FDA OKs first e-cigarette, Vuse, a vaping device from RJ Reynolds, citing benefit to smokers

Story Highlights

  • Tuesday’s decision only applies to Vuse’s Solo e-cigarette and its tobacco-flavored nicotine cartridges.
  • Launched in 2013, Vuse Solo is a rechargeable metallic device that’s shaped like a traditional cigarette.
  • Vuse is the No. 2 vaping brand in the U.S. behind Juul, accounting for about a third of all retail sales.

WASHINGTON — For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday authorized an electronic cigarette, saying the vaping device from R.J. Reynolds can help smokers cut back on conventional cigarettes.

E-cigarettes have been sold in the U.S. for more than a decade with minimal government oversight or research. Facing a court deadline, the FDA has been conducting a sweeping review of vaping products to determine which ones should be allowed to remain on the market.

The agency said in September it had rejected applications for more than a million e-cigarettes and related products, mainly due to their potential appeal to underage teens. But regulators delayed making decisions on most of the major vaping companies, including market leader Juul, which is still pending.

Tuesday’s decision only applies to Vuse’s Solo e-cigarette and its tobacco-flavored nicotine cartridges. The agency said data from the company showed the e-cigarette helped smokers significantly reduce their exposure to the harmful chemicals in traditional cigarettes.

While the products can now be legally sold in the U.S., the FDA stressed they are neither safe nor “FDA approved,” and that people who don’t smoke shouldn’t use them.

Launched in 2013, Vuse Solo is a rechargeable metallic device that’s shaped like a traditional cigarette. The FDA said it rejected 10 other requests from the company for other flavored products. The agency is still reviewing the company’s request to sell a menthol-flavored nicotine formula.

“Today’s authorizations are an important step toward ensuring all new tobacco products undergo the FDA’s robust, scientific premarket evaluation,” said Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s tobacco center, in a statement. “The manufacturer’s data demonstrates its tobacco-flavored products could benefit addicted adult smokers who switch to these products – either completely or with a significant reduction in cigarette consumption.”

E-cigarettes first appeared in the U.S. around 2007 with the promise of providing smokers with a less harmful alternative to smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes. The devices heat a nicotine solution into a vapor that’s inhaled.

But there has been little rigorous study of whether e-cigarettes truly help smokers quit. And efforts by the FDA to begin vetting vaping products and their claims were repeatedly slowed by industry lobbying and competing political interests.

In recent years, the vaping market grew to include hundreds of companies selling an array of devices and nicotine solutions in various flavors and strengths. But the vast majority of the market is controlled by a few companies including Juul Labs, which is partially owned by Altria, and Vuse.

Vuse is the No. 2 vaping brand in the U.S. behind Juul, accounting for about a third of all retail sales. Its parent company R.J. Reynolds sells Newport, Camel and other leading cigarettes.

A company spokesperson said in a statement that the FDA decision confirms “that Vuse Solo products are appropriate for the protection of the public health, underscoring years of scientific study and research.”

To stay on the market, companies must show that their products benefit public health. In practice, that means proving that adult smokers who use the products are likely to quit or reduce their smoking, while teens are unlikely to get hooked on them.

Kenneth Warner, a tobacco expert at the University of Michigan’s school of public health, said the news was a positive step for reducing the harms of smoking. But he lamented that only a vaping device backed by a Big Tobacco company was able to win the FDA’s endorsement.

“The demands the FDA places on companies filing these applications are so extraordinary difficult to meet that only those with huge resources and personnel – in terms of scientists, lawyers, researchers – are able to file successfully,” said Warner.

He said smaller companies and vape shops should have a separate path to get their products authorized.

The FDA declared underage vaping an “epidemic” in 2018 and has taken a series of measures aimed at the small cartridge-based devices that first sparked the problem, including limiting their flavors to tobacco and menthol. Separately, Congress raised the purchase age for all tobacco and vaping products to 21.

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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NHS Prescription E-cigarettes Vape News

NHS Prescription E-cigarettes vape news ecigclick

NHS Prescription E-cigarettes – More Reactions

The news the UK Government is considering NHS prescription e-cigarettes has been picked up by the world’s mainstream media.

So far there’s been few opponents to the idea, and the UK retail trade says it will be ‘good for the industry’.

NHS prescription e-cigarettes

As you can see from my article: E-cigarettes On NHS Prescriptions – the Good and the Bad – I have a few reservations…but hey I’ve put enough of a damper on things lol.

