A young girl in Fredericton, New Brunswick found herself in the hospital after she found a bottle of e-juice on the playground and drank it. The bottle of e-juice was called Unicorn Milk from a company called New Beginnings Vape Studio, also out of Fredericton.
The girl and her friends saw that the bottle had a cartoon unicorn on the label and smelled it, so they thought it might be something good. Shortly afterward, the 9-year old girl started suffering from nausea, dizziness, and chest cramps.
The girl’s mother, Lea L’Hoir learned that her daughter had drunken e-liquid, looked up the effects of nicotine poisoning online, and decided to take her daughter to the hospital where medical staff confirmed that she had nicotine poisoning.
She was released later that night.
No other news about the other girls has been released, or whether or not they also got sick.
In light of the situation, the owner of New Beginnings has said that he is considering changing the label. If you go to their website now, all pictures of Unicorn Milk have been taken down.
There’s no word of how the bottle of e-juice ended up on the playground. It could be that someone accidentally dropped as they were walking through.
Re-Igniting The Labeling and Flavoring Controversy
But this brings up the controversy of e-liquid labels, candy flavors, and their appeal to children. Obviously, this is a freak accident and not at all common, but it definitely brings up the question whether or not it’s okay to have cartoony labels.
I’ve argued in the past that cartoons on labels should be allowed because e-juices can only be purchased by adults, but I’ve changed my mind on this since then. Not just because of this story, but because I’ve come to realize that these labels are not necessary and only harm the reputation of the industry.
I know people will argue that it’s up to the parents to lock up e-juice so that kids can’t get into it, but kids are resourceful. They will find a way. And if kids see a cartoon label and smell something that smells like candy, they’re going to want to taste it. It’s why manufacturers of toxic cleaning products don’t put labels on their bottles that look appealing to kids.
I don’t know what the answer is, but I think an e-juice company can make an appealing label that doesn’t have cartoons and other child-friendly characters on it. But that still might not stop a kid from drinking it. Child safety caps work for little kids, but not for 9-year olds. So is the answer to put a large toxic warning on the label? I don’t know. What do you think?
According to a post on VapingUnderground.com, someone sent an email to customer support at 528 Customs asking them for some advice on the Goon 1.5 RDA they just bought the day before. This person mentioned to 528 that they had just purchased the Goon and even after installing several builds, the ohms constantly jump around.
He confirmed to 528 that the posts screws are tight and the coils don’t wiggle around at all. The RDA was also tightened all the way down on the device and it was tested on multiple devices. So basically, so there should be no reason for the ohms to move around once they’ve been fired.
Brittani Starkey of 528 Customs responded with this…
She said “Have you tried it on a mech mod?”
She then followed up an hour later saying that her husband is the owner of 528 and the designer of the Goon. She said that the advice she gave was his suggestion and she said that it’s impossible for ohms to jump around on a mech mod. She said using it on a mech first will usually fix the issue.
I don’t even know what to say about this. I guess it goes to show that even vape product manufacturers have no clue about vaping sometimes.
First, to say that firing an atomizer on a mech mod will produce different results than a regulated mod makes no sense at all. Either device will fire the coils. The only difference is that on a mech you’re limited by the batteries. There’s nothing physically different from how the atomizer receives power from the battery.
Then to say that it’s impossible for ohms to jump around on a mech mod is totally clueless. It’s impossible to know that ohms are jumping around because mech mods don’t have screens that show you the resistance changing, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. That’s equivalent to putting black tape over your check engine light in your car.
And to top it all off, someone posted the same issue on 528’s Instagram page. They were having issues with ohms jumping around. The owner responded condescendingly to this person saying that he already gave this person advice over email.
The owner thought it was the person from earlier but it wasn’t. He goes on to say that he’s been vaping for more than 4 years and that using an atomizer on a mech mod tends to fix voltage issues. He also states that the Goon 1.5 is the one of the safest RDAs on the market due to the materials and insulators they use.
I honestly can’t believe this is the advice the owner of an RDA manufacturing company gave to a customer. And he throws out the fact that he’s been vaping for more than 4 years, implying that he knows what he’s talking about.
I’m not trying to crap on the Goon, because it’s an amazing RDA, although I’ve seen lots of bad reviews of the new 1.5 version. But I wanted to cover this story just because this advice is not only terrible, but also dangerous.
I’ve experienced this issue with an atomizer in the past. If after making sure that everything is built correctly, tested with various builds and on various devices, and the issue still persists, it’s because there’s something wrong with the atomizer. It’s most likely that that there’s something wrong with the positive post or the 510 pin.
If the Goon 1.5 has some sort of shorting issue that’s causing the ohms to jump around, that could be extremely dangerous, especially on a mech mod. If the ohms jumped to below safe levels of the battery in a mech, that could hard short the battery and cause an explosion.
