Turning Point Brands Announces 3rd Quarter Results

Turning Point Brands (TPB) increased its net sales 7.6 percent to $104.2 million. The manufacturer, marketer and distributor of branded consumer products today announced financial results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2020.

“While we still expect short-term disruption related to the [premarket tobacco product application] PMTA process to impact our fourth quarter, the extensive portfolio of products submitted through the PMTA process has us increasingly optimistic about our outlook going forward as the market consolidates,” said Larry Wexler, TPB president and CEO.

Highlights from the report include gross profit increase of 12.8 percent to $48.3 million and a net income increase of $1.5 million to $7.8 million, despite costs associated with PMTA submissions.

“Streamlining and repositioning the business at the end of 2019 has paid dividends throughout 2020. The NewGen [next generation tobacco products] segment navigated admirably through significant market disruption caused by the PMTA application deadline,” said Wexler. “Overall, we are seeing ongoing benefits from re-shaping our business towards a more growth-oriented mindset and are able to raise our outlook once again for the remainder of the fiscal year.”

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Dosist Gets $15 Million Strategic Investment From TPB

A $15 million strategic investment in leading global cannabinoid company Dosist was announced today by Turning Point Brands (TPB). The manufacturer, marketer and distributor of branded consumer products said the agreement includes an exclusive co-development and distribution agreement of a new national CBD brand, created in partnership with Dosist’s THC-free business unit.

Additionally, TPB has an option to invest another $15 million at predetermined terms within the next 12 months.

“The cannabis market is exploding and now is the opportune time to invest in the space and significantly expand our addressable market. With its leadership in results-oriented plant-based formulas and dose control technology, global recognition, consumer trust and scalability, Dosist was the clear choice to be our new partner in this critical growth market,” said Larry Wexler, president and CEO of TPB. “We couldn’t be more pleased to enter into this agreement with Dosist, to not only help fuel its exciting new business and co-create a completely new CBD brand for our retail partners, but also to leverage their expertise as a marketing powerhouse to help build the future of both our companies.

Gunner Winston, CEO of Dosist, a pre-eminent and globally recognized cannabis brand, said his team is extremely proud to partner with TPB on its next phase of growth and distribution. “Turning Point’s leadership team has demonstrated remarkable foresight and vision about the future and opportunity for federally legal cannabinoid products,” said Winston. “The synergy between our brands around this scope and mission is incredible and we are excited by what we will achieve together with this partnership.”

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Australian C-Stores Want Ability to Sell E-Cigarettes

Retailers in Australia want the government to allow small businesses that sell cigarettes and other nicotine products to also be allowed to sell less harmful alternatives such as vaporizers and e-cigarettes.

The Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) and the National Retailers Association (NRA) both claim that the federal Government’s decisions regarding the sale of smoke free tobacco products will hurt Australian retailers.

NRA Chief Executive Officer Dominique Lamb said that after the government’s reversal on its previous ban on vapor products, its policy position was getting weirder by the day, Convenience and Impulse Retailing.

“Last month, smoke-free tobacco products were deemed so harmful that the government decided they could only be sold at a chemist, by prescription, with visits to a doctor every three months,” Lamb said. “The same government says it will reverse its looming ban on importing vaping products, so individuals will be free to buy them from overseas dealers and have them shipped into Australia.”

Lamb said that the laws confuse consumers by regulating e-cigarettes and vaping products as controlled substances, yet anyone one can purchase them online from overseas retailers. “The only people who will be banned from selling smoke-free tobacco products will be the tens of thousands of mum-and-dad retailers who currently rely on cigarette sales but are desperate to offer their customers a less harmful alternative,” he said. “This government clearly supports overseas retailers as much as it supports big-box corporate pharmacy. It’s just a shame that it won’t support small, local Australian businesses.”

AACS has also pointed towards a growing black market for e-cigarettes and has highlighted the urgent need for Government to regulate the sale of these products through legitimate and responsible channels, according to the story.

“There are positive health outcomes available to Australians through the regulated, legal sale of e-cigarettes, given they are significantly safer for people to use than traditional tobacco. Unfortunately, by restricting the legal sale of products which are clearly in demand, the health impacts of the Government’s approach are decidedly negative,” AACS CEO Jeff Rogut says. “This refusal to catch up with the rest of the world in making safer choices easier for consumers has allowed the black market for vaping products of unknown ingredients and from dubious sources to grow in Australia.”

