historical timeline of
vaping & electronic cigarettes
CASAA has maintained this historical timeline detailing the history of vaping since January 2010, and it is periodically updated with new events. If you find this information helpful or valuable, please consider donating to CASAA – every little bit helps! Additionally, The Way Back Machine has been an invaluable tool to this project, as it preserves links that no longer exist.
1930s - 1990s
The first documented reference to an electronic cigarette is a patent granted to Joseph Robinson in 1930 (filed in 1927). It was never commercialized and it is not entirely clear that even a prototype of this primitive device was manufactured.
Herbert A. Gilbert is generally credited with the creation of the first device that closely resembled the modern e-cigarette. He reports receiving a patent in 1965 (filed in 1963) and created prototypes (possibly never including nicotine), but failed to commercialize it. He attributes this failure the companies who might have commercialized it preferring to wait for the patent to expire rather than license it, though it is not clear whether it had commercial potential at the time.
Starting in 1979, Phil Ray, one of the pioneers of computers, worked with his personal physician Norman Jacobson to create the first commercialized variation on the e-cigarette (which was not actually electronic; it relied on evaporation of the nicotine). They performed the first known formal research in the field on nicotine delivery. The commercialization of the product reached major retailers. But the device was never a promising technology for nicotine delivery; Jacobson attributes its failure to it being inherently faulty. While the device proved to be a dead-end, the inventors did contribute the verb "vape" to the language.
Numerous patents for nicotine inhaler devices were filed throughout the 20th century and early 2000s by both tobacco companies and individual inventors, with a flurry of activity in the 1990s. Many relied on evaporation or physical propulsion, but a few were fairly similar to modern e-cigarettes. One chemical-reaction based system that was invented in the 1990s is still in the pipeline. Reynolds brought to market the Eclipse "heat-not-burn" device, whose functioning falls somewhere in between that of a pure nicotine inhaler and a combusted cigarette. (See also Philip Morris's Accord.) Products closely resembling modern e-cigarettes moved toward commercialization in the 1990s (example). A major U.S. tobacco company requested permission from FDA (which did not then regulate tobacco products, but did regulate drug delivery devices) to bring a version of an e-cigarette to market c.1998. FDA denied the request on the basis of it being an unapproved drug delivery device. This may explain the disappearance of the attempts to bring an e-cigarette to market, though the history of what happened is rather murky, and the U.S. ruling does not fully explain the disappearance of the technology elsewhere.
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2003 - 2008
What would become the first commercially successful electronic cigarette is created in Beijing, China by Hon Lik, a 52 year old pharmacist, inventor and smoker. He reportedly created the device after his father, also a heavy smoker, dies of lung cancer. (It is not clear the extent to which his was a de novo rederivation of the technology and to what extent he was drawing upon prior art; he failed to cite much prior art in his patent applications.) The company Lik worked for, Golden Dragon Holdings, developed the device and changed its name to Ruyan, which means "like smoke."
Electronic cigarettes introduced to Europe.
Electronic cigarettes introduced to the U.S. (The first import ruling locatable in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website database is dated August 22, 2006. NY M85579)
Turkey’s Health Ministry suspends the sale of e-cigarettes. Health Ministry Drugs and Pharmacy Director, Mahmut Tokaç, claims electronic cigarettes are just as harmful as regular cigarettes. The vice president of the Foundation Combating Smoking in Turkey, Kiyas Güngör, claims that "nicotine is the most dangerous element among 4,800 poisonous chemicals in cigarettes." (See discussion here re 2008 decision. Currently, e-cigarettes cannot be sold in stores in Turkey although they can be purchased online. Actual legal status at present is unclear.)
The World Health Organization (WHO) proclaims that it does not consider the electronic cigarette to be a legitimate smoking cessation aid and demands that marketers immediately remove from their materials any suggestions that the WHO considers electronic cigarettes safe and effective. (See WHO September 19, 2008 press release here.)
In a study funded by Ruyan, Health New Zealand conducts a detailed quantitative analysis and concludes that carcinogens and toxicants are present only below harmful levels. On the basis of the findings, the e-cigarette is rated several orders of magnitude (100 to 1000 times) less dangerous than smoking tobacco cigarettes. The nicotine dose is comparable to that of a medicinal nicotine inhaler. Overall, the product tested was deemed a "safe alternative to smoking."
- Australia bans the possession and sale of electronic cigarettes which contain nicotine, citing that "every form of nicotine except for replacement therapies and cigarettes are classified as a form of poison." (See NDPSC record of reasons, 54th meeting, 14-15 October 2008 and download provided here.)
- Jordan’s Ministry of Health bans the import of the electronic cigarettes, citing World Health Organization’s health concerns. (See discussion here.) In a February 2012 review of the ban, Malek Habashneh, director of the ministry’s awareness and communication directorate, claims that "e-cigarettes contain toxic chemicals that cause more health problems than the nicotine in normal cigarettes."
- FDA adds electronic cigarettes to Import Alert 66-41 and directs the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to reject the entry of electronic cigarettes into the United States on the basis of them being unapproved drug delivery devices. (See pp. 12-13 here.) (At this time FDA had gained authority over tobacco products, but this ruling came not from their nascent Center for Tobacco Products, but from their Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.)
- Canada bans the sale, advertising and import of electronic cigarettes. Health Canada advises Canadians not to purchase or use them, claiming they contain a "known irritant" (propylene glycol). (See Health Canada's advisory here.)
- Hong Kong Department of Health bans electronic cigarettes. The maximum penalty for possessing or selling e-cigarettes is a HK$100,000 fine and two years' imprisonment. Since smoke-free tobacco is prohibited in Hong Kong, the ban on e-cigarettes continues to leave high-risk cigarettes as the only legal tobacco product available. (Information on current legal status of e-cigarettes in Hong Kong can be found here.)
- FDA notifies electronic cigarette company "Smoking Everywhere" that its shipments have been refused entry into the U.S. The FDA maintains that electronic cigarettes "appears to be a combination drug-device product" that require pre-approval, registration and listing with the FDA. (See pp. 10-11 here.)
- Smoking Everywhere files a federal complaint on April 28, 2009 seeking an injunction against the FDA with respect to the FDA's attempts to ban the import of electronic cigarettes. Smoking Everywhere contends that the FDA has no authority over electronic cigarettes, as they are a "tobacco product," and the FDA's attempt to regulate them infringes on Congress's intent to withhold FDA jurisdiction over tobacco products. Smoking Everywhere contends that electronic cigarettes are not "drugs," "drug delivery systems," or "drug device combinations" under 21 U.S.C 321(g).
- In a study funded by Ruyan, Health New Zealand conducts a detailed quantitative analysis and concludes that carcinogens and toxicants are present only below harmful levels. Bench-top test results presented as a poster at SRNT poster at SRNT in Dublin April 30, 2009. (Click here to download the poster.)
- Action on Smoking and Health in the United States (ASH-US) files a petition to the FDA calling for FDA regulation of electronic cigarettes.
- NJOY (Sottera) joins Smoking Everywhere's lawsuit against FDA.
- The Electronic Cigarette Association (ECA) is formed. The ECA (now defunct) is a trade association made up of electronic cigarette producers, distributors and retailers; whose aim is to speak on behalf of the electronic cigarette industry, especially in response to health concerns, and to help institute industry standards. The group is headquartered in Washington, D.C. Its president and spokesman is former United States congressman Matt Salmon. (See video statement from ECA here and ECA's brochure on e-cigarettes here. Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association (TVECA) claims to be ECA's successor.
- FDA files memorandum in opposition to Smoking Everywhere's complaint on May 11, 2009.
- FDA tests 2 brands of electronic cigarettes, NJOY & Smoking Everywhere. 18 cartridges are tested. Tests reveal trace amounts of tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) in the liquid in levels comparable to those found in FDA-approved nicotine cessation products. The liquid of one cartridge is found to contain a non-toxic amount (approximately 1%) diethylene glycol. TSNAs nor diethylene glycol is detected in the vapor. Some cartridges labeled as 0mg nicotine are shown to contain trace amounts of nicotine.
- President Obama signs into law the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, giving the FDA the power to regulate the tobacco industry. Although nicotine and cigarettes as a whole cannot be banned outright, flavoring such as fruit or mint can. Additionally, new tobacco products seeking to enter the market will be required to meet FDA pre-market standards, which could affect electronic cigarette regulation.
- Panama bans the importation, distribution and sale of electronic cigarettes.
- FDA files a supplemental brief in the Smoking Everywhere lawsuit referencing the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The FDA contends that it still has authority over electronic cigarettes and FDA stands behind the decision to label it a drug-device combination. "FDA found, after examining the product, the claims made in the product labeling, and information SE submitted to FDA, that SE's product met the definition of both a drug and device under the FDCA."
- Two months after testing, the FDA issues a press release discouraging the use of electronic cigarettes and repeating previously stated concerns that electronic cigarettes may be marketed to young people, lack appropriate health warnings and that they contain carcinogens and toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol, an ingredient used in antifreeze. The FDA did not reveal that the carcinogens found were similar to those found at the same levels in FDA-approved nicotine cessation products, nor that the amount of diethylene glycol found would not be toxic. The FDA also did not disclose that neither substance was found in the actual vapor to which the user is exposed.
- FDA's May 2009 study is reviewed by scientific consulting firm Exponent, Inc., in a report commissioned by NJOY. Some of the criticisms of the FDA study, as set forth in Exponent's report, are poor standards of documentation and analysis and failure to perform relevant comparisons to FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy products, which Exponent claims contain TSNA levels comparable to those of electronic cigarettes. The study concludes that the FDA's claims of potential adverse health effects were not supported by the study.
- Israeli Health Ministry considers banning e-cigarette sales and importation. (The ban discussed here in 2009 was never implemented, although in 2013, it was reported that Israel was considering either a ban or tobacco classification.)
- In a Washington Times op-ed, Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, president of the American Council on Science and Health, calls the FDA press statement about electronic cigarettes "distorted, incomplete and misleading" and meant to "scare Americans" to stay "away from these newfangled, untested cigarette substitutes -- better to stick with the real ones."
- The State of Oregon announces two settlements have been reached that prevent two national travel store chains, Pilot Travel Centers and TA Operating, from selling NJOY electronic cigarettes. In addition, the company must give the Attorney General advance notice that they intend to sell electronic cigarettes in Oregon, provide copies of all electronic cigarette advertising, and provide copies of the scientific studies they maintain substantiates their claims. NJOY voluntarily stops all sales in Oregon.
- Oregon Attorney General John Kroger announces a lawsuit against Smoking Everywhere, alleging that the Florida-based company made false health claims about its nicotine delivery device and targeted children with sweet flavors. Smoking Everywhere refuses to settle. (Smoking Everywhere eventually settled in August 2010.)
- Brazil bans the sale, importation and advertisement of electronic cigarettes. (See resolution here.)
- Suffolk County, NY passes first legislation banning indoor use of electronic cigarette in areas where smoking is also prohibited and bans sales to persons under age 19.
- Saudi Arabia bans sales of electronic cigarettes based on the statement made by the US Food and Drug Administration which had said [e-cigarettes] "contain harmful carcinogenic and toxic substances, notably diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical used in antifreeze." (This ban continues today, as discussed here.)
- Amicus curiae brief filed by Alliance of Electronic Smokers (AES) in support of the plaintiff in the Smoking Everywhere v. FDA lawsuit.
- Amicus curiae brief filed by ASH (US) in support of defendant FDA.
- California passes a bill to ban the sales of electronic cigarettes in the state. Governor Schwarzenegger vetoes the bill stating, "If adults want to purchase and consume these products with an understanding of the associated health risks, they should be able to do so unless and until federal law changes the legal status of these tobacco products."
- Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) forms and board members elected. The organization is made up of both consumers and retailers, with the mission to ensure the availability of effective, affordable and reduced harm alternatives to smoking by increasing public awareness and education; to encourage the testing and development of products to achieve acceptable safety standards and reasonable regulation; and to promote the benefits of reduced harm alternatives. In order to ensure CASAA is first and foremost a consumer-based organization, the number of vendors elected to the board is limited so that consumer board members control a super majority.
- UK ASH recognizes that products should be made available that deliver nicotine in a safe way, without the harmful components found in tobacco, but those attempting to quit should use conventional NRTs. (For a copy of UK ASH's October 2009 briefing, click here. The current flyer, updated February 2016, can be found here.)
- PayPal freezes accounts of electronic cigarette vendors in the U.S. and prohibits them from using the service; however, vendors outside of the U.S. are allowed to continue using PayPal for electronic cigarette sales. (See discussion here and here.)
New Jersey State legislators pass a bill including electronic cigarettes in the state's public smoking ban.
NJOY announces it is discontinuing, in the U.S., the availability of all flavors except its traditional tobacco flavor and menthol. The move aligns the flavors offered by NJOY with those allowed for combustible tobacco cigarettes under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. (NJOY's corporate policy on flavors changed in 2014 with, among other things, its release of a premium line of e-liquid, as discussed here.)
On January 14, 2010, Judge Leon grants the injunction sought by Smoking Everywhere/Sottera prohibiting the FDA from seizing e-cigarettes as drug or drug/device combinations. Judge Leon issues a 32-page memorandum opinion explaining the ruling.
- Appellate Court grants the FDA's request for a stay of Judge Leon's injunction pending appeal. (See discussion here.)
- The American Association of Public Health Physicians submits two Citizen Petitions to the FDA, one asking for reclassification of e-cigarettes to "tobacco product" and the other asking for a follow up statement to the July 2009 press conference. (See here and here for Citizen Petitions.)
- First Vapefest™ is held in Richmond, VA
- Ministry of Public Health bans the import and sale of electronic cigarettes in Thailand. It warns "the cigarettes contained more nicotine than normal ones." (See discussion here on the issue and also see 2014 ban on import by Ministry of Commerce.)
