4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

E-cigs face enormous obstacles

Though they lack the toxins and carcinogens of tobacco smoke, electronic cigarettes must clear an ever-rising set of legal obstacles.
Though they lack the toxins and carcinogens of tobacco smoke, electronic cigarettes must clear an ever-rising set of legal obstacles.

Elected officials throughout San Diego County and the state are working to try and stem the tide of America’s newest puffing craze: electronic cigarettes and vaporizers.

In recent months, manufacturers of the devices have been opening retail shops where people can buy e-cigarettes, vaporizers, and “e-juice,” the liquid used to produce the vapor.

Dense plumes of ultra-white vapor rise from the back room of Viper Vape Incorporated’s soon-to-be-opened retail store, located inside a mixed-use residential building off of Embarcadero Lane in Carlsbad. The men in the room put the final touches on the store. Some arrange the e-juice catridges in the back while others fidget with stainless-steel devices that are barely larger than a cigarette.

In the wood-paneled showroom stand, built-in cabinets house the small metal devices known in the industry as “vapes.” The names of the devices include brands such as Kanger, Joyetech, and Viper Vape’s own Aspire CES brand.

Viper Vape is one of several companies in San Diego County looking to capitalize on the e-cigarette and tobacco vaporizer craze that is changing the tobacco industry for the first time since filtered cigarettes were introduced in the 1950s.

During the past year, an increasing number smokers have turned to vaporizers and electronic cigarettes as a safer and less harmful alternative to burning tobacco. However, entrepreneurs in the e-cigarette and vaporizer industry can’t get away from the stigma associated with cigarettes. And, because the devices have gained popularity in such a short period of time, few health studies on the risks and potential benefits have been conducted, which has left the industry and lawmakers at cross purposes.

In December, the City of Carlsbad banned the use of e-cigarettes and vaporizers in restaurants, parks, the beach, and other public places. On January 1, San Diego State University announced it had banned smoking, both real and electronic cigarettes from campus. Vista enacted a less stringent ordinance that prohibited e-cigarettes and vaporizers indoors. Legislators in California are also expected to finalize a bill that would include e-cigarettes in the current laws regulating tobacco and the advertisement of tobacco products. Also expected to weigh in on the matter are elected officials in the City of San Diego and on the county board of supervisors. Currently, county and city staffers are in the beginning stages of drafting new ordinances.

The efforts to lump the electronic devices in with traditional cigarettes not only hurts small-business owners and manufacturers — the claims by those supporting the bans are steeped in misinformation, says Erik Hutchinson, co-owner of AmeriVape Technologies.

“It’s upsetting,” says AmeriVape co-owner Erik Hutchinson. “As a society trying to push a more healthy lifestyle, why would we stop or impede the progress to that very goal?”

Hutchinson and his partner Kyle Kruger have teamed up with Viper Vape to manufacture components used in vaporizers.

“It’s upsetting,” says Hutchinson. “As a society trying to push a more healthy lifestyle, why would we stop or impede the progress to that very goal? We have found a perfect path to hopefully one day being able to stop smoking nationwide. Why would anyone stand in the way?”

But opponents of electronic cigarettes say they are less an alternative to smoking as they are a neat and easy introduction for kids to pick up the habit. Opponents frequently point to the lack of studies and lack of regulations on the e-juice. The chemical concoction is typically composed of vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, and liquid nicotine.

Vegetable glycerin is used widely by the food and pharmaceutical industries as a moistener. Propylene glycol, the main ingredient of e-juice, is used in oral medications, shampoos, pet food, and baby wipes to prevent moisture loss.

Gena Knutson heads the tobacco-prevention programs at the Vista Community Clinic. “We, and the cities looking at prohibiting these devices, are coming at it from the youth angle. More kids are using e-cigarettes, and without proper regulations, law-enforcement officials aren’t able to confiscate them because there are no laws in place for them to do so.”

Knutson says the problem is that while state law prohibits vendors from selling to kids, it says nothing about possession. “They are clearly marketing to kids. Store owners are saying that single-use devices are flying out the door. That and the Centers for Disease Control has released a report showing increased use by middle-school and high-school students.”

“Overall, there’s just a lack of direction,” adds Knutson. “The [Food and Drug Administration] hasn’t been involved; however, we anticipate them to place the same marketing and packaging restrictions as given to cigarettes.”

