Big Tobacco and a host of other large scale organizations are trying to monopolize the vaping industry, putting thousands of small-scale vaping shops out of business. You won’t just lose a few unique flavors, as an entire industry could fall in just a few short months.
Whether you’re a long-time smoker, or 5 years old and don’t know what a cigarette is, the tobacco industry is a constant presence in almost every facet of our lives. It’s no secret that tobacco companies actively and deliberately subvert efforts at tobacco control. They mislead consumers with deceptive marketing and advertising and influence policies and laws with generous “contributions” to congressional campaigns. Now, their sight is set on you and your right to choose the safer alternative. Tobacco companies believe they know what’s best for you and your health.
That being said, there has been some level of justice against their influence. In more recent history, we’ve started to see tobacco companies held accountable for their impact on public health. Following the waves of litigation for the tobacco industry in the 80s and 90s in the US, more than 40 states sued under their state’s consumer protection laws. The states argued that tobacco companies’ harmful products contributed to the rising costs in our public health system. In November 1998, the attorneys general of 46 states, along with five of the largest tobacco companies at the time reached an accord that is known as the Master Settlement Agreement. The purpose of the agreement is to encourage more ethical practices concerning the advertising, marketing and promotion of cigarettes. What extent has this actually gone to? Well, there is a host of small victories, but not enough.
The Master Settlement Agreement is a testament that Big Tobacco isn’t invincible. Here’s some of the positive changes that came from it:
◘ Disbanding three specific tobacco-related organizations, restricting the creation of these types of organizations and their involvement in trade associations.
◘ The tobacco companies agreed to pay an annual sum to the states to compensate them for health care costs related to cigarette smoking. They will pay this annual amount through 2025, totalling about $206 billion for the first 25 years.
◘ Tobacco companies agreed to end certain marketing practices, particularly ones that promoted cigarette smoking to children.
◘ The settlement also created and funded the National Public Education Foundation, which aims to reduce youth smoking, as well as preventing diseases that result from smoking.
As a result of these litigations, a large number of confidential documents belonging to major tobacco companies were released, further exposing their efforts at resisting tobacco control. While this information isn’t new, many people are unaware of the scale and intensity of their deceptive strategies and tactics.
The list goes on. A report released in 2000 by the World Health Organization further supports the above facts. In their findings they were able to discover the vast amount of money tobacco companies were spending on deliberately diverting attention from the public health crisis caused by cigarettes, as well as attempting to defund research on the scientific studies of tobacco and distorting the results.
Today, we have the tools needed to reduce tobacco use as well as the number of people that die from it each year. In our lifetime we have seen increased taxes on tobacco, the introduction of smoke-free laws, warning labels, advertising bans, etc. We’ve also seen the birth of e-cigarette and vaping as a safer alternative. However, the tobacco industry recognizes the impact that these approaches have and the impact it has on their sales.
E-cigarettes are now a multi-billion dollar industry, and the potential for growth is still massive. For awhile, the industry was lead by smaller independent manufacturers who were happy to cater to those who were looking to put down the cigarette and find a safer, cleaner alternative. But we can never have nice things. Today, some of the most popular e-cigarette brands are owned by large tobacco companies. The tobacco companies found that by controlling the industry they can not only control their competition, but they can also take away people’s agency to choose the safer alternative. Given the rise in popularity of e-cigarettes, and the increase of unregulated e-liquid manufacturing overseas, there has been pressure to begin introducing stricter regulations on these products. However, if tobacco companies continue to be allowed to influence policy, what will the future of e-cigarettes look like? Will it remain the safer option?
There is a new bipartisan amendment introduced by Representatives Tom Cole (R-OK) and Sanford Bishop (D-GA) which aims to recalibrate the regulatory efforts that have been aimed at the vaping industry as of late. Last year the Cole Bishop Amendment was ran through congress but failed to make it into final funding. While that was a huge blow, the good news is that this same bill is on the table again now, in 2018. We can’t express the importance of taking action to help ensure that this amendment gets passed, not just for the sake of the vaping industry, but for your own health. If this doesn’t pass, there’s going to be some serious consequences.
Why is this important to you?
The Cole Bishop ammendment would bring about a host of changes to your day to day life, but in ways that protect you and the industry as well.
According to the Vapor Technology Association, “The Cole-Bishop Amendment would ban self-service displays in stores, would ban the sale of vapor products in vending machines and kiosks, would require warnings like “Keep out of Reach of Children” and “Underage Sale Prohibited” on all labels, and would restrict print advertising to publications only marketed to adults. In addition, the bill would strengthen FDA enforcement by mandating that all retailers register with the FDA.”
What’s that last point?
“In addition, the bill would strengthen FDA enforcement by mandating that all retailers register with the FDA.”
As it currently stands, the FDA has an extremely difficult (and more importantly) extremely expensive PMTCA (Pre Market Tobacco Application.) Without getting too complex, this application makes it extremely difficult for anyone to bring new vape flavors to the market because it requires a behemoth amount of financial capital to fulfill the strict requirements that it entails. After testing, legal fees, and a ton of waiting, it’s still unlikely your flavor will make it to the market it is currently regulated.
According to Vaping 360, “The most important part of the amendment is that it changes to predicate date in the FDA Deeming Rule from Feb.15, 2007 to Aug. 8, 2016. That means that if the Cole-Bishop Amendment passes, all vaping products that are already on the market can continue to be sold without being forced into the FDA’s brutally expensive and difficult pre-market tobacco application (PMTA) process.”
Tell the FDA Your Story
Contact Your State Senator
Support your Local VAG
Buy Juice Carefully
We need your help to SAVE flavors! The FDA is currently evaluating the role flavors play in e-juice, and they want to hear from you!. If you’re ready to pick up a weight and start helping, keep reading.
Take the survey by following the appropriate link below and give your input on what role flavors play in your vaping experience.
Why take the survey?
Do you enjoy flavored E-juice? This is your chance to make a difference and where your opinions can be heard by the FDA! –
Why does this help?
Your opinion matters! This survey will help gather data for submission to the FDA for them to gain more knowledge on the role flavoring plays in e-juice from all vapers. Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey- links below.
Must be 18 years or older.
Only 1 IP address per submission.
Contact your Senator and let them know about this issue. Send them a link to this page and share why having access to unique vape flavors is important to you.
Believe it or not there are a host of advocacy groups already established that care about your right to vape, and have been on your side for years. Many of the regulations that have allowed vaping to exist and to have grown to where it is today are thanks to the efforts of Vape Advocacy Groups nationwide and even around the world.
We urge you to find your favorite vape advocacy group and donate to their cause, as they have already done more than we can ask for.
CASAA (Consume Advocates for Smoke Free Alternatives Association) is a great first stop to finding out about different advocacy groups, as well as to support their program which has helped millions already.
We all have the responsibility as consumers to stay informed of the social impact of the goods we buy and the brands we choose.
Support businesses who are ethical in their advertising and promotional practices. A company or brand is not a replacement for an informed parent or caregiver, and packaging products intended for adults in a way that specifically appeals to kids removes everyone’s freedom to make an informed choice. To put it bluntly: don’t buy from companies that advertise to kids.
Buy from companies that are dedicated to offering safe, quality goods that are marketed responsibly and appropriately.