Regulating E-liquid

The amount of e-juice being vaped by vapers worldwide is causing concern for the regulators, whose goal is to oversee and govern safe usage of vaporizing devices in a market with rapidly increasing scope and value. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) are planning on regulating e-liquid and nicotine delivery devices.

Hardy regulation is likely to mean that current product lines and marketing strategies will have to being altered in order to conform with the newly proposed legislation. Vaping brands like VIP, Blu, Apollo and V2 may have to conceive innovative tactics, overhaul product design and rethink advertising ploys to ensure they operate above-board following 2016’s regulatory revamp.

Industry members, for the most part, have succumbed to the realisation that the pervasive regulatory bodies’ influence is soon to change the market they currently flourish within. Though not all have lost faith so quickly, and some are making last ditch attempts at saving the nature of the largely ‘free’ market they profit from so greatly.

There is plenty of anti-regulation protest online, predicting a move towards cheap black-market products and the criminalisation of vapers, and a continuation or even worsening of tobacco smoking addiction and related illness if the option of affordable harm-reduction is curtailed.

There is a consensus that the FDA are not trustworthy impartial adjudicators when it comes to governing such a valuable and profitable industry. They are accused of colluding with the tobacco industry giants to put profits before public health in the past, so why should this change in the present day.

Well there are a lot more media outlets reporting on this new industry, mainly online sources reporting independently to a much wider audience. This will make it harder for collusion to take place but certainly not impossible, as the level of power and monetary value of the industry are so great that the temptation for greed to interfere with decision making process may prove too enticing.

 

Marketing of vaporizing products

Svilen Milev

Television, radio and internet marketing are all being used to drive forward emerging vaporizing e-cig brands like Blu, VIP and V2 with celebrity endorsement used to ‘sex up’ and make ‘cool’ this new form of nicotine addiction, with some vaporizing products being aimed directly at a younger age bracket.

“Sponsorship, celebrity endorsement, social networking, television advertising and a bewildering degree of product innovation are all being energetically deployed.” (source)

Figures suggest that e-cig sales will surpass tobacco sales early next decade. With a remodelled product being launched in an existing, yet almost virgin market, what corners will we see cut in the rush to push products through and for the dominating brands to emerge?

Though not illegal, television advertising of e-cigarette and vaporizing products has caused controversy and led to thousands of consumer complaints in the UK. Viewer complaints suggest that e-cig adverts often don’t make age restrictions clear, they could be considered sexually inappropriate (particularly before the watershed) or that the amount of nicotine (or lack of) is not clearly and overtly stated.

In schools a rise in the amount of under age smokers taking up the nicotine habit has caused great concern. The days of the of the smoker kids coming back from lunch break and sitting at the back of class wreaking of stale smoke are gone. Instead the children are coming back into class smelling like cherry or energy drink flavoured e-liquid.

It is quite easy to see that once the odour of stale smoke has been removed and the taste sweet, that more children will likely take up the habit. Leading to a mass rise in nicotine dependence from an early age.

At present there are few measures to prevent the sale of e-liquid and vaporizers to minors, changes have to be made in order to control the rise of nicotine consumption. The linked health implications of vaping really haven’t been explored thoroughly and present day vapours are nothing less than guinea pigs in an industry designed for nothing less than profit.

With 2016 regulations looming it will be interesting to see what changes will be made, in order to tackle this problem and a problem that eduction establishments are greatly concerned about.

Past smoking regulations

Tobacco companies have been forced by law in many countries to remove logos and colour from packaging, include obligatory health warnings and graphic photographs of smoking-related-illnesses on packets and sponsorship and advertising has been banned from almost all public events (in the West). This is a bid by governments to encourage smokers to kick the habit, and to discourage those who don’t smoke already from starting.

Newly proposed regulations, coupled with price-per-packet and tax rises way above inflation over the last 20 years, are opening the door to a new form of smoking: electronic smoking. At present e-cigarettes offer a cheaper and (potentially) healthier alternative to smoking tobacco and include an array of products such as e-cigarettes, vaporisers, atomisers, cigars, pipes and shishas which are slowly but surely securing their position in the commercial marketplace.

What hurdles in the form of regulations will the e-cigarette manufacturers face in their battle against the tobacco giants? Well with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulating bodies yet to act it is still unclear and is leaving many people guessing.

“The current lack of regulatory oversight means that there is significant variability in device effectiveness, nicotine delivery and cartridge nicotine content both between and sometimes within product brands”(source)

 

E-medicines?

e-medicines

Vaporizing e-medicines could be an alternative way to treat anything from minor ailments to cancer. It is still in its early research stages as far as flu and lung cancer treatment goes. Though other medicines have been inhaled in a similar way for years. The asthma pump being an obvious example.

Vaporizing has been around for quite some time now. Although it was only five years ago or so that it revolutionized the smoking industry. Millions of smokers that wanted to quit tobacco have switched to electronic devices. However, little information has been made public regarding the research of vaporizing e-medicines

Inhaling vaporized e-medicines

Atomizing e-medicine to treat emphysema, flu and cancer. This potentially opens up a whole new research area in the pharmaceutical industry. E-medicines are an alternative way of administering drugs and medicines. Vaporizing heats the medicine before ingestion. This allows for reactive components to mix into a new compound for precise effective lung treatment.

Vaped medicine would obviously be inhaled into the lungs. This doesn’t just offer an effective treatment for lung disease though. It could also be used to treat other ailments such as headaches, migraines and rheumatism. The inhaled medicinal cocktail would be absorbed into the blood stream through capillaries in the lungs. Making this a more accurately targeted faster-acting cure or prevention. This compared to orally taken medicines. Can you imagine a vaped paracetamol or atomized pain killers?

Vaporized medicinal cannabis

Medicinal cannabis vaporization is already taking place in the USA as a treatment for some ailments. Cannabis is not the only substance that can be vaped though. There is multitude of potential medicinal vaping possibilities that are sub-dependent on forthcoming regulations. Vaporizing cannabis is becoming very popular. With more and more being sold every year it will be soon be the social norm.

First vaping device

Herbert Gilbert filed a patent for the first ever electronic smoking device in 1963. At this time tobacco smoking was not perceived as a health threat. In fact to the contrary. Cigarettes were so ingrained as the status quo, in the social psyche that Gilbert simply didn’t have the custom. So his product idea remained just that – an idea.

Herbert Gilbert’s first vaporizers 50 years ago has now lead to new brands emerging. Like V2, Blu, VIP, Ego and Socialites electronic cigarettes to name a few. The electric brands have a range of devices like the electronic vape pen, vaping pipe and atomizers. So will we see in the future that these devices are not only being used to feed a nicotine addiction. But also being used to treat disease and illnesses?

E-medicines a reality?

How far are we from seeing cold and flu medicines being vaped? Offering a more targeted, effective treatment compared to orally taken cough syrups and capsules. In the future will leading cough sweet manufacturers like Halls and Strepsils branch out into the e-liquid market? With cough syrup e-liquid?

If the current research continues to prove that electronic smoking offers a healthier alternative than that of smoking tobacco. Then it could very well be the social norm in under ten years. It could be that even a non-smoker vapes medicines. With e-medicines that are vaporized in a controlled dose as and when symptoms occur.

New European regulations that are due to be passed in 2016. Will they continue to allow the sale and distribution of e-cigs, vaporizers and electronic pipes? There’s no doubt there will be a whole range of companies currently operating in different fields, who will embrace e-liquid medicine onto their product lines.