CASAA and others help persuade Illinois legislators not to pass SB 3174, a law which would ban the sale of e-cigarettes in the state.
- FDA files appellant brief in Smoking Everywhere v. FDA case (U.S. Court of Appeals for District of Columbia).
- Coalition files amicus brief in the Smoking Everywhere v. FDA case supporting FDA's position. Coalition members include American Academy of Pediatrics, American Cancer Society, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Legacy Foundation, American Lung Association, American Medical Association, and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
- American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD) passes a policy urging the FDA to regulate e-cigarettes as drug delivery devices.
- Sottera (NJOY) files Appellee brief in Smoking Everywhere v. FDA (U.S. Court of Appeals).
- Singapore bans e-cigarette importation, distribution and sales. Fine is of up to $5,000 upon conviction. (See here for current policy, which remains the same.)
- Marine Corps Base in Quantico bans e-cigarette use in its facilities. (See discussion here.)
- FDA files appellant reply brief in Smoking Everywhere v. FDA case (U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit).
- CASAA joins other e-cigarette and reduced-harm smokeless alternative proponents in filing an amicus brief in the Smoking Everywhere v. FDA case. Other amicus curiae named on the brief include Smokefree Pennsylvania, The American Council on Science and Health, National Vapers Club, Midwest Vapers Group, Michael Siegel, MD, MPH, and Joel Nitzkin, MD, MPH, DPA.
- Washington Legal Foundation (WLF) files amicus brief in the Smoking Everywhere v. FDA case.
- Oregon’s Attorney General John Kroger announces a settlement preventing the two national travel store chains from selling e-cigarettes. (The settlement with Smoking Everywhere can be viewed here.)
- Air Force surgeon general’s office categorizes e-cigarettes as “tobacco products” and prohibits their use in most Air Force facilities. (See discussion here.)
First VapeFest is held in UK.
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Study is published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reporting that electronic cigarettes are a promising tool to help smokers quit, producing six-month abstinence rates that are better than those for traditional nicotine replacement products.
FDA announces it will regulate e-cigarettes as it currently regulates traditional cigarettes and other tobacco products under the Food Drug and Cosmetics Act. However, any e-cigarette products advertising claims of helping the user to stop smoking or providing any other health benefit will be more strictly regulated as a drug or medical device.
Argentina passes resolution 3226/2011 banning the importation, distribution, commercialization and advertising of e-cigarettes and paraphernalia related to them. (See here for an unofficial translation followed by a copy of the original untranslated document.)
First Vapestock held in Clearwater Beach, FL.
Study published in the journal "Addiction" provides strong evidence that electronic cigarettes are being used with success by many smokers to quit smoking or cut down substantially on the number of cigarettes they consume, and that e-cigarettes are being used with success by many ex-smokers to remain off cigarettes.
- The Obama administration proposes banning the use of electronic cigarettes on airline flights, saying the "new rule would enhance passenger comfort and reduce any confusion." The Department of Transportation says that although it considers electronic cigarettes to be covered under the existing law banning smoking on airplanes, it intends to adopt a rule specifically banning them in the summer of 2012. (See Joint Comment filed by CASAA and Competitive Enterprise Institute, filed November 2011.)
- Petition to the White House filed. While CASAA did not create the petition, CASAA urged its members to sign in order to reach the minimum threshold of 5,000 signatures, which it did. Response received December 15, 2011 which was largely non-responsive.
- The British Cabinet Office’s Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) strongly endorses tobacco harm reduction in its first annual report. E-cigarettes are cited as potentially effective substitutes because of their behavioral attributes. (See news article here and actual report here.)
- First VaperCon is held in Richmond, VA
- The results of the first clinical trial of electronic cigarettes, reported in the journal BMC Public Health, suggests e-cigarettes may be more effective than traditional NRT products for smoking cessation and may be particularly effective in smokers who are not motivated to quit.
CASAA and Competitive Enterprise Institute file a comment regarding the Department of Transportation proposal to amend its existing airline smoking rule to explicitly ban the use of electronic cigarettes on all aircraft in scheduled passenger interstate, intrastate and foreign air transportation. This regulation would impose fines of up to $3,300 for "smoking" an e-cigarette on an airplane. Those who use an e-cigarette would be treated exactly as if they were smoking a combusted tobacco product. See also comment from Smoke-free Pennsylvania.
- Holland's Minister of Health, announces that the sale and import of electronic cigarettes is banned. E-cigarette sales will require a pharmaceutical license. (See discussion here.)
- The health minister of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia announces that the state government has determined that e-cigarettes and their cartridges fall under regulations concerning medicines and medical products. She states that the state government is planning to adopt regulations to ban their sale unless approved for sale in pharmacies.
- First VapeBash is held in Chicago, IL.
- United Tobacco Vapor Group Inc., a branch of TVECA, wins a lawsuit challenging the Dutch Ministry of Health's ban on e-cigarette sales.
- Consumer groups including CASAA, ECCA UK, Stelda NL (Netherlands), IGED (Germany) and ATACA (Australia) organize the first World Vaping Day.
- Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA), a trade association representing a wide cross section of the vapor products industry, is formed.
- Nearly 200 of Germany's estimated 1.2 million electronic cigarette users march peacefully in Düsseldorf in protest of "lies, missinformation [sic], raids at [e-cigarette] liquid stores by the police and a witch hunt against German vapers."
- Venezuela’s government threatens to punish with fines up to $8,400 for those who distribute or promote electronic cigarettes banned in the country for not having permits or corresponding health records.
- Lorillard Inc. purchases blu eCigs for $135 million.
U.S. Inspector General's office issued an "Early Alert" letter to Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding whether the CDC was illegally using federal funds tied to wellness programs to encourage local communities to adopt a bevy of tobacco restrictions. (Original letter extracted from a file found on the CauseOfAction.org site, the full file which can be downloaded here.)
R.J. Reynolds, through its pharmaceutical subsidiary Niconovum, launches Zonnic gum (a nicotine-replacement therapy) in test markets in Des Moines, IA.
- American E-Liquid Manufacturing Standards Association (AEMSA), a trade association specifically dedicated to creating/maintaining self-regulating standards for the manufacturing of its members’ e-liquids used in e-cigarettes, announces its launch.
- Smoke-free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) debuts at 2012 NACS Trade Show.
FDA holds a public hearing, and several members of industry as well as consumers and consumer representatives made presentations. CASAA issues a Call to Awareness as well as a Call to Action in connection with this hearing. FDA delayed publishing many of the comments for more than a year, which comments can be viewed here.
A petition to the White House is created to "prevent the FDA from regulating or banning the sale and use of electronic cigarettes, accessories and associated liquids." While not created by CASAA, CASAA urged its members to sign the petition. The petition gained the required number of signatures (25,000), and a response from FDA was published in April 2014, which advocates characterized as largely non-responsive. (FDA's response can be seen here.) This is the second community-supported White House petition effort, the first being in 2011 when the threshold for signatures was 5,000.
Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Jack Reed (D-RI) send a letter to FDA urging FDA to issue deeming regulations to exert regulatory authority over cigars, pipe tobacco, electronic cigarettes, and dissolvable tobacco products.
CASAA launches its Testimonials Project to collect success stories from smokers who used smoke-free alternatives to quit or reduce their smoking. This public collection of success stories was created as a powerful response to those who want to restrict access to e-cigarettes and other smoke-free products. CASAA's goal is to present a large collection of compelling individual reports that will make it impossible for anyone to claim that substitution of low-risk alternatives (e-cigarettes, snus, and other smoke-free tobacco/nicotine products) is not a proven method for quitting smoking.
- R.J. Reynolds announces new vapor product, VUSE, will be launched in July in Colorado as the first state in an eventual nationwide rollout.
- The U.K. Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency announces it will regulate e-cigarettes as medicines when new European tobacco laws come into force. (Note that this position has since changed.) See Clive Bates' analysis here and here and also CASAA's analysis.
- Vape A Vet, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, forms to provide active and former military service members with the equipment and knowledge necessary to switch to a healthier alternative at no cost to them.
- French consumer group AIDUCE issues "The Future of Vaping in the European Union."
- American E-Liquid Manufacturing Association (AEMSA) attends its second listening session with FDA.
- Dragonite International Limited (formerly Ruyan Group (Holdings) Limited), and its wholly-own subsidiaries, sold its vapor business for $75 million to Fontem Ventures B.V., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco Group plc.
- CASAA gives presentation in FDA listening session.
- Four members of the U.S. House of Representatives (Henry A. Waxman, Diana DeGette, Frank Pallone, Jr., and John D. Dingell) send a letter to the FDA calling on the Obama administration to issue new rules for cigars and electronic cigarettes and also sent a letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee chairs urging them to call hearings.
- E-cigarette opponents sent a coalition letter to President Obama urging him to impose FDA deeming and other regulations on electronic cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products.
- National Association of Attorneys General sent a letter to FDA urging the issuance of proposed regulations.
- Germany, Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia upheld three previous decisions that electronic cigarette products containing nicotine were not medicines, unless presented as such. See news report here.
- Government Accountability Office Report finds FDA needs to set time frames for its review process of Substantial Equivalence (SE) applications for tobacco products, noting FDA that on June 25, 2013—about 3 years after FDA’s receipt of the first SE submission—the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) made a final decision on only 6 of the 3,788 SE submissions.
- CASAA calls out various legislators, state attorneys general, as well as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), for launching a bad-faith campaign against electronic cigarettes, a low-risk alternative to smoking.
- A press release is issued by a dozen legislators regarding letters they sent to various companies demanding information about marketing to children.
- European Union issues a press release rejecting a wholesale ban on the sale of e-cigarettes: "E-cigarettes should be regulated, but not be subject to the same rules as medicinal products unless they are presented as having curative or preventive properties. Those for which no such claims are made should contain no more than 30mg/ml of nicotine, should carry health warnings and should not be sold to anyone under 18 years old. Manufacturers and importers would also have to supply the competent authorities with a list of all the ingredients that they contain. Finally, e-cigarettes would be subject to the same advertising restrictions as tobacco products."
- Proposed amendments to EU Tobacco Products Directive (e-cig Amendment 170) approved by 362-298 vote) (See Clive Bates' analysis. See also communication from World Health Organization (WHO) the day before the vote urging EU parliamentarians to approve proposed Tobacco Products Directive.)
- E-cigarettes declared illegal in Punjab, India.
- Altria sends letter to FDA supporting FDA exerting regulatory authority ("deeming") over all currently unregulated tobacco products.
- SFATA sends letter to the Office of Management and Budget/Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OMB/OIRA) requesting a meeting and asking that OMB/OIRA reject FDA's proposed deeming.
- Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) sends letter to FDA urging FDA to issue proposed regulations addressing advertising, ingredients and sales to minors before October 31, 2013.
- First E-Cigarette Summit was held at the Royal Society in London to provide a platform to present and scrutinize the available science and evidence on electronic cigarettes with the aim to help inform public health and policy debates that were being held in the run up to the vote on the European Tobacco Products Directive.
- First three electronic cigarette commercials banned in the U.K. "In their efforts to comply with the ad codes, the marketers were guilty of lack of clarity. All three spots are pretty obscure because they try so hard not to promote smoking that they neglect to mention what the product does. While they were condemned for being misleading, the ads were cleared by the ASA of being 'irresponsible and harmful.'" (See here for full article.)
- SFATA hosts its first "day on the Hill" fly-in for SFATA members to meet with senior and staff legislators in Washington, D.C.
- Letter from Reps. Waxman, DeGette and Pallone to FDA re dangers of e-cigarette advertising. To see the accompanying slideshow, click here.
- Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) issues press release demanding FDA regulation of electronic cigarettes.
- Ban on vaping in public lifted in Italy.
- FDA hosts a webinar entitled "20 Years Later-Returning to FDA to Regulate Tobacco." Presentation (including slides) can be viewed here.
- Six Senators send letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urging an investigation of e-cigarette marketing practices.
- American E-Liquid Manufacturing Standards Association (AEMSA) attends third listening session with FDA.
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- CASAA provides testimony to OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs re FDA's proposed deeming regulations (which proposed regulations hadn't been publicly released at the time of the meeting).
- Burstyn's "Peering through the mist: systematic review of what the chemistry of contaminants in electronic cigarettes tells us about health risks" published in BMC Public Health. By reviewing over 9,000 observations about the chemistry of the vapor and the liquid in e-cigarettes, Dr. Burstyn determined that the levels of contaminants e-cigarette users are exposed to are insignificant, far below levels that would pose any health risk. Additionally, there is no health risk to bystanders. (CASAA provided a grant to Dr. Burstyn to fund this study.)
- Surgeon General issues, "The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General, 2014."
Altria announces it will launch its MarkTen vapor product nationwide in the second quarter of 2014. Also announces its purchase of Green Smoke, Inc. for $110 million in cash (subject to closing adjustments) and up to $20 million in incentive payments.
- Various state attorneys general send letters to the CEOs of Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Safeway and Kroger.
- New York City C.L.A.S.H. (CLASH) filed a lawsuit against the City of New York and the New York City Council seeking to overturn a ban on e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited. See here and here for more information on the lawsuit. CASAA donates $1,000 to support the effort.
- FDA releases proposed regulation attempting to exert regulatory authority of e-cigarettes as tobacco products. (See also the Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis, Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, Unfunded Mandates Reform Act Analysis.)
- Western Australia - The Magistrate's Court ruled in Hawkins v. Van Heerden (October 2013) that Van Heerden did not violate S106(a) of the Tobacco Products Control Act 2006 (WA) (the "Act"). The matter was appealed by Hawkins, a compliance officer with the Department of Health, to the Supreme Court of Western Australia, which court ruled in April 2014 that Vince Van Heerden violated the Act by selling products (electronic cigarettes) designed to resemble a tobacco product. Van Heerden appealed that decision to the Court of Appeal, but the appeal was dismissed in March 2016, meaning that it remains illegal in Western Australia to sell vapor product devices, regardless of whether they contain nicotine. (We note that the vapor products in question were described as "510-T" and "eGo-T," which one would not describe as looking like traditional combustible cigarettes or cigars.) (In November 2014, CASAA made a donation of $500 to help fund the legal battle in an effort to help preserve consumer access to vapor products in Western Australia.)
