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Hawaiian Vapers Could Face a 70% Tax on E-Liquids

Hawaiian vapers are on the verge of being penalised by a dramatic change to the law on the sale of e-liquids. The innocuous-sounding Bill SB2654 relates to the proposed addition of 70% in tax the state is intending to charge on the sale of e-liquids. The bill is designed to make shipping tobacco products to those outside the industry illegal. If you sell tobacco, you can sell vaping products. If you don’t, you’re out of the running.

This same bill is set to lump e-liquids in the same category as other tobacco products… even though e-liquids do not contain any tobacco. The bill is designed to make it illegal for anyone to sell these liquids to private buyers. Vaping businesses are already concerned that if the bill goes through, it will mean the beginning of the end for them.

Despite the fact numerous pieces of research confirm vaping is a far healthier alternative to smoking, some lawmakers seem hellbent on outlawing the option. In a time when governments everywhere are increasingly looking for ways to cut deaths from smoking, banning sales of vaping products is a strange approach. It is essentially throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Vaping provides a healthier solution to help people quit smoking, and yet there is little evidence those in charge are listening to the evidence.

Hawaiians are being urged to contact Representative John Mizuno directly to raise their concerns. The sooner this is done the better, if there is any chance of this proposed law being overridden and withdrawn.

What are your thoughts on the potential ban of sales of e-liquids to private individuals? Are you surprised at the decision, or that the law is close to going ahead? Let us know your opinion below.

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IBVTA Invited to Parliament

9th May was a notable date in the vaping industry calendar. That was the date the Chair of the Independent British Vape Trade Association (otherwise known as IBVTA), Fraser Cropper, was invited to attend the Science and Technology Committee in the House of Commons. The committee is conducting an inquiry into e-cigarettes, and until that point no one representing the vaping industry had received an invitation to attend.

Mr Cropper gave evidence to the committee along with fellow witnesses, the director of the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA), John Dunne, and chair of the New Nicotine Alliance (NNA), Sarah Jakes.

Could we see changes to the Tobacco Products Directive?

While all three gave their own evidence to the inquiry, they agreed the current Tobacco Products Directive created by the European Union should be altered once the Brexit process has been completed. Mr Cropper spoke of the potential of vaping as a method for reducing the instances of smoking in the UK. The current regulations had not been based on a risk assessment and have been viewed by many as too heavy-handed for purpose. Mr Cropper hopes that after Britain has left the EU, we can have “much more balanced regulation”.

Could excise duty be charged on e-cigarettes?

This was one of the questions to arise during the session. The three representatives in attendance all agreed this was not a good idea. Many people see vaping not just as a healthier alternative to smoking, but a far cheaper one too. If that cost benefit was removed, there is a chance fewer smokers would consider making the switch.

Limited advertising

It is currently almost impossible to promote vaping products to the public, since there are strict regulations on advertising. However, all three who spoke at the committee meeting criticised this approach. It seems odd that health bodies and organisations are supportive of vaping as a safe alternative to smoking, and yet this solution cannot be advertised. It sends a mixed message and Mr Dunne blamed this approach on the incorrect perception many people have of the safety of vaping.

It remains to be seen how the inquiry is resolved and what its conclusions will be. We hope the vaping industry can continue along a positive path, so it can help those who want to give up smoking. The advent of Brexit could bring a sea change and if it does, it could be a positive one for all.

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NICE Endorses Vaping as Better Alternative to Smoking

Smoking rates have dropped sharply in the UK over the past few years. Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) last year confirmed 19% of young adults now smoke, a sharp drop from 26% seen just six years previously. Public Health England has already given its approval to e-cigarettes as a valid smoking cessation tool, and the prospect of vaping being offered on prescription is still floating around as well.

NICE decision on vaping

Now, NICE – the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence – has come out in support of electronic cigarettes as a good solution for those wanting to quit smoking. They have issued new guidance for those working in the health and social care sectors who may encounter smokers who wish to quit, or who are using e-cigarettes already.

“Less harmful”

Perhaps the most appealing part of the guidance is this: “The committee considered it likely that they (e-cigarettes) are substantially less harmful than smoking.” They cautioned that vaping is “not risk free” and mentioned that the long-term impact of vaping is still developing, both for short-term and long-term vapers. However, the message is clear – electronic cigarettes are increasingly being recommended as a healthier alternative to smoking by many recognised bodies and health organisations.

Statement from Deputy Chief Executive at NICE

Professor Gillian Leng is the Deputy Chief Executive and the director of Health and Social Care at NICE. She said it was “imperative that we give people the support and advice they need to quit [smoking].”

She also reiterated their belief that e-cigarettes are far less harmful than normal tobacco cigarettes. The recognition that many people try vaping to help them stop smoking is clearly there, and it is reassuring that the UK seems to be ahead of many countries in this respect. Several governments elsewhere seem intent on categorising vaping with cigarettes, which is counter-productive and doing nothing to help smokers quit.