Knutson admits that the use of e-cigarettes is “not nearly as dangerous as smoking or inhaling second-hand smoke.”

Hutchinson dismisses any claims that say e-juice poses health risks or that he or any others in the industry are marketing the devices to kids.

“They think that this will be a gateway to the younger generation,” says Hutchinson. “Right now, the FDA is trying to figure out how to label this. The carcinogens emitted from smoking traditional cigarettes just aren’t there. By vaping, you are cutting out over 4000 toxins that are there when smoking. There are absolutely no impacts to anyone standing near you, no such thing as second-hand smoke. It’s water vapor.”

As for nicotine, Hutchinson says, “Not all e-juice has nicotine. It is up to the individual. That said, bans on e-juice with nicotine raises several questions. Are we banning nicotine patches or nicotine gum? Will asthma inhalers be banned in public? Potatoes? Icing for cakes? Gum? Asthma inhalers? All of those things, to some extent, have compounds found in e-juice.... Truth of the matter is, we need to encourage quitting smoking by alternatives and education, not by force and hatred.”

Hutchinson dismisses claims that manufacturers and those in the industry are targeting kids.

“Marketing for e-cigs is almost non-existent due to the existing regulations on tobacco products and e-cigs already being treated as tobacco. The flavors are being made to everyone’s taste.

“Yes, kids will mimic their elders and try what they should not be trying. Kids smoke regular cigarettes that taste horrible and, quite frankly, it’s easier for kids to get cigarettes. To what extent are we going to keep giving money to Big Tobacco and closing any real way for people to make the break from tobacco products? No, instead we are using children to fight for Big Tobacco. Awesome.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Dance away heartbreak with SIDNĒ

“I’ve seen Satanic puppet shows, plastic baby dolls used as instruments, and 30 minutes of pitched yelling to melodic noise tracks.”
Though they lack the toxins and carcinogens of tobacco smoke, electronic cigarettes must clear an ever-rising set of legal obstacles.
Though they lack the toxins and carcinogens of tobacco smoke, electronic cigarettes must clear an ever-rising set of legal obstacles.

Elected officials throughout San Diego County and the state are working to try and stem the tide of America’s newest puffing craze: electronic cigarettes and vaporizers.

In recent months, manufacturers of the devices have been opening retail shops where people can buy e-cigarettes, vaporizers, and “e-juice,” the liquid used to produce the vapor.

Dense plumes of ultra-white vapor rise from the back room of Viper Vape Incorporated’s soon-to-be-opened retail store, located inside a mixed-use residential building off of Embarcadero Lane in Carlsbad. The men in the room put the final touches on the store. Some arrange the e-juice catridges in the back while others fidget with stainless-steel devices that are barely larger than a cigarette.

In the wood-paneled showroom stand, built-in cabinets house the small metal devices known in the industry as “vapes.” The names of the devices include brands such as Kanger, Joyetech, and Viper Vape’s own Aspire CES brand.

Viper Vape is one of several companies in San Diego County looking to capitalize on the e-cigarette and tobacco vaporizer craze that is changing the tobacco industry for the first time since filtered cigarettes were introduced in the 1950s.

During the past year, an increasing number smokers have turned to vaporizers and electronic cigarettes as a safer and less harmful alternative to burning tobacco. However, entrepreneurs in the e-cigarette and vaporizer industry can’t get away from the stigma associated with cigarettes. And, because the devices have gained popularity in such a short period of time, few health studies on the risks and potential benefits have been conducted, which has left the industry and lawmakers at cross purposes.

In December, the City of Carlsbad banned the use of e-cigarettes and vaporizers in restaurants, parks, the beach, and other public places. On January 1, San Diego State University announced it had banned smoking, both real and electronic cigarettes from campus. Vista enacted a less stringent ordinance that prohibited e-cigarettes and vaporizers indoors. Legislators in California are also expected to finalize a bill that would include e-cigarettes in the current laws regulating tobacco and the advertisement of tobacco products. Also expected to weigh in on the matter are elected officials in the City of San Diego and on the county board of supervisors. Currently, county and city staffers are in the beginning stages of drafting new ordinances.

