Philip Morris’s CEO About Phasing Out Cigarettes in Japan Within a Decade


Back in 2017, former PMI CEO Andre Calantzopoulos had said that due to the popularity of their electronic devices in Japan and South Korea, the tobacco company should be able to phase out combustible cigarettes in these countries within a matter of a few years.

Fast forward four years, and the Marlboro maker has reiterated this goal and proposed a clearer deadline. “We want Japan to be the first market for the phase-out,” newly appointed CEO Jacek Olczak told the Nikkei in an interview earlier this year. The company “will realise a smoke-free society in Japan within 10 years,” he added.

The tobacco company has been betting on its IQOS, a smokeless alternative to combustible cigarettes that works by heating tobacco leaves known as Heets in Korea and HeatSticks in Japan. These refills which look like short cigarettes, must be inserted into the device and are heated it up once the iQOS device is switched on.

Why Japan is the ideal test ground for such products

Olczak was quoted by Nikkei Business, as saying that PMI also plans “to introduce devices using new technologies.” Tobacco companies have long considered Japan as the ideal test ground for HNB tobacco products, since regular e-cigarettes are banned by the country’s strict regulations. Additionally, this nation is one renowned for having a high regard for cleanliness and health, hence non-combustible cigarette alternatives are also sought after as they are in line with these values.

Read Further: MoneyControl

PMI to Launch IQOS VEEV in Several Markets Throughout The Year





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The Firefly 2 offers a smooth, cool draw for your vaping pleasure – TechCrunch


It’s getting nigh on Holiday Season and how better to celebrate the old Yule log than with a nice herbal vaporizer. The Firefly 2 is a very clever and very well-built convection vape that creates a smooth, flavorful draw and can extract the maximum in herbal pleasure out of a little bit of material.

Like Pax the Firefly 2 is foremost about function. The system heats herbs to 400 degrees Fahrenheit inside a small chamber that is visible through a window on the top panel. The whole thing is four inches long and about an inch thick and the glass top panel sticks to the body with magnets. To activate the vape you simple hold your fingers over two little pads on either side of the Firefly. Finer control is achieve via the app that connects seamlessly to the Firefly and allows you to set the temperature and manage the activation method.

Users of older vapes definitely won’t miss the arcane button press combinations and timing requirements of earlier systems. The Firefly activates and begins heating when you touch the side buttons and is ready when the light turns green. Once green you simply inhale for 10 seconds. I estimate you can get about 15-20 hits off of one charge and you can swap out batteries as needed. You can also add concentrates after sticking in a little aluminum disk into the heating chamber.

The thing you’ll notice is that the Firefly 2 does not get hot – it’s nicely insulated and the glass top remains cool to the touch – and it’s very well built. My only concern would be that the magnetic top could slide off in transit but even energetic pushing couldn’t dislodge it so, while care is must be taken, it should survive a ride in a back pocket.

The vapor is cool and flavorful and very effective. I’m not a regular smoker by any stretch but I had no trouble inhaling and enjoying the experience. The smell is also reduced with the Firefly 2 as the material is carefully and fully heated.

It’s interesting to note that the Firefly is so cool because its creators, Sasha Robinson and Mark Williams, came from Flip, the once ascendant camcorder company, and Apple. This dream team of product design and software creation led to what can only be described as a perfect storm for heshers.

Now for the potentially bad news. The Firefly 2 costs $329 but includes an extra battery, USB charger, and a cleaning kit. You also get three concentrate discs in the package. Still, a little over $300 is a small price to pay for what amounts to one of the most perfect vaping machines. It’s compact, easy to use, and simple – just the treat for folks who want a puff or two now and again without the fuss of rolling papers or pipes. I, for one, welcome our streamlined convection vaping overlords.

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Pax launches desktop app, bypassing Apple’s vaping ban – TechCrunch


Pax today is announcing a new app for its cannabis vaporizers. The service offers access to device controls, cannabis strain information and safety features. The company previously launched an Android and iPhone app with similar features, but Apple later removed the version on the App Store, stripping iPhone users of features and information.

Pax is not coy about the motivations behind this desktop app. “Built in response to Apple’s removal of vaporization-related apps from the App Store,” the press release reads. This desktop app has been in the works for some time. Apple removed vaping apps in late 2019, and Pax representatives told me in January 2020 they had been working toward a new solution.

“We’re thrilled to be able to restore functionality to Apple users,” said Jesse Silver, SVP of Product at PAX Labs. “While we build our devices to work beautifully even without the app, the magic truly happens when you have precision control over things like temperature and dose, not to mention the confidence that comes with this level of information and transparency around what’s in the pod. Because so many of our features are developed through the lens of delivering a predictable, high-quality experience, it was really important to us that all of our customers could access them—regardless of whether they use iPhones or Androids.”

