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Study: Consumers want more control over health care, but don’t know where money will come from after retirement

BY Alaric DeArment

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Ninety percent of people today want to have a say in important decisions regarding their health care, but only a small percentage are certain they’ll have the recommended amount of savings needed to cover health expenses after retirement, according to a new study.

The results are from an ongoing series of semiannual surveys conducted by the Altarum Institute’s Center for Consumer Choice in Health Care, which collect information on consumer beliefs and preferences about health care.

The 2013 Altarum Institute Survey of Consumer Health Care Opinions found that one-third of respondents would like to make a shared decision with their doctor, while 43% want to make the final decision with some professional input and 16% prefer to be completely in charge of their medical decisions. Still, only 5% are certain they will have enough savings after retirement, meaning that retirement is an area where healthcare planning is lacking, and 80% are unsure or unlikely to have enough money set aside by then, though most are comfortable approaching their doctors about the cost of healthcare services.

"It’s a positive sign that people are open to asking their doctors about costs and involving themselves in their healthcare decisions," CCCHC director and study author Wendy Lynch said. "But overall, the study shows that people still have their head in the sand when it comes to what they think they can control. They have more power than they realize just by asking questions; now, they just need to use it."

 

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International Vapor Group debuts palm-sized AIR vaporizer

BY DSN STAFF

MIAMI LAKES, Fla. — International Vapor Group has launched a new, refillable electronic cigarette system under its flagship South Beach Smoke brand. IVG designed its new AIR personal vaporizer using a new tank system concept so the product fits in the palm of the user’s hand.

“While the first generation of e-cigarettes mimicked the look and feel of a traditional cigarette, easing traditional smokers into this new technology, the new generation is an e-cigarette upgrade,” said Ditmar Berberich, VP marketing at IVG. “The South Beach Smoke AIR, a personal vaporizer, is an even more advanced electronic cigarette with refillable e-liquids sold separately, which will drive a loyal repeat business.”

South Beach Smoke offers 100% U.S.-made e-liquid in a variety of flavors, mixed in a range of nicotine levels, according to the company. “This new trend of personal vaporizers and personalized tailor-made smoking experiences is here to stay,” Berberich said.

International Vapor Group manufactures, distributes and markets a number of e-cigarette brands, including South Beach Smoke, EverSmoke, NutriCigs and a new retail concept, VaporZone.

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Blu poised to grow as major category player

BY DSN STAFF

GREENSBORO, N.C. — As a brand that got into the business on the ground floor, blu is positioned to continue its role as a major player in the electronic cigarette category. “The electronic cigarette category is seeing a rapid growth in awareness, trial and usage among adult smokers,” said blu eCigs president Jim Raporte. “As consumer awareness and product trial continue to grow, blu eCigs expects to maintain its market leadership position and contribute to the responsible development of the product.”

In its transition to a large-scale, second-generation company, Raporte said the brand will continue to invest heavily in national advertising, develop innovative and successful marketing programs to support further retail expansion, and focus on research and development initiatives to fuel category growth.

“We back up our brand image with continuous customer conversation and product development based on direct consumer interaction and input. This level of engagement separates blu eCigs from other brands,” Raporte said.

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