- American Vaping Association (AVA), a nonprofit vapor industry advocacy organization, formed in December 2014 announces that Gregory Conley as its president. AVA champions the use of of vapor products and e-cigarettes to help smokers quit.
CASAA releases an overview of its Action Plan regarding proposed FDA regulations
CASAA issues the First Call to Action (encouraging consumers to request an extension of time to comment) and the Second Call to Action (encouraging consumers to comment on the Paperwork Reduction Act).
CASAA submits a comment to OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs regarding Paperwork Reduction Act and FDA deeming regulation.
European Union adopts Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), Directive 2014/40/EU, to be implemented by member states by May 20, 2016.
- CASAA issues Third Call to Action as part of its Action Plan, encouraging consumers to demand a congressional hearing involving CDC's and FDA's actions.
- Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) announces its Age to Vape™ program, which will distribute free age-restriction signs to brick-and-mortar vapor product retailers across the nation.
- First Global Forum on Nicotine (GFN) took place in Warsaw, Poland, in June 2014. The event attracted around 200 people from 26 countries and featured presentations from many of the world’s leading nicotine researchers and policy analysts. (See here for for Conference Report.)
- On July 15, 2014, Reynolds American agrees to buy Lorillard Tobacco Company for $27.4 billion. The deal also includes the sale of the Kool, Winston, Salem, and blu brands to Imperial Tobacco for $7.1 billion.
- CASAA issues Fourth Call to Action as part of its Action Plan, encouraging consumers to submit a comment in response to FDA's proposed regulations. (See also streamlined version of Fourth Call to Action here.)
- Organizations submit comments involving FDA proposed regulations.
- CASAA comment filed August 7, 2014
- SFATA comment filed August 8, 2014
- AEMSA comment filed August 8, 2014
- Smokefree Pennsylvania comment filed August 8, 2014
- Free To Vape project hand-delivered to FDA more than 40,000 comments from individual consumers and business owners ON August 8, 2014.
- Lorillard commented filed August 7, 2014.
- American Council on Science and Health comment filed June 27, 2014.
- National Hookah Alliance comment filed August 8, 2014.
- Three Altria companies file comments:
- Middleton comment filed August 8, 2014.
- Nu Mark comment filed August 8, 2014.
- Philip Morris USA comment filed August 7, 2014.
- RAI Services Company (Reynolds) comment filed August 8, 2014.
- Anti-e-cigarette organizations submit comments involving FDA proposed regulations.
- Oregon Health Authority comment filed August 7, 2014.
- Various organizations file joint comment August 7, 2014.
- 29 State Attorneys General file joint comment August 8, 2014.
- Public Health Seattle and King County file comment August 8, 2014.
- FDA opens a docket for public comment on modified risk tobacco product applications (MRTPAs) submitted by Swedish Match North America Inc. for 10 tobacco products. (Swedish Match's actual application downloadable here.)
- CASAA's comment filed on November 25, 2014.
- Public Health Agency of Sweden filed on February 23, 2015.
- RAI Services Company (Reynolds) filed November 21, 2014.
- Smokefree Pennsylvania filed November 25, 2014.
- Lorillard filed February 11, 2015.
- Clive Bates and other tobacco harm reduction experts filed November 18, 2014.
- FDA announces the first (December 10 and 11, 2014) of a series of three workshops on e-cigarettes and the public health.
- CASAA files comment on NIOSH proposed recommendations regarding workplace tobacco use.
- Six senators call for FDA to adopt aggressive warning labels for e-cigarettes.
- Launch of E-Research Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3)organization established to further advance the scientific study of e-vapor products (aka electronic cigarettes), related products and their use.
- Pillbox 38 (UK) Limited (Totally Wicked) wins the right to formally challenge the validity of the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) at the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) in Luxembourg.
- Third community-based effort to petition the White House regarding regulation of e-cigarettes. The minimum threshold of 100,000 signatures was obtained, and the response was again largely nonresponsive. (Response can be viewed at petition link.)
- Letter from Speaker of the House John Boehner, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Chair of Energy & Commerce Committee Fred Upton to Sylvia Burwell (Secretary Department of Health and Human Services) asking that the grandfather date for newly deemed tobacco products be moved from February 15, 2007 to April 25, 2014 (date the proposed deeming regulation was published) or the date the regulation is finally published. (See also CASAA Call to Action issued December 2014 requesting legislators consider a different regulatory scheme for e-cigarettes and support a change in the grandfather date.)
- Oxford Dictionaries announces the word of the year is "vape."
First of three FDA workshops held, this one being on the physical characteristics of e-cigarettes. (You can find the transcript of that workshop here.) CASAA issues Call to Action March 2015.
CASAA relaunches its testimonials project and creates new website for its tobacco harm reduction success stories collection.
- Second of three FDA workshops held, this one being about issues related to individual health. (You can find the transcript of that workshop here.) CASAA issues Call to Action April 2015.
- California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announces its premiere of “a series of television, digital, and outdoor ads in a new campaign called ‘Wake Up,’ as part of its educational effort to inform the public about the dangers of e-cigarettes.” CDPH promotes the website stillblowingsmoke.org as part of that effort, which effort was promptly derailed by a campaign developed by Stefan Didak entitled "Not Blowing Smoke" (NBS) at a cost of less than $100. Within days, NBS dominated Twitter, almost completely eclipsing the CDPH’s multi-million dollar effort. (NBS was later incorporated in August 2015 as a California nonprofit.)
Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) holds a public hearing on Swedish Match's modified risk tobacco product application (MRTP filed August 2014). TPSAC could not reach a consensus. Among other things, Swedish Match proposed replacing the warning that "This product is not a safe alternative to cigarettes" with the statement, "No tobacco product is safe, but this product presents substantially lower risks to health than cigarettes." Four of the eight TPSAC members felt that the evidence presented did not support the alternate warning label.
Indiana passes HB 1432, which, among other things, prohibits e-liquid manufacturers (whether in-state or out-of-state) from selling products to retailers and distributors in Indiana without a permit. (See CASAA Indiana Call to Action issued in March 2015 for more details.) The permit would require compliance with burdensome and expensive manufacturing and security protocols that may be impossible to meet. Of particular concern, these requirements only apply to e-cigarette refill liquid used in open-system products and specifically do not apply to closed-system products (i.e., cigalikes). In response, a federal lawsuit was filed in May of 2015 by two out-of-state manufacturers and an in-state vendor. In September of 2015, The Right to be Smoke-Free Coalition filed a motion to intervene and its complaint. December 2015, Hoosier Vapers, Inc. and five other plaintiffs filed a lawsuit at the state level.
Third of three FDA workshops held, this one being about issues related to population health. (You can find a transcript of that workshop here.) CASAA issues Call to Action June 2015.
Public Health England announces its expert independent review concludes that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to health than smoking and have the potential to help smokers quit smoking.
- The Right to be Smoke-Free Coalition filed a motion to intervene and its complaint in the Indiana federal lawsuit filed in May of 2015 involving HB 1432.
- FDA issues proposed rule "Clarification of When Products Made or Derived From Tobacco Are Regulated as Drugs, Devices, or Combination Products."
- Comment filed by CASAA.
- Comment filed by SFATA.
- Comment filed by Smokefree Pennsylvania.
- Comment filed by AEMSA.
- Comment filed by Altria Client Services.
- Final deeming regulations delivered by FDA to OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review.
- TVECA announces it has a copy of the final deeming regulations and industry guidance and promises to release them to the public. TVECA only publishes what they claim to be a draft industry guidance document and the table of contents for the final deeming regulations. Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) releases a special statement, noting that FDA's policy is not to release draft documents or negotiate with outside groups while documents are under review and refuse to confirm or deny that TVECA has authentic or current documents. "It is our understanding based on recent conversations between the FDA and TVECA, that the group will not be releasing the document in question."
- Eleven U.S. Senators deliver a letter to OIRA, stating, among other things, "We urge OMB to work quickly to finalize review of the final deeming rule, ensuring that the rule gives FDA authority over all tobacco products including e-cigarettes and cigars, explicitly bans the use of flavorings and marketing that appeals to children, and mandates child-proof packaging of e-liquids (liquid nicotine). We also implore that the final rule not move the 'grandfather date' for new products (set at February 15, 2007). Altering this grandfather date would exempt a wide range of e-cigarettes and related products from any premarket review to determine whether they constitute threats to public health."
- FDA grants PMTA approval to eight Swedish Match smokeless tobacco products. According to the FDA press release, "This action permits the tobacco products to be sold in the U.S., but does not mean that they are safe or 'FDA approved.'” (See analysis by Carl Phillips here.)
- Several lawsuits filed, including (1) a class action lawsuit against Five Pawns, Inc. involving the presence of diacetyl and acetyl propionyl in their e-liquids and alleged failure to disclose or properly warn consumers, and (2) two lawsuits (here and here) filed by Center for Environmental Health (CEH) against various e-cigarette companies alleging California Proposition 65 violations. CEH reports that it has filed lawsuits against a total of 60 e-cigarette companies, only one of which was settled. (See analysis by Carl Phillips here.)
- Paper published in Tobacco Control wherein the authors alleged "brandalism" of CDC materials and claim that e-cigarette advocates with close ties to industry are misleading and deceiving the public and infringing on the government's copyright. See commentary by Dr. Michael Siegel here, Not Blowing Smoke's press release here, and Dr. Carl Phillips' discussion here of the base inappropriateness of CDC's campaign.
- CASAA meets with OMB/OIRA and presents 57-page report regarding the devastating impact of potential FDA deeming of electronic cigarettes. In addition, CASAA delivers more than 7,600 testimonials regarding consumer success stories and results from its survey of more than 20,000 members.
- Smokefree Pennsylvania submits 158-page report to OMB/OIRA calling for FDA's proposed deeming regulation to be withdrawn.
- American E-Liquid Manufacturing Stands Association (AEMSA) meets with, and submits report to, OMB/OIRA.
- Nine Senators send a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) asking it to investigate unfair or deceptive acts of e-liquid retailers. In addition, these senators sent letters to various e-liquid retailers regarding possible marketing of nicotine-containing products using recognizable brand names of various foods and drinks. Letters were also sent to companies informing them that their brand names/images were being used in connection with e-liquid marketing and asking them what steps they were taking to prevent this kind of use.
- Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller issues a press release noting, "The harm of the combustible cigarette is dramatically greater than the harm of the e-cigarette." Mr. Miller also corrects some of the misinformation regarding youth use of e-cigarettes and says, "adults misleading kids to get them to do what we want has always been a failed strategy."
- City of Chicago Department of Public Health launched a campaign, which has been roundly criticized by tobacco harm reduction advocates. (See, for example, here and also CASAA's Call to Action.)
- December 2015, Hoosier Vapers, Inc. and five other plaintiffs file a lawsuit in Indiana state court in connection with HB 1432.
- German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof (BGH)) holds that the nicotine-containing liquids used in electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) qualify as tobacco products and that their distribution and sale without a permit are therefore illegal.
- Advocate General (UK) issues nonbinding opinion upholding Article 20 of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) against the challenge launched by Pillbox 28 (UK) Limited (Totally Wicked).
- Vapor Technology Association (VTA), a national trade association, announces its launch.
- SEVIA USA, an association of Chinese e-cigarette manufacturers, forms in order to commit resources to fight against "unfair and burdensome FDA regulations." SEVIA USA's founding members include Aspire, Kangertech, Innokin, and SMOK.
- The country of Turkmenistan is reported to have banned the sale of all tobacco products.
- President Obama signs S 142, the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015, which requires the packaging of "liquid nicotine containers" to be subject to existing child poisoning prevention packaging standards, effective date of July 26, 2016.
- Appeal filed in New York City C.L.A.S.H. (CLASH) lawsuit against City of New York challenging City's ban of e-cigarette use wherever smoking is prohibited. (This appeals the grant of summary judgment in favor of the City May 2015.)
- Coalition letter sent to members of Congress opposing FDA's deeming regulation.
- National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (UK) issues a briefing making recommendations for stop smoking practitioners and services, providing common questions and suggested answers about e-cigarettes, and summarizes the evidence upon which these recommendations are drawn. See also commentary by Clive Bates on the import of this document here.
- Van Heerden had been previously convicted in April of 2014 by the Supreme Court (Western Australia) for violating S106(a) of the Tobacco Products Control Act 2006 (WA) (the "Act"). He sold electronic cigarettes (without nicotine), which the Supreme Court determined were products designed to resemble a tobacco product. Van Heerden appealed the conviction to the Court of Appeal (Western Australia), which appeal was dismissed in March 2016. It remains illegal in Western Australia to sell vapor product devices, regardless of whether they contain nicotine. (We note that the vapor products in question were described as "510-T" and "eGo-T," which one would not describe as looking like traditional combustible cigarettes or cigars.)
- U.S. Department of Transportation bans e-cigarette use on planes. (For more detailed information, see here.)
- The Royal College of Physicians (UK) issued a 200-page report entitled "Nicotine without smoke: tobacco harm reduction, examining the science, public policy, regulation and ethics surrounding e-cigarettes and other non-tobacco sources of nicotine, and addressing these controversies and misunderstandings with conclusions based on the latest available evidence. Significantly, the report notes that "[s]mokers can . . . be reassured and encouraged to use them, and the public can be reassured that e-cigarettes are much safer than smoking." (To download the full report, click here.)
- A 25 year old shopkeeper in Mohali (Punjab, India) sentenced to 3 years in jail for selling e-cigarettes in violation of the The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA). (Letter from Food & Drug Administration Punjab re e-cigarettes can be found here, and a copy of the court's judgment dated April 7, 2016 can be found here.)
- Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and CASAA filed a lawsuit challenging the Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) recent regulation extending the existing statute prohibiting smoking aboard aircraft to cover electronic cigarettes, maintaining that USDOT was exceeding the scope of its congressional grant of authority. (See also the comment filed by CEI and CASAA in November 21, 2011 in response to USDOT's proposed rule and also this for further analysis of the legal underpinnings of the case. See also statement of issues filed May 2016 and brief filed August 2016.)
- FDA's final deeming regulations issued.
- FDA's press release.
- The final deeming regulations officially published May 10, 2016, effective 90 days later on August 8, 2016.
- Deeming Final Rule Redline Changes (OMB/OIRA changes primarily involving flavors).
- Retailer Overview of FDA Regulations for Selling Tobacco Products
- Communication Resources for Final Rule Extending Authorities to All Tobacco ProductsSmall Entity Compliance Guide: FDA Deems Certain Tobacco Products Subject to FDA Authority, Sales and Distribution Restrictions, and Health Warning Requirements for Packages and Advertisements.
- Premarket Tobacco Product Applications for Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS).
- Tobacco Product Master Files.
- Requirements for the Submission of Data Needed to Calculate User Fees for Domestic Manufacturers and Importers of Cigars and Pipe Tobacco.
- Small Entity Compliance Guide: Requirements for the Submission of Data Needed to Calculate User Fees for Domestic Manufacturers and Importers of Tobacco Products.
- Final Regulatory Impact Analysis, Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, Unfunded Mandates Reform Act Analysis issued by FDA.
- Guidance on deeming regulations issued by industry groups:
- Lawsuits filed challenging the deeming regulations:
- Nicopure Labs files complaint in federal court (DC District) challenging the deeming regulations.
- Lost Art Liquids files complaint in federal court (Central District CA) challenging the deeming regulations.
- John Middleton Company LLC files complaint in federal court (DC District) challenging FDA's authority to ban the use of the word "mild" to describe/brand their Black and Mild cigars.
- 17 U.S. Senators (Democrats) send letter to FDA demanding additional regulations on flavoring and marketing.
- Coalition (R Street Institute, Americans for Tax Reform, Campaign for Liberty, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, FreedomWorks, Heartland Institute, Jeffersonian Project, Less Government, Log Cabin Republicans, National Taxpayers Union, and Taxpayers Protection Alliance) sends letter to Committee on Energy and Commerce requesting that Congress pass HR 2058 to change the predicate date for newly deemed tobacco products (which would include e-cigarettes).
- Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sent a letter to FDA raising concerns about the agency’s recent e-cigarette regulation, which could create undue burdens on small businesses and possibly lead to negative unintended health consequences.
- European Court of Justice upholds Article 20 of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), dismissing several lawsuits, including one by Totally Wicked (Pillbox 38) which claimed Article 20 was a disproportionate impediment to the free movement of goods and the free provision of services, placed electronic cigarettes at an unjustified competitive disadvantage to tobacco products, failed to comply with the general EU principle of equality, and breached the fundamental rights of electronic cigarette manufacturers.
- The documentary "A Billion Lives" makes its world premiere at the 2016 Doc Edge Film Festival in New Zealand.
- Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sent a second letter to FDA raising concerns about new e-cigarette regulations, a follow-up to his previous letter to FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf on May 17, 2016.
- Global Premium Cigars files complaint in federal court (Southern District of FL, Miami Division) challenging the deeming regulations.
- Right to be Smoke-Free Coalition (RSF) files lawsuit in federal court (DC District) challenging the deeming regulations, and court orders it consolidated with the Nicopure Labs lawsuit.
Pennsylvania enacts a 40% wholesale tax on "other tobacco products" (smokeless tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, pipe tobacco, and e-cigarettes). The tax, effective October 1, 2016, is on not on e-liquid, but also devices, batteries, and most accessories. It also includes a crippling 40% floor tax on all inventory assessed October 1, 2016 and payable 90 days later. (You can see the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue's guidance here.) Pennsylvania is also assessing the tax on consumers who purchase products out of state. More information about the devastating impact of the tax can be found here.
- CEI and CASAA file a brief in lawsuit challenging DOT's authority to redefine "smoking" to ban e-cigarette use on planes.
- World Health Organization (WHO) issues a report entitled "Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Electronic Non-Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS/ENNDS)" in response to a request made by the Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
- FDA issues first warning letters for sales to minors of newly deemed tobacco products (e-cigarettes/e-liquids and cigars).
- NJOY files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In his declaration to the court, interim President Jeffrey Weiss blames the company's troubles in part on (1) failure of King 2.0 brand , (2) increased relaunch expense and research and development costs, (3) governmental regulation and increased legal expense associated with FDA regulation and state restrictions, (4) expenses related to intellectual property litigation and prosecution (primarily involving lawsuit with Fontem Ventures BV), (5) limited liquidity and capital resources.
- Anti-vaping groups send letter to Senators Thad Cochran, Jerry Moran, Barbara Mikulski, and Jeff Merkley asking that they deny attempts to allow policy riders that would modernize the predicate date for newly deemed products or exempt cigars.
- Right to Vape Tour launched as a joint effort by CASAA, SFATA, and AVA. The Right to Vape coalition is urging Congress to change the "predicate date" of the Tobacco Control Act from February 15th of 2007 to August 8th of 2016, a recognition that a new industry selling products that are at least 95% less harmful than combustible cigarettes should not be treated more harshly than cigarettes ever were. Without a change in the predicate date, an estimated 99% of the vapor products currently on the market will be eliminated, thousands of businesses will close, and millions of consumers will lose access to these low-risk products.
- UK Centre for Tobacco & Alcohol Studies issues response to WHO's report on electronic nicotine delivery systems and electronic non-nicotine delivery systems. (Response can be downloaded here.)
- ASH publishes Fact Sheet - Use of electronic cigarettes among children in Great Britain detailing statistics on youth (ages 11-18).
- Tom Miller, Iowa Attorney General and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Truth Initiative, spoke about the promise vapor products hold for millions of smokers and of the importance of regulating based on comparative risk. Text of his powerful remarks at the FDLI tobacco conference can be found here. See also Clive Bates' commentary on AG Miller's talk (and text of talk) at November 17, 2016 E-Cigarette Summit.
- CASAA issues its first voting guide.
- Tobacco Harm Reduction Expert Group (Konstantinos E. Farsalinos M.D.; Professor Riccardo Polosa; Christopher Russell Ph.D.; Amir Ullah Khan Ph.D.; Julian Morris; and Prof. Rajesh N. Sharan) issues its mission statement. Among other things, the group notes its support of government policies that seek to remove barriers to the availability of better, safer, non-combustible nicotine delivery products, with appropriate quality standards and regulations, and the group urges the World Health Organization (WHO) to apply harm reduction strategies in connection with its tobacco control efforts.
- Senator Ron Johnson (Chairman of Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs) sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Califf, noting, "In light of the significant economic costs on the e-cigarette industry and the substantial likelihood that the incoming Administration and the 115th Congress will unwind this burdensome regulation, I call on the FDA to cease its implementation of the current regulation over e-cigarettes."
- Final briefs filed in CEI v. DOT lawsuit re DOT redefining "smoking" to include vaping. See here for CEI's final reply brief, here for CEI's final opening brief, and here for DOT's brief.
- U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) bans smoking in public housing, but specifically declines to ban vaping, noting that, "Unlike with products that involve burning of substances, there is little evidence that ENDS significantly increases fire risks, and there is no conclusive evidence that the vapors emitted by ENDS cause damage to the units themselves. Therefore, prohibiting ENDS will not necessarily reduce the risk of catastrophic fires or maintenance costs for PHAs, and this rule does not prohibit the use of ENDS."
- In California, Proposition 56, which was sold to voters as a necessary hike in cigarette taxes, passed, enacting an equivalent tax of 60-70% wholesale on vapor products sold in the state. Colorado (Amendment 72) and North Dakota (Measure 4) both voted down ballot initiatives that dealt with taxation of vapor/tobacco products.
- New Nicotine Alliance (NNA) issues briefing paper entitled, "Revision of the Tobacco Excise Directive, Implications for Low-Risk Nicotine Products." Among other things, NNA maintains that there should be no excise tax on e-cigarettes, vapor products, or smoke-free tobacco products (i.e., smokeless tobacco and heated tobacco products).
- Vapor Technology Association issues guidance on FDA registration and product listing.
- FDA issues industry guidance on tobacco health document submission.
- Philip Morris International (PMI) announces it has filed a modified risk tobacco product (MRTP) application with FDA for its heated tobacco product (IQOS). Altria announces it will have exclusive rights to market this product in the U.S. (For more information on the MRTP process, see here.)
- U.S. Surgeon General releases a report entitled, "E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults," along with an accompanying website. Tobacco harm reduction advocates were sharply critical of the report. (You can view CASAA's response, as well as the response of other tobacco harm reduction advocates, here.)
- Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA) send a letter to Vice President-elect Pence calling for FDA overreach to be reigned in, noting, "As we continue to pursue legislative options that will protect the thousands of small businesses that rely on producing and selling e-cigarettes, we respectfully urge the new Administration to consider repealing or suspending the FDA's burdensome deeming regulation over e-cigarettes."
- FDA issues third edition of Substantial Equivalence FAQ Guidance.
- FDA issues Final Rule, “Refuse to Accept Procedures for Premarket Tobacco Product Submissions.” (December 29, 2016)
- FDA issues revised Guidance “Listing of Ingredients in Tobacco Products” that delays ingredient listing deadline (for newly deemed tobacco/vapor products) to August 2017. (December 29, 2016)
- Dr. Stanton Glantz, a long-time opponent of all things tobacco and nicotine, published a paper claiming that vapor products may “entice some youth who are unlikely to try traditional cigarettes.” But, the paper admits that youth smoking actually declined during the period researched, contradicting the theory that youth smoking would increase due to vaping. Moreover, the analysis used cross-sectional data, so researchers acknowledged they “could not conclude that the presence of e-cigarettes in the marketplace caused a change (or lack thereof) in the prevalence of cigarette smoking.” Because of the cross-sectional nature of the data, they also ”could not determine whether dual users of cigarettes and e-cigarettes initiated use with cigarettes or e-cigarettes.”
- An analysis by The Health Information and Quality Authority in Ireland finds that "increased uptake of e-cigarettes as an aid to quitting would increase the number of people who successfully quit compared with the existing situation in Ireland and would be cost-effective." (January 5, 2017)
- The British American Tobacco company (BAT) announces it will not market a nicotine inhaler it was developing called the "Voke," and instead plans to focus on vapor products. (January 5, 2017)
- FDA issues Final Rule, “Clarification of When Products Made or Derived From Tobacco Are Regulated as Drugs, Devices, or Combination Products; Amendments to Regulations Regarding ‘Intended Use.’” This allows the FDA to ban some tobacco products by reclassifying them as drugs and order vapor companies to stop making smoking cessation or health claims. (January 9, 2017)
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- A working paper published in 2016 by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), shows a 19.2 percent increase in cigarette smoking among pregnant teenagers -- both of age and underage -- and a 13.8 percent increase among underage pregnant teens following the enactment of minimum legal sale ages for vapor products. "Traditional cigarette use typically declines during pregnancy, but our results show that laws limiting access to e-cigarettes actually slows down this decline, presumably because women are prevented from switching to e-cigarettes," said co-author Janet M. Currie.
- Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) sends a letter to incoming Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price congratulating him on his confirmation and urging Price to “undo the FDA’s burdensome e-cigarette rule.” In addition to citing the obvious damage to the economy that will result from full implementation of the FDA’s deeming rule, Senator Johnson highlights the harm to public health that removing nearly all vapor products will cause.
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- CASAA joins the American Vaping Association (AVA), Vapor Technology Association (VTA), and the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) in sending a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, urging support for The FDA Deeming Authority Clarification Act of 2017 (HR 1136). The bill aims to modernize the 2007 predicate date for vapor products newly deemed to be tobacco by the FDA. (March 8, 2017)
- Public health researchers from the University at Buffalo and the University of Michigan, writing in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, find that national trends in vaping and cigarette smoking do not support the argument that vaping is a “gateway” to smoking. (March 13, 2017)
- A study funded by Cancer Research UK, the first to explore the effects of e-cigarettes by looking at long-term human body-level exposure, concluded that e-cigarette-only and NRT-only users had significantly lower levels of toxins and carcinogens (found in their urine and saliva) than people who smoke cigarettes. E-cigarette-only users had significantly lower NNAL levels than all other groups, including NRT-only users. (March 21, 2017)
- Maine lawmakers pass LD 1170, which prohibits the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21 years old. The bill also changes the definition of “tobacco products” to include vapor products. This effectively bans the sale of online purchases in the state, which requires all tobacco product purchases to be “face-to-face” transactions.
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- The United States Navy bans vaping devices throughout the fleet, citing concerns that the battery-powered gadgets can explode and injure sailors.
- Alaska passes SB 63, adding vapor products to the indoor smoking ban. The bill contains several exemptions, including vape shops.
- A study by chemists at the University of Connecticut claims vapor products cause DNA damage as much as cigarette smoke. The press release for the study was widely viewed as more of an advertisement for a new 3-D printed testing device. Critics of the study pointed out earlier research from the UK that found people using e-cigarettes only had significantly lower levels of carcinogens than people who smoked. Carl Alexander, Cancer Research UK’s health information officer, stated "[The University of Connecticut] study is about the development of a new way of looking at DNA damage, and only looked at the effects of e-cigarette vapour on DNA in the lab, not in people. The test needs to be developed further and validated before it can be used to draw any conclusions about the effects of e-cigarettes.”
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- Eleven Democrat U.S. Senators send a letter to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, urging the agency to “stand up to special interests” and oppose the recent FDA decision to delay by three months the deadline for regulating e-cigarettes.