This web app features the same functionality of the smartphone app, but it’s unfortunately tied to a desktop computer. The web app does not work on smartphones. Because of this, some of the magic is lost as users are still unable to fine-tune control of the vapes while away from their desks.

Other companies have made similar moves, most notably, Canopy Growth Corp.’s Storz & Bickel. In March 2020, the vaping device maker launched its web app to bypass Apple’s ban. In its solution, users have to use a specific mobile browser due to Bluetooth. If willing to jump through a few hoops, the web app restores features of Storz & Bickel’s vaporizers for Apple users.

I use the company’s Android app with a Pax Era Pro and enjoy the wealth of information available through the portal. Not sure what’s in a Pax pod? Snap it into the Era Pro to see where the strain was developed and cultivated, as well as the results from testing reports. But as an iPhone user, it would be great to have this information on my primary device.

Pax’s new desktop app requires Chrome for macOS users. For those on Windows, functionality is only available with the Pax Era Pro. After several setup steps, the desktop web app works as advertised and features a slick interface and rich functionality.



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American convenience store Association calls on FDA to improve PMTA transparency


According to the news from CSP daily news, recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a number of rejection orders on the pre marketing application (PMTA) of tobacco products, but these documents only listed the names of the rejected companies and did not involve the specific products rejected.

In this regard, the American convenience store association (NACs) requires FDA to disclose the list of products rejected for sale. The association said that without a specific list, retailers would not know what products to take off the shelves. Moreover, the FDA’s review process of pre marketing applications for tobacco products (PMTA) must be transparent so that stakeholders in the tobacco industry can understand all specific products rejected and allowed to be sold.

However, the FDA said that retailers can contact product suppliers to understand the current sales authorization status of any tobacco products.



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Portland Washington County considers banning retailers from selling flavored e-cigarettes


It is reported that the Washington County Committee in Portland, Oregon is considering banning retail stores from selling flavored tobacco and steam products for people under the age of 21.

On 21 September, the committee heard a hearing on a decree prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products, synthetic nicotine and equipment for inhaling these products in retail stores that allow persons under the age of 21 to enter. At present, the second reading has been held.

flavored disposable electronic cigarette

It also prohibits retailers from offering discounts or using promotional prices for such products.

In the public comments of the committee’s online meeting, 22 speakers took the floor, and most speakers opposed the regulation.

Supporters of the law said that in the context of the explosive growth in the use of electronic cigarette products by teenagers across the country, the action was bold to limit young people’s exposure to harmful products. He said it would be a step.

Health care professionals and members of the youth drug abuse prevention group mainly constitute supporters.

Opponents, mainly local convenience store owners and product distributors, said that the regulation would be unfairly disadvantaged in the market and would lose a large part of its revenue because it continued to address the economic impact of the pandemic.

They added that state legislation, including the law to raise the minimum age for the purchase of tobacco and e-cigarette products to 21 in 2017, had fully prohibited the sale of such products to minors.

“Years of public health research have shown that these strategies are effective strategies to prevent young people from starting smoking,” Marni quill, head of the County Department of health and human services, said at a meeting. “We also know that the tobacco industry is doing more advertising and discounts for low-income areas of people of color.”

According to the data provided by kuyl, 63% of Grade 8 students and 75% of Grade 11 students reported using flavoring products when using tobacco products. She said the data came from the Oregon behavioral risk factor monitoring system’s health survey.

In addition, according to a local survey, 58% supported banning flavored tobacco and e-cigarette products, and 61% supported banning the price promotion of such products.

In a public comment, Anna tegan, the publicity director of the western region of the tobacco free children’s movement, said that such policies are the best way to prevent young people from using tobacco and e-cigarette products.

“During the new crown pandemic, the whole country, including children in Washington County, faced a public health crisis,” tegan said. “The health crisis is the use of cigarettes by teenagers. Nearly 17% of Grade 11 students and nearly 8.2% of Grade 8 students in Washington County smoke e-cigarettes. Therefore, protecting children’s health and preventing addiction should be our top priority.”

Representatives of local and national trade associations and retailers questioned the effectiveness of these policies and disagreed with the arguments in favour, saying that they were difficult to implement.

They say young people who want to buy flavored tobacco and steam breathing products only need to buy them in neighboring counties.

Saeed Anwar, the owner of a convenience store in Washington County, said that a fifth of his business comes from flavored cigarettes and electronic cigarettes.

He said that the loss of income caused by the regulations would force him to reduce the number of employees.

After the public consultation period, Commissioner Nafi Safi proposed a series of amendments to the act to extend the ban.

The Amendment prohibits the sale of flavored tobacco, synthetic nicotine and equipment for inhaling them throughout the county, including retail stores that only allow people over the age of 21 to enter.

