JUUL Shows That Marketing Expenditure May Be Outdated as a Sales Predictor

JUUL e-cigarettes have managed to become the dominant brand on the US market in less than four years since JUUL Labs released their maiden product. The “JUULing” phenomenon has left regulators baffled about why this product is so appealing to users, especially the youth. Some researchers have found that the exponential growth of the JUUL brand may be attributed to their use of new media to reach their clients. Regulators need to be quick in playing catch up so that appropriate measures are put in place to prevent electronic cigarettes and tobacco products from being marketed to youth. Parents should also be more vigilant in talking to their kids so that those kids aren’t lured by social media content to start smoking or vaping too early.

YouTube Video Content Surveillance Reveals Unorthodox Electronic Cigarette Use

Every manufacturer of a product has specific ways through which they expect their products to be used. However, the buyers of those products often come up with novel ways to use their purchases. These unorthodox uses have also been observed among e-cig buyers. Scientists sought to establish how prevalent such unorthodox e-cig use was on popular social media, particularly the videos uploaded to YouTube. The researchers found that unorthodox e-cig use was thrice more prevalent in the 150 videos discovered using general e-cig search terms. For example, the modification of open system e-cigarettes and the use of the devices to vape other substances (marijuana, for example) were observed. These findings raise important issues that regulators need to pay attention to. For instance, how can the regulations controlling product design be formulated in order to reduce the likelihood that users will put their safety at risk by changing the structure of their devices? Secondly, what measures can be taken to prevent the youth from accessing adverts showing unorthodox (and implicitly “cool”) ways to use electronic cigarettes? Parents also need to take a keen interest in these findings since vital information can be got to inform their discussions with their kids about these devices. Read the summary of the research and see what conclusions and implications you derive from that data.

Should Vaping Be Regarded Similarly to Seatbelts for Cars?

When auto accidents started claiming millions of lives annually, seatbelts were introduced and widely promoted as a way to save lives. When HIV/AIDS started claiming millions of lives, condom use was promoted as a way to prevent the infection (and other STIs). Today, there is consensus across the medical/scientific community that nearly half of all smokers will die from smoking-related causes. However, a different tune is being played when it comes to the adoption of vaping and other safer ways to get a nicotine hit. Dr. Joe Kosterich writes a captivating article about these double standards regarding e-cigs as a way to save the lives that are lost to combustible cigarette smoking. Why should double-blind studies be required for vaping when condoms and seatbelts weren’t subjected to the same trials before they were promoted as a way of saving lives? Read his arguments and see how he links seemingly unrelated activities (driving, having sex and smoking).

Teenage Vaping Takes a Downward Trend

In what may be the best news for US parents, research has emerged that the number of teens who vape has been reducing steadily since 2015. Before these findings are dismissed as the “twisted science” of the vape industry, consider the fact that the study was conducted by none other than the Centers of Disease Control (CDC). The reality on the ground shows that teenage vaping has dropped from 16 percent in 2015 to 11.7percent in 2017. These findings by a widely trusted authority challenge those who have always said that e-cigarettes are a gateway for teens to start smoking combustible cigarettes. Read the entire article and learn the implications of these findings, and what different public health bodies have to say about these latest revelations.

Does the San Francisco Vote Point to a Tide Against Vaping?

San Francisco voters cast their ballots to ban the sale of flavored e-liquids and other flavored tobacco products on 5 June, 2018. This first-of-a-kind vote should be analyzed for its symbolic significance because it could mark the start of a trend in different jurisdictions across the country and around the world. The fear is that flavored tobacco or nicotine-containing products lure kids into consuming and becoming addicted to nicotine. Do you agree with this thinking? Read the entire article and learn the issues that each side presented during the polarized campaign just before that landmark vote.

Fire Department Throws Its Weight Behind Vaping

As the debate around e-cigs rages on, support for the devices has come from an unexpected direction; the London Fire Brigade issued a press release in which they expressed their wish that all smokers could switch to vaping. Their statistics show that smoking plays a role in 26.1% of all people who die in fire-related incidents. Switching to vaping would save a significant proportion of those people and avert the damage to property resulting from fires connected to smoking. This press release sheds more light on the numerous public health benefits which can be reaped in case vaping is encouraged by all regulators.

FDA Responds to Survey Showing Teen Smoking and Vaping Declined

The CDC recently released findings of a survey which revealed that teenage smoking and vaping had declined from the figures registered in 2015 (16%) to those noticed in 2017 (11.7%). The FDA welcomed the findings but warned that hundreds of thousands of kids are still using nicotine or tobacco products. The agency therefore vowed to continue its efforts (blitzes on offline and online retailers, formulating rules on flavors, packaging and design controls, etc.) until the dangers posed by nicotine and tobacco products are stemmed. Do you think the decline in teen tobacco/e-cig use has anything to do with the actions of the FDA?

