Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; FTC File No. P144504 #17

Submission Number:
17
Commenter:
Donna Thronson
Organization:
ND Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy
State:
North Dakota
Initiative Name:
Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; FTC File No. P144504
December 4, 2015 To whom it may concern: Recent news coverage and public relations efforts prompted by Infinite Vapor, located within two cities in North Dakota: Grand Forks (November 13, 2015) and Fargo (December 3, 2015), lead the public to believe that e-cigarettes are a cessation device. The North Dakota Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy expresses grave concern that Infinite Vapor is widely misleading the public about the scientific truths regarding these products by falsely claiming that their products may be helpful in smoking cessation. Immediate measures are necessary to protect the public from false advertising. The claim that e-cigarettes help users quit smoking cigarettes is not legal claim and the North Dakota Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy requests that your agency take immediate action and ask Infinite Vapor to refrain from using false claims to the public. Sincerely, Jeanne Prom Director North Dakota Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy 4023 State Street, Suite 65 Bismarck, ND 58503 701-328-5130 Email: jprom@nd.gov QUOTES FROM PUBLIC RELATIONS EFFORTS: Boldenow said, "It's the real deal and it's helping people quit everyday and ultimately we're putting our backing behind giving away that many starter kits because we know that it's going to help that many people." The company Bill co-owns has roughly 100 different flavors including fruity, sweet and tobacco flavors. Each flavor comes with various levels of nicotine. The idea behind quitting is to continuously lower the amount of nicotine until you are vaping a nicotine free version or not vaping at all. NEWS STORIES: http://www.wdaz.com/news/3882592-midwest-business-mission-help-people-qu... Midwest business on a mission to help people quit smoking By Katy Wilson on Nov 13, 2015 at 7:03 p.m. Nicotine is addictive and many smokers say it's a tough habit to break, but a local business is on a mission to help. Infinite vapor, on the corner of 24th and Columbia, is giving away 2500 free e-cigarette starter kits with everything that you need to start vaping. They say, it's all you need to become tobacco free. Boldenow said, "It's the real deal and it's helping people quit everyday and ultimately we're putting our backing behind giving away that many starter kits because we know that it's going to help that many people." The company Bill co-owns has roughly 100 different flavors including fruity, sweet and tobacco flavors. Each flavor comes with various levels of nicotine. The idea behind quitting is to continuously lower the amount of nicotine until you are vaping a nicotine free version or not vaping at all. Boldenow said, "So you've just got that oral fixation and then before you know it's like hey I haven't used my e-cig in like 2 days and I didn't even notice." Anti-tobacco groups have launched ads saying the fruity flavors are targeting children and encouraging non-smokers to start using e-cigs when they may not if it was strictly tobacco flavored. Bill says it's rare that he has customers that don't already smoke come in, and that the flavors can actually help make kicking the smoking habit easier. Boldenow said, "We only work with adults, adults like flavors too. I'm an adult and I like chocolate. I'm an adult and I like berries and fruit and adults should be able to pick what's working for them and have a success rate as well. We shouldn't hinder them." Exploding e-cigarettes that have caused serious injuries have also caught a lot of media attention, but experts say it's not a concern if the user is educated about the product, vaping from a good quality e-cig, and using it properly. Boldenow said, "Make sure that they are safe and if they're getting into more of a hobbyist thing you should understand the hobby. You don't go fly an expensive airplane and whip it up there the first time. You probably have someone show you so you don't break it." And Infinite Vapor plans to continue helping people learn about the hobby and help smokers become tobacco free as long as there are smokers that come to them searching for a way to help them quit. The company has 15 stores. The Grand Forks location kicked off the e-cig give away yesterday giving out about 100 free kits in just one day. http://www.valleynewslive.com/news/local/headlines/E-Cigarette-giveaway-... E-Cig Giveaway in Fargo Fargo, N.D. (Valley News Live): Thousands of chemicals and millions of deaths: health officials have warned about the dangers of using tobacco products for years. But what about e-cigarettes? Those in the industry say it's safe and helps people quit tobacco. It's the main reason a local vape shop is having a major event this weekend. But are they just blowing smoke? "I mean there's propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, food flavoring and nicotine. There all FDA or ADA certified ingredients," explained Bill Boldenow. Bill Boldenow is part owner of Infinite Vapor, a vape shop in downtown Fargo. His company is lighting up profits across the nation's heartland and into Canada. "We've helped over 40,000 people become tobacco free just in our company alone. Our goal as a company from when we started day one was to be able to help people become tobacco free," said Boldenow. Take this story the shop owner told Valley News Live. "We've helped a 94 year old lady actually become tobacco free that has smoked for 50-something years," explained Boldenow. Starting Friday, you can try your hand at vaping for free. Infinite Vapor is giving away 4,000 starter kits to people who want to quit traditional tobacco. You've got to have a state issue ID, be over the age of 18 and you have be someone who smokes or chews. But is Boldenow just selling a bunch of smoke and mirrors? "But we are finding out with some of the literature now that the aerosol that they say is being produced, is not just water vapor. That's one of the big safety concerns that we have," laid out Debbie Farnham. Debbie Farnham is a Respiratory Therapist with Sanford Health. She said studies have shown that the vapor put in the air contains heavy metals, there's documented cases of poisonings and the devices blowing up and the flavored nicotine juice mean's it's a prime target for youth. "They're trying to market them in a sense that it's going to help people stop using tobacco. Unfortunately that's not happening. We're getting a lot more starting up or trying and that number has really increased again with no idea of what the safety is of them or what they're inhaling," said Farnham. The bottom line is do your homework. For some people it works, others nothing. But understand the risks before you visit your nearest vape shop. Fargo Cass Public Health reports e-cig use double the current smoking rate and that nearly 14% of teens had used an e-cigarette in the last 30 days. Again, the free starter kit giveaway starts Friday at Infinite Vapor. http://infinitevapor.com/GIVEBACK