Vaping In The Media - What's the latest?
As ever there is a lot of press at the moment regarding vaping and for every good news story, such as the benefits vs smoking, or the continued positivity from Public Health England, there is some kind of negativity floating around!
Much of this seems to stem from the United States, where the FDA continue to push for flavour bans, outright bans, online restrictions or tougher age verification in convenience stores. This is all backed up by negative, radical mobs who forget the potential for these products to move everyone away from traditional cigarettes, including life long smokers and teenage smokers alike, as opposed to e-cigarettes being the cause of a new generation of nicotine addiction.
Then on 18th December 2018 The US Surgeon General Jerone Adams declares youth e-cigarette use an epidemic and point towards JUUL, one of the newer, slicker, USB device shaped products as the most problematic. These now account for over 75% of the market in the US and they are very popular amongst teens but this is also heavily driven by the fact they are available in almost every convenience store.
There is also very limited accurate data on the popularity of Sub Ohm devices, mechanical devices and high VG e-liquid. The devices which moved the industry forward and actually helped a significant number of ex-smokers kick the habit for good. The new breed of ultra compact devices which use nicotine salts are becoming extremely popular because the salts are more satisfying, they are very discreet, and very light to carry. For many these are an extra device. A device which provides a substantial nicotine fix and acceptable flavour delivery, without filling a room with clouds, without the need for batteries or big devices and a lot less to carry on a night out. A night out where you can guarantee a lot of people will be smoking, regardless of their need for nicotine on a daily basis.
I have never been a social smoker, but social smokers will always exist as long as traditional tobacco products are on the shelves. Those who are more susceptible to nicotine addiction unfortunately cannot be social smokers so they need the right solution to keep the off the death sticks.
The US Food and Drug Administration in November suggested it would limit where flavoured e-cigarettes could be sold to adult only stores, or stores with and adult only section, and JUUL suggested they would pull most of their flavours from the wider market and restrict them to their adult only online shop.
As long as I can remember, teenagers can get their hands on cigarettes. As long as cigarettes and alcohol are available in every convenience store in the land, a teenager who wants cigarettes and alcohol will get their hands on them. Be it an older sibling, friend, family member, or even someone in the street. If they want them enough, they will ask until they get them. One thing is for sure 90% of vape shop owners operate a clear no under 18's policy, they are more likely to get served alcohol in a pub than buy e-cigs in a vape shop, I've seen this time and time again.
We have a retail store, we have parents who purchase e-cigarettes for teenagers so they don't smoke traditional ones. It is not e-cigarettes that are setting us up for a generation of nicotine addiction, that has already been done by the big tobacco companies, multiple generations of sales and taxation. Interesting that JUUL is now looking at selling out to a big tobacco company so they somehow retain their control of the market as traditional tobacco products continue to decline. I'm sure if the big tobacco companies ever gain control of this industry, the noise will change, and it will be far more expensive to vape.
JUUL is now available in the UK and based on the quality of the hardware, we will carry it. We are more interested though in the aftermarket, OEM, refillable pods which allow you to choose your own nicotine salts and re-use the pod until it gives in, rather than constantly buying disposable refills. All of our ultra compact devices are excellent, they are tried and tested, versatile, reliable and extremely affordable. Our favourites are the Aspire Nautilus AIO and the Zeltu X. The Innokin EQ also deserves a mention simply because of its coil lifespan. The JUUL device is fantastic, but off the shelf disposable pods is a massive step backwards in terms of cost. If you have the money, or maybe you just want a few pods for an event so you can throw and click, fine. As a daily though - it makes no sense at all.
Lucky for us, the UK is far more open minded in terms of electronic cigarettes. We all expect more regulation, but the UK government have already made it clear that the TPD regulations implemented last year - reduced bottle sizes, take sizes etc will be gone. The UK is about supporting the switch to e-cigs as the long term benefits in terms of the NHS far outweigh the short term gains of taxation on traditional tobacco. No doubt with more regulation in the coming years, the prices will increase, but if the industry is run by reputable companies who pay tax, and pay VAT, then vaping won't have to be unaffordable and it won't have to be restricted.
Most of the people who jump on the band wagon or find a negative have never smoked a cigarette. They have no idea, they are completely uneducated in terms of the real life scenario and would probably ban everything that is slightly enjoyable or relaxing other than a a walk in the park or a cup of tea. Yes there may be something we don't know. Yes we only have less than a decade of research Vs traditional tobacco. However - we know it is 95% better for you. 95% better! No tar, no combustion, no carcinogens - 95%!
Make your own mind up...