“Clearly, consumers are looking for safer alternatives to smoking. If health authorities are serious about helping people quit tobacco, they need to make vaping products legally available through responsible retailing channels urgently.

The recent interim decision by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to make vaping products only available to people from pharmacies with a prescription is both dangerous to health and a missed opportunity for responsible retailers, the AACS says.

“Australia’s approach of making it harder for our citizens to access products that are safer for them is unique in a global context,” Rogut says.

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Fewer Young Americans Using E-Cigarettes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released new data from the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) showing a decline in youth use of e-cigarettes but an increase in use of disposable products.

Compared to 2019, the number of youth using e-cigarettes is down 1.8 million. However, the number of youth using disposable e-cigarettes has risen: 26.5 percent of high school users are using disposables, up from 2.4 percent in 2019, and 15.2 percent of middle school users are using disposables, up from 3 percent last year.

The use of flavored products is also high—more than eight out of 10 surveyed youth reported using flavored products. Fruit, mint, candy and menthol were the most commonly reported.

This is the first year the NYTS has distinguished between mint and menthol. Previously, products were identified in the survey as “mint/menthol.”

“After two years of disturbing increases in youth e-cigarette use, we are encouraged by the overall significant decline reported in 2020,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn. “This is good news; however, the FDA remains very concerned about the 3.6 million U.S. youth who currently use e-cigarettes and we acknowledge there is work that still needs to be done to curb youth use”

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The Craziest Vape Mods Ever Released

Since its inception, the vaping industry has been an unconventional space. We may have started out with disposable cigalikes, but these days, there are devices to suit any personality or budget, no matter how extreme.

In this post, we’re taking a look at some of the craziest vape mods to ever be sold. From luxury materials to outrageously indulgent finishes, we’re sure that something in this list will catch your eye.

Limelight Mechanics Wicket – Uranium Edition

Limelight Wicket Uranium
Limelight Mechanics – Wicket Uranium

Price: £360.00

Uranium Edition, that’s got to be a funny play on words, right? Wrong. Serbian company Limelight Mechanics has been among the most critically acclaimed high end manufacturers in the scene for years, known for sleek, functional design and gorgeous build quality.

The Wicket is their latest mod and has been a huge success, due to its tiny size and modular design, which allows users to customise their mod and carry out repairs, without the need for specialised tools or intricate knowledge.

Their most recent version of the Wicket, referred to as “Chernobyl” or “Uranium” has a chassis constructed from Raffir SFX “Blue Uranium”. Okay, it might not be real military-grade nuclear stuff, but this unique material dramatically changes colour depending on the environment its in.

Indoors, it has a neutral grey hue. Outdoors, this shifts to a bright blue. At night, it glows an ominous green.

Unfortunately, only 12 units of this particular version of the Wicket were made and they sold out almost instantly. If you’re keen to have an ultra-personalized mod, though, the people at Limelight Mechanics are always happy to accommodate bespoke orders.

OLC – Stratum V6M Crystal

OLC Stratum V6M Crystal
OLC – Stratum V6M Crystal

Price: £523.34

Russian modders OLC are best known for their super-premium Stratum range. These devices are always designed with minimal aesthetics and the smallest possible size in mind.

Over the years, they’ve built a reputation for intricate engravings and custom finishes to service clientele with exorbitant budgets. The Stratum V6M Crystal is a great example of the kind of thing they produce in limited runs.

This tiny 18650 mod is powered by a super-accurate, German-made Dicodes chipset and is constructed from aircraft-grade aluminium, along with stainless steel. To really push the boundaries, the Crystal edition of the V6M is custom finished with heavy engraving, which causes surfaces of the mod to catch the light and create a sparkling effect.

For just north of £500, pieces like this can be purchased from the Statum Store and distributors such as Vapes By Enushi. The meticulous engraving alone makes the V6M Crystal one of the craziest vape mods ever.

Crovape – CroMod VIP

Craziest vape mods ever, Crovape CroMod VIP

Price: €2,999

Croation modders Crovape have been around for a number of years, though they’ve been very quiet on releases for a while now. The insane overindulgence of their flagship mod could explain that.

