no idea that there was a vape expo going on inside.
I felt so sorry for the exhibitors who had paid a lot of money to attend and I was not surprised to hear that some were talking about obtaining refunds. I must say I can’t blame them.
I am used to shows where people queue to get in, there is thumping music, an air of excitement and thick clouds of vapour in the air but there was none of that here. In fact there were hardly enough visitors to fill a phone box with vapour.
I spent a lot of time chatting to exhibitors I knew and they were happy to have someone to engage with because they had so little else to do. Very often a good 15 to 20 minutes would go by between one person visiting a stand and the next. No wonder the exhibitors were angry.
During the weekend I had to come up with ways of passing the time such as counting the number of steps between stands and taking regular coffee breaks.
Never in my life have I made a large flat white latte last so long. Normally I am an espresso kind of guy but the five seconds they take to drink would not just cut it when I am running down the clock at such a vaping non-event as this.
This was horrifically boring with almost nothing to do. No cloud competitors and no give aways from the main stage…come to think of it there was no main stage and no crowds of people to give things away to.
Day two brought some excitement. A couple of official looking people visited the stands and gave some guidance about what could and what could not be sold at the show.
Shortly afterwards one vendor just decided to give all his stock away while another just cut his losses, packed up and went home.
Spending two days here was soul-destroying. This was a waste of time for all involved and I felt genuinely awful for exhibitors who had paid to be here because they got virtually nothing in return.
London Fire Brigade has reiterated the message that smoking tobacco is significantly more likely to cause a house fire than use of e-cigarettes.
The statement comes after British Transport Police confirmed that an e-cigarette was responsible for the small explosion that lead to Euston station being evacuated on Tuesday night.
Police discovered the e-cigarette while they were inspecting the area to ensure that it was safe.
The Brigade’s statistics show that there are 255 times more smoking-related fires than vaping-related ones.
Group Manager for Community Safety Mark Hazelton said:
“There have been cases where e-cigarette have exploded but the numbers are small in comparison with the significant amount of fire and fire deaths we see each year caused by smoking. In the last three years there has been 66 fire deaths caused by smoking and none relating to e-cigarettes. Overflowing ashtrays or a cigarette dropped while snoozing are typical causes of fatal fires. Quitting smoking is not only good for your health but also makes a devastating fire in your home less likely.”
As I write this on the morning of our flight home, it’s worth noting that it’s always a thrill to visit a particular expo for the first time. That thrill is enhanced when it’s also a first time visit to a new country, but there’s always a degree of nerves too as you make your way there.
As a member of the vaping media and more importantly the vaping community as a whole, I always want every expo to be a success at passing on the message that vape has to offer and to organise an expo that is a unqualified success is indeed quite an ask.
I can say quite comfortably that Canada’s Vape Expo achieved this brilliantly and with a touch of panache at their recent expo in Toronto spanning the 21st-23rd July.
Hosted at The International Centre the expo was a shining example of the myriad of things that are wonderful about the Canadian vape industry – an industry currently facing legislative challenges in the form of the S-5 bill.
It was inspiring to see how alongside organisations such as the Canadian Vaping Association and the Electronic Cigarette Trade Association of Canada the industry are tackling those challenges with efficiency, dignity and a very impressive level of organisation.
The expo itself showcased a large variety of brands that anybody, either business or consumer, should take the time to acquaint themselves with. Canadians are of course noted for their friendliness and this was apparent throughout both the entire show and the visit as a whole.
Alongside the vendors themselves it was also fantastic to see and listen to experts and advocates of the vaping industry such as Phil Busardo, Dimitris Agrafiotis and former Winston man David Goerlitz.
Special thanks must also go to Charlie Pisano from the event organisers. From a very warm welcome through to his constant help and assistance throughout the event, Charlie was a pleasure to meet and immeasurably kind and helpful throughout our entire stay.
Without hesitation I’d recommend attending any of the events that Canada’s Vape Expo’s organisers put on. Whether you attend in a business capacity, or simply as part of the vape community, you’ll find it a very worthwhile and engaging way to spend your time.
I’m already looking forward to a return visit here for the next expo – this one was truly stand-out and I’m excited for more. Do yourself a favour and if you have the time then visit too.
By Dave Turner – Director at Vapouround Magazine
A total smoking ban is set to be rolled out across all long-term and high security prisons in England and Wales at the end of this month.
The ban follows years of debate between the Prison Officers’ Association (POA), the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the prison community.
Research shows that 80% of the inmate population smokes cigarettes and 5% of non-smokers entering the system will be smokers by the end of their sentence.
Proponents of the ban, such as the POA, cite health and safety concerns, arguing that it’s unreasonable to subject prison officers and non-smoking inmates to such high levels of second-hand smoke.
However, the DoJ has traditionally sided with the smoking population, stating that the 2007 Health Act prohibiting smoking in enclosed workspaces does not apply to prison cells as they are legally classed as ‘homes’ rather than workplaces.
The smoke-free policy has already been implemented in a number of institutions and has not been without its problems.
Tobacco was banned at HMP Erlestoke in Wiltshire in May this year. Within three weeks serious riots had broken out, resulting in the severe damage of two cells and the transfer of 130 protesting inmates.
An increased uptake of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) is likely to follow the ban. However, abuse of treatments such as nicotine patches is already a serious problem. The ‘e-burn’ e-cigarette may the solution.
The device has been designed with prisons and secure units in mind. It is tamper-proof, making it difficult to weaponise or misuse for the delivery of new psychoactive substances (NPS), such as ‘Spice’ and ‘Black Mamba.’
Research suggests that use of e-cigarettes instead of traditional NRT could result in savings of £15,000 per year.
The e-burn is currently being trialled at the Isle of Man prison and feedback so far is optimistic.