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E-cigs featured at tobacco expo

Back at the Las Vegas Convention Center, another conference is talking about electronic cigarettes.

The Tobacco Plus Convenience Expo is going on today and tomorrow (January 29-30) at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and topics of interest to vapers are in the forefront.

The first conference session dealt with the future of e-cigarettes, and featured panelists include Thomas Kiklas, Director of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association (TVECA) (formerly just the ECA), an e-cig educator who has helped to keep the product available in California, Utah, Illinois, and New York; Dr. Bill Bartkowski of VapAria, and former President of Ruyan America which has worked with the product from the start; Cynthia Cabrera, Executive Director of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA, one of the conference's sponsoring associations); and Linc Williams, co-founder, Board Secretary, and Compliance Committee Chairman of the American E-Liquid Manufacturing Standards Association, who has just produced the film "We Are Vapers".

Electronic Cigarettes are well represented among the exhibitors' booths, although they do share the exhibit floor with producers of cigarettes, Big Tobacco interests that produce both cigarettes and vaping devices, cigars, hookahs, and assorted accessory products.

Among the new products featured on the website, almost half are vaping devices, including offerings by Apollo Electronic Cigarettes, Black Cat Electronic Cigarettes, which is offering an electronic Cuban cigar, the Korean company Lekker (Enright, Inc.), Mastervape, Vapor4Life (also offering a cigar), VaporzX, Inc. (offering a super-affordable e-cigarette), and V2 Cigs (VMR, Inc.) (disposables). All of this in addition to the new offering of Blac Label, whose new product claims to be "the most realistic E-cig on the market", but which did not make it into the conference website's list of novelties. There will be an award given to the top new product, and it would be a surprise if the recipient would not be one of these vaping devices, given the prominence of electronic cigarettes in the future of the industry.

Conference sponsors include a great many publications, none of them e-cig oriented. Mostly they are tobacco trade publications, Asian feature publications, and convenience store journals, since convenience stores are, after all, major stakeholders in all of this. The word "convenience" even figures in the name of the conference, after all. But fully half of the sponsoring organizations, three out of six, are e-cig trade organizations: the SFATA, the AEMSA, and the TVECA. The other three represent cigar retailers, tobacco merchants, and wholesalers. The second conference session deals with issues of greater interest to actual tobacco products (ones with tobacco in them), and the General Session is taken up with legal issues, involving two keynote speakers (on the 2nd day!) from a law firm that treats tobacco industry interests.