The CroMod VIP is an old school side firing mechanical tube. From a mechanical perspective, it’s quite uneventful.

Where things get interesting is the choice of materials. For the reasonable sum of €2,999, you can purchase a CroMod VIP, machined with pure yellow or white 585 gold, adorned with Swarovski crystal.

This device is an absolute bargain when you realise that they’re generous enough to throw in a free drip tip and ceramic display case. From start to finish, this has to be one of the craziest vape mods ever released.

Vicious Ant – Marquis DNA75C TI

craziest vape mods ever Vicious Ant Marquis

Price: $550

When conversation about the craziest vape mods comes up, many vapers will naturally gravitate towards Vicious Ant. Based in the Philippines, Vicious Ant were one of the first companies to create premium mods and they’re still going strong to this day.

One of their latest offerings is the Marquis DNA75C TI. As with many previous Vicious Ant releases, it’s been designed with ergonomics in mind and the sweeping, free form back end of this device is sure to comfortable fit in almost any hand.

In addition to this, the Marquis features an exquisite range of stabilised wood chassis and a DNA75C chipset, with solid titanium panels where we might normally expect stainless steel.

Surprisingly, $550 is considered moderate in the world of high end mods but the Marquis DNA75C TI still oozes class.

Super luxury vape mods not your thing? Check out our top devices under £20

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CDC Says “Tips” Stop Smoking Campaign Has Helped Over 1M Smokers Quit

An analysis of the campaign has reported that smokers who saw public service announcements launched by the initiative, were nearly 20% more likely than others to attempt quitting. Up to 40% of smokers attempted to quit after seeing the announcements and about one-third of smokers who didn’t see the messaging attempted to quit during the seven-year periods they aired on television and elsewhere, reported CDC researchers.

The CDC launched the campaign in 2012. “Tips From Former Smokers — or Tips” aimed to encourage smokers quit by illustrating real-life health consequences of tobacco use and promoting evidence-based resources for quitting. The campaign aired public service announcements featuring former smokers and their families on television, as well as online and in print publications.

Campaigns based on personal stories are more powerful

Findings reporting the effectiveness of the campaign were published by the CDC’s electronic, peer-reviewed journal, Preventing Chronic Diseases. “This study reinforces that mass media campaigns can increase quits and quit attempts as part of a comprehensive approach to reducing smoking-related disease and premature death in the United States,” Rebecca Murphy-Hoefer, the lead investigator of the campaign.

“Research shows that emotionally evocative, evidence-based campaigns are effective in raising awareness about the dangers of smoking and encouraging people who smoke to quit,” she said.

“Decades of research have demonstrated that more tailored… promotional messaging will always be more successful than approaches that are less tailored, personalized or relevant to the audience,” a spokeswoman for the Truth Initiative, another well-known smoking cessation campaign, told UPI.

“Storytelling and personal narratives are widely regarded as compelling and powerful ways of engaging audiences, [so] it seems natural that testimonials from former smokers could be a meaningful way to persuade others to quit,” she said.

Why prohibitionist approaches fail

Meanwhile, anti-vaping campaigns keep popping up across the States. A recent article on the National Review rightly pointed out that given teenagers’ natural inclination to rebel and be curious about any forbidden substance and activity, the approach that American policymakers are taking to combat teen vaping, is in most cases counterproductive.

The article rightly points out that “..telling adolescents that youth vaping is an “epidemic” (i.e., all your friends are doing it) — but that it is a risky habit meant only for adults (i.e., it’s cool) — hasn’t worked.” After years of steady decline in the numbers of teen vaping, rates spiked again in 2018 and 2019, in parallel with the increase in awareness and numerous teen vaping campaigns.

“As I argue in a new study, youth experimentation with vaping increased not in spite of anti-vaping messaging but because of it. If we want to reduce teen interest in vaping, we shouldn’t give anti-vaping campaigns more money; we should end them,” adds the author.

The article explained that this inclination to rebel against authority is called “reactance” in psychology, and there are many examples of this in Us history, such as D.A.R.E., an 1980s-era anti-drug campaign, which research indicated not only did not discourage teens from drinking and/or using drugs, but made them more likely to.