Trade magazine Better Retailing spoke to a number of shop keepers and all seemed keen on the idea – of course any licensed vape product would probably only be available from pharmacies.

However the retailers say it would mean more smokers making the switch and may lessen the negativity around vaping.

Avtar Sidhu, of St. John’s Budgens in Kenilworth, near me in Warwickshire, said:

There has been loads of conflicting and negative messaging over the years regarding vapes, so it’s great that the UK government has come out with some positive rhetoric.

It gives consumers confidence, raises its [vaping category] profile, and helps turn it into a mainstream product.

Tobacco is still huge in comparison to e-cigarettes, and while vaping has been chipping away at it, I think this is a catalyst for it to really flourish and grow.

The fact it’s going through the NHS is good for the whole category and industry.

It’s morally the right thing to do.

We’ve been trying to guide people off cigarettes and this legitimises it.

A lot of people who have thought about it will turn to it. This will work in the favour of the retailers who view this as an opportunity.

Great points.

Professor Nick Hopkinson, a consultant physician at the Royal Brompton and medical director at Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation, spoke to Sky News saying:

There is already good evidence that commercially available e-cigarettes enable people to switch away from smoking to a much safer alternative.

However, the development of medicinally licensed e-cigarettes would be a really important step forward, providing patients and healthcare professionals with an additional tool to break dependence on smoking, backed up by the reassurance that comes from a rigorous authorisation process.

Deborah Arnott
Deborah Arnott

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH said:

The MHRA guidance opens the door to a day when smokers can be prescribed e-cigarettes to improve their chances of successfully quitting.

…Smokers find it hard to quit, taking on average 30 attempts to succeed, which is why we need new tools in the toolbox, such as medicinally licensed e-cigarettes.

Consumer e-cigarettes bought over the counter are proven to be the most successful quitting aid, but nearly a third of smokers have never tried them, and a similar proportion believe, wrongly, that e-cigarettes are as, or more harmful, than smoking.

These are the smokers who are more likely to try vaping if they had the reassurance provided by a medicines licence and products available on prescription.

I’m still suspicious of licensed vape kits, but have to admit the debate is certainly keeping the UK at the top of the tobacco harm reduction tables.

If current smokers see the news of NHS prescription e-cigarettes becoming a possibility, then yeah let’s hope millions more make the switch.

As to if we ever see such a product…it’s a only a possibility at the moment.

So…what are your thoughts?

Should we see NHS prescription e-cigarettes?

Do you class the vape device your using as a ‘medicine?’

Over 3.5 million of us here in the UK didn’t need a prescription to quit smoking via vaping…

Further reading from the UK Government: Guidance for licensing electronic cigarettes and other inhaled nicotine-containing products as medicines

Court Of Appeal Slams the FDA PMTA Process

The FDA has been slammed by the US Court of Appeals for the whole PMTA process and some say it might even be ‘unconstitutional’.

Judges reviewing the refusal of PMTA applications from vape brand Triton Distribution accused the FDA of moving the goalposts – or as they put it:


…a suprise switcheroo…

The ruling is 19 pages long and the judges do not hold back ending with:

Contrary to the FDA’s suggestion, we have the authority to give Triton relief pending review.

For the foregoing reasons, Triton’s motion for a stay pending review of its petition is GRANTED.

Fantastic news and Triton’s 55,000 products it had put up for analysis can now remain on the market…for the time being at least.

The law does like a precedence so this should open up for the floodgates for even more appeals.

Read the whole ruling here: Wages and White Lion Investments LLC v. USFDA

A Vape Tax Not A Vape Ban For Malaysia

Malaysia looks likely to impose a vape tax rather than an outright ban on e-cigarettes.

However anti-vape groups in the country are furious and are calling for a government re-think.

Malaysian E liquids

It was back in 2019 the Malaysian Government looked at banning all things vape and that was on the back of the so called EVALI outbreak in the USA.

We now of course know that had absolutely nothing to do with nicotine based vaped and was of course due to contaminated and illicit bought cannabis pens.

Read my article from back in 2019 for more info on that: Vaping Is NOT About To Kill You – But Black-Market THC Cartridges Might

The vape tax was announced last week during the country’s budget hearings.

Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz said:

The government plans to introduce excise duty on liquid or gel products containing nicotine used for electronic cigarettes and vapes.

