Vape News Digest: 28 July 2016
Welcome to the first installment of our fortnightly Vape News Digest. Every two weeks we will be going through some of the interesting, important and even absurd things that are happening in the world of electronic cigarettes and vaping. So let’s get to it!
No Vaping at Rio’s Olympic Games
According to ecigarette-politics.com, vaping has been regulated as a tobacco product in Brazil since 2009, with the importation, marketing and sale prohibited within the country.
Smoking of cigarettes, cigars and pipe tobacco is ingrained in South American culture, and only recently has Brazil taken serious steps to curb the take-up of traditional methods of tobacco consumption. Fans of football faced a similar problem travelling to the country for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Other South American countries with similar bans include Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay and Venezuala, as well as Mexico and Panama to the north.
Make sure you pay your taxes, Pennsylvanians
As of October 1st, there will now be a 40 per cent tax on vaping products in the American state of Pennsylvania. This applies within the state as well as to all products purchased elsewhere; basically, if you buy some liquid in a neighbouring state, you’ll still owe the state of Pennsylvania a cheque for 40 per cent of the value in tax.
Don’t want to pay? According to Vaping 360 you’ll face a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison. The recent budget bill enacted this legislation, which classifies vape products as “unclassified imports” eligible for the tax under the new laws.
It’s even more confusing for vape shops – they’ll face an immediate 40 per cent tax payable not only on new stock, but also on existing inventory purchased prior to the October 1st start date.
State-by-state legislation in Australia has had a similar confusing effect for vapers, but in different ways. In the ACT, for instance, retailers of vaping products will only be able to sell if they hold a tobacco retailer’s license; in South Australia, it’s the opposite, the Select Committee on E-Cigarettes recently recommending that retailers of vaping products not be allowed to also sell traditional tobacco products.
EU regulations even harsher in Poland
You’re probably familiar with Europe’s Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), which came into effect on 20th May of this year. It effectively limited the size and nicotine strength available in e-liquids. Member states of the European Union are now limited to 10ml bottle sizes at no more than 20mg/ml nicotine. In addition to that, tanks must be child-proof, leak-proof and have a 2ml or smaller liquid capacity.
The Polish government has recently taken things further. According to Vaping 360, the 6th-biggest EU nation will ban online sales of vaping products, as well as importation of those products. Unfortunately for vapers located in small cities, regional towns and villages, access to products will become extremely difficult with these new laws.
Two e-cigarette companies face Australian courts
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has taken Social-Lites Pty Ltd and Elusion New Zealand to court for claiming that their products “did not contain any of the chemicals also found in conventional cigarettes”.
According to news.com.au,
[ACCC Chairman Rod] Sims said the ACCC had identified health claims in advertising as a priority area for its proactive investigations this year. “It is imperative that suppliers have scientific evidence to support claims that their products do not contain carcinogens and toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde.”
The ACCC is seeking penalties and injunctions against both Social-Lites and Elusion, and orders for an Australian Consumer Law compliance program.
SBS airs fair and balanced vaping doco
In some good news for the community, SBS aired a very fair and very balanced look at the pros and cons of vaping on Monday night, 25th July.
Entitled E-Cigarettes: Miracle or Menace? when produced in the UK for BBC Two, it’s one in a series of science, biology and medical documentaries that journalist Michael Mosley has made for Britain’s national networks.
“I’ve recently spent a couple of months making a documentary about e-cigarettes, trying to find out truth behind the headlines. I took up heavy vaping – that’s what you do when you inhale vapour from an e-cigarette. I have never smoked anything before and I wanted to see what effects inhaling nicotine in the form of an e-cig would have on a non-smoker. The results surprised me”, Mosley said.
Mosley’s findings demonstrated that while cigarettes are highly addictive, nicotine itself may not be. He deduced that nicotine was far more addictive when combined with the other chemicals found in traditional cigarettes.
Furthermore, he found that nicotine itself may help Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s sufferers. According to BBC.com, he also found that non-smokers given nicotine patches noted improvements in memory, attention and reaction times.
Vaping, Mosley believes, lies on the same narrative arc as his previous work. “I do see it as part of that journey I’ve been on,” he says. “I’m looking for other answers to big dilemmas, trying to translate what I learn into something that will actually make a difference. That’s what I’m obsessed by.” (Radio Times)
You can check out Mosley’s excellent documentary on SBS On Demand, where it’s available for another two weeks.