The efforts to lump the electronic devices in with traditional cigarettes not only hurts small-business owners and manufacturers — the claims by those supporting the bans are steeped in misinformation, says Erik Hutchinson, co-owner of AmeriVape Technologies.

“It’s upsetting,” says AmeriVape co-owner Erik Hutchinson. “As a society trying to push a more healthy lifestyle, why would we stop or impede the progress to that very goal?”

Hutchinson and his partner Kyle Kruger have teamed up with Viper Vape to manufacture components used in vaporizers.

“It’s upsetting,” says Hutchinson. “As a society trying to push a more healthy lifestyle, why would we stop or impede the progress to that very goal? We have found a perfect path to hopefully one day being able to stop smoking nationwide. Why would anyone stand in the way?”

But opponents of electronic cigarettes say they are less an alternative to smoking as they are a neat and easy introduction for kids to pick up the habit. Opponents frequently point to the lack of studies and lack of regulations on the e-juice. The chemical concoction is typically composed of vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, and liquid nicotine.

Vegetable glycerin is used widely by the food and pharmaceutical industries as a moistener. Propylene glycol, the main ingredient of e-juice, is used in oral medications, shampoos, pet food, and baby wipes to prevent moisture loss.

Gena Knutson heads the tobacco-prevention programs at the Vista Community Clinic. “We, and the cities looking at prohibiting these devices, are coming at it from the youth angle. More kids are using e-cigarettes, and without proper regulations, law-enforcement officials aren’t able to confiscate them because there are no laws in place for them to do so.”

Knutson says the problem is that while state law prohibits vendors from selling to kids, it says nothing about possession. “They are clearly marketing to kids. Store owners are saying that single-use devices are flying out the door. That and the Centers for Disease Control has released a report showing increased use by middle-school and high-school students.”

“Overall, there’s just a lack of direction,” adds Knutson. “The [Food and Drug Administration] hasn’t been involved; however, we anticipate them to place the same marketing and packaging restrictions as given to cigarettes.”

Knutson admits that the use of e-cigarettes is “not nearly as dangerous as smoking or inhaling second-hand smoke.”

Hutchinson dismisses any claims that say e-juice poses health risks or that he or any others in the industry are marketing the devices to kids.

“They think that this will be a gateway to the younger generation,” says Hutchinson. “Right now, the FDA is trying to figure out how to label this. The carcinogens emitted from smoking traditional cigarettes just aren’t there. By vaping, you are cutting out over 4000 toxins that are there when smoking. There are absolutely no impacts to anyone standing near you, no such thing as second-hand smoke. It’s water vapor.”

As for nicotine, Hutchinson says, “Not all e-juice has nicotine. It is up to the individual. That said, bans on e-juice with nicotine raises several questions. Are we banning nicotine patches or nicotine gum? Will asthma inhalers be banned in public? Potatoes? Icing for cakes? Gum? Asthma inhalers? All of those things, to some extent, have compounds found in e-juice.... Truth of the matter is, we need to encourage quitting smoking by alternatives and education, not by force and hatred.”

Hutchinson dismisses claims that manufacturers and those in the industry are targeting kids.

“Marketing for e-cigs is almost non-existent due to the existing regulations on tobacco products and e-cigs already being treated as tobacco. The flavors are being made to everyone’s taste.

“Yes, kids will mimic their elders and try what they should not be trying. Kids smoke regular cigarettes that taste horrible and, quite frankly, it’s easier for kids to get cigarettes. To what extent are we going to keep giving money to Big Tobacco and closing any real way for people to make the break from tobacco products? No, instead we are using children to fight for Big Tobacco. Awesome.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Vanguard: Old man Jackie Chan

No blood was shed nor bones broken during the making of this picture
Next Article

Twelfth Night Shakespeare Reading, Covid-19 Vaccine Clinical Trials

Events November 29-December 2, 2020
Comments
1

Until there's some kind of evidence that e-cigarettes are harmful to others (and that would be a HUGE stretch, considering how the supposed dangers of "second hand smoke" were so overblown, only to be largely disproven), government has no business getting involved.

I think smoking is stupid. I think e-cigarettes are stupid. When I hear the term "vaping", I want to punch someone in the throat. But just because I feel that way doesn't give me any right to stop others from doing what they want to do.

Jan. 17, 2014

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close