I remember that first menthol cigarette a friend gave me on a weekend trip down to Tennessee. Honestly I didn’t really love it, but I just wanted some more of it. The cancerous stars weren’t aligned and I stopped after a few months, but during that time I did begin to understand how some people can go through a pack a day for years. There is something in the back of your head telling you “one more won’t hurt” even though in your gut you really just don’t want it.
My grandfather died before I was born from lung cancer, and the only photo I have of him is sitting in his favorite chair holding up an electronic voice box to the hole in his throat. He had been smoking since he was twelve, and all those years of smoking cigarettes final caught up to him as he took his last draw as he was told his days were numbered. No amount of anti-smoking commercials or D.A.R.E classes in school could have done more to stop me from smoking further as that image in my head of my grandfather’s suffering.
Now I still enjoy the occasional cigar—one can enjoy a quality stick of fermented and organically grown tobacco now and again, and since you don’t inhale cigar smoke, you’ve got less to worry about except for some bad breath afterwards. Vaping always seemed strange to me, almost like an adult pacifier, but I gave it a try and it’s honestly not that bad. I’m glad vapes are rather enjoyable to use and provide a good alternative to cigarettes, which are loaded with everything from rat poison to things no sane person would ever consume otherwise if they took a look into how the process goes about.
The e-cigarette and vaping craze is now a $14 billion dollar industry and studies show that long-time smokers are finally giving their lungs a break and turning to vaping instead.
You’d think the anti-smoking/tobacco lobby would be happy, but you’d be wrong, and now the feds want a piece of the action.
Vape devices, for those still lost in the dark, according to Elizabeth Wright at the Morning Consult are “battery-operated devices that vaporize a flavored liquid, usually propylene glycol, which is found in inhalers, and enables the user to mimic smoking, but without the harmful combustion.” Now the anti-smoking and vaping crowd then points to the fact that vapes have addictive chemicals such as nicotine, so they are in essence as evil as cigarettes right? Wright continues stating “although the liquid usually contains varying amounts of nicotine (yet still remarkably less than a single cigarette) it can be sold without it.” That’s right, consumers who vape can at any point choose not to vape with nicotine.
In a piece at the Washington Examiner by Guy Bentley, he wrote “the Food and Drug Administration, driven by the remorselessness of its own regulatory logic, is marching down a path that could see more than 99 percent of e-cigarette products taken off the market by 2022.” That’s right, the same FDA that allows maggots, rat hair, and mouse poop in our food is telling people that vapes are literally the devil.
The unjust and stupid war on things people like is always powered by the need for government control over human behavior or the incestuous relationship between government and big lobbies. “What lobby?” you may ask. Well, that happens to be the biggest lobby teaming up with the government to kill the vaping industry, the big tobacco lobby that loses a customer each time someone turns to vaping.
Big tobacco is scared because the market has spoken, and it is now common knowledge that vaping is remarkably better, safer, and more convenient than cigarettes.
Companies like Juul are some of the giants in the e-cig/vape industry that the FDA wants to kill, since a remarkably high number of teens and young adults under the age necessary to purchase nicotine-based products are getting caught vaping Juuls.
The FDA is now attempting to shut Juul down for good before the end of 2018 unless they come up with a fool-proof plan to stop kids from getting a hold of their products. This, in spite of the fact that Juul “has already committed $30 million to fight the underage consumption of its products, which indicates that it takes this issue seriously” according to a piece from Reason.
The problem isn’t vaping itself, or children getting their hands on vapes, in the first place; it’s the collusion between big lobbyists and federal regulators to unfairly mess with consumer demands. This war on vaping has nothing to do with public health because it never has, it has everything to do with misinformation, crony capitalism, and the lust to control what people enjoy because some people neither understand it nor want to understand it.