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China Hit with US Tariffs on Vaping Products

Vaping in America isn’t as easy as it is in selected other countries around the world (such as the UK, for example). Now comes news of yet another change in regulations that will hit US vapers.

Take note of the date, 23rd August 2018. That was the day when new vape tariffs brought in by the Trump administration came into play. These have been applied to vaping products brought into the US from China. The tariffs consist of a new tax of 25% on vaping products. The tax covers electronic cigarettes, the batteries that power them, and similar items.

What’s the idea behind the new tariff?

The principle is simple enough to understand. Let’s say you have a choice of purchasing a US-made electronic cigarette or one that was made in China and imported into the US for sale. The US-made version wouldn’t be subjected to the new 25% tariff. The Chinese one, meanwhile, would be slapped with the new 25% tax.

That 25% will make a hefty difference to the likely price that will eventually be charged for the Chinese version of the e-cig or similar device. The idea is that American-made vaping devices will be cheaper and more appealing to businesses selling them. The price will also likely be more appealing to US vapers wanting to buy a new electronic cigarette.

Therefore, the import tax will make US-made vaping devices far cheaper and more economically attractive, and hopefully bigger sellers too. That sounds great for US-based businesses… however, it doesn’t tell the full story.

Could there be higher prices for US vapers to pay in future?

This could well happen as an unlikely consequence of what might initially seem a good idea. As Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, pointed out, the US production of vaping products is hardly significant. With most vaping products coming into the country from China and elsewhere, vapers throughout America are likely to see a rise in prices.

This probably won’t happen straightaway. However, once existing stock is sold, and US businesses look to China for their next imports, the additional costs will undoubtedly come into play. Some products already have a small profit margin. Trying to absorb the new tax will eat into most if not all that margin. It is clear prices will increase, hitting the American consumer in the pocket.

Those consumers are also likely to suffer if vape shops end up closing because the owners cannot survive, whether that is through lower profit margins or customers who will not pay the new prices. There are always cheaper alternatives, including online vape shops.

But surely only part of the vape product line is affected?

True – for now. The new tariffs only apply to specific items. But more tariffs are being brought in soon as well, targeting other vaping products. And if prices rise across the board, American consumers may think twice about switching from smoking to vaping. Currently, there is a lot of money to be saved from that switch, aside from the positive health implications. If these new tariffs begin to close that gap, wiping out some small businesses in the process, health could suffer just as much as the US vaping industry.

What do you think about the new tariffs coming in against Chinese vaping products? If you live in the US, how are you going to be affected by the new prices? Could they prompt you to forget vaping altogether, if you are still considering whether to make the switch? Please leave your comments on this topic below.

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Can You Vape at a Premier League Game?

August marked the beginning of the 2018-19 Premier League season in English football. For many, it marks the beginning of supporting their team through nine months of dramatic matches against other teams in the league. The current season will end next May.

While many people are content to watch matches on television, some agree there is nothing better than being there to watch the action live. If you do that, you need to be sure to observe all the rules and regulations in place in the grounds. That means being aware of the strict rules on vaping, too.

Can you vape while watching your favourite team?

In a word… no. All Premier League grounds have banned vaping. You are allowed to vape outside the grounds before you enter, but once you are inside you cannot leave until the match is over. If you do decide to leave the grounds to enjoy a sneaky vape, don’t expect to be allowed back in again. Once you’re in, you’re in – and vaping must wait until your team has won or lost.

You may think that latter rule is silly. However, if they did allow people to leave and then return, there would be people going in and out constantly. That would have implications for health and safety and for security.

Can you vape discreetly while on the grounds?

You can try, but we wouldn’t recommend it. If you are found vaping anywhere in the grounds of a Premier League stadium, you will be ejected. There is also a chance a season ticket holder may end up having their ticket confiscated. This happened to one vaper who decided to try his luck vaping while in the grounds of Manchester City’s stadium in 2013.

Since smoking is obviously banned, it makes sense in this instance to ban vaping as well. Could you tell from a distance whether a fan was smoking or vaping? Furthermore, huge clouds of vapour emitted from vaping fans throughout a stadium would look awful… not to mention being hard to see through. We think the no-vape rule makes sense and we cannot see it changing anytime soon.

Do you agree with the blanket ban on vaping inside Premier League grounds? Would you prefer to see a more relaxed approach to vaping, perhaps within the grounds but not on the terraces? You can share your thoughts on this below.

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Malia Obama Seen Vaping

Malia Obama grew up in the public eye. She is the eldest of the two daughters of former US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Born in 1998, she was still only 10 when her father was sworn in for his first term as President. As such, she and her younger sister Sasha became well known throughout America and beyond.

While the attention on Malia and the rest of the family has understandably receded since January 20th, 2017, when President Obama left office, they are still capable of pulling some headlines. You might think that applies more to the ex-President and his wife than the girls. However, Malia created some headlines of her own recently when she was spotted vaping while out and about in London.

