The vapor industry is constantly evolving, and so are the politics surrounding it. Vaporizers have caused hot political debates since they became popular. Vape enthusiasts, many of whom are former cigarette smokers, are especially passionate about preserving their rights and the freedom to vape. On the other side of the debate are politicians and groups concerned about the impact vaporization can have on health and whether vaping is a gateway for minors. Read on to learn about the current laws on vaping, why the opposition is so riled up, and what you can do to fight for vapers’ rights.
State of the Union
In early May 2016, the United States federal government finalized a rule to regulate the e-cigarette industry. Their movement includes banning the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors (people under 18 years old) and requiring all tobacco products to undergo review by the government. Of course, as responsible adults, we’re all very much in favor of banning the sale of e-cigarettes and tobacco products to minors and requiring photo identification to verify age at the point of purchase; these practices have already existed in the majority of US states for a while. Some states – namely California and Hawaii – have raised the legal smoking age to 21. Regarding the government review process for all tobacco products, we will hold official comment on that at this time, and we encourage you to form your own opinion.
This move by the federal government affects new products as well as many already existing on the market. E-cigarettes were categorized with similar devices including vape pens and vaporizers, and now all of which will be regulated under the category of tobacco products because they are marketed as intended for use with eliquids containing nicotine (also known as e-juice and vape juice).
Effects will take place in stages, and no drastic changes will occur overnight. Beginning August 2016, distribution of free samples will be prohibited. Starting May 2018, new warning label requirements include that all products carry statements of possible addictiveness if they are made with nicotine. Marketing strategies will also be affected eventually as e-cigarette and vaporizer companies must seek authorization from the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) to market their products; however, this process may take up to three years as manufacturers are allowed two years to submit applications for their products to the FDA, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may take up to one year to finalize approval or denial of the evaluation.
Public vape pen use has been banned on flights, as well as in many cities in Colorado and other states in the U.S., and public housing units may be banned from smoking or vaping tobacco indoors, too.
What’s the Fuss?
While cigarette smoking has declined in recent history, use of alternative tobacco products such as e-cigarettes continues to rise. Tobacco use in minors has climbed, prompting concerned politicians and health officials to take action in the way they think will best resolve the issue.
A lot of the commotion has to do with what is in e juice. E juice ingredients can include a mixture of water, vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), flavoring, and sometimes nicotine (not all e-liquids are made with nicotine). Some legislators and activists want to ban the best vape juice flavors and allow only plain eliquid, which would take out a large part of the enjoyment factor and negate one of the reasons why vapers prefer electronic cigarettes over analog cigarettes. Flavorings have not been banned by the recent FDA ruling, but the subject is still very much on the government’s radar and new legislation may be forthcoming.
Another topic of debate is whether eliquid is marketed in a way that is appealing to minors.
Top e juice brands have adjusted the branding and naming of their e-liquid products to steer away from trademark infringement and product names that sound like candy. The vapor industry as a whole is leaning more into the direction of professionalism and discretion in branding, marketing, and customer service.
There are still many myths to bust about vaping. For example, nicotine itself does not cause cancer. Furthermore, Public Health England conducted a famous review in 2015 that concluded that the vapor produced by e-cigarettes is about 95% less harmful than smoking traditional combustible cigarettes. Another recent peer-reviewed study concluded that vaping is not a gateway to tobacco use in minors. In terms of protecting health, it simply does not make sense to ban vaping. Vapor is a better alternative than smoking, and vaping e-cigarettes has helped countless adults may the switch from smoking traditional cigarettes. In many cases, vapes have helped adults quit nicotine altogether.
What You Can Do
(1) Spread the word by sharing articles like this one to keep the public informed about vaping and how the law is affecting vapers rights. Many news outlets and the mass media tend to perpetuate myths and use sensational titles that fuel further misconceptions. The more vapers spread the truth, the more we can fight the stigma and strengthen the vaping community.
(2) Sign the petition to support HR 2058, a movement aimed to change the predicate date for vapor products affected by the May 2016 FDA ruling.
(3) Tell your Attorney General that you support HR 2058 and you stand with Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller’s statements regarding a reasonable scientific debate about e-cigarettes and vapor products rulett casinonorske.com.
(4) Wherever you live, whether in the U.S.A or abroad, vote to elect candidates who support vaping and reasonable legislation regarding their use.
(5) Vote with your dollar to support professional vapor companies.
(6) Tell your story about why you love vaping and the benefits e-cigarettes or vaporizers have had on your life.
(7) Support other initiatives by the Consumer Advocated for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association (CASAA), the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA), and the Vapor Technology Association (VTA). The missions of these organizations support the long-term viability of the vapor industry, and your support can mean preserving vapers rights.
Images via VapeRanger