1. A Manchester-based e-liquid and hardware manufacturer is to become the first vape company to go public on the London Stock Exchange. One of the largest vape companies in the UK has announced it will list its shares. Supreme, which is based in Manchester and owns the KiK and 88vape brands, will be the first British vaping company to go public. The company, which produces 130,000 bottles of e-liquids a day, is thought to have a market value of £150 million when it floats on Aim, the junior market to the London Stock Exchange. The float is expected in mid-May.
2. Smokers who opt for e-cigarettes are likely to quit smoking completely. That’s according to Public Health England director Professor John Newton, who answered questions this week at the Commons science and technology committee where final evidence was heard in an inquiry on e-cigarettes in the UK. He told the committee room filled with MPs that approximately 700,000 smokers who have used e-cigarettes have stopped, going from being a smoker to using an e-cigarette to stopping completely. He added, “Many smokers have used e-cigarettes to quit completely, not just dual usage.” In response, Professor Gillian Leng of NICE showed some concern, saying,
“The question is whether it becomes a long-term, lifestyle choice and I think there might be questions about that because of the way e-cigarettes are being marketed. They’re 95 per cent safer than cigarettes but there’s five per cent that we don’t know about.”
3. In the US, Dr Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a response to calls for the agency to clamp down on e-cigarette devices which resemble USB memory sticks being used by teenagers in American high schools. He first addressed a subcommittee hearing of the House of Appropriations last week where he warned the FDA would be taking action on teen vaping in the near future. On Tuesday, the organisation released a statement outlining a number of steps it plans to take to combat the trend, also noting that parents should be vigilant as well as teachers. The FDA commissioner said “a large-scale and undercover blitz to crack down” on the sale of e-cigarettes to minors has been underway since April 6 across the US. In addition to this, warning letters are being issued to any vape shop which has been found to violate the law by selling vape products, which fall under the tobacco product remit, to teenagers. Dr Gottlieb had this to say to vape shops.
“Let me be clear to retailers. This blitz, and resulting actions, should serve as notice that we will not tolerate the sale of any tobacco products to youth.”
4. In response to criticism in the US from both the FDA, news media and wider public, JUUL Labs has taken the initiative to invest in the fight against teen vaping. The JUUL device has emerged as the pod of choice among American teenagers. JUUL has said they will spend $30 million to work with a group of public and tobacco control officials in an effort to keep its products out of the hands of underage users. The San Francisco-based company says it will also support the idea to raise the minimum age for vaping products to 21 – which will match the legal age for purchasing alcohol.
5. E-cigarettes may support smokers with high smoking-related risk awareness to stop smoking in the short run, according to preliminary results by a double-blind randomized controlled trial published by the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. This investigation set out to assess the efficacy of the use of e-cigarettes in a tobacco cessation program, which involved a group of chronic smokers who volunteered for long-term lung cancer screening. The findings showed around a quarter of the participants who followed a cessation program based on e-cigarettes were abstinent from tobacco after three months. Researchers concluded the,
“Findings support the efficacy and safety of e-cigarettes in a short-term period. E-cigarettes use led to a higher cessation rate. Furthermore, although all participants reported a significant reduction of daily cigarette consumption compared to the baseline, the use of e-cigarettes (including those without nicotine) allowed smokers to achieve better results.”