CVA: Misinformation and Harsh Bans Drive Vapers Back to Smoking

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Saudi Arabia Bans The Non-Commercial Importation of Vaping Products

As a result of this measure, anyone caught importing the products unlawfully will have them confiscated, forced to pay a fine, and have the offence recorded. On the other hand, said Saudi Customs, there are three circumstances under which importers can claim a refund of customs duties. These are as follows: “Re-exporting foreign goods abroad, goods that had a material error, technical errors or errors in evaluation; and goods for which an industrial exemption decision was issued via the portal “Faseh.”

Anyone caught importing the products without a commercial licence, will have them confiscated, forced to pay a fine, and have the offence recorded

Meanwhile, companies licensed under the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) are allowed to import the products in commercial quantities and customs have listed the following five reasons for exempting goods returned for export abroad from reimbursement of duties.

“Re-exporting them within a calendar year from the date of payment of customs duties, the claim for refund of customs duties is made within six months from the date of re-export, the goods should be from one consignment, it should not be used locally, the value of the taxes levied is not less than SR18,750 ($5,000), and the exporter is also the importer or any other person when it is proven to the Saudi Customs that he has purchased them.”

Additionally, owners of goods with material errors, technical errors, or errors in the evaluation, will also be able to apply for the refund of customs duties by “obsolescence”. Saudi Customs have confirmed that the application for refund of duties for goods that fall under one of the above exemptions require that “the unified importer’s number in the customs declaration is identical with the unified importer’s number mentioned in the exemption decision.”

Egypt’s protocol to eliminate illicit tobacco trade

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Egypt the illicit trade of e-cigarettes is booming and emerging as a significant problem demanding swift and appropriate regulations. The sales, distribution, and importation of e-cigarettes have been forbidden since 2015, when the Egyptian Ministry of Health issued a ban in accordance with an earlier decision by the Specialized Technical Committee of Drugs in 2011.

An article on Albawaba has pointed out that the products have never been regulated and the black market trade in e-cigarettes and associated products is being driven by smuggling. To this effect, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has recently approved a draft presidential decree on “The Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products” aiming to set in place effective measures to control the supply chain. Yet, as many exerts keep pointing out, regulating the products and having them legally available on the market would go a long way in solving the problem.

Read Further: Albawaba

Turkey has Banned the Import of Vapes and HnBs

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KT&G to Launch Lil Hybrid 2.0 in Japan

KT&G will launch its Lil Hybrid 2.0 system Miix in Japan on Oct. 26 through its partnership with Philip Morris International (PMI), reports The Korea Times.

Unlike in Russia and Ukraine, where KT&G released Lil Solid, the Japan will get a Lil Hybrid 2.0 and a dedicated Miix stick. The first products to be sold will be available in matte black, cobalt blue, prism white and metallic bronze.

Consumers can choose from three stick types: Miix Regular, Miix Ice and Miix Mix.

“We will continue to provide various options to consumers in overseas markets through continuous cooperation with PMI,” said Lim Wang-seop, head of KT&G’s next-generation product business division.

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Analysts Supporting Turning Point Brands Stock Upside

Financial analysts are now falling in love with Turning Point Brands (TPB). The company’s stock, TPB, now has at least three analysts covering the stock and the consensus rating is “Buy.” The company has submitted premarket tobacco product applications (PMTA) for 250 products.

The target price ranges between 50 and 39 calculating the mean target price of 42.67, according to data from seekingalpha.com. TPB’s share price reflects a potential upside of approximately 30 percent based on the underlying business with additional “upside optionality” from each of the opportunities noted above.

Reasons for the growth include recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory intervention that “creates multiple market share ‘land grab’ opportunities for TPB as non-compliant competitors are forced to exit the marketplace. There are also new growth initiatives for the smokable CBD segment through product introductions (e.g., cones, hemp paper) and entry into alternative growth channels (e.g., headshops, dispensaries and e-commerce) in both US and Canadian markets,” according to seekingalpha.

“The NewGen division represents TPB’s growth engine and platform focusing on developing, testing, acquiring and investing in high-growth new proprietary businesses,” writes the author. ” While it is the largest revenue segment, it currently includes mostly lower margin third-party products sold through online distribution channels. As the product mix shifts towards proprietary products, the gross margins will rise to proprietary standard margins of 50%+ without impacting costs.”