- Maryland passes HB 523, which imposes licensing regulations on Maryland vapor businesses and includes a partial online sales ban. Although the amendment allows manufacturers to sell online to Maryland consumers, distributors, brick and mortar shops, and independent online retailers are prohibited from making internet sales.
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH UK) releases results of a national survey showing that around 1.5 million vapers are ex-smokers, for the first time a larger number than those who continue to smoke.
- The first U.S. E-Cigarette Summit is held in Washington, D.C. The Summit, which included both proponents and opponents of vapor products, included “high level briefings from policy, scientific and health experts and encourages interaction through panel debates and open floor discussions.
- A Citizen Petition is submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting that the agency issue final guidance or regulations describing the recommended or required contents of premarket submissions.
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- CDC announces that youth use of electronic cigarettes had decreased for the first time since first being tracked in 2011, falling from 3 million in 2015 to 2.2 million in 2016.
- San Francisco bans flavored vapor products (and all flavored tobacco products, including menthol) other than “tobacco” flavor.
- Penn State College of Medicine researchers find people who regularly use electronic cigarettes are less dependent on their product than those who regularly use traditional cigarettes. Compared with cigarette smokers, e-cigarette users waited longer to start using their product after waking up. Vapers were less likely to consider themselves addicted, to have strong cravings, or to feel like they really needed their product. They were also less likely to say they found it difficult to refrain from using their product in restricted places. Researchers reported their findings in Preventive Medicine.
- Kansas (pop. 2.909 million) passes legislation reducing the state’s 20¢/mL tax on e-liquid to 5¢ per mL tax.
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- FDA announces intent to extend timelines to submit tobacco product review applications for newly regulated tobacco products that were on the market as of August 8, 2016 to August 2021 for combustible products and August 2022 for vapor and smoke-free products. This announcement suggested the change to more harm reduction-friendly leadership in the agency.
- In the same announcement, the agency also said it will review nicotine levels in cigarettes and “kid-appealing” flavors in tobacco and vapor products, and that it would “make the product review process more efficient, predictable, and transparent for manufacturers.”
- A study from the University of California, San Diego, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), finds that 65% of people who smoke who used e-cigarettes attempted to quit smoking. At the same time, only 40% of those who did not use e-cigarettes tried to quit smoking.
- The study looked at data on the smoking habits of more than 160,000 Americans. Study authors found that around 8 percent of people who smoke who used e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking were successful. By comparison, only ~5% of people who didn’t vape were able to quit.
- The study further suggested that e-cigarettes, rather than other factors like higher taxes or anti-tobacco campaigns, were responsible for an increased rate of quitting.
- Delaware (pop. 956,823) passes HB 242, which imposes a 5¢ per milliliter tax on e-liquid, redefines "tobacco product" to include vapor products, and requires vapor retailers to obtain a license.
- The House Appropriations Committee approves legislation that would ‘grandfather’ vapor products introduced to market prior to August 8, 2016. Grandfathered products would be exempt from FDA’s premarket review (PMTA). This legislation (HR 3268, Sec. 753) is included in, but ultimately stripped out of, the 2018 omnibus budget bill.
- The state of New York bans the use of vapor devices on school grounds (S.750).
- The D.C. Circuit Court upholds a Department of Transportation rule banning the use of vapor products on planes. The department justifies the ban by pointing to a previous rule prohibiting “smoking” on passenger flights, and another requiring airlines to “provide safe and adequate interstate air transportation.” CASAA and the Competitive Enterprise Institute asked the D.C. Circuit to review the rule, arguing that Congress could not have imagined e-cigarette technology when it made it illegal to smoke on planes. Therefore, by implementing the new rule the Department of Transportation exceeded its authority.
- The D.C. Circuit Court rules that the Food and Drug Administration can deem vapor products to be “tobacco products.” Two separate Washington lawsuits filed by vapor product manufacturers and industry and consumer associations challenged the rule as arbitrary and capricious, saying the FDA had exceeded its authority because the products didn’t meet the statutory definition of a tobacco product.
- New Jersey (pop. 8.88 million) passes Tobacco and Vapor 21.
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- FDA announces plans to expand its “The Real Cost” public education campaign to include messaging to teens about the dangers of using vapor products, marking the first time the FDA would be utilizing a media campaign to specifically target youth vaping.
- Oregon passes Tobacco and Vapor 21 (SB 754), raising the age to purchase tobacco or vapor products to 21.
- Action on Smoking and Health (UK) announces results of a study of the largest ever analysis of data, in a collaboration between UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, Public Health England, ASH and the DECIPHer Centre at the University of Cardiff, showed no evidence that e-cigarettes are leading young people into smoking.
- A study by the Georgetown University Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, found that using e-cigarettes for at least five days in a month increased the odds of quitting smoking by 59%, and using them at least 20 days more than doubled the odds.
- A study in the UK concludes that young people who use e-cigarettes are nearly four times more likely to start smoking cigarettes than their non-vaping peers. However, researchers admit they could not confirm a causal relationship between vaping and future smoking and that the trends observed over the same time period in the UK ran contrary to their findings. Between 2014 and 2015, rates of e-cigarette use in the UK increased, but smoking prevalence continued to decline.
- Researchers at Columbia University and Rutgers University published a paper in the journal Addictive Behaviors looking at how patterns of quitting smoking have changed across the US since vapor products were introduced in 2010. The observational study found that, among the roughly 15,500 adults the researchers looked at, those who said they used vapor products daily were far more likely to have quit regular cigarettes than the people who said they'd never vaped. Over half of daily vapers had quit smoking in the past five years, compared to just 28% of those who had never tried them.
- New York City (pop. 8.56 million) passes a tobacco retail licensing law (Int 1532-2017) requiring anyone selling vapor products to obtain a license. The new law is designed to cap the number of licenses available and reduce them by half as businesses close down. Vapor retailers are given 90 days to acquire the new license, after which no new licenses will be issued. Vapor retailers in NYC number in the hundreds while more than 9000 tobacco licenses exist for shops selling cigarettes. (Information for Tobacco and/or Electronic Cigarette Retail Dealers, nyc .gov)
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- A small, 15 subject study in Sweden found that non-smokers who used vapor products containing nicotine had temporarily stiffened arteries, which is linked to increased risk of heart disease. However, the subjects were compared to those who had no nicotine in their vapor product, but not compared to cigarette smoking, which has previously been demonstrated to cause arterial stiffness. While the study demonstrated a possible increased risk for non-smokers, it did not address the harm reduction potential for smokers. People who smoke are frequently advised to use FDA-approved nicotine products, which could have very similar, temporary effects on arteries as the nicotine in vapor products.
- David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA study finds that healthy non-smokers experienced increased adrenaline levels in their hearts after one electronic cigarette with nicotine. Higher levels of adrenaline in the heart can lead to an increased heart rate and high blood pressure.
- However, researchers also found that nicotine-free vapor products had no effect. Additionally, oxidative stress, which increases risks for atherosclerosis and heart attack, showed no changes after exposure to e-cigarettes with and without nicotine.
- Concern over the findings are relevant in respect to use by non-smokers, but should be weighed against the known risks of smoking. Given the lack of clinical outcomes data suggesting harm from using NRT products in patients with CV disease, if risk does exist, it is likely small and outweighed by the benefits of smoking cessation.
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- The state of New York (pop. 19.59 million) bans the use of vapor products where smoking is prohibited. Researchers from Georgetown University Medical Center announce that their study, published in the journal Tobacco Control, estimates 6.6 million early deaths in America might be averted over 10 years if people who smoked switched to e-cigarettes, and recommended that the devices should be adopted as part of an “endgame for cigarette smoking.”
- A British Psychological Society report, "Changing behaviour: Electronic cigarettes," recommends vapor products be promoted for smoking cessation. Additionally, the report advises to avoid taxation and 'vape-free' legislation, promote unrestricted advertising of factual information, promote product development, invest in research to continue to explore the effects of e-cigarettes on smoking cessation and to determine which factors promote a successful transition.
- The FDA finalizes guidance to the tobacco and vapor industry regarding free samples, “The Prohibition of Distributing Free Samples of Tobacco Products.” In the 10-page document, the agency said that its ban on free samples of tobacco products applies to any tobacco product that is subject to FDA regulation, including components and parts of tobacco products like "e-liquids" and the refillable cartridges for electronic cigarettes. This creates confusion in the vapor industry regarding the practice of allowing customers to taste-test different flavors, resulting in many vape shops to only use nicotine-free liquids for testing.
- A study from researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill published findings suggesting that e-cigarette use could trigger immune responses in the lung that could contribute to inflammatory lung diseases. However, the study was small and limited, with the authors noting that most of the e-cigarette cohort were formerly cigarette smokers, making it difficult to clearly identify whether these results were solely related to e-cigarette use.
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- A prospective 3.5-year study of people who vape daily but never smoked cigarettes is published in the journal Scientific Reports. The study concludes that “While the sample size was small, the results of this study may provide some preliminary evidence that long-term use of ECs is unlikely to raise significant health concerns in relatively young users.”
- New York’s ban on vaping in public indoor places and workplaces takes effect on November 22.
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- A study by the Medical University of South Carolina, funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, found that when the subjects who smoked used e-cigarettes, they smoked less and were more likely to quit smoking, as compared to those in the control group. Additionally, of the two e-cigarette models used in the study, the more powerful device, with a higher dose of nicotine, showed stronger outcomes.
- A study by the University of Pittsburgh, published in the American Journal of Medicine, found that among young adults (18 – 30 years old) who didn’t smoke cigarettes, the ones who had used electronic cigarettes were more than four times as likely than non-vaping peers to start smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes within 18 months. Researchers didn’t ask why the adults started vaping in the first place or if they had any intention of smoking prior to getting a vapor product. The study did not examine why vapers were more likely to switch to tobacco, but critics suggested the findings might have been skewed by not accounting for people who otherwise would have begun smoking regular tobacco regardless of their e-cig usage.
- A report of National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) identified and examined more than 800 peer-reviewed scientific studies and offered 47 conclusions on a range of health impacts. The research was sponsored by the FDA.
- The NASEM news release stated, "Under the assumption that e-cigarette use increases the rate at which adults quit conventional smoking, modeling projects that use of e-cigarettes will generate a net public health benefit, at least in the short run."
- San Antonio, Texas (pop. 1.462 million) passes Tobacco and Vapor 21.
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- A study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD, examined whether metals could leech into e-liquid from the heating coils. While researchers did find metals in the liquid after exposure to the coils, they did not assess the actual risks associated with the level of metals detected.
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- FDA issues an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding flavored tobacco and vapor products; “seeking comments, data, research results, or other information about, among other things, how flavors attract youth to initiate tobacco product use and about whether and how certain flavors may help adult cigarette smokers reduce cigarette use and switch to potentially less harmful products.” (See CASAA’s Comment to FDA on Flavors filed in July 2018.)
- FDA issues advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) “to explore a product standard to lower nicotine in cigarettes to minimally or non-addictive levels.” (See CASAA Submits Comment to FDA Regarding Nicotine Limits filed in July 2018.)
- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and six other groups file a lawsuit against the FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services for extending the deadline for the review of vapor products to 2022. The lawsuit claims the agency exceeded its authority by delaying the review and violated the law because there was no chance for public comment.
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- Swiss court overturns Swiss ban on nicotine-containing vapor products imposed by the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO).
- The city of Chicago passes an ordinance requiring vape shops to hang a sign stating "Warning! Cigars, cigarillos and most vape juice have nicotine, the same highly addictive chemical in cigarettes." The ordinance also prohibits all free sampling of tobacco products, including vapor products.
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- FDA issues warning letters to seventeen e-liquid companies for selling e-liquids with labeling and/or advertising that cause them to resemble kid-friendly food products.
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- The American Heart Association (AHA) issues a statement to the FDA, calling for the agency to “crackdown on sloppy enforcement of age restrictions on tobacco sales, and more importantly, remove these kid-appealing [flavored tobacco and vapor] products from the market.”
- A study funded by Cancer Research UK (CRUK) shows that people who switch to vapor products from combustible cigarettes may be better able to stay smoke-free in the long term.
- An American Cancer Society policy paper is published which states that the organization will “focus on the primary goal of ending deadly combustible tobacco use." The updated policy statement indicates a shift to cautiously supporting vaping, conceding that “although the long-term effects of [vapor products] are not known, current-generation [vapor products] are markedly less harmful than combustible tobacco products.”
- A French survey from independent consultancy Odoxa-Dentsu finds that most citizens believe that vaping was a “much more important factor than all other dimensions of public health policy against tobacco" in the drop in smoking rates.
- The CDC announces a 20% drop in the number of teens who use tobacco products since 2011. Additionally, the CDC reports that fewer than 14% of adults smoked cigarettes in 2017, the lowest level seen since data collection started in 1965.
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- CASAA submits comments to FDA regarding flavors in vapor products and nicotine limits in cigarettes.
- Senator Dick Durbin introduces the Stopping Appealing Flavors in E-Cigarettes for Kids (SAFE Kids) Act, which bans non-tobacco flavors in vapor products that fail to prove to the FDA that the products 1) Help adults quit smoking cigarettes; 2) Do not increase youth initiation of nicotine or tobacco products; and 3) Do not increase the risk of harm to the person using the flavor.
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- Researchers report in the Annals of Internal Medicine, based on a 2016 survey of 467,000 US adults, that an estimated 10.8 million (4.5%) adults in the US use vapor products, with one in three reporting daily use. Around half of the survey respondents (48.8%) were over the age of 35, contradicting some claims that vapor products were not popular with older adult smokers. Of those who used vapor products, 15% were never smokers, which corresponds to just 0.06% of US adults.
- Israel bans the sale of JUUL vapor products, calling them “a grave risk to public health.”
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- FDA Statement (September 11, 2018): “Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on new steps to address epidemic of youth e-cigarette use”
- The FDA issues more than 1,300 warning letters and fines to retailers who sold JUUL and other vapor products to minors during a nationwide, undercover investigation of vape shops and online stores between June and August. The agency also requests manufacturers of the five top-selling national brands provide plans for mitigating youth sales within 60 days and warns it may restrict or remove flavored e-cigarettes.