Good to hear, especially as the stats show a marked decrease in death and serious tobacco related illnesses since the country allowed e-cigarettes to be sold.

Of course the anti-vape crowd is unhappy and is pinning their colours to the flag of the anti-vaping WHO!

A 35 strong group, including health professionals, have written to the government demanding a rethink.

The letter says:

We strongly object to the proposal. We are disappointed the government is allowing the sale of another addictive product which has been proven to be detrimental to the people’s physical and mental health.

The government’s decision is also not in line with the decision by the National Fatwa Council in 2015 that deemed electronic cigarettes and vape were haram.

As such, we urge the 220 MPs to demand that the finance minister reconsider this proposal, especially when Covid-19 has not subsided and the fact that studies have shown that those with the virus may experience worse complications by consuming such products.

Total rubbish of course, but let’s see if the government stands up for the health of its people.

IQOS Stubbed Out In the USA

It’s a story I’ve been following for a while and it’s now true that IQOS will be banned from sale in the USA by the end of November this year.

The move stems for a court battle between IQOS owners Altria and British American Tobacco [BAT].

menthol iqos heat not burn

BAT says the IQOS violates it’s patent for the Glo heat not burn device, something Altria vehemently disputes.

A spokesman said:

We are disappointed with the ITC’s decision.

We continue to believe [British American Tobacco’s] patents are invalid and that IQOS does not infringe on those patents.

We are working hard on a solution to make these products available again as soon as possible.

It’s difficult times for Altria’s presence in the e-cigs market with JUUL still waiting to see if it gets FDA approval.

…and finally…Vape Meme Of the Week [or ever!]

tobacco control meme

Ha! Love it 🙂


More vape news on Wednesday

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How to Get the Best Cannabis Packaging & Design for your Brand

Custom cannabis packaging made by skilled designers is just as vital as product quality in emphasizing your product’s identity. Great packaging communicates to the market what you represent, helps people identify your branding, and assists potential buyers in determining whether your products are suited for them. All of this is communicated through color, form, and other design components in packaging. Discovering beautiful tag design concepts and trending in product package design is essential for selling more items and increasing brand awareness. In this essay, we will learn about the significance and specifics of the best cannabis packaging technique.

Importance of Attractive Packaging

The best dispensary packaging must be elegant, but it must also be consistent with the company’s natural sense. For example, if you’re a prime firm with a nice, unique vibe, your packaging should represent that. Everything must be in order to convey to the buyer who you are and who you stood for. On the other hand, if your business is more lively, you may be a little more playful with your layout concept. Buyers want to be capable of identifying your brand as soon as they view it. They will be dissatisfied with a corporation whose ideas are inconsistent.

Importance of Strong Packaging

Packaging must be long-lasting and suit its function. Customers will need to be able to store their pack in a backpack easily. Paper wrapping should be sturdy and, ideally, waterproof so that the buyer can keep the original packing as a storage alternative. It would help if you didn’t want your clients to be concerned about the bag’s contents falling out.

Proper Marijuana Packaging Examples

Cannabis and marijuana use is increasing on a daily basis. More companies are entering the industry. More businesses are realizing that they must compete and demonstrate to clients that they are the best alternative. Cannabis packing and marijuana packaging come in a variety of packaging and design types.

Paper cannabis packaging

Paper cannabis packaging is mainly seen in pouch form. This is a waterproof, almost waxy type of material that keeps the flower dry and fresh, and it has that resealable strip across the top that we mentioned before. These come in various sizes, depending on the goods contained within the packaging itself. This type of packaging gives the user easy storage.

Glass container

This sort of packaging provides better security. Of course, this is a packaging that is commonly applied with CBD oil for added safety and protection. This is the most excellent cannabis packing for preserving freshness and safety. It also provides an alternative storage option to the standard packing. We realize that conventional cardboard is often damaged when wet, but the glass case will preserve the goods securely. The packing in this example is mainly for marketing and keeping the glass safe throughout shipping and sale.

Airtight Container

It is perfect for storing but may also be given as a gift. The basic packaging is ideal for preserving the flower while also keeping it fresh and secure. These jars work well for a colorful, eye-catching design. The vivid colors and jazzy mood are eye-catching, yet the overall effect is modest. Like the plastic container within a small box, the airtight jar is an excellent technique to preserve the plant from harm during transportation.
The idea is to meet customers where they are today and where they will be in the coming future. The distinctive packaging designs of 2021 are focused on delivering a new, more comprehensive branding impression. Always ensure cannabis packaging and labeling regulations protect public and consumer health and safety.