FDA Extends Deadline for Comments on Flavors Regulation

The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it was increasing the time within which scientists and members of the public could send comments about the advance notice of proposed rule-making (ANPRM) on the plans to regulate the flavors used in tobacco products, including electronic cigarette liquids. The new deadline is July 19, 2018. Read the entire press release and learn how you can take advantage of this added time to make your thoughts known by the policymakers.

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Electronic Cigarettes: Should They Be Taxed and Their Adverts Restricted?
Published: 2018-05-05
Electronic cigarettes are still stirring a lot of controversy more than a decade after they were introduced on the US market. One of the sticking points that has polarized stakeholders is the issue of advertising and taxes. Adverts help to provide vital information to smokers so that they can make an informed decision about switching to vaping. Taxes can raise the price of e-cigarettes and reduce the number of people using them instead of combustible cigarettes. Dhaval Dave and a team of fellow academics explore the issue of taxes and advertising restrictions in a detailed article which is a good read for anyone looking for the arguments on both sides of this matter.

FDA Asks E-Cig Manufacturers for Product Information on Youth Appeal
Published: 2018-05-17
The FDA recently issued a press release in which it revealed that the agency had written letters to four additional e-cigarette manufacturers so that those manufacturers can avail it with information about their products. The information requested for is intended to help the agency to understand why those specific products may be appealing to youth. For example, the FDA wants information explaining how the designs of the products were arrived at given the fact that the products which tend to be most appealing to the youth are sleek and easy to conceal. The press statement goes into detail about the companies which were contacted to avail that information. The release also lists the different kinds of information that is required, and it states that any company which fails to comply may face enforcement action since it will be in breach of the law. Read the entire release and learn what the FDA is doing to protect kids from nicotine addiction.

FDA Warns Makers of E-Cigarette Juice Which Misleads Kids
Published: 2018-05-10
The FDA has issued a press release in which it revealed that it had sent warning letters to at least 13 entities which were involved in manufacturing, distributing and retailing electronic cigarette products, such as e-liquids, which were packaged in a way that made them to resemble kid-friendly foods (candy and cookies, for example). Such products undermine efforts to keep kids off nicotine and erode the goodwill which e-cigs were enjoying as a result of being less harmful when compared to combustible cigarettes. The FDA press release goes on to say that the entities who received the warning letters have a deadline within which to respond regarding what action they plan to institute in order to address the concerns of the FDA. Get the details of the letters in the press release.

Researchers Discover Way to Predict How E-Liquid Will Satisfy Vapers
Published: 2018-05-25
Have you ever vaped a certain e-liquid and found it to be harsher to your throat when compared to another e-fluid? Researchers at the Portland State University have discovered that the harshness that vapers experience can be attributed to the amount of free-base nicotine in that e-liquid. Those researchers tested a novel way to establish how much free-base nicotine different brands of e-liquid had and found that the brands with the lowest free-base nicotine were the least harsh when vaped. Read the entire article in order to learn how you can use their findings to select the best e-liquids for your vaping needs.

Vaping and Incentives Can Increase Quit Rates
Published: 2018-05-23
Researchers have been trying to find how more people can be encouraged to stop smoking combustible cigarettes and either switch to less harmful products, such as e-cigs, or stop consuming products with nicotine. A study used employees from 54 US-based companies to assess which combination of methods would achieve the highest cessation rates. It was discovered that combining the use of e-cigarettes with a monetary incentive (in case a research subject abstained from smoking for a specified duration) produced the highest quit rates when compared to the other combinations of aids to smoking cessation. Read the full study in order to learn how you can design a system to help your employees to quit smoking.

Vaping Harmless to Gut Bacteria, Study Finds
Published: 2018-04-30
More positive information is coming to light regarding the long-term benefits of vaping upon the health of electronic cigarette users. A recent study sought to compare the gut bacteria of smokers, vapers and non-smokers. The study discovered that smokers had more “bad” bacteria in the fecal, saliva and mouth samples taken by the Newcastle University researchers. Such bad bacteria predisposes smokers to obesity, Crohn’s disease and colon cancer (among other diseases). Vapers had gut bacteria which was similar to what was found in the gut of non-smokers. These findings provide an additional reason for smokers to switch to e-cigarettes in order to reduce the public health impact of combustible cigarettes. Read the full story and learn more about this new discovery on the benefits of vaping.