- Altria: “Altria’s Letter to FDA on Underage E-vapor Use” (October 25, 2018)
- Imperial Brands (Fontem Ventures): “Imperial Brands Response to FDA Youth Access Prevention Statement” (November 16, 2018)
- British American Tobacco (BAT): “Response to FDA statement on preventing youth access to flavoured products” (March 13, 2019)
- Japan Tobacco International (JTI): No response posted.
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- FDA seizes more than 1,000 pages of documents during a "surprise inspection" at Juul Labs.
- FDA launches an anti-vaping campaign under its “The Real Cost Campaign,” with messages focusing on “educating youth that using e-cigarettes, just like cigarettes, puts them at risk for addiction and other health consequences.” In 2017, an estimated 2.1 million middle and high school students reported they “currently” use e-cigarettes. “Current use” is defined as any use--even one puff--in the past 30 days. By the end of 2019, an estimated 4.8 million middle and high school students reported they currently use e-cigarettes.
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- FDA releases limited information from the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), announcing current (past 30 day) use of vapor products among US high school students has increased 78% since 2017. Vaping advocates criticize the agency for withholding and/or downplaying other data not available for public inspection, such as the actual smoking rates for conventional cigarettes and daily use vs. experimentation.
- FDA commissioner, Dr. Scott Gotlieb, announces a proposal, based on data from the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) showing increased youth use, to have "all flavored ENDS products (other than tobacco, mint and menthol flavors or non-flavored products) sold in age-restricted, in-person locations and, if sold online, under heightened practices for age verification."
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- US Surgeon General, Jerome Adams, issues a public advisory, calling for actions such as including e-cigarettes in smoke-free indoor air policies, restricting young peoples’ access to vapor products in retail settings, licensing retailers, implementing price policies (presumably increased taxes,) curbing advertising and marketing that are appealing to young people, and reducing access to flavored tobacco products.
- A study published in the journal JAMA Network Open, which was funded and overseen by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, and the FDA Center for Tobacco Products, looked at the concentrations of 50 biomarkers that showed exposure to tobacco-related toxicants in over 5,000 US adults. Subjects of the study were categorized by status as cigarette-only smokers, e-cigarette-only users, dual users and those who used neither. Researchers concluded that exposures in vaping-only subjects were "generally at lower levels than cigarette smoking," while dual use had the greatest exposures.
- Subsequent review of the complete data found that the overall exposure in vaping-only subjects was not just "lower," but significantly and strikingly lower than in people who smoke and those who smoke and vape (so called dual users). Exposure to tobacco-related toxicants among vaping-only subjects was nearly as low as exposure among participants who did not smoke or vape at all.
- Tobacco company Altria purchases a 35% stake in Juul vapor products worth $12.8 billion.
- The 2018 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey, a nationally representative sample of eighth, 10th and 12th graders in schools nationwide, is released. Reported use of vaping nicotine by teens, specifically in the 30 days prior to the survey, was “in record numbers.” The survey also shows regular tobacco use by teens was still at its lowest point in the survey since it began measuring it.
- Massachusetts raises the age to purchase tobacco and vapor products to adults over the age of 21 years old.
- The FDA announces two new requirements for the sale of vapor products.
- A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, finds that e-cigarettes are nearly twice as effective as conventional nicotine replacement products, like patches and gum, for quitting smoking.
- "The New England Journal devoted much of its current issue to e-cigarettes, publishing two editorials and a letter, and the collection embodies the tangled public health debate over the devices. One editorial — written by Belinda Borrelli, a behavioral health expert and Dr. George T. O’Connor, a pulmonologist — pumped the brakes on inclinations to embrace e-cigarettes."
- A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Risk of Stroke With E-Cigarette and Combustible Cigarette Use in Young Adults, finds that, “Compared with nonsmokers, current sole e-cigarette users did not show significantly different odds of stroke.” and “odds of stroke were lower for sole e-cigarette users versus current sole combustible cigarette users.”
- An analysis published in the Oxford Nicotine and Tobacco Research journal, E-cigarettes: Comparing the Possible Risks of Increasing Smoking Initiation with the Potential Benefits of Increasing Smoking Cessation concludes that “the upside health benefit associated with e-cigarettes, in terms of their potential to increase adult smoking cessation, exceeds their downside risk to health as a result of their possibly increasing the number of youthful smoking initiators. Public messaging and policy should continue to strive to reduce young people's exposure to all nicotine and tobacco products. But, they should not do so at the expense of limiting such products' potential to help adult smokers to quit.”
- The FDA holds a public hearing titled “Eliminating Youth Electronic Cigarette and Other Tobacco Product Use: The Role for Drug Therapies” to “discuss the effort to eliminate youth electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use as well as other tobacco product use, with a focus on the potential role of drug therapies to support cessation and the issues impacting the development of such therapies.”
- At this meeting, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb states that he is concerned by youth vaping rates, claiming data from the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey confirm that youth use of e-cigarettes has become an “epidemic.” During the hearing Mr. Gottlieb states, “I'll tell you this If the youth use continues to rise and we see significant increases in use in 2019 on top of what we found in 2018, I believe this entire category will face an existential threat.”
- NOTE: When finally released to the public later in the year, the 2018 survey data actually revealed that less than 5.8% of all high school student reported vaping frequently (ie. on 20 or more days of the past month,) while past 30-day cigarette smoking had declined to a record low 8.1%.
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- An abstract presented at the 2019 American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference in Honolulu reported an association between e-cigarette use and stroke, heart attack, and heart disease. But, while this abstract was widely reported in the media as evidence of high risk associated with vaping, the researchers based their conclusions on looking at subjects who reported “ever use” and the vast majority of those who reported ever using e-cigarettes were currently or formerly smoking. This confounding factor (smoking history) created a spurious correlation between vaping and stroke, heart attack, and heart disease, as smoking itself (both current and past) could not be ruled out as the actual cause of the increased risk.
- CDC Vital Signs reports youth “tobacco use” is rising because of vaping. At the same time, youth smoking rates reached another historic low.
- A “2-group, pragmatic, multicenter, individually randomized, controlled trial” published in New England Journal of Medicine (Hajek P, Phillips-Waller A, Dunja P, et al. A randomized trial of e-cigarettes versus nicotine-replacement therapy) finds vaping is nearly twice as effective as nicotine-replacement therapy to help individuals quit smoking. Researchers found that 80% of participants in the e-cigarette group were more likely to continue using their product at 1 year compared to 9.0% in the nicotine-replacement group.
- The Military Times reports vaping has surpassed smoking among troops.
- U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduces the E-cigarette Youth Protection Act, requiring vapor product companies to help fund federal prevention efforts and regulation enforcement. The Act requires vapor product manufacturers to pay a user fee to fund efforts to increase public awareness of the alleged “risks” of vaping, in particular outreach to youth, as well as enforcing regulations, which includes recently imposed rules that ban flavored products being sold in retail settings and imposing heightened age verification standards online. These fees on e-cigarette manufacturers would be assessed based on each company’s U.S. market share.
- JUUL releases a poster summary of a clinical trial comparing people who exclusively used its devices against people who smoked traditional cigarettes. The poster is the first clinical research that Juul has shared publicly.
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- FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb announces publication of a new vapor product draft compliance policy, “putting all manufacturers and retailers on notice” that they “may be subject to FDA enforcement for selling certain flavored ENDS products without authorization.” This announcement is a reversal of the FDAs earlier announcement of the agency’s intention not to enforce the premarket review requirements for all vapor products on the market as of Aug. 8, 2016 until August 2022, “with the expectation that many such products would remain on the market.”
- Epidemiological research of self-reported data is presented at the American College of Cardiology's 68th Annual Scientific Session from the University of Kansas School of Medicine Wichita which reports that people who smoked had strikingly higher odds of having a heart attack (a 165% increase) and stroke (a 94% increase) compared with nonsmokers, while “e-cigarette users were 56% more likely to have a heart attack and 30% more likely to suffer a stroke” than non-smokers. This finding confirms vaping advocates’ claim that vapor products–while not completely safe–are significantly safer than smoking. However, the study authors choose to focus on the alleged risks of vaping compared to not smoking rather than compared to smoking.
- Critics are quick to point out that, while researchers controlled for current smoking status and other risk factors, they could not have controlled for past smoking. Earlier research has established that, while quitting smoking significantly reduces health risks, the risks can remain higher in people who previously smoked for decades after quitting. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it can take up to 15 years after quitting for the risk of coronary heart disease and 5 - 15 years for the risk of stroke to reduce to those of a non-smoker. Researchers cannot possibly confirm that the increased risk they reported came exclusively from vaping when study participants have a history of smoking.
- San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton is the first in the nation to introduce legislation banning the sale of e-cigarettes in the city unless they get an FDA review.
- FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb abruptly resigns, citing his desire to spend more time with his family. Just 83 days later, Mr. Gottlieb joins the board of pharmaceutical company Pfizer, makers of Nicorette and Chantix and a “partner” of the American Lung Association.
- President Donald Trump proposes adding a “user fee” to e-cigarettes to fund FDA oversight of new tobacco and nicotine products as part of an effort to reduce use by teenagers, according to his budget proposal. As of 2019, the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) is authorized by the Tobacco Control Act to collect up to $712 million dollars from companies that fall under its regulatory authority. This proposal would expand that amount to $800 million to make room for new products and companies subject to the 2016 deeming rule.
- A study led by Cardiff University researchers and published in the journal Tobacco Control finds the increase in the use of e-cigarettes has not led to more British children taking up cigarettes or seeing smoking as “normal.” The number of teenagers who said they had tried smoking or thought it was acceptable to smoke continues to fall despite the rise in e-cigarette use. The analysis, funded by the National Institute for Health Research and conducted in collaboration with academics from Edinburgh, Stirling, Glasgow and Bristol, focused on three national surveys canvassing the views of almost 250,000 young people.
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- American drugstore chain, Rite Aid, announces it will no longer sell vapor products. The company continues to sell tobacco products, including combustible cigarettes, but raises the age of purchase to 21 years old.
- FDA issues an alert that “some people who use e-cigarettes have experienced seizures,” prompting a slew of misleading headlines and stories in the media. However, the FDA did not find any real link between vaping and the small number (35) of “voluntary adverse experience reports” made in the nine years between 2010 and 2019. The self-reported cases included e-cigarette users reporting “a prior history of seizure diagnosis. A few reported cases indicated seizures in association with use of other substances such as marijuana or amphetamines. Seizures have been reported as occurring after a few puffs or up to one day after use.” No further cases have been mentioned, nor warnings issued, since that alert.
- House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr, D-New Jersey, and Rep. Donna Shalala, D-Florida, introduce the “Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019,” which proposes, among other things, to raise the minimum sales age for all tobacco products to 21 years old, ban all flavored tobacco and vapor products, including menthol cigarettes, and prohibit all online sales of vapor products.
- A study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health reports finding “detectable” levels of endotoxins and glucans in 75 vapor products, resulting in exaggerated media headlines, such as “E-cigarettes contaminated with toxic fungus.” However, researchers admit that they could not “determine whether microbial contaminants that are present in e-liquids prior to aerosolization result in exposures or health risks to users” and “no scientific evidence supports a hypothesis that current observed levels of endotoxin and glucan in (electronic cigarettes) raise health concerns.”
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- District Judge Paul W. Grimm of US District Court for the District of Maryland orders, as part of a lawsuit filed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and other health groups against the FDA in 2018 for initially delaying a review of the safety and health impact of e-cigarettes and cigars (otherwise known as the premarket tobacco application, or “PMTA”), that the agency speed up its review of vaping products currently on the market. The judge ruled that, in 2017, the agency “acted illegally by allowing e-cigarettes to remain on the market until 2022 before companies applied for FDA authorization and by permitting products to remain on the market indefinitely during review.” Judge Grimm called for the health groups and the FDA to submit plans for moving forward with product reviews within 30 days of the ruling.
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- The city of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors votes unanimously to become the first major U.S city to ban the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes. E-cigarette company Juul, which is based in San Francisco, begins collecting signatures for a November ballot initiative to overturn the ban.
- FDA announces it has finalized guidance for manufacturers submitting new tobacco product applications through the premarket tobacco product application (PMTA).
- Aspen, Colorado becomes the first city in the state to ban the sale of all flavored tobacco and non-pharmaceutical nicotine products, including those containing menthol.
- Governor Phil Scott signs H.26, which “prohibits anyone from selling e-cigarettes, liquid containing nicotine, or other tobacco substitutes without a Vermont seller license − effectively prohibiting the online sales of such products.” The state also raises the minimum age to purchase tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21.
- In response to the May 15 ruling by U.S. Judge Paul W. Grimm - that the FDA sidestepped its authority when it pushed back deadlines set by its deeming rule - FDA proposes a new deadline for filing of premarket tobacco applications (PMTA) for vapor products to an unspecified date in 2020. "Should the Court order premarket applications to be submitted by a date certain, it should set that deadline no sooner than 10 months from the date of its decision, along with a one-year period for FDA review," FDA said in the court filing.
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- The FDA launches its “The Real Cost” Youth E-Cigarette Prevention Campaign TV ads. The new TV ads are called “Magic” and feature Julius Dein, “a popular street magician, who has appeared in online videos with a number of celebrities.” Dein “magically turns a teen’s e-cigarette or vape into a cigarette in front of their eyes.”
- A study published in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine, tracked more than 5,000 daily smokers for an average of two years in France. It found that smokers who vaped used fewer cigarettes per day and were more than one and a half times as likely to quit completely. When researchers looked at anybody who quit smoking from 2010 onward, they found that vaping apparently increased the risk of relapsing to smoking, but when researchers only considered people who quit cigarettes as of 2013, former smokers were not more likely to relapse if they vaped. The researchers theorized that technical improvements in vapor products over time may explain why people who recently quit smoking and switched were less likely to relapse than those who quit earlier.
