The May 5 announcement of the new FDA e-cig regulations was a huge wake-up call for many in the vaping community. Vapers around the country immediately began searching Google to see if their favorite e-liquids and 18650 batteries would still be readily available. Others seemed to take the news in stride. Surely, someone in the vaping community already has a plan of attack and is ready to take on the FDA, right?
Not so fast. Vaping is still in its infancy stage. There really hasn’t been a lot of time to get organized. While there are some wonderful organizations like the Consumer Advocates for Smokefree Alternatives Association (CASAA) and the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA), the average vaping enthusiast has never even heard of these advocacy groups. And why would they?
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Vaping has been cheap and easy for most vapers from the very beginning. Just buy a Kanger EMOW or some other inexpensive vape pen, and start vaping. Most retailers even give the first couple of bottles of e-liquid away for free. Until just recently, people could legally vape wherever they wanted, whenever they wanted. The life of a vaper was trouble-free, except for the occasional dirty look from a stranger unfamiliar with vaping.
A War on Vaping with Multiple Opponents
Once the FDA e-cig regulations became a reality, most people began targeting the FDA with their outrage. This is completely understandable. But as certain inquisitive individuals began digging deeper into the anti-vaping movement, other enemies in the War on Vaping quickly began to emerge from the side lines.
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The CDC kept issuing statement after statement about how harmful e-cigs are supposed to be, but the information that they were citing was completely false or intentionally misleading. If e-cigs are 95% healthier than tobacco cigarettes, then why would The Center for Disease Control be so opposed to vaping and apparently siding with Big Tobacco? And why would a supposedly highly-regarded medical institution be making outlandish claims that an entire industry is targeting minors to make money, like some pedophiliac child molester? This was perhaps the first sign that the war was about to turn very, very ugly.
Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, the CDC, and the FDA
Big Pharma then enters the War on Vaping, even though they have been secretly lurking in the background for over a decade. Groups like CASAA and SFATA discovered very early on that Big Pharma was the glue that held the CDC and the FDA together. FDA official Mitch Zeller, the man behind the FDA e-cig regulations, was once a lobbyist for major pharmaceutical companies like GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of Nicorette Gum and a key benefactor if a vaping ban is successful. Meanwhile, other previous employees of Big Pharma also work for the CDC.
Another obvious adversary is Big Tobacco. This is a group that has witnessed a rapid decline in customers, thanks to the rise in popularity of vaping. Of course Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, and Lorillard would love to put an end to vaping. They’ll get their customer-base back and then some!
A Focused Plan of Attack
Can the fledgling vaping industry win the War on Vaping when they have to fight lots of mini-battles against several different opponents, each with very deep pockets and enormous amounts of political influence? Can the vaping industry successfully take on Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, the CDC, and the FDA all at the same time…and WIN?
Of course, we can. But we have to get organized. Every vaper and retailer has to do their part. So far, four lawsuits have been filed against the FDA e-cig regulations. Two are from the vaping industry, and two are from Big Tobacco. While this is a good first step, the War on Vaping cannot be won without a focused plan of attack. Who is going to take the lead and unite the vaping community into a single army? Right now, vapers are still looking for their Commander in Chief.
(Related Article: WHAT CAN YOU DO TO FIGHT THE FDA VAPING REGULATIONS?)
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