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Vaporesso Luxe PM40, Wotofo Manik, Geekvape Mero

Transitioning smokers rejoice – hardware manufacturers are clearly focusing on entry-level kits at the moment, with AIO releases going from strength to strength.

This week we’re taking a look at the Vaporesso Luxe PM40, Wotofo Manik and Geekvape Mero AIOs.

Vaporesso Luxe PM40

Vaporesso Luxe PM40
Vaporesso Luxe PM40

Vaporesso Luxe PM40 specs:

Dimensions: 96.45mm*30.6mm*21.5mm

Power output: 5W-40W

Battery capacity: 1800mAh internal cell

E-liquid capacity: 4ml/ 2ml (TPD edition)

Charging: 2A USB-C

Price: $27.99 (pre-order)

Vaporesso has demonstrated serious commitment to its GTX coil compatible AIOs over the last few months and this continues with the Vaporesso Luxe PM40.

Traditionally, Vaporesso’s Luxe devices have been on the premium end of their product stack but that’s not the case this time, with the Luxe PM40 coming in at a reasonable $27.99.

The Vaporesso Luxe PM40 is compatible with all existing GTX press-fit coils and is powered by a stripped back version of the AXON chipset. Vaporesso claims that this chipset is able to deliver full power, even as the battery depletes, which is great news for those who prioritise a super consistent vape experience.

In addition to this, the Vaporesso Luxe PM40 features fully adjustable airflow and lightning fast 2A charging, which gives this device the ability to charge from flat to full in under an hour.

With tried and tested coils, a sleek chassis and some smart design choices, this looks to be a great all around choice for any new or intermediate vaper.

Wotofo Manik

Wotofo Manik
Wotofo Manik

Wotofo Manik specs:

Dimensions: 126mm*33mm*27mm

Power output: 5W-80W

Battery capacity: 1x 18650 external cell

E-liquid capacity: 4.5ml/ 2ml (TPD edition)

Charging: 1.5A USB-C

Price: $39.95 (pre-order)

Wotofo are best known for enthusiast focused products but they’re finally jumping into the AIO space this week.

The Wotofo Manik certainly takes design cues from competitors, with an external 18650 spec, 80W regulated chipset and a wide variety of finishes.

The device is compatible with Wotofo’s own Manik coils, which feature Nexmesh internals, along with Vaporesso GTX and Voopoo PnP fittings.

The choice to make the Wotofo Manik compatible with such a wide range of stock coils is clever, making it a versatile pick for any intermediate vaper.

In addition to the base device, Wotofo are already advertising an RBA deck for the Manik, which opens up further options for enthusiast vapers who might not be too keen on using stock coils.

Overall, this looks to be a solid full-sized AIO, with elements that should appeal to novice and veteran vapers alike.

Geekvape Mero

Geekvape Mero AIO
Geekvape Mero AIO

Geekvape Mero specs:

Dimensions: 81.6mm*23mm

Battery capacity: 2100mAh internal cell

E-liquid capacity: 3ml/ 2ml (TPD edition)

Power output: Three levels of variable power

Charging: USB-C

Price: $24.99 (pre-order)

At this stage I almost expect every Geekvape release to be part of the premium Aegis line, so their latest reveal has come as a bit of a surprise.

The Geekvape Mero is a simple, affordable stick style AIO, with more versatility than you might initially expect.

Even though it has a basic appearance, it still incorporates fully adjustable airflow, including MTL settings, along with three levels of variable power output.

The Geekvape Mero is compatible with all Boost coils, which makes the device an easy pick up for anyone who’s already integrated in the Geekvape AIO ecosystem.

Thankfully, the Geekvape Mero is also equipped with a 510 connection as standard, which means you’re not just restricted to the included atomiser and stock coils.

Due to the affordable price point, generous 2100mAh internal cell and minimalist looks, the Geekvape Mero could be an attractive option for a number of demographics, including transitioning smokers and advanced vapers who want a small, stealthy mod for their favourite MTL atomiser.

Read more: How to Save Money by Switching to Vaping

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