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Beyond Vape Takes Manhattan. Vaping in The Big Apple

Beyond Vape Takes Manhattan. Vaping in The Big Apple

Beyond Vape, while headquartered in California, is also making waves on the East Coast.

Here’s a nice write-up in Bedford + Bowery about our Manhattan shop, which opened in November of last year. The article gives a good run-down of the store. It talks about the wide variety of e-juices we have in stock, and about the pretension-free attitude of our employees. Kyle, who manages the Manhattan store, is quoted as saying, “If you come in here and you don’t know anything I’m not going to treat you like an asshole. I’ll do my best to explain everything to you and help you out.”

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The store is located on St. Marks, the famously busy street that runs through the heart of Greenwich Village. There are plenty of buzzworthty restaurants and speakeasies in the vicinity. The store is also a short walk to Mamoun’s, where you can gorge on one of their famous falafels after you’ve had a good vape at BV.

As noted in the article, the Beyond Vape building used to be the stomping grounds for Andy Warhol and The Velvet Underground, so there’s plenty of added cool factor.

Manhattan isn’t our only stop in New York, however. We’re also launching a store in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn. The soft launch has already commenced. You can follow up with them on their Facebook page.

FDA Takes First Steps in Regulating E-Cigs. A Response From the CASAA

FDA Takes First Steps in Regulating E-Cigs. A Response From the CASAA
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Today the Food and Drug Administration unveiled their proposed set of regulations on e-cigs and related products. Here is a statement that Greg Conley, a lawyer with the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, released on the issue. Below the statement, we’ve also included a comment he posted to Reddit.

By the time most of you read this, the FDA Center for Tobacco Products will have already released the several hundred page “deeming” regulation regarding electronic cigarettes and other nicotine and tobacco products.

Please read this comment I quickly wrote earlier tonight on why vapers and vendors should OPPOSE deeming regulation. I have reproduced it below this e-mail.

Predictably, the news stories out right now are largely being told from the FDA’s point of view. The FDA is trying to sell this regulation to lawmakers, public health groups, and industry, so they are of course aiming to have their regulation portrayed in the most positive light possible in the media.

Nonetheless, from what I can gather from these news articles and my knowledge of the Tobacco Control Act, the deeming regulation will be a disaster for e-cigarette product innovation, small and medium-sized businesses, and consumers. This is not a surprise to me, as people and groups like Bill Godshall, Dr. Michael Siegel, CASAA, SFATA, myself, etc. have long-noted that regulation of e-cigarettes under the Tobacco Control Act would likely do more harm than good, increase costs to consumers without benefits, and lead to products being removed from the market.

Please do not accept interview requests by journalists and TV reporters on this subject until you fully understand the ramifications of these regulations. Simply tell the reporters that, like any rational business owner, you won’t be commenting until you have had the chance to actually read the proposed regulations.

For business owners and investors wishing to understand the subject more, I offer consulting services. Please call or email me for more details.

Best, Gregory Conley, JD, MBA
231 Church Road
Medford, NJ 08055
(609) 947 – 8059
Gregory Conley Consulting, LLC
Twitter / LinkedIn

And here’s his comment on Reddit:

A Brief Explanation of why the FDA Deeming Regulation Should Be Opposed
This is NOT good news and vendors and vapers should vehemently OPPOSE these regulations, as they will work to the benefit of large tobacco and e-cigarette companies with Wall Street investors that don’t make the products used by 98% of this subreddit’s users, while potentially shutting down hundreds or thousands of small and medium-sized businesses thanks to an extremely expensive, resource-heavy, and arbitrary system setup by the Family Smoking Prevention & Tobacco Control Act.

This is actually worse than I expected.

Two years after the regulation is written, e-cigarette companies will have to put in ‘new tobacco product’ applications for any product released to the market after February 25, 2007.*** This is not mere registration. This is a lengthy and expensive process. If you don’t file an application, your product is banned. If you file an application and the FDA finds that your product shouldn’t be on the market for one of a variety of reasons (including simply ‘You failed to submit adequate evidence of x, y, and z.’), it can be pulled from the market.

