Vapor Corp., a leading U.S.-based distributor and retailer of vaporizers, e-liquids, e-cigarettes and e-hookahs, has acquired three established retail vape stores in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
This three-store chain marks the company’s first retail acquisition outside of Florida and brings the total number of store Vapor Corp. owns to 18. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
These acquisition of the Atlanta stores—coupled with the company’s recently announced acquisitions of retail vape stores in Gainesville, Florida, and Fort Myers, Florida, are central to Vapor Corp.’s aggressive expansion efforts to develop a national footprint throughout the U.S.
“Following the completion of our capital raise and successful acquisition of several thriving consumer retail operations in Florida, Vapor Corp. has now expanded its footprint into Georgia, a testament to the early success of our national retail expansion efforts,” said Vapor Corp CEO Jeff Holman. “As the [Southeastern United States] has been an area of focus for our growth, it is only natural for Vapor Corp. to expand into Georgia. Not only is it in our backyard, but we have also identified numerous acquisition candidates that satisfy our strict investment criteria.”
Currently the only pure-play company in the vapor industry that is listed on a major stock exchange, Vapor Corp. plans to increase the number of company-owned retail stores to more than 30 locations by the end of the year. The respective 1,200-square-foot Atlanta stores opened in February 2014, April 2014 and September 2015.
“These stores have quickly demonstrated their ability to build strong local reputations and gain significant traction with a growing vaping community,” said Holman. “Vapor Corp. expects an immediate ROI from this acquisition as we continue to establish ourselves as the go-to source for the latest, most innovative vaping products available, for both experienced and novice vaping fans across the country. We look forward to advancing our national retail roll-out plan through the end of the year and into 2016.”
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is introducing regulations that may ease the ban on the sale of e-cigarettes within the country.
Authorities from Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (Esma) in January sent a draft technical regulation to the World Trade Organization (WTO), which notified them of the UAE’s intention to regulate the sale of e-cigarettes. The document sent to the WTO states that the objective of the regulation is to protect human health by ensuring quality products are available in the market.
The sale of e-cigarettes is currently banned in the UAE, which follows the cautious position adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to a story in the Khaleej Times. Regulation of the sale of e-cigarettes is believed to be based on recent recommendations from the WHO that examine the emerging evidence on the health impacts of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), of which electronic cigarettes are the most common prototype, according to the Times.
The health ministry of the UAE has banned the sale of e-cigarettes because experts have not yet determined the long-term effects of such devices on users.
“E-cigarettes are considered as harmful as tobacco and not as a smoking cessation tool,” a source from the ministry was quoted as saying in the Times story. “Currently conflicting studies are going on this matter which cannot be used as justifications to allow products into the country,” added the source.
Despite the ban on e-cigarette sales, the devices have been illegally imported and sold across throughout the UAE.
U.S. National Park Service (NPS) director Jonathan Jarvis on Sept. 14 issued a policy memorandum prohibiting the use of electronic smoking devices in all places where the use of traditional tobacco products is already prohibited in national parks. The policy is effective immediately.
“Protecting the health and safety of our visitors and employees is one of the most critical duties of the National Park Service,” said Jarvis. “We are therefore extending the restrictions currently in place protecting visitors and employees from exposure to tobacco smoke to include exposure to vapor from electronic smoking devices.”
The new NPS policy bans the use of electronic smoking devices within all facilities and vehicles that are government-owned or leased, and within all national park concessions facilities.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has amended its 2015-2016 Technical Instruction for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods By Air to prohibit passengers and crew from carrying e-cigarettes and other battery-operated electronic smoking devices in checked luggage, and from charging such devices in aircraft cabins.
Although these standards are not legally binding, they are used as references by the 191 countries that follow ICAO guidance when developing legally-enforceable domestic regulations. Passengers will still be permitted to carry e-cigarettes in cabin baggage, and rules on usage will continue to be determined by individual airlines.
The ICAO initially issued advice regarding e-cigarettes in December 2014. The organization recommended that airlines require passengers to pack these devices in carry-on luggage stored inside the cabin rather than in baggage checked and stored in the cargo hold, so that any incidents—such as potential fires—would be noticed immediately by passengers or crew and dealt with promptly.
“Several incidents have been reported involving e-cigarette heating elements being accidentally activated and resulting in fires in checked baggage,” said ICAO council president Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu. “We had already recommended that our member states take actions on these concerns late last year but, after a further review by our Dangerous Goods Panel, it was determined that a formal amendment to the ICAO Technical Instructions should also be undertaken.”
Results of the New Youth Tobacco Policy Survey conducted by Cancer Research UK show that the majority of youth who have never smoked combustible cigarettes are not using e-cigarettes regularly.
Of the 1,205 children aged 11-16 who took part in a U.K.-wide survey on e-cigarette use, 12 percent reported “ever” use, 2 percent reported “more than monthly” use and 1 percent reported “more than weekly” use.
Among never smokers, only 3 percent reported ever use and 0 percent reported “at least monthly” use, indicating that regular e-cigarette use occurs only in youths who also smoked tobacco cigarettes.
The results of the study reflect earlier research that showed regular e-cigarette use to be extremely rare among nonsmoking youth. The latest survey, which was conducted from August to September 2014, marked the first time questions regarding e-cigarettes were included.
According to Cancer Research UK scientist and University of Stirling professor Linda Bauld, there is a common perception that the recent increase in e-cigarette use will lead to a new generation of adults who have never smoked but become dependent on nicotine. However, the survey results indicate that youth who have never used tobacco products are not using e-cigarettes regularly and that “experimentation is not translating into regular use.”
The study will be published in the Nicotine and Tobacco Research journal.