“The power of public health really lies in prevention,” Pi said. “We are moving from restrictions to prohibitions.”

In response to the amendment proposed by phi, Commissioner Jerry Willy said that the action was inappropriate and that more time was needed to consider the impact of the amendment before voting on the amendment.

He added that representatives of companies that only serve people over the age of 21 might want to comment on the fix.

Commissioner Roy Rogers agreed that the amendment significantly changed the scope of the act, saying he could not support them.

He also proposed not to maintain the original scope of the regulations and pointed out the potential loss of enterprise income.

Catherine Harrington, chairman of the board of directors, said she supported Phi’s intention to extend the ban.

She said she sympathized with Willie and Rogers, who wanted to know more about the impact of the amendment, but rejected their claim that the procedure was inadequate.

Harrington said it was neither honest nor appropriate for her to make such a correction. This is how the legislative process works.

Phi later withdrew his motion to pass the amendment so that the committee could consider it.

After further review of the regulations, at a meeting on October 9, a motion for more public opinions was passed by 3-2 votes, and Willie and Rogers voted against it.



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Biden Could Pick Vaping Foe Robert Califf as FDA Chief


The Biden administration is vetting former FDA commissioner Robert Califf for a possible second appointment to the post. A final decision hasn’t been made, and the White House is still considering other names for the job, but the news, first reported yesterday by the Washington Post, has gotten a lot of attention in Washington.

President Joe Biden has been in office for nearly nine months, but has not nominated a candidate for FDA commissioner. FDA veteran Janet Woodcock has served as Acting Commissioner since Biden took over in January, but by law can’t remain in the job beyond mid-November.

The Biden transition team vetted several candidates for the FDA job, including former Obama FDA official Josh Sharfstein and former FDA commissioner David Kessler, both considered likely opponents of reasonable vaping regulations. Whoever is nominated and confirmed will serve as commissioner under Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, himself an opponent of vaping and the vaping industry.

Califf served less than a year as commissioner during President Barack Obama’s final year in office, following Obama’s first commissioner Margaret Hamburg. He was nominated by Obama in September 2015 and confirmed by the Senate in February 2016. He left the office on Jan. 20, 2017—Obama’s final day in office—and was eventually succeeded by President Donald Trump’s nominee Scott Gottlieb. Califf, a Duke University cardiology professor, spent a year as FDA Deputy Commissioner of the FDA’s Office of Medical Products and Tobacco before taking over as commissioner.

Califf was FDA commissioner when the agency issued its final Deeming Rule, and was publicly supportive of the regulations, although he later lamented the White House Office of Management and Budget’s removal of the flavor ban that had been included in the original version. “With this rule, the FDA will be able to prevent misleading claims and provide consumers with information to help them better understand the risks,” Califf said when the rule was issued in May 2016.

Later, in a misguided 2019 article, Califf suggested a ban on flavored nicotine vaping products as a remedy for the “EVALI” outbreak (which was unrelated to nicotine vaping). He also supported moving nicotine vaping to a prescription-only model, as Australia has done.

“The regulatory trifecta,” Califf wrote, “would be to: 1) require the tobacco industry to lower the amount of nicotine in its products to subaddictive levels (if nicotine can be dialed up using irradiation and selective breeding, it can also be dialed down, even if the law forbids regulation that reduces the level to zero); 2) ban over-the-counter vaping products; and 3) support prescription vaping so that the 30 million current tobacco users do not go through acute withdrawal all at the same time.”

Needless to say, such an approach would be a very remote possibility at this point, requiring a radical overhaul of food and drug laws applying to consumer nicotine products. It would be opposed by both independent vaping interests and the tobacco industry, as well as trade groups representing related industries like convenience stores and gas stations.

Califf, like Scott Gottlieb, has suggested that perhaps open-system vaping products could be regulated differently than pod-based products that kids prefer. But in general his positions on vaping are informed by misunderstanding and ignorance, and a Califf-run FDA would be unlikely to authorize a useful variety of vaping products.

“Senators should be skeptical and prepared to vote no until we have an FDA commissioner who is willing to use vaping as a tool to promote public health and not continue the FDA’s regulatory arson that leaves former and current smokers without a safe and effective way to quit,” American Vapor Manufacturers Association (AVM) President Amanda Wheeler said in a statement about Califf’s possible nomination as FDA chief.

Although he was confirmed as commissioner by the Senate in 2016 by an 89-4 vote, he faced harsh criticism from several senators for his ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

That opposition—from Sens. Bernie Sanders and Joe Manchin, among other Democrats—may resurface if Califf is nominated again. Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal has already said he would probably oppose Califf for a second time.

Featured image courtesy C-SPAN.



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