After that 2 year date, any new e-cigarette product must be approved by the FDA before it goes to market. If the FDA does not approve your product, it cannot be brought to market. This is not a fast process, as evidenced by a Government Accountability Office report that was highly critical of huge delays that were and still are happening at the FDA Center for Tobacco Products. http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/657451.pdf

For just a sample of what a “new tobacco product” application is like, see here. This a document from when the FDA refused to even file (let alone approve) four “new tobacco product” applications: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/TobaccoProducts/Labeling/MarketingandAdvertising/UCM389515.pdf

Also see this snippet from a Lancet article (behind a paywall) by Dr. Lawrence Deyton, the former Director of the Center for Tobacco Products, in which the burden that will be put on e-cigarette and e-liquid companies is outlined: http://pastebin.com/5nGxZYac

This is bad news for e-cigarette consumers. The chance of a flavor ban or an online sales ban from the start was never really an option. This prospect was here all along and is not positive.

*** There is also something called “substantial equivalence” which is a smaller, but still expensive, loop to jump through. However, FDA guidance on substantial equivalence, and their past decisions on other applications, indicate that it would be a fruitless effort to prove substantial equivalence for a 2016 e-cig product vs. a 2007 product.

Vapers should not only oppose this deeming regulation, but also support vendors that stick up for their businesses and consumers.

What the L.A. E-Cig Ban Means for Angelinos

What the L.A. E-Cig Ban Means for Angelinos

Following in the footsteps of an increasing number of cities, Los Angeles had voted to put e-cigs into the same category as tobacco products. This means that wherever you’re not allowed to smoke a cigarette, you’re also not allowed to use your vape. Of course, Beyond Vape disagrees with this entirely, and we believe that the decisions were guided by wild misconceptions.

But, as it stands, the law has taken effect this past Saturday, and KPCC has a quick rundown on what it means for vapers. As the article reports, “officers will respond to calls reporting illegal e-cigarette use, though…officers will not prioritize those calls over emergencies.”

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The ban on e-cigs have reached a fever pitch. While anti-e-cig groups are saying that there’s insufficient research on vaping, they’re also making strict, far-reaching decisions based on this “insufficient research.” There is a bit of hypocrisy here. If you’re as concerned as we are about the discrimination against vaping, we suggest you reach out to your local congressman and/or city council member. Explain your stance and tell them that it is misguided to treat e-cigs as combustible-tobacco products.

Can You Vape in the Office?

Can You Vape in the Office?

For vapers, one of the most popular questions is “can I vape here?” Sometimes it comes down to restrictions of etiquette. Other times it comes down to the law (which has, at increasing speed, limited the availability of vape-friendly areas).

NPR has turned their attention to the workplace; should you be allowed to vape from your cubicle? As with most work related matters, it’s up to the company’s decision, and some workplaces have deemed it OK to vape in the office. Gary Nolan, who works at a broadcasting station, says that more and more of his co-workers have taken to vaping at their desks. He also notes that vaping has made him more productive; once a pack-a-day smoker, vape pens have now eliminated the need to exit the office on a regular basis, which saves him “10 minutes out of every hour.”

Of course, there are detractors on the idea of office vaping. And it’s doubtful that the matter will be settled anytime soon. Ultimately (speaking from a practical standpoint) it’s up to your superiors if you can vape in the workplace, so check in with your bosses to see where they stand.

Vape Coffeeshop Opens in London

Vape Coffeeshop Opens in London

Shoreditch, London, known for its experimental shops and restaurants (and younger demographic), is now home to Vape Lab, a coffeeshop that serves vapes, e-juices, and other vaping amenities. The offering of e-juices include flavors like custard, Cuban tobacco, absinthe, gin, coconut, and tangerine. The shop was founded by Pierre Durand and Jonathan Cadeilhan, French expatriates who say that they’d hatched their idea after noticing how vaping was booming in their native country.