Seriously terrible advice. This might be an isolated issue, and not typical with the Goon 1.5 in general, but the advice they gave is so dangerous that I just had to talk about it.
528 Customs has since removed the Instagram thread and supposedly blocked everyone who commented on it, but the screenshots are on the Internet forever. And people are still commenting on other recent Instagram posts.
A call to report the fire came in around 4:20am with the person saying that smoke was coming out of the coffee shop. Firefighters responded and finally put the fire out around 11am.
The fire department stated that this building did not have a sprinkler system or fire detectors, which is not a requirement because this building was built in the 70’s.
The fire department released a press release stating that they have not been able to determine the case of the fire yet, but that fire patterns indicate that it originated in the northern part of the complex, which looks to me is not where VapeNW was located, but rather where several restaurants were.
VapeNW has stated that it was a total loss. The entire shop and their warehouse burned down, which means all orders that have not yet been shipped will not go out and they are also not able to process any returns or answer Help Desk tickets.
They are refunding all orders and are no longer taking orders online.
Nobody was hurt, but it’s sad news for VapeNW and for their customers. I’ve actually ordered from them several times because they always have really good prices and because they ship so fast. Hopefully they can get this all sorted out and get back in business in a new location soon.
They are also sharing their devices with groups of people which are causing worries of spreading hepatitis.
According to the school district board chairman, David Thompson, there’s no way for administrators to know what is being vaped, because there’s no smell. So they’ve made the decision to outright ban vaping on school grounds entirely, including vaping in their anti-tobacco free policies.
This is pretty scary. Oxycontin is such a dangerous and highly addictive drug. I’ve known Oxycontin addicts and their lives are not pretty. I would hate to see a young high school destroy their lives so early.
What also scary about inhaling oxycontin is that oxycontin is coated in a plastic polymer substance. That means these kids are inhaling heated particles of plastics.
So with all of that being said, I can see why schools would want to ban vaping if a lot of kids are actually vaping oxycontin in school.
But it sucks to punish the kids who are legitimately using vaping as an alternative to smoking.
So if they don’t ban it, what’s the answer? I really don’t know. If you have thoughts on this, please feel free to share.
The United States Foods and Drug Administration has a process that allows individuals and organizations to request that the FDA change their health policies through what’s called a citizen petition.
At any time, someone can file a citizen petition that asks the FDA to “issue, amend, or revoke a regulation or order.” The law also states that the FDA must respond to petitions within 150 days.
On May 17th, NJOY, the Vapor Technology Association, The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association, Turning Point Brands, Nicopure Labs, Five Pans, Johnson Creek, and other businesses submitted a citizens petition asking for the FDA to provide clear guidance for vape manufacturers about how to submit premarket applications and also to extend compliance deadlines by 24 months.
If you read the petition on Regulations.gov, you’ll see the reasoning behind these requests. For example the petition points out that it’s now nearly a year after the FDA released the Draft PMTA Guidance on electronic cigarettes and in that time, we still have not received recommendations from the FDA on completing Pre-Market Tobacco Applications or substantial equivalence reports.
That’s a pretty solid reason if you ask me.
This isn’t your typical everyday online petition that the government brushes off and ignores. The citizen petition process is a formal process that the FDA must follow as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations.
With that said though, the FDA still has final say in whether or not the requests in the petition are granted. There was an empirical study that reviewed every citizen petition filed with the FDA between 2001 and 2010, so nine years of data. What they found is that the FDA granted 19% of petitions and denied 81%.
Also worth noting though is that most petitions are from pharmaceutical companies trying to delay generic brands from coming onto the market. So the success rate or denial rate might not reflect the chances that this new petition from NJOY might have.
So what can you do to help? Go to CASAA.org to find the call to action. You can submit comments on the petition on Regulations.gov until November 8th, 2017. In your comment, you can share your experience with vaping, talk about how long you’ve smoked and how vaping has helped you quit or reduce smoking, what your favorite flavors of e-liquid are and why flavors are important to you, and how the FDA deeming rule has changed your ability to buy vapor products.
In his letter he talked about his goals for protecting consumers and promoting public health in all of the many different ways that a doctor would. He also discussed his previous work with the FDA, which I think is just his way of helping his team understand that he’s experienced and that the FDA is in good hands.
The Relevant Details of the Letter
It was a very optimistic letter overall, but let’s get to the point that you’re probably most interested in – Gottlieb’s views on vaping.
He actually didn’t address vaping specifically, but he made some hints.
Here are the relevant parts of his letter.
