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Gamucci e-cigs creates research and regulatory division

The e-cigarette firm Gamucci has announced the creation of its own internal research division, in order to continue creating new products and also to ensure speedy certification of all of its products under new regulatory requirements being imposed by the Medical and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in its home country, Britain, by the newly passed Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) in the European Union, by the deeming regulations soon to be finalized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US, and by other regulatory bodies elsewhere. In Britain and selected EU member states the product will be regulated as a medical device, while in the US and most EU countries, it will be controlled as a tobacco product.

The director of the company's scientific products division will be Adrian Marshall, who comes to Gamucci from a career at British American Tobacco, where he headed a harm reduction area, according to Gamucci CEO Tony Scanlan, also a BAT veteran (as brass at Rothman's [combustible] cigarettes, acquired by BAT in 1999).

Gamucci was founded by two brothers, Taz and Umer Sheikh, in 2007 to market their invention of the "cartomizer" in 2006. They were among the first to introduce e-cigarettes in the Western Hemisphere. The cartomizer, which integrates the heating unit into the liquid container, has been patented in the UK, and is seeking a US patent. The company deals primarily in cigalikes, either disposable or with refill cartomizers, and has not delved into tank systoms as such. Their wholly-owned production facility is located in Shenzhen, China.

The Gamucci website features the announcement of a prize for best e-cig in the UK, granted by the publication Brand Weekly through its Consumers' Choice Awards program. Awardees were selected by users of online social networks. An independent e-cig reviewing site gave Gamucci four of five stars, along with four other companies, with only two e-cigs outdoing that achievement, with 4.5 and five stars.

The announcement of Marshall's appointment is clearly an indication of what will be happening at many e-cig firms, as companies scramble to complete the research, verification, and paperwork that will be required to meet the new regulatory stipulations. It is assumed that the paperwork will be voluminous, and the wait time extensive, prompting fears that smaller, independent companies like Gamucci will be swamped by the demands, while firms that make combustible smokes, with their seemingly limitless bankrolls, will take them in stride. The way Gamucci handles this process could be a sign of the way things are going.

That is of course unless of course Big Tobacco buys them up, along with their cartomizer patent. Patents could prove to be crucial. Another British Big Tobacco firm, Imperial, has bought the Chinese and International patents of the Chinese firm that first marketed the Chinese product invented in 2003, and is now in the process of suing a group of American companies for infringement. The 1963 American patent on an early prototype e-cig has been bought up by another American e-cig distributor.

Clearly, companies supplying vaping products are jockeying for position at the starting line, as the new regulatory race begins.