Customers at the Vape Lab in shoreditch, London. Picture Courtesy of the Telegraph
Customers at the Vape Lab in Shoreditch, London. Picture courtesy of the Telegraph

As reported in The Guardian, many Shoreditch residents see it as nothing more than a hipster fad, and they’ve taken to Twitter to mock the shop. But is it really just a flash in the pan? As someone noted in the comments section of this Telegraph article, Vape Lab isn’t the first vape coffeeshop in the UK; one had already existed in the city of Swansea for over a year. And a preliminary Google search of “vape coffeeshop” has turned up vape cafes in Maryland, Washington, and (not surprisingly) Amsterdam. So it may seem that vape coffeeshops are a growing trend, not just a passing fad.

Beyond Vape In The News

Beyond Vape In The News

Our Santa Cruz location has received some press in Good Times. In the article, co-founder Wen Wei talks about the origins of Beyond Vape, the company’s strive for a superior product, and the industry’s role in educating the public about vaping (and how it’s different from smoking).

Good Times Article

The story also notes that vaping has come under scrutiny in Santa Cruz recently. On March 25, the City Council voted unanimously to put e-cigs in the same category as tobacco cigarettes. Council members said they were concerned with how e-cigs were being marketed.

In spite of the heightened scrutiny, the writer reports, the e-cig industry has boomed in the last few years, with American sales reaching $1 billion at the end of 2013. Sales are projected to grow to $10 billion within five years.

The entire article can be found here.

Vapes Should Be Made More Accessible for the Mentally Ill

Vapes Should Be Made More Accessible for the Mentally Ill

Psychiatric wards have often been veiled in secrecy. Some of this is willful ignorance; psych hospitals aren’t exactly the happiest of topics, so we tend to avoid it.

So it may surprise some that psychiatric wards (or mentally ill patients in general) are a big target for tobacco companies. As reported in Pacific Standard, the mentally ill make up the biggest demographic of smokers, accounting for almost 46 percent of the tobacco industry’s customer base. This is partly due to the fact that cigarettes are a way to pass the time in a psych ward. The other, and perhaps larger, factor is that nicotine has proven to be medically beneficial to the mentally ill. It has been long-known that nicotine can settle nerves, since it acts as both a stimulant and a relaxant. As stated in Pacific Standard, “once in the brain, [nicotine] saturates the nicotinic receptors, triggering an instantaneous release of a host of neurotransmitters—acetylcholine, dopamine, endorphins, serotonin, and glutamate—that improve mood, memory, and concentration. Anxiety and pain are lessened.”

Psyhciatric Hospital

It is also theorized that nicotine can treat symptoms of psychological disorders like schizophrenia. The drug helps alleviate a phenomenon called “sensory grating,” which many schizophrenics suffer from. With sensory grating, the sufferer experiences *all* stimuli with the same intensity, meaning they are bombarded with fear and confusion.

Of course, there are the pitfalls to smoking cigarettes. And the mentally ill account for half of the estimated 400,000 Americans who die from smoking-related diseases every year.

It seems natural, then, that e-cigs should come into the picture. It can provide the therapeutic effects of nicotine, but through a safer mode of intake. Pacific Standard notes that patches, sprays, and gums also provide nicotine, but they often fail to lure smokers away from cigarettes. The article hypothesizes that it’s because gums and patches lack the comforting “rituals” of smoking; lighting up, inhaling, having something in your hand, etc. E-cigs, of course, provide all of these rituals. So is it time to consider promoting e-cigs as a healthier alternative in psych wards (and to the public in general)? Bob Carolla, director of media relations for The National Alliance of Mental Illness’, says that his organization is looking into it: “NAMI doesn’t have a position on electronic cigarettes. We are studying the issue and consulting with experts in the field.”