World News

Posted 20th July 2018 by Mawsley
Gucci have gone to court to block the use of their name on vape products. A travel magazine warns travellers not to take vapes to Singapore, they missed out that it might be best to avoid flying Air China. Next to no lithium batteries are being recycled in Australia. An Indonesian professor argues vaping is being misrepresented, Shanghai is set to host Vape Culture Week, and Reynolds has Juul in its sights with a new product launch.

Gucci, the Italian fashion brand, has taken Uberto Gucci to court and won. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruled that the great-grandson of Gucci’s founder couldn’t sell “Uberto Gucci” branded vape products via his company, UGP LLC. The court decided that Gucci’s name would lend too heavily on “the exceedingly well known” fashion brand.

Safe Travels Magazine is handing out advice for people planning on travelling to Singapore this summer. Being caught drunk in public could land you up to 15yrs in prison, talking about politics in public requires approval from the Ministry of Manpower, and vaping is utterly banned.

They might speak English well in the Republic, but they don’t understand harm reduction: “You can’t bring vaporisers, like e-cigarettes, e-pipes, e-cigars, and refills into the country. These items are likely to be confiscated, and you could be fined or sent to prison.”

At least the flight will be less eventful than the passengers on flight CA106 experienced as they flew out of Hong Kong International airport with Air China. Thirty minutes into the journey, oxygen masks dropped from the ceiling and the plane dropped 25,000 feet.

The co-pilot decided to seal up the cockpit door to the main cabin and turned off the air conditioning so he and the pilot could have a crafty vape. Airline safety officials said the actions resulted “in insufficient oxygen in the cabin and an altitude warning.”

Air China has discarded the two men responsible like Australians chuck away lithium-ion batteries. The Guardian reports that they only recycle 2% of their discarded cells and “an estimated $813m to $3bn worth of valuable components is in landfill”.

Given the problems Down-Under vapers face (detailed in another article this week), the likely source of most of these discarded items are mobile phones, laptops, and household appliances. British vapers can recycle old batteries at the council collection centre or in most vape stores, and facilities in Glasgow and Yorkshire can accommodate the entire annual waste battery supply.

The article adds: “Australians create 3,300 tonnes of lithium-ion battery waste a year, and that figure grows by 20% every year. Lithium-ion batteries in landfill pose a significant fire and explosion risk, and leach toxic materials into the environment” - something to consider when dumping the old 18650.

Padjajaran University’s Professor Satriya Wibawa Suhardjo is arguing for a different kind of common sense, he believes the public’s view of vaping isn’t based on evidence and science: “Society’s negative view towards vaping is problematic since it is not based on relevant data and facts. During my visit at the global nicotine forum, is received plenty of information on alternative products for tobacco, which one of it was vaping.”

Satriya now hopes that the Indonesian Government will support vaping to be used in West Java to combat tobacco-related harm – something that has already reached 650,000 ex-smokers.

No doubt news of the forthcoming Shanghai Vape Culture Week will reach Indonesian ears. Organisers plan on holding a "Vape Party" to celebrate "the first year of rapid development of e-cigarette industry”.

They report sales lagging somewhat during 2017 as many countries introduced legislation, but it bounced back during the first half of 2018. They are expecting “more than 1,000 brands and 30,000 professional visitors from 25 countries and regions” to be at the event – and they are even laying on “pop bands” from around the world.

One company that will probably shoehorn its way in is Reynolds, the tobacco company. It’s subdivision, the R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co, is set to launch a Juul me-too product in the form of Vuse Alto. Information is scarce at the moment, but it looks like they will be mirroring the package offered by Juul: a device, a charger and a selection of flavoured pods.

Although Juul currently holds 69% of the American cigalike/pod market, tobacco brands like Reynolds have the financial capability to compete aggressively on price, to wrestle back market share. The next twelve months will be very demanding for Juul as they stretch themselves by expanding into foreign countries like the UK.

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker