Oklahoma Lawmakers Revisit E-Cigarette Tax Talk
Reynolds is in the process of expanding Vuse distribution, and Altria ( MO , Fortune 500 ) — formerly known as Philip Morris — plans to release an e-cigarette product later this year. Overall, e-cigarette sales could exceed $1 billion this year, blu eCigs vice president of marketing Matt Coapman said, citing industry analysts. The Food and Drug Administration has yet to regulate e-cigarette sales, though it is expected to do so. While the products don’t carry the harmful effects of tobacco smoke, the nicotine they include remains highly addictive, and the companies make no claims about their health benefits. “Further research is needed to assess the potential public health benefits and risks of electronic cigarettes and other novel tobacco products,” FDA spokeswoman Jenny Haliski said.
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E-Cigarette Battery Explodes In Car, Couple Sues
Jennifer Ries and her husband, Xavier, of Corona, Calif. are suing the e-cigarette manufacturer VapCigs after its rechargeable battery caught fire. They were on their way to the Los Angeles International Airport for a volunteer trip to South America back in March, she told CBS News. She was charging a VapCigs e-cigarette when her husband thought he smelled nail polish remover. “I looked around and I saw the battery to the (e-cigarette) dripping,” Ries said. “I went to unscrew it and the battery started shooting fire toward me and then exploded and shot the metal pieces onto my lap.” Her cotton dress caught fire said Ries, “I got severe second-degree burns on both the back of my upper thighs and my lower buttocks.” She described the battery’s malfunction as “a blowtorch type of fire and then an explosion.” Her quick-thinking husband pulled the car over into the emergency lane and threw a cup of coffee on her to put the fire out.
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During the Legislatures last session, the House rejected a bill backed by Jackson that sought to reassess the tax on e-cigarettes. Derby’s current study seeks to investigate the regulation of vapor and other emerging nicotine products, while the Jackson-Turner study would look into taxation, tobacco harm reduction, and youth access to electronic cigarettes. Oklahoma law doesnt address the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, and youth access is definitely something we need to address,” Jackson said. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering classifying e-cigarette devices as tobacco products, a move that could make the devices subject to the state’s tobacco tax, something to which Jackson is opposed.
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