She was snapped enjoying an electronic cigarette while on a night out with her boyfriend in London. Yes, London – her boyfriend, Rory Farquharson, is from the UK. Malia is about to resume her studies at Harvard, no less, so she was clearly enjoying some downtime before the serious work began. Perhaps more surprising was the huge fuss made over the fact she was vaping. We wonder whether the headlines would have been bigger still if she was spotted smoking?

Enjoying the relative freedom of London

Some reports pointed out Malia was probably enjoying the fact she could vape without fear of being fined or hassled in London. The vaping laws are stricter in the US, so 20-year-old Malia will be unable to legally buy her vaping supplies once she returns to Harvard. The state of Massachusetts will only allow over 21s to make such a purchase.

Barack Obama had trouble trying to quit smoking when he got the top job. He eventually used gum to help him quit, since e-cigs weren’t around when he became President. It’s unclear whether Malia is vaping to quit smoking, but if she is, we congratulate her. No doubt she has noticed how much easier it is to vape in the UK as opposed to the US. State laws can vary from one place to the next in America – something we don’t need to worry about here.

What are your thoughts on Malia being snapped vaping? Is it a good thing that might encourage smokers to make the switch, or do you believe she is a private person who should be left alone? Let us know your thoughts below.

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Blanket Ban on Vaping Coming to Delhi

If you are planning on visiting Delhi, India soon, you might want to check out the legality of vaping before you go. The Directorate General of Health Services has indicated it intends to ban vaping and associated products. The move is said to have been based on e-liquids contravening the Drugs and Cosmetics Act in India, since they contain nicotine.

This is a surprising move, especially since more evidence is coming in that confirms vaping and vaping products are a safer alternative to smoking. It has been proven time and again that more people quit smoking by switching to vaping than by going it alone. It is uncertain why the DGHS has adopted this stance. However, they state that the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act of 2003 doesn’t cover e-liquids containing nicotine.

The possible ban has not yet come into force. However, the argument will be given its day in court on 21st August 2018. We shall be waiting to see the outcome of that hearing – as, no doubt, will many other Indian consumers who indulge in vaping.

Not all countries are as forward-thinking as others when it comes to vaping. Some have been open and supportive towards vaping as a safer alternative to smoking (the UK being a prime example). Others, such as India and even the US, have been quite the opposite. Things are changing in the US, where health bodies now seem unable to continue their stance of being anti-vaping. However, those in India appear to be pushing for a blanket ban that could harm many Indians who wish to use electronic cigarettes to help them quit smoking.

What are your thoughts on the change in stance in Delhi? Do you think the ban will go through? Let us know in the comments.

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By admin

Tax on Vaping Products Proposed by UK Government

People living in the UK have been relatively lucky in terms of the country’s stance on vaping. While vapers in other countries have seen blanket bans placed on the smoking cessation tool, the UK has been largely supportive of vaping as a safer alternative to help people quit smoking.

However, things might be about to change. There are suggestions the government is considering imposing a tax on vaping products. While there is no firm confirmation this is true, ‘sources’ have stated the government is considering bringing in such a tax in the autumn Budget. It is thought such a tax could boost the Budget by £40 million. If true, the cash could be used to help fund the extra investment that has been promised for the NHS.

A new 5% tax could be levied on vaping product

The suggested duty that could be imposed on electronic cigarettes, e-liquids, and other related products has been mooted to be 5%. It sounds small. According to several sources, vapers spend around £275 every year stocking up on their preferred e-liquids. A 5% tax on this amount would require vapers to spend an extra £13.75 per year.

The millions that would be raised from this proposed tax may – somewhat ironically – go towards funding treatments for people who have become ill through smoking.

Is this approach the right one to take?

The additional £13.75 per year gleaned from such sales (amounting to just over 3.5p per day) is not the greatest concern. The problem many have is that vapers would be the ones paying for those who have become ill through smoking regular cigarettes. These are people who have very likely quit smoking or are trying to do so through using e-cigs.

An open letter has been sent to the government, calling this proposed tax a ‘sin tax’. The letter also states that ‘switching from smoking to vaping is not ‘sinning’, it is the exact opposite.’

Electronic cigarettes have helped thousands of people quit smoking when they have been otherwise unable to do so. It seems harsh, then, that the government should consider taxing people who have made a positive change to their lives. It remains to be seen whether the suggested tax does come into force, but it would be disappointing if it did go ahead.

What are your thoughts on the idea of a vaping tax? Would you be disappointed to see it brought in?

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By admin

Passenger Plane Takes a Dive Thanks to a Vaping Pilot

Two pilots working for Air China have been stripped of their licences to fly following an electronic cigarette incident on board. One of the pilots had decided to vape while flying from Hong Kong to Dalian. He attempted to switch off a fan to prevent the vapour from the e-cig reaching the main cabin. However, instead of stopping the fan he switched off the aircon unit.