“…there’s probably no single intervention, or product we’re likely to create in the near future that can have as profound an impact on reducing illness and death from disease as our ability to increase the rate of decline in smoking.
We need to redouble efforts to help more smokers become tobacco-free. And, we need to have the science base to explore the potential to move current smokers – unable or unwilling to quit – to less harmful products, if they can’t quit altogether. At all times, we must protect kids from the dangers of tobacco use.”
What Does This Mean For Vaping?
Many people in the vape community are highlighting that part about “less harmful products.” Before we jump to conclusions though, we should consider that he could be talking about pharma or NRT products like nicotine gum and the patch. He didn’t specifically mention vaping, although the very careful wording of his statements lead me to believe he’s talking about vaping.
And we know that Gottlieb has ties to the vaping industry. He was the director of Kure, a vape shop in Charlotte, NC, for more than a year and according to his financial disclosures, he had financial interest in that company as of March.
And while we’re on that topic, I’ve heard a lot of talk about Gottlieb saying that he would recuse himself from the vaping industry for a year, but I think people are misinterpreting what he said.
Gottlieb’s conflict of interest filing stated that he will not participate in any matter involving specific parties for one year after resignation.
In this letter, Gottlieb stated that he resigned from Kure in May 2016, which means that one year is now up. And even if it wasn’t, I think there’s some wording here that’s open to interpretation.
He says he won’t participate in anything related to specific parties, but he doesn’t say anything about industries as a whole. I think he worded this in a way that allows him to make decisions related to the vaping industry, but not specifically to benefit Kure.
That’s my interpretation of it anyway.
But we’ll just have to wait and see. I’m excited for Gottlieb to take over as commissioner of the FDA.
The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, or NRL, recently released some news that claims that they’ve developed a breakthrough alternative to lithium-ion batteries.
The NRL’s chemistry division has been working on creating water-based, zinc batteries, which they say are much safer than lithium batteries. They’ve actually developed and demonstrated working nickel-zinc batteries that contain a zinc sponge that replaces the volatile powdered zinc anode that’s normally used in lithium batteries.
The researchers say that this sponge improves on both energy content and rechargeability of lithium-ion batteries while removing the safety risks of traditional li-ion batteries.
Zinc batteries are actually the go-to standard for single-use applications due to their safety, but they until now haven’t been rechargeable. This is because they tend to grow conductive dendrites inside the battery that eventually grow long enough to short-circuit the battery.
But the sponge that these researchers have developed make it physically difficult for these batteries to form dendrites.
They’ve tested these batteries in three ways; extended lifetime single-use, cycling the batteries more than 100 times comparative to lithium-ion batteries, and cycling them more then 50,000 times in short duty-cycles.
They hope to deploy these batteries within an whole family of sizes. I’m not sure if that includes 18650’s, which is what we typically use as vapers, but this is very promising news.
This is also great news considering that the Navy just recently banned vaping devices on Navy ships and vessels due to the dangers of improper care of lithium-ion batteries. The Navy’s NRL press release specifically mentions this ban, which leads me to believe that they are considering their use for vapor products.
There’s always something to fight. Protect your right to vape by taking action against proposed regulations in your city or state. Visit CASAA.org to find more information and for instructions in participating in call-to-actions.
San Francisco Supervisor, Malia Cohen has introduced a flavor ban for both flavored tobacco and vapor products. CASAA is saying that the first hearing MIGHT happen on Wed. May 24th at 10:30 am. If you live in San Francisco, reach out to city supervisors and tell them to oppose the ordinance.
LA has bill HB 271 which would raise the tax on e-juice from $0.05 per ML to $0.13 per ML. It was actually heard last week and the committee agreed to put this bill on hold while they further study if/how vapor products help smokers quit smoking and how other states are taxing e-liquids. So it’s a temporary win for now, but the bill is still there, so keep an eye on it and voice your opinions.
NY state has two bills in progress. One bill is designed to ban vaping indoors and the other bill is designed to raise the age of buying vaping products to 21. If you live in NY, contact your state senators and ask them to oppose these bills.
New York City
NYC also has an ordinance that would require vape shops to have licenses to sell vapor products. The big issue with this bill is that licenses will only be issued for 90 days after the bill passes, then no more licenses will be given out. That means any shop that doesn’t obtain a license in time will be forced to shut down and it also means that no new vape shops will be able to open.
Maryland’s HB 523 proposes imposing licensing regulations on Maryland vapor business which now includes a last minute partial online sales ban. Manufacturers are still allowed to sell online, but distributors and local shops are not allowed to sell online. The bill has already passed the house and senate and the last step is for it to be signed into law, so the only thing you can do now is request that Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan VETO the bill.
You can find more information about all of these bills and ordinances on CASAA.org along with information on who you need to contact and what you can say.