5.6% of people in the UK used e-cigarettes in 2016

That statistic comes from the ONS and seems to indicate more people are switching to vaping to help them quit cigarette smoking. The chief executive of Public Health England, Duncan Selbie, said last year that almost 50% of all adults were smokers in 1974. That figure has dropped hugely to just 15.8% of all adults in 2016.

Vaping has only been around for a fraction of that time, but the encouragement given by PHE and now NICE will surely persuade many more smokers to give up with the help of e-cigarettes. It is hard to imagine a time when no one smokes, but the sharp decline in smokers since the Seventies cannot be denied. Furthermore, with vaping now available as a practical and workable tool to help people quit, we expect that figure to drop still further.

What are your thoughts on the latest input from NICE? Are you pleased the health bodies and organisations in the UK are supporting vaping as a tool to help quit smoking? Let us know in the comments below.

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By admin

Ghana to Crack Down on Vaping

Time and time again, we’ve seen proof that vaping is far safer to indulge in than smoking. It has helped thousands quit smoking and lead healthier lives. And yet now comes news of yet another country determined to outlaw vaping.

Ghana is set to become the next country to put a ban in place. An official confirmed news of the move at the World Conference on Tobacco or Health. The official works for the Ghana Health Service, and said their unpublished research was the driving force behind the move to ban electronic cigarettes in the country. Shisha is also set to be covered by the new ban.

The official, Divine Darlington Logo, stated electronic cigarettes were “more dangerous than cigarette” (sic). Logo followed that up by adding “banning it is the only way out in Ghana.” That is a determined statement to make, and one that will frustrate those who have seen proof that vaping is far safer than the alternative of smoking tobacco.

While the Ghana Health Service has provided statistics that apparently point to a significant percentage of youngsters using electronic cigarettes, some have questioned the accuracy of the data. The research has not been shared, simply quoted from. Ghana is not known as a country with excessive smoking rates. Furthermore, many other countries have discovered vaping tends to be highly prevalent among current and formers smokers. Very few people ever take up vaping as non-smokers to start with.

While we cannot know for certain whether the figures the Ghanaian health service has revealed are correct, it does seem they are using those figures to support the push for a total vaping ban.

Do you agree with this? Do you think perhaps a ban might be pursued for other reasons? Let us know in the comments.

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By admin

Reddit Bans the Sale of E-Liquids

This news doesn’t come as a huge surprise, but no doubt it will catch some off-guard. Reddit has announced it is banning all sales of e-juice on the site. This applies to the electronic_cigarette subreddit on the site, as well as to all the relevant forums there. Not only can users no longer sell or trade e-liquids, they cannot post anything that links to outside websites that sell e-liquids.

You’ll notice our repeated use of the ‘e-liquids’ term. That’s important to note, because under the current change people are still permitted to run giveaways for vaping hardware. The same applies to vaping accessories. However, giveaways for vaping supplies that include e-liquids as part of the kit will also no longer be permissible.

Gift card ads are also banned

The moderators of the subreddit posted an announcement covering the latest changes. This was then updated a short while later to confirm users could not promote any gift cards or store credit giveaways on the subreddit either. The reason for this was because someone could win a gift card or credit and then go on to purchase e-liquid with it.

Was there an alternative to the new situation?

No. the moderators made it clear that if they did not adhere to the new policies, the subreddit would be shut down. This would have occurred swiftly too. Users of Reddit have already seen another subreddit – the DIY Classifieds one – shut down. This was well-known for allowing members to trade homemade e-liquids with each other – clearly a violation of what is now allowed and what is banned.

It’s not just e-liquids that have been affected though. Other goods and services cannot now be bought, sold, or traded in any other way on Reddit. This includes firearms, stolen goods, and personal information.

Understandably, many Redditors have been disappointed, angry, and frustrated at the news. One wonders if they will find a way around it. However, this will not happen on Reddit, nor is it likely to happen on other internet sites. While vaping is known to be a far safer option than smoking, regulations have tightened. Reddit is covering all the bases, which hardly comes as a surprise.

What are your thoughts on the new stance from Reddit? Have you been directly affected by the change? Do you think this will harm businesses and vapers? Let us know in the comments below.

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By admin

Judge Caught Vaping During Trial

We’ve heard of people vaping in some odd places before. We’ve also seen celebrities vaping in public, at concerts, and elsewhere. But we’ve never heard of a judge caught vaping while overseeing a trial. Until now, that is.

The judge was spotted using an electronic cigarette during a murder trial in Brooklyn, New York. Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent Del Giudice has been seen using a vaping ‘pen’ in court by several reporters… who have done their duty and reported it as news. From photos taken in court, it looks as though he’s using a compact device that is hardly visible, since he keeps it tucked well inside his hand during use. The photo we saw would seem to show the good judge deep in thought, but a tiny blue light inside his hand gives away the story.