This led the oxygen levels in the cabin to fall, which in turn caused the crew to initiate an emergency descent. The plane dropped by 10,000 feet and oxygen masks were deployed from above the passengers. It was only after this that the crew realised what had occurred. The aircon was then switched back on to restore the cabin pressure to its normal levels. The plane reached its destination safely, although not without some concern from its passengers, no doubt.

Smoking and vaping are both banned according to aviation regulations issued in China. While Air China did not initially comment on the incident, it insisted a ‘zero tolerance’ approach was employed when considering the actions of its crew members. The revoking of their licences confirms this to be the case. Air China has since been required to perform a safety review lasting three months, while incurring a fine and a drop in the number of flights allowed on Boeing 737s.

No doubt this was a worrying incident for those on board. There are no indications that anyone was in any danger at the time. However, it is obvious the pilot should not have been vaping in this scenario.

This would appear to be an isolated incident and the pilots have paid for it with their licences. What are your thoughts on what happened? Do you agree pilots should be banned from vaping, given what occurred here?

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Support for Vaping on Hospital Grounds

Many studies have indicated vaping is the most likely way for smokers to quit the habit. It has been suggested by some that vaping kits should be made available on the NHS to try and help bring down the number of smokers in the UK.

Now, the Royal College of Physicians has suggested support should be made available for both staff and patients in NHS hospitals. The report, “Hiding in plain sight: Treating tobacco dependency in the NHS”, was released on 26th June. It suggests offering “default, opt-out” interventions for smokers when they are seen by clinicians.

25% of hospital patients smoke

The stat was provided within the report, which also revealed the cost of treating smokers is around £1 billion a year. The report also points out there is no cohesive approach towards vaping on hospital grounds. Some freely allow it, while others only permit vaping in certain areas. Other hospitals have banned it, leaving vapers unable to use e-cigs while in hospital.

What is the opt-out model of treatment suggested?

The Royal College of Physicians has suggested the NHS should adopt an intervention process that would be offered as a matter of course. They state people are not usually asked if they smoke, which means the chance to offer help is not always there.

The report goes on to say over one million smokers end up in hospital each year. It causes death and disability and the NHS largely treats the conditions caused by smoking rather than trying to offer help to quit the habit at an earlier stage. The report even states it is unethical not to offer smoking cessation services as an opt-out element of the NHS.

Will smokers reject the help or appreciate it?

No one enjoys being told what they can and cannot do. That means some smokers may not be happy at being given smoking cessation services as a matter of course. However, for some who want to quit but haven’t yet done so, it could be the support element they need.

If electronic cigarettes were made available on the NHS, the upfront cost of providing them would surely be offset by the expected drop in treatment required for treating diseases caused by tobacco. We wonder whether this will eventually happen, and whether the idea of providing smoking cessation services with an opt-out feature would be the best thing the NHS could do. What do you think?

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Number of Prisoners Vaping on the Rise

In years gone by, smoking was far more common in prisons than in the general population. For every person smoking outside, four people were smoking behind bars. However, 2017 saw a sea-change in this, as smoking was banned throughout all closed English and Welsh prisons. This was done because of continued complaints from non-smoking prisoners and staff, who were concerned about the effects of inhaling second-hand smoke.

So, it should come as no surprise to learn that vaping has increased. This has occurred following riots when the ban was implemented. Smokers were not happy; it was even suggested some were trying to make their own cigarettes using nicotine patches. Whatever the truth of that idea may be, the prison service in Wales decided to run a scheme where electronic cigarettes and refills were made available for prisoners to purchase. It is now estimated that around 33,000 prisoners have made the switch from smoking to vaping.

The trial was successful, leading to the scheme being expanded throughout other prisons throughout England and Wales. While prisons in Scotland have not yet banned smoking, they will do by the end of this year. In contrast to the ban in England and Wales, where vaping was only provided as an alternative following the riots, Scottish prisons will introduce vaping supplies from next month.

It would be interesting to see if the prisoners using vape supplies will continue to do so upon release, or whether they only switched because they had to. The riots show how difficult it is to quit smoking with no form of support. Vaping has been proven time and again to be the best option. It is a far safer method of getting that nicotine fix without being exposed to the dangers of cigarette smoke, tar, and other contaminants.

Prisoners are also understood to be offered support if they wish to quit smoking, with nicotine replacement therapy another option. With one estimate putting the percentage of smokers in UK jails at 80%, it seems a good idea to make vaping supplies easily available to prisoners. One report states around £65,000 a week is being spent on vaping supplies, so it seems to be working well.

What are your thoughts on vaping in prisons? Do you think allowing vaping has been a good move – and will prisoners continue to vape once they are released? Let us know in the comments.

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