- In a report on the global smoking epidemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) issues a warning against the use of vaping products by smokers trying to quit, claiming that the products are "undoubtedly harmful" and should be regulated. At the same time, WHO acknowledges in the report that more effort was needed to help smokers quit, noting only "30 percent of the world's population have access to appropriate tobacco cessation services," such as counseling, telephone hotlines and medication. Without assistance, only 4% of attempts to stop smoking succeed.
- A report from the Massachusetts General Hospital’s (MGH) Tobacco Research and Treatment Center, published in Nicotine and Tobacco Research online, “provides the first longitudinal data about the effectiveness of e-cigarettes for cessation from a survey that reflects the U.S. population. They found that smokers who used e-cigarettes every day, compared with e-cigarette nonusers, were more likely to quit combustible cigarettes within one year and to stay quit for at least another year. They also found that smokers who used e-cigarettes were no more likely to relapse back to smoking regular cigarettes than smokers not using e-cigarettes.”
- District Judge Paul Grimm sets the May 12, 2020 deadline for companies to submit premarket tobacco applications (PMTA) to the FDA.
- A study published in the journal Plos One, “Nicotine absorption during electronic cigarette use among regular users,” finds that “advanced e-cigarettes delivered significantly more nicotine than first-generation devices but less than combustible cigarettes. Overall, e-cigarette use was associated with a reduction in withdrawal and craving with no reported side effects.”
- Brad Rodu, a University of Louisville professor and tobacco harm reduction advocate, asks the Journal of the American Heart Association to retract a study published in June by University of California, San Francisco professor Stanton Glantz. Rodu had reviewed the national data used by Glantz and his team and found that the majority of the 38 patients in the study who suffered heart attacks had them before they started vaping — by an average of 10 years earlier. In his letter to the editors, Rodu called Glantz's findings "false and invalid."
- Eight teenagers in Wisconsin are hospitalized with the first known cases of a mysterious lung injury that will later be named “E-cigarette, or Vaping, Associated Lung Injury” (EVALI) by the CDC.
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- The Vapor Technology Association files a lawsuit against the U.S. government in the U.S. District Court in Kentucky, arguing that the new May deadline to submit vaping products for premarket review should be delayed or it could destroy thousands of small businesses. “It is time for FDA to stop moving the goalposts and changing the rules in the middle of the game to the detriment of our manufacturers and small businesses,” said the group’s executive director in a statement.
- The FDA announces that it is seeking comments on a proposal that would add 19 chemicals to the already established list of harmful ingredients found in tobacco products. "As our oversight and scientific knowledge of tobacco products has evolved, so too should our requirements for manufacturers and importers to provide information about the chemicals or chemical compounds in their products that cause or could cause harm to users and nonusers," acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless said in a statement.
- Media reports first confirmed death linked to EVALI in Illinois. Although officials publicly point to nicotine vaping products as the likely cause, an August 23rd CDC/FDA conference call reveals that many, if not most, of the patients were found to have also been vaping illicit THC products. On August 30th, the cannabis website Leafly reports on the apparent link between the sudden vaping illnesses and a recent development in the illicit THC vaping industry--the use of vitamin E acetate as a cheap cutting agent. In spite of the fact that no new ingredient was found in the nicotine vapor products that hadn’t already been in use for decades, government officials and activists continue implicating nicotine vapor products in EVALI for the foreseeable future.
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- The Trump administration says it plans to ban the sale of non-tobacco-flavored vapor products. Speaking to reporters following an Oval Office meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Ned Sharpless, the FDA's acting commissioner, President Donald Trump pledges "strong rules and regulations," while Azar says “we intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes to reverse the deeply concerning epidemic of youth e-cigarette use.”
- On September 3rd, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer directs the state health department to issue emergency rules to ban the sale of flavored nicotine vaping products in stores and online for 6 months.
- Michael R. Bloomberg pledges $160 million in an effort to ban flavored vapor products. Matt Myers, president of the nonprofit Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, will coordinate the effort with Bloomberg Philanthropies to ban the flavored e-cigarettes in at least 20 cities and states. During his announcement of the massive monetary gift to CTFK, Bloomberg dredges up an old drug war trope claiming that vaping nicotine will lower a person’s IQ by 3-5 points. This claim is not supported by evidence.
- The CDC advises the public not to use “e-cigarettes,” regardless of current smoking status, and without any clarification that THC vapor products (never called “e-cigarettes” by consumers) were more strongly associated with the outbreak of lung injuries.
- CASAA urges members to stick with harm reduction even if they are completely shaken by misinformation about lung injury cases.
- On September 17th, New York state Department of Health votes to enact Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 90-day emergency ban on vapor products in flavors other than “tobacco” or “menthol” flavor. In a statement announcing his executive order, Governor Cuomo states, “Vaping is better than smoking. Technically yes, but so what? Smoking is terrible. It is virtually a high risk, potential death situation. Well, vaping is better than that. Yes, but again that is not saying much.”
- India, a country where 14% of the adult population smokes combustible tobacco and 25.9% use highly carcinogenic gutka and paan masala products (often called “smokeless tobacco” although it contains mainly betel quid or areca nuts, and slaked lime,) bans the production, manufacturing, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertising of vapor products.
- Senators Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), Lisa Murkowski, (R-Alaska,) Jeff Merkley, (D-Oregon) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), send acting FDA director Ned Sharpless a letter, demanding that remove all pod- and cartridge-based e-cigarettes until the agency can review their safety.
- The Walmart corporation announces it will stop selling vapor products at both Walmart and Sam’s Club stores, promoting only combustible cigarettes and other tobacco products on the company’s store shelves.
- A study funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand and published in The Lancet journal of respiratory medicine, “Nicotine patches used in combination with e-cigarettes (with and without nicotine) for smoking cessation: a pragmatic, randomised trial,” finds that using nicotine vapor products along with the nicotine patch can lead to “improvement in smoking cessation over and above that obtained from using patches plus a nicotine-free e-cigarette (or patches alone), with no indication of any serious harm in the short-term."
- The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce holds a hearing on the "public health impacts and regulatory authorities related to e-cigarette manufacturing, sales and use." Ned Sharpless, acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, tells the Committee, "E-cigarette products are not safe" and all vapor products currently on the market are illegal because they haven’t been assessed by the FDA.
- Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo orders state health officials to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.
- The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors votes unanimously to ban flavored nicotine vapor and tobacco products, including menthol, in Los Angeles County.
- The Texas-based H-E-B grocery store chain removes all vapor products from its stores, while continuing to promote combustible cigarettes.
- A lawsuit is filed in Albany state court by the Vapor Technology Association, Benevolent ELiquids Inc., and vape shop Perfection Vapes Inc., seeking an injunction preventing the state of New York from enforcing the vapor product flavor ban.
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- Walgreens and Kroger, two of the country's largest retailers, announce they will stop selling vapor products, while continuing to promote combustible tobacco products, due to alarmist warnings from the CDC, FDA and other health officials.
- Oregon Governor Kate Brown orders a six-month ban on sales of all flavored vaping products with nicotine or THC due to the “vaping-related lung illness epidemic.” Sales of tobacco-flavored and unflavored nicotine and THC vapor products are allowed to continue, in spite of the fact that neither legal vapor products nor non-tobacco flavors had been implicated (nor had tobacco-flavored and unflavored products been excluded) as risks by the CDC or FDA.
- The U.S. military bans the sale of all vapor products at base exchanges while continuing to allow the sale of combustible cigarettes and cigars.
- Montana Governor Steve Bullock orders 120-day ban on sales of all flavored vapor products, except “tobacco” flavor, due to alleged “teen vaping epidemic.”
- Reynolds American Inc. submits premarket tobacco applications to the FDA for several of its Vuse vapor products.
- Nebraska officials declare the first victim of “EVALI” was an Omaha man who died in early 2019, originally diagnosed as having died from “respiratory failure and pulmonary disease after years of smoking cigarettes.” The man is believed to have exclusively vaped nicotine for the previous 5 years and had previously been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Officials used the criteria from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including chest X-rays in the patient’s medical record that showed the “ground glass” appearance of his lungs, to conclude the death was due to vaping. However, ground glass opacity (GGO) can occur under numerous circumstances, including with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (although rare), COPD and certain types of pneumonia, most notably Desquamative Interstitial Pneumonia, which is “strongly associated with smoking” and “presents as dyspnea with cough and reveals bilateral ground-glass opacities with reticular markings.”
- One week after it took effect, Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens temporarily blocks, “until further order of this court," Governor Whitmer’s vapor product flavor ban, stating that “it may force adults to return to smoking more harmful tobacco products and has irreparably hurt vaping businesses.”
- JUUL announces it will no longer sell its mango, creme, fruit and cucumber flavored products.
- After a study claims 77% of tweets about vapor products are made by “bots,” the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Massachusetts attorney general ask five manufacturers of vapor products, Reynolds American Inc., Juul Labs Inc., Japan Tobacco International USA Inc., NJOY LLC and Fontem Ventures, if they've ever relied on automated, bot-posted campaigns.
- New York appellate court sides with vapor industry trade group Vapor Technology Association, which argued for a preliminary injunction on the flavor ban, which was due to take effect the following day. The injunction is to last until at least October 18th, when the Supreme Court in Albany was scheduled to hear the case.
- The Vapor Technology Association and vape shop owner Donna Dionne sue Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and the RI Health Department over the ban on flavored vapor products.
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- President Trump tweets that he’ll be meeting with vaping industry representatives, medical professionals and others “to come up with an acceptable solution to the Vaping and E-cigarette dilemma,” and later tells reporters that he is considering alternative approaches to the total flavor ban he’d previously supported, including raising the minimum age for purchasing tobacco to 21.
- Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte announces he will outlaw the importation and sale of vapor products and arrest citizens for even using them.
- The American Medical Association House of Delegates announces its anti-vaping policy to “urgently advocate for regulatory, legislative or legal action at the federal or state levels to ban the sale and distribution of all e-cigarette and vaping products, with the exception of those which may be approved by the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] for tobacco-cessation purposes and made available by prescription only.”
- Former FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, makes a speech at Harvard University that calls for the FDA to ban all pod-based vaping products. His speech conflates the known health impacts of smoking combustible cigarettes with youth vaping rates.
- A study from Georgia State University's School of Public Health finds that the number of US adults who wrongly believe vaping to be as harmful as, or even more harmful than, smoking has increased significantly.
- Under the pretense that flavors cause teens to vape and in a, illogical, knee-jerk reaction to the outbreak of vaping-related lung injuries linked mainly to illicit THC vapor products, the city of New York bans the sale of non-tobacco flavored nicotine vapor products, leaving tobacco-flavored vapor products and combustible cigarettes still widely available.
- Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signs into law a permanent ban on sales of all flavored tobacco and non-tobacco flavored vapor products, including menthol.
- Scottish study finds improved blood flow within a month of replacing cigarettes with vaping.
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- Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, testifies on vaping and e-cigarette flavors before the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, about the status of a proposed ban on e-cigarette flavors announced by President Trump in September 2019.
- New York Mayor Bill de Blasio signs Intro. 1362-A, banning the sale of flavored vapor products in New York City, including mint, menthol, and wintergreen flavors. The ban would take effect July 1, 2020.
- Congress approves a bill raising the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21 years old.
- Months after several researchers and cannabis industry experts pointed to an additive in illicit THC vapor products as the likely culprit, the CDC finally confirms vitamin E acetate as the cause of EVALI.
- The White House announces a ban on the sale of flavored vaping cartridges and pods that contain flavored nicotine, with the exception of tobacco and menthol flavors.
- FDA announces a policy prioritizing enforcement against companies that manufacture, distribute and sell unauthorized “flavored” cartridge and pod-style vapor products.
- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announces his proposed legislation banning all flavored nicotine vaping products including menthol flavors and vaping advertisements aimed at youth. The legislation would also authorize the State Department of Health to regulate the sale of chemicals used in vaping-related products, ban the sale of vaping product “carrier oils” deemed to be a public health risk, and prohibit the online, phone and mail order sale of e-cigarettes directly to consumers.
- Acting state Supreme Court Justice Catherine Cholakis strikes down New York Governor Cuomo's emergency ban of flavored vapor products.
- The World Health Organization issues warnings about vaping that causes an outcry from public health experts in the UK, who charge that WHO is spreading “blatant misinformation about the potential risks and benefits of e-cigarettes.”
- The WHO states “there is no doubt” that e-cigarettes “are harmful to health and are not safe, but it is too early to provide a clear answer on the long-term impact of using them or being exposed to them.” The organization also claims “there is not enough evidence to support the use of these products for smoking cessation,” and urges people looking to quit smoking to try the pharmaceutical nicotine products or counseling that fails to work 97% of the time.
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- The CEOs of five vapor product companies (JUUL Labs, Inc., Fontem Ventures, NJOY, Logic Vapes, and Reynolds American) testify in Congress before the Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce in a hearing titled, “Vaping in America: E-Cigarette Manufacturers’ Impact on Public Health,” Committee members are reportedly there to question the executives about whether their companies marketed their products to youth and the impact of vaping on public health, but most spend their time chastising, grandstanding, and self-promoting.
- The ban on the sale of pod and pre-filled cartridge vaping products in flavors other than “tobacco” or “menthol” flavor takes effect.
- JAHA editors retract a study that claimed to find a link between vaping and myocardial infarction, saying they “reviewed the peer review process” after finding that study authors Dharma N. Bhatta, PhD, MPH, and Stanton A. Glantz, PhD, failed to answer the reviewers’ important question of whether the myocardial infarctions occurred before or after the respondents initiated e-cigarette use.
- The "Effects of E-Cigarette Taxes on E-Cigarette Prices and Consumption: Evidence from Retail Panel Data" study, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The study finds that raising taxes on nicotine vapor products to reduce vaping would likely cause people to buy combustible cigarettes.
- Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador bans all vaping products, including zero-nicotine e-liquid and hardware sold without liquid.
- A study by researchers at Penn State, published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, finds that adults enjoy sweet vaping flavors just as much as teens, suggesting that the federal ban on non-tobacco flavored pod and pre-filled cartridge systems may have negative consequences for adults who use the products.
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- FDA issues warning letters to 22 online and brick-and-mortar vapor product manufacturers, and some stores in national convenience-store chains, to cease manufacture, distribution and sale of pod and/or cartridge-style vapor products in flavors other than "tobacco" or "menthol."
- Research published in the journal Tobacco Control finds that vapor products were "unlikely to have acted as an important gateway towards cigarette smoking, and may, in fact, have acted as a gateway away from smoking for vulnerable adolescents….The postulated gateway effect is likely to be small."
- FDA requests that the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland allows an additional 120 days for vapor product manufacturers to submit their Premarketing Tobacco Applications (PMTA), due to the COVID-19 shut down.
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- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo approves the state’s 2021 budget which includes a flavor ban on products not yet authorized for sale by the FDA. Products offered in flavors other than tobacco will only be allowed for sale in the state after receiving premarket authorization (PMTA) from FDA. The new law is the first in the country to exempt vapor products that have received market authorization from FDA.
- The “Comprehensive Tobacco Control Policy” contained in the budget also bans direct to consumer shipping, requires manufacturers to disclose ingredients to the Department of Health, and bans the use of vitamin E acetate in e-liquid (an ingredient only used in illicit THC products until it was found to be the cause of thousands of lung injuries in the United States).
- After years of blaming pod-style devices, such as JUUL, for “hooking teens” on nicotine, researchers claim modified vapor devices, or “mods,” are “more powerful at hooking young smokers.”
- District Judge Paul Grimm of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland agrees to extend the deadline for the Premarket Tobacco Applications to Sept. 9th due to COVID-19 shut downs.
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- A research letter published in JAMA Pediatrics finds less than 5% of young people said the availability of fruity flavors drives their use of vapor products, and only 10% said that addiction was a factor. (May 6, 2020)
- Cigarette manufacturer Altria reports their data show people 50 and older who had previously switched to vaping are going back to smoking combustible cigarettes, reportedly due to anti-vaping propaganda. (May 20, 2020)
- New York state’s ban on flavored vapor products takes effect.
- The 8th annual World Vape Day is held on May 30th.
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- Australia bans the importation of nicotine-containing vapor products without a physician prescription.
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- The U.S. Senate passes the “Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act” (S.1253), introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and John Cornyn (R-Texas), which requires delivery carriers of vapor products verify the customer's age upon delivery; and requires sellers to collect and remit state and local taxes.
- FDA sends warning letters to 10 vapor product companies to “remove their flavored disposable e-cigarettes and youth-appealing e-liquid products from the market because they do not have the required premarket authorization.”
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- Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, sent a letter on behalf of the subcommittee to FDA commissioner Dr. Stephan Hahn, demanding the FDA "clear the market of all e-cigarettes" for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak. The justification for the demand was based on a report from anti-vaping researchers at Stanford University, “Association Between Youth Smoking, Electronic Cigarette Use, and Coronavirus Disease 2019.” The report and its authors were quickly criticized by tobacco harm reduction researchers and advocates for claiming, without any evidence, that teens and young adults “are likely at immediate risk of COVID-19 because you are damaging your lungs.”
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- California Governor Gavin Newsom signs Senate Bill (SB) 793 into law, banning the retail sale of flavored tobacco products in the state.
- FDA and CDC announce data from the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS),shows an overall significant decline in youth vaping from 2019 to 2020. However, the same NYTS data shows “no significant decreases” in cigarette smoking, suggesting that anti-vaping efforts may have only moved some teens back to cigarettes.
- Japan Tobacco International (JTI) releases a report about “A ‘Gathering Storm’ in the Black Market” warning that the COVID-19 pandemic is setting the stage for a “perfect storm” of illicit sales of tobacco products to potentially income-strapped consumers looking for lower prices.
- A study by researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand " suggests e-cigarettes are contributing to reducing smoking prevalence.” that if "e-cigarettes are to make a substantial contribution to reducing smoking, their use needs to be greater among older age groups."
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- An updated Cochrane Review finds that compared with other ways of delivering nicotine, such as nicotine patches and gum, nicotine-free vapor products or quitting "cold turkey," more people quit smoking if they used vapor products containing nicotine.
- Vaping prevalence among adults falls by 400,000 in the U.K., which the Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) blames on "a misguided belief vaping is just as harmful as cigarettes."
- U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D.-Ill.) urges FDA to make public a comprehensive list of submitted premarket tobacco applications (PMTAs) so "thorough enforcement can quickly follow.”
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- A collaborative clinical study between The University of Kansas Cancer Center, California State University San Marcos and Brown University finds that subjects who used "pod" vapor products "reduced their NNAL by 64%, carbon monoxide by 47% and respiratory symptoms by 37% compared to those in the control group who continued to smoke cigarettes as usual." Vapers also experienced a dramatic drop in carbon monoxide and self-reported respiratory symptoms.
- The California Coalition for Fairness, funded mostly by Philip Morris USA and its affiliated U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co., as well as R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., submits more than 1 million signatures from registered voters to secure a veto referendum to overturn SB 793, the tobacco and vapor flavor ban, onto the November 2022 ballot.
- A study published in Preventative Medicine, “The association between statewide vaping prevalence and COVID-19,” claims to have found evidence “of an increased susceptibility of vapers to COVID-19.”
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- The eighth annual E-cigarette Summit, with over 40 scientists and specialists attending from around the world, is held virtually due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Congress passes and President Trump signs into law “The Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act” as part of the end-of-year omnibus spending bill.
- FedEx and UPS confirm they will no longer ship vapor products.
- Cigarette maker Altria announces that the decline in cigarette sales has stalled, likely due to COVID-19 lock downs. Consumer advocates and industry officials say some people also returned to smoking from vaping due to “increased e-cigarette taxes, bans on flavored vaping products and confusion about the health effects of vaping.”
- The Australian Government decides against banning the importation of nicotine vapor products. Instead establishes a Select Committee on Tobacco Harm Reduction to launch an inquiry into vaping and establish clear e-cigarette laws.
- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) updates its recommendation statement, declining to recommend e-cigarettes for smoking cessation. The task force instead recommends people who want to quit smoking to stick with “other tobacco cessation interventions with proven effectiveness and established safety.”
- The patent infringement trial begins between plaintiff Reynolds American Inc. and defendant Philip Morris International Inc. over the tobacco heating technology used in IQOS devices.
- Colorado and Oregon levy taxes on vapor products.
- CO - “The tax rate on vaping products, not currently taxed, will be 30% of the manufacturer’s list price in 2021, gradually increasing to 62% by 2027.”
- OR - “. . . increases tobacco taxes $2 per pack from $1.33 to $3.33, as well as creates a new tax [65% wholesale] for e-cigarettes.”
- California’s statewide flavor ban was halted when over 1 million people signed petitions calling for a referendum that would put the issue in the hands of voters on the November 2022 ballot.
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- Maryland state legislature overrides Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of a vape tax bill, which adds a 6% sales tax at the point of sale (in addition to the state’s standard 6% sales tax) on all open-system vaping products, and a 60% tax on e-liquid in containers smaller than 5 mL.
- CASAA launches a new podcast.
- West Hollywood, CA bans all flavorings from tobacco and vapor products except “tobacco” flavor.
- Public Health England releases its 7th report on vaping in the UK, concluding that using regulated nicotine vaping products is far less harmful than smoking.
- Review of data from the 2014‐2018 National Health Interview Survey finds adding vapor products to smoke-free laws does not reduce young adult vaping and reduced the estimated impact of smoke-free laws on current smoking by >50%.
- The US Postal Service published in the Federal Register its proposed rule change regarding shipment of tobacco and nicotine products through the mail, “Treatment of E-Cigarettes in the Mail.”
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- Clifford Douglas, J.D., formerly the American Cancer Society’s Vice President for Tobacco Control, and founder and director of the ACS’s Center for Tobacco Control, publishes an open letter to Tobacco Control: "It is Time to Act with Integrity and End the Internecine Warfare Over E-Cigarettes."
- Yorkshire Cancer Research releases an informational video, “Vaping Demystified,” in an effort to correct the misinformation and misleading propaganda (coming mainly from US public health authorities) about vapor products that’s causing some people to go back to smoking.
- INNCO releases a science-based position paper confronting Bloomberg-backed orgs pushing to ban tobacco harm reduction products in the low- and middle-income countries.
- Study finds youth vaping “gateway” to smoking is rare and likely due to a predisposition to risky behavior. Finds no evidence vaping LEADS to smoking, agrees vaping is a low risk alternative to smoking, effective for adult smoking cessation and disagrees with sales bans for adults.
- Vivek Murthy is reinstated as Surgeon General
- House Democrats send letter to the head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) demanding the agency to take all flavored e-cigarettes off the market.
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- USPS delayed issuing a final rule on mailing vapor products, postponing enforcement.
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- Rep. Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) reintroduced his END ENDS Act—a federal bill that would cap vaping nicotine at 20 mg/mL.
- Governor DeSantis (Florida) signed SB1080 into law, which makes Tobacco 21 a state law AND preempts local governments in Florida from passing tobacco/nicotine laws that contradict or are more strict than state laws.
- A study funded by the NIH suggests that vaping is not a gateway to teen smoking and those who do vape would have otherwise been smoking without access to vapor products. The study concludes that vapor products “may be an important tool for population-level harm reduction.”
- FDA releases a list of more than 6 million vaping products allowed to remain on the market during the one-year grace period for products that were marketed before Aug. 8, 2016 and for which a Premarket Tobacco Application (PMTA) was submitted by September 9, 2020.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) doubles down on its anti-vaping stance for World No Tobacco Day, admonishing people who smoke that switching to vaping is “not quitting.”
- CASAA releases an official statement urging the FDA to “Think Bigger Than A Menthol Ban.”
- A study supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health (grant 3U54DA036151-08S2) and the US Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products finds that the San Francisco flavor ban “was associated with increased smoking among minor high school students relative to other school districts,” raising concerns that reducing access may motivate youths who would otherwise be vaping to smoke.
- The 4th annual U.S. E-Cigarette Summit is held on May 17th in Washington DC.
- Tobacco Harm Reduction advocates celebrate the 9th annual World Vape Day on May 30th.
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- UK announces it will be reviewing the ban on the sale of snus imposed by the EU.
- Ocean City, MD is the scene of two separate incidents involving police violence against black teenagers who were vaping on the boardwalk.
- CASAA issues a statement regarding the violence used during an incident involving Ocean City, Maryland police officers and a group of teens vaping on an outdoor boardwalk.
- Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi holds a House Economic and Consumer Policy Subcommittee hearing entitled “An Epidemic Continues: Youth Vaping in America.”
- Julie Woessner, former president and a current director of CASAA, speaks on the Consumer Voice Panel at the 2021 Global Forum on Nicotine.
- A study by Dr. Jonathan Foulds finds that people who have little or no intent to quit smoking have higher abstinence rates using vapor products with nicotine delivery closer to what’s found in cigarettes.
- North Carolina Attorney General Stein reaches a settlement with JUUL for $40 Million and commitments to changing marketing practices.
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- Hundreds of Vape Companies Urge FedEx to Reverse Shipping Ban
- Brookline, Mass. Adopts Radical Tobacco-Free Generation Law
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- The FDA issues “the first marketing denial orders (MDOs) for electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products after determining the applications for about 55,000 flavored ENDS products from three applicants lacked sufficient evidence that they have a benefit to adult smokers sufficient to overcome the public health threat posed by the well-documented, alarming levels of youth use of such products.”
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- FDA announces it has "taken action" on applications for over 6 million vapor products, including refusing to file (RTF) one company’s applications for approximately 4.5 million products because FDA claimed the "required contents were missing," as well as issuing 132 Marketing Denial Orders (MDO) for more than 946,000 flavored ENDS products. Critics note that none of those orders included products from the largest companies, such as JUUL.
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- FDA issues the first marketing authorizations for R.J. Reynolds’ VUSE Solo and two tobacco-flavored nicotine cartridges.
- FDA reverses its MDO for Turning Point Brands after claiming to have accidentally overlooked the “randomized controlled trials comparing tobacco-flavored ENDS to flavored ENDS as well as several cross-sectional surveys” included in TPB’s PMTAs.
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- CASAA took part in sCOPe, THR advocates’ and consumers’ response to being left out of the tobacco control debate and decision-making at the Ninth Session of the Conference of the Parties (otherwise known as “COP9”) of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
- In an explosive letter circulated on November 8th to members of Congress, Associate Professor Michael Pesko (considered the US’s leading authority on e-cigarette policy evaluation research) detailed what extensive research (funded by NIH) shows would be the harmful effects of the Democrats plan to tax e-cigarettes.
- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld U.S. District Court Judge Gene E.K. Pratter’s order that prevented the City of Philadelphia from enacting a flavored tobacco ban.
- A horribly misguided smoking and vaping ban in Philadelphia’s city-funded drug treatment programs, including outdoor spaces, is lifted.
- A study by Natasha Sokol, assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior and research scientist at The Miriam Hospital Center for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine finds no “gateway effect” between youth vaping and smoking.
- A systematic review–published by UK smoking and addiction experts in the journal Addiction–found “no evidence that using flavored e-liquids attracted young people to go on to take up tobacco smoking.”
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- Representative Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) and Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) introduce the Clarifying Authority Over Nicotine Act of 2021, giving FDA authority to regulate synthetic nicotine the same as tobacco products.
- FDA authorizes Very Low Nicotine (VLN) combustible cigarettes to be marketed as “reduced exposure” to nicotine.
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