Archive for the ‘Air’ Category

27
Nov

Legal Status Update – 11/27/2010

   Posted by: bigBlog   in Air

On September 23 the U.S. Court of Appeals – D.C. heard arguments about lifting the ban placed by the FDA on the importation of electronic cigarettes to the U.S. This is a nice overview of the arguments presented. It is a perspective of an intelligent adult that doesn’t have a law degree.

The pleadings to halt the FDA’s action of seizing e-cig shipments until the case is heard can be found here.

kristin made this comment on the eCigarette-forum which seems to sum up the motivations of the players in this game – BT (big tobacco), BP (big pharma), FDA (big government) –

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act also gave the FDA the power to regulate tobacco, but specifically stated that the FDA cannot treat tobacco as a pharmaceutical drug and cannot regulate tobacco to be 0 nicotine. That doesn’t mean that they couldn’t require BT to reduce the nicotine to nearly nothing, as long as it’s not zero. The chances they will do that are pretty slim, though, because they are in Big Pharma’s pocket and if smokers all quit because of no nicotine, BP won’t have any more smoking customers to buy their nicotine cessation products and the government will lose billions in tobacco taxes!

The SE vs. FDA was ruled in SE’s (SE = Smoking Everywhere – an e-cig company) / NJOY’s favor by Judge Leon in January, but the FDA appealed [its injunction against seizing shipments in March] and now the case is being considered by the U.S. Appeals Court. NJOY joined the case back in May 2009 as a co-plaintiff. Currently, SE has backed out of the case and only NJOY is continuing the fight.

Now an interesting aspect of the situation was recently presented over the patents controlling these smokeless devices in European markets.

Meanwhile in California, the Attorney-General-and-Governor-elect Jerry Brown reached an accord with several e-cig manufacturers regarding advertising and selling the devices to minors. In this Reuter’s article you should remember that any references to harmful chemicals in e-cigs was taken from the FDA’s less-than-high-school-level lab report. For example, it mentions diethylene glycol, which is used as a humectant for tobacco, was found in the liquid of 1 of 18 cartridges tested, at less than 1%. However, there was no diethylene glycol reported in the vapor that is actually inhaled. The most telling fault of the report, though, was the omission of the level of tars created by e-cigs. As you can see, the author of the Reuters article is clueless about these ZERO tar devices.

20
Apr

Legal Status Update – 3/20/2010

   Posted by: bigBlog   in Air

Bad news followed the ides of March. On March 31st the FDA was able to buy a judge who allowed the FDA to re-invoke its ban on importing electronic cigarettes. As a result, several shipments have ‘gone missing’ in April from seizures by the FDA. The number and size of seizures won’t be known until after the end of April.

This excerpt from the ruling summarizes the good news (Sept. trial) with the bad (seizures resume) –

FURTHER ORDERED that the motion for stay be granted. Appellants have
satisfied the stringent standards required for a stay pending appeal. See Washington
Metropolitan Area Transit Commission v. Holiday Tours, Inc., 559 F.2d 841, 843 (D.C.
Cir. 1977); D.C. Circuit Handbook of Practice and Internal Procedures 32-33 (2009).

It is
FURTHER ORDERED, on the court’s own motion, that consideration of this
appeal be expedited. The Clerk is directed to enter a briefing schedule and to calendar
this case for oral argument on the first appropriate date in September 2010.

From some of the blogs it appears that smaller shipments are getting through, though there is some discussion of initiating alternate routing of products through other countries. In other words, forcing consumers looking for a healthy choice to become smugglers. “We’re from the government. We’re here to help …”

19
Feb

Legal Status Updates – 2/19/2010

   Posted by: admin   in Air, Healthy

On Feb. 2, 2010, a Utah legislative sub-committee approved a bill (HB 88) that would ban outright electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) or any other flavored tobacco products, including those that look like candy. This ban would not apply to products approved by the FDA. The bill (HB88) was passed by the Utah Senate on 2/18 and by the Utah House on 2/19.