It is illegal to vape in public places where smoking is banned, while vaping indoors is also against the law. So, to do it in the middle of a packed courtroom is quite something. One worker said it’s an open secret – presumably no one is in the mood to question none other than the judge himself. When questioned about vaping in court, the judge refused to offer a comment. He did, however, quickly pocket the e-cig, so maybe he won’t be as keen to use it in court in the future.

So, is this a case of one rule for some and another for someone else? You can bet if a lawyer decided to vape in the courtroom, the judge presiding over the case would have something to say about it. What are your thoughts on this development? Do you think the judge is out of order for doing something he must surely know is against the law? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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UK Vaping Awareness Campaign Launched

Have you heard of VApril yet? No, that’s not a misprint or a typo – it’s the name given to a month-long campaign to make smokers more aware of vaping. And yes, it takes place in April, hence the name.

This event aims to bring vaping to the attention of smokers. The hope is that smokers will realise that vaping is far safer for their health and wellbeing than smoking. This has been proven, with thousands of smokers already quitting with the help of electronic cigarettes. According to the official VApril website, around 1.5 million smokers in the UK have already quit by switching to vaping. It’s hoped many more will join them following this campaign.

Who is involved?

The campaign has been set up by the UK Vaping Industry Association. Yes, they have a vested interest in helping more smokers take up vaping. However, there is ample evidence to support the fact vaping is far safer than smoking. Therefore, it makes sense to promote it to the masses of smokers who have already tried and failed to quit in other ways.

Dr Christian Jessen is fronting the month-long event. He is perhaps best-known for presenting Embarrassing Bodies and Supersize vs Superskinny. He is a familiar and trusted face, so is perhaps the best choice for supporting the campaign.

Taking the three-step challenge

The backbone of the VApril event is the three-step challenge. Firstly, there will be a series of Vaping Masterclass events taking place across the UK. These began on 3rd April and will continue through until the last day of the month. The classes will be made available at vaping stores throughout the UK, concentrating on city-based locations. (Of course, you can pop into any vaping store near you for more advice and support on quitting smoking by switching to vaping instead.)

The second part of the challenge is to claim your six-page VApril guide. This is free and has been put together by the UK Vaping Industry Association. It contains lots of useful advice and support, as well as information about choosing vaping supplies to help you on the journey to quitting smoking.

Finally, those taking part are encouraged to be social. There is an official Facebook page for VApril, as well as a Twitter account at @Vaping_Industry. They are encouraging people to use the hashtags #Vapril and #Vaprilchallenge to start talking about the event and their experiences of switching to vaping.

Will it work?

Dr Jessen says around 40% of those who smoke in this country have never tried vaping. That’s around 2.8 million people of the seven million who smoke. Even if VApril only reaches a small proportion of those, it could help many more people successfully stop smoking. Support is crucial in helping people quit, and while some have successfully switched to vaping without too much hassle, others have found it more difficult or have never considered it at all.

Could VApril become an annual event?

Very possibly. It’s hard to imagine this year’s inaugural event being a failure. Those who attend the Vaping Masterclasses organised at major cities across the UK also stand a chance of winning a smoker2vaper starter kit. If you are interested, you must visit the VApril website and register for a Masterclass at a location that suits you.

What are your thoughts on VApril? Are you intending to try and quit smoking this month, and if so, are you going to get some advice and information from the VApril website and the associated free guide? Let us know what you think about this campaign in the comments below.

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Russia Could Take A Pro-Vaping Stance

Russia looks to be taking a positive approach to vaping, if comments by the Russian Minister of Industry and Trade are anything to go by. Denis Manturov has indicated the country could separate vaping products from cigarettes, as far as the law and regulations are concerned.

He stated electronic cigarettes and similar systems were “safer” to use. He even suggested smokers should switch to vaping, confirming such products would be regulated differently to cigarettes in Russia. This suggests the country is wholly supportive of vaping. As Mr Manturov said, the idea is to “encourage smokers to switch from conventional tobacco to the new devices.”

A refreshing approach, and one vapers will welcome

Some countries have done their utmost to make vapers feel like criminals. Despite mounting evidence to the contrary, some countries have outlawed vaping and continue to insist it is just as bad for health as smoking.

The Russian Minister also suggested vaping products might be taxed less heavily than tobacco products. This would make them cheaper and provide an incentive for smokers to make the switch to electronic cigarettes. Smoking is very common in Russia. According to The Moscow Times, over 60% of men in the country smoke, along with nearly 22% of women. It is regularly cited as a country with one of the highest incidences of smokers in the world.

When will the changes occur?

No one is sure yet when these plans will come to fruition. However, if those in charge are serious about reducing the high rate of smoking in Russia, chances are it won’t be too long. Smokers may soon find it easier and cheaper than ever to make the switch to vaping.

What are your thoughts on this? Are you surprised by Russia’s positive stance towards vaping? Let us know in the comments below.

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