Despite the challenges of new FDA regulations and the renewed attacks of critics, 2016 was a pretty good year for vapers and the vaping industry. Innovative new devices hit the market, and multiple studies advanced the case that vaping is a better choice than smoking. Here’s a quick review of some of the most popular, controversial, and important vaping news of 2016.
SMOKTech reasserted itself as a major player in the vaping industry with the introduction of the SMOK Alien 220W mod. The device immediately became one of the hottest selling items of the year and even garnered our nod for Best Mod of 2016.
The SMOK Alien is a great example of a mod that lives up to the hype. The sheer power of the unit is impressive, but the manner in which the device presents detailed vaping data is what makes the Alien shine. Via its OLED screen, vapers can access 18 combined points of data including wattage, voltage, temperature, resistance, and battery life. There is even a puff counter. If vaping were allowed aboard the USS Enterprise, this mod would be standard issue. It boldly goes where no other device has gone before.
2016 also gave vapers devices like the Tesla Stealth 40W which embraces current vaper preferences for discretion and portability. Technology tends to get smaller in direct proportion to new innovations, and vaporizers are no different.
The Vaping Congressman
No Year in Review list would be complete without some humor. U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter made CNN headlines in February of 2016 when he engaged in some cloud chasing during a committee meeting to discuss the prohibition of vaping devices on airplanes. Few will be able to forget the boyish smirk on Hunter’s face as he took a big draw and blasted his fellow representatives with vapor.
Although Hunter’s stunt was met with some laughter, the representative’s stance on vaping is no joke. Hunter has penned op-ed columns in support of vaping and has been a tireless advocate for the industry. Plus, his name just sounds cool. Duncan Hunter: Vaping Bad Ass.
The FDA Flexes its Muscle
In August of 2016 the FDA formally finalized its “Deeming Rule” which was designed to take aim at electronic cigarettes and other vaporizers. Like many government mandates, the FDA’s regulations make for tedious reading. The bottom line, however, is that the FDA now has wide-sweeping authority to regulate the sale of vaping devices and e-liquids.
While the long-term ramifications of the Deeming Rule are unclear, the ruling has sparked concern among both those who vape and those who manufacture vaporizers and e-liquids. The FDA seems to be pursuing an active campaign to discredit vaping, and some fear that new licensing requirements and fees will drive many manufacturers out of the marketplace. This could especially apply to small-batch, designer e-juice brands.
The Doctors Weigh In
The Royal College of Physicians in the UK dropped a bombshell report in April which unequivocally stated that substituting vaping for smoking “has the potential to prevent almost all the harm from smoking in society.” This was a serious pronouncement from the same institution that published a report on the dangers of smoking two years before the Surgeon General issued a similar statement in 1962.
The full report asserted that vapor contains fewer toxins than smoke, and went on to uphold previously released data that claims vaping is about 95% safer than smoking. What makes this study significant is that it comes from one of the most respected government health institutions in the world today. It is hard to dismiss these statements out of hand. At the very least, the report should be a springboard to more research studies and clinical trials.
The Premiere of A Billion Lives
One of the most controversial and highly rated documentaries of the year was A Billion Lives by filmmaker Aaron Biebert. The one-man project proposes a nefarious plot by the tobacco industry to stifle vaping as an alternative to smoking. Biebert uses interviews with individuals like David Gorelitz, a male model who became the face of Winston cigarettes, to weave the threads of what he believes is a vast conspiracy.
While it may not convince everyone, A Billion Lives is a film that should encourage debate and discussion. Biebert’s research is thorough and he does an excellent job of proceeding from point to point in a manner that is unapologetic without being preachy. The film has garnered high reviews in the months since its release.
Vaping News For 2017
It will be interesting to see what is in store for the vaping community in 2017. As always, Vaping411.com will strive to be your trusted source of vaping news pertaining to the vaping industry.