Meanwhile, CNN reported on a study submitted for review in Dec. 2008 by Caroline O. Cobb, Michael F. Weaver, and Thomas Eissenberg of Virginia Commenwealth University. The study took 28 smokers to task to see if electronic cigarettes reduced the harm associated with smoking. The study included standard cigarettes, nicotine lozenges, own brand cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, and an unlit cigarette. The study measured the amount of expired air CO and nicotine levels in blood. The non-combustible products delivered less than 1/2 of the nicotine than the lowest of the cigarettes (own brand) and were not as successful at satisfying the nicotine craving as cigarettes were. And the non-combustible products did not expose the smokers to CO. The study, which was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, only included electronic cigarettes at the low 16mg/ml levels of nicotine available, although higher concentrations were available. But their bottom line is that e-cigarettes may not be a suitable device to quit smoking. And that is exactly the reason why the FDA has no expectation to ban them as devices.

And if we step back a moment and view the political environment in Virginia we might come across the recent story about Virginia raising taxes on cigarettes in order to reduce the number of smokers. New Report: $1 Cigarette Tax Increase Would Raise $117.6 Million for West Virginia and Cut Youth Smoking. Now, do you really think the politicians don’t know there are no tobacco taxes on e-cigs, and that if the smokers consider them a viable alternative for their nicotine addiction …. If you don’t get the drift, you’re probably sitting next to an e-cig user.

And finally we have a ‘story’ from Reuters about ‘third hand’ tobacco ‘unappreciated health hazard’, especially to children. They make the point that nicotine vapor, like from an e-cig, could combine with nitrous acid and become a ‘potential cancer hazard’, and that things could be a lot worse.
Maybe. After all, according to the report, nicotine from a vapor ‘could persist for even months’ on surfaces found in homes.
Or maybe not. After all, Reuters is no longer news, but rather, infotainment.
David Sutton, a spokesman with the Altria Group, parent company of Philip Morris USA, noted that no human exposure measurements were done as part of the Berkeley study. If we step back a moment and consider, again, the lack of numbers and raising of unsubstantiated fears – well, that’s entertainment. Would you believe the cancer hazard is 1 death in 10 trillion people? In other words, will someone die from this within the next 100 generations? But at least it kept your mind off how much of this Univ. of California study was funded with taxpayer dollars.

19
Feb

Legal Status of E-Cigarettes

   Posted by: admin   in Air, Healthy

Let’s step back a moment and take a deep breath. (Smoke ’em if ya got ’em!)

Since 2002 the American public has had access to electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs. If you have heard of them you can go to the StepBackAMoment site and order them from the AIR page.

It is a device that has flown under the radar until last year.

The FDA sampled a few of the devices and came to none of the conclusions above. In its July, 2009 report it listed a dozen or so chemicals found in cigarettes, and a few were actually ‘detected’. It neglected to note or mention the other 4000 chemicals found in botannical tobacco products, or even just the 86 carcinogenic ingredients recognized by the World Health Organization. And based on this fuzzy science it seized a couple of shipments of some Florida importers who sell the devices here.

Well the Florida companies invited the FDA into a federal district court to justify their actions. And a physicians’ group filed a ‘friend of the court’ brief denouncing the fuzzy logic used in place of scientific results and demanded to see the numbers. A legitimate scientific report on the vapor can be found here.

Sensing a pause in the anti-e-cigarette momentum, and a demise in their rewards from the tobacco industry, those wacky California state senators sent a bill to the Guv for his signature. Buried in the bill was a change that would not only ban e-cigarettes for sale to minors in California, but adults would be prohibited from purchasing them as well. After all, we’re talking the possibility of turning the tobacco ‘sin’ tax into ‘not detectable’ in a few short years.

Perhaps anticipating the demise of tobacco injury rewards, a law group in SoCal filed a class action suit against the Florida companies in District Court in California, citing the FDA report, and requesting a jury trial.
And it invited other firms to use its filing as a ‘template’ to file even more class action suits. The FDA, in the meantime, suspended its ‘enforcement’ actions against the e-cig importers.