The Truth About Shipping Vape Juice

Last Thursday, the entire vape industry was given less than 24 hours to stop sending products using the United States Postal Service. That’s right – we and every other supplier had less than a day to change our delivery services from the US Postal Services to other carriers. Don’t worry, shipping you your favourite vape juice or device is still legal, and because we’ve been preparing for this for months, we’re going to be able to keep doing it.

Here’s the basic lowdown:

Thanks to lobbying from people who would prefer you didn’t have access to your favourite vapes, the industry is now relying on smaller local carriers to deliver your packages. These are great companies who really know their local communities, but given the size of the US and the complexity of the supply chains, this means it will take us longer to get your parcels to you, at least in the short term.

It also means that we’re temporarily unable to ship everywhere in the US. You can use our ZIP-finder to check if we can deliver to you right now or whether we’re still working on getting coverage in your area, and if we can’t do that just yet, leave us your email address and as soon as we can ship to your area again, we’ll email you and let you know. (And we might even send you a personalized discount code, to say thanks for coming back).

Just to give you an idea of how this process actually works, we and every other vaping company now charters our own trucks known as LTL – or “less than truckload” services – to get your product to regional inception centres where they’re sorted for shipping to the relevant local carrier. Once that’s happened, parcels are then loaded onto trucks or planes to another sorting center used by the local carrier; and then on to you. And because these companies are smaller, there are fewer trucks and places available. This is way more complicated than sending a parcel through the postal service.

The good news is that because of how many people and businesses this affects, this carrier network is getting bigger and better by the day, and in a few months time, you’ll barely notice the difference.

But why’s shipping more expensive?

There are two reasons that shipping costs have gone up for vaping products; first, because these smaller companies have less economies of scale and higher costs: we expect this to change as time goes on. But the second is that the law also says that we’re required to have you sign for your order and show ID to the delivery service before it’s handed over. This adds another layer of costs to the process, although we’ve no problem making sure all our customers are of legal age to vape.

We’ve decided to keep our delivery costs as low as possible and to be upfront about how they work. That’s why our shipping remains the lowest on the internet in most cases. To give you an idea, we took a look at some online vape stores and compared their rates to ours. We learned that you as a customer need to remain on the lookout for hidden charges!!!

Sure, some sites might offer free shipping, but in a lot of cases, they’ve just hidden the extra charge in an “adult signature surcharge”. This might give you the impression that it’s a separate charge: we can tell you with absolute certainty that this is always a part of the cost of shipping products to you!

Vaping.com will never charge you for “adult signature” separately. When we say free shipping, we mean it. Oh, and by the way, our free shipping threshold is among the lowest on the web, and if your order doesn’t make the limit, our shipping charges are some of the lowest too!

vaping.com Element Vape Direct Vapor
“Free” shipping minimum $75 $80 $120
Paid shipping cost $10 $8 $6.99
Adult signature supplement WHAT’S THAT? $6 $6.99
“Free” shipping cost ACTUALLY FREE $6 $6.99
Paid shipping cost $10 $14 $13.98


And how come there’s so much tax?

The short answer is because your elected representatives decided to charge them!

As well as making delivery far more difficult and expensive, the Government also requires us to:

  • Verify that all customers are 21 or over, using a commercially available database (no problem, and we’ve been doing this for years!)
  • Collect an adult signature (21+) with ID at time of delivery
  • Register with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms and the U.S. Attorney General
  • Obtain licenses from all states that require vape retailers to be licensed
  • Collect and pay all required local and state taxes on vape products.
  • Submit monthly reports to all states with details of every sale of vape products and the details of the carrier that delivered them

If the site you buy your vapes from doesn’t do this, not only are they are breaking the law and risking a prison sentence, they could be leaving you with a hefty tax bill, since you’d be liable to report State taxes if we didn’t do it on your behalf!

This all sounds overwhelming! How will you stay in business?

We’ve been the leading vape shop on the web for over a decade and we’re not going to stop now! We’ve spent months preparing for this: negotiating with shipping companies to keep our rates among the lowest in the industry and negotiating with our suppliers to keep our prices as low as they’ve always been.

We do it because we’re passionate about helping smokers and vapers make better choices. There might be easier ways to make a buck, but there are few as rewarding as this; not every company gets to make the kind of impact on smokers lives as we do, and we plan to keep doing it.

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