Everything You Need to Know About the War on Vaping
The rapid popularity of vaping has shown to be good for the health of millions of people and troublesome to some government agencies.
Smoking has been a major source of health problems for decades. The introduction of a safer alternative has thrown many companies for a loop. Tobacco companies have a vested interest in maintaining their role as one of the most powerful industries in the world.
If you're interested to learn more, we'll get you up-to-date in vaping news and what's been happening in what has been titled "The War on Vapes."
Vaping News: The War on Vapes
To fully understand the war on vaping, you'll need to get some context on the situation.
We'll cover some of the history of smoking, as well as the research on how vapes rank as an alternative to cigarettes. After we're caught up, we'll go over the methods that those in power are using to oust e-cigarettes from the market.
A Brief History of Cigarettes and Their Consequences
The origin of the cigarette can be dated back to roughly 4000 BC. Cultures in South America used the tobacco plant ceremoniously, recognizing the effects that it had on the mind and body. This wasn't the kind of smoking that we see today.
Instead, it was more ritualistic in the sense that it was used sparingly in special circumstances. People brought tobacco into wider, non-spiritual significance when Europeans entered the Americas. They brought the goods that they discovered back to their homeland.
Around 1830, the cigarette was introduced to France where it got its name. Only 50 years later, James Bonsack invented the machine that could produce about four million cigarettes a day. This machine was needed due to the fact that people loved cigarettes and had made them an intimate part of daily life.
The Westerner's consumption of cigarettes skyrocketed to a point in 1965 when 50 percent of men and one-third of all women smoked. This was during a time when little was known about the health complications of cigarettes.
Cigarettes were included in military rations until around 1975. From the mid 60's to current day, consumption of cigarettes has slowly declined. This is due to the general population understanding the health complications. The first people to recognize the connection between smoking and cancer were, surprisingly, the Nazis.
A large reason for the decline in smoking is the fact that companies in the U.S. are required to put textual warnings on their cigarette packages. Most other developed nations have images of the health consequences on their wrappers. These images include black lungs, wheelchairs, and breathing tubes.
While it doesn't need to be said, it's good to give a reminder of what smoking actually does to one's body. The use of tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death of humans on planet earth. Some complications include heart attacks, emphysema, stroke, and numerous forms of cancer.
These diseases are prevalent because tobacco is extremely addictive. In the face of these diseases and illnesses, humans needed to find an alternative to cigarettes. Thankfully, the e-cigarette was invented and has come into popularity around the world.
The History of Vaping
Vapes were actually introduced to the world in the early 20th century. While they weren't anywhere near as sophisticated as the ones available today, their presence has slowly grown.
The modern vape was invented by a Chinese Pharmacist. Hon Lik, whose father died from lung cancer. He tried to create an effective, accessible alternative to smoking. He accomplished this in 2000, and it wasn't until 2007 that e-cigs entered the U.S. market.
Their popularity has only grown since then. Vaping does come along with some side-effects, however, and is not entirely harmless. Vapes still contribute to the addictions of users, and their presence is so new that we aren't positive of the long-term health effects.
That being said, there is little question that vaping is healthier than smoking. Some of the negative side effects of vaping include irritation of the throat, cough, and slight difficulty breathing.
Vaping may also be related to chest pain, an increase in blood pressure, and an increased heart rate. These symptoms, however, are extremely mild in comparison to the same symptoms associated with cigarettes. In few cases, there is also a correlation to vomiting and nausea.
The rise in vaping during the 2010s led to a decrease in cigarette sales. This is where The War on Vaping started to unfold.
Cigarette Influence in Politics
While the popularity of cigarettes has decreased markedly since the 60s, nearly 500,000 Americans still die from cigarette-related illnesses each year. It's also estimated that 3,000 kids pick up the habit of smoking each day. In other words, the presence of cigarettes is still a huge issue in the United States.
Despite this facts, politicians still accept money from big tobacco companies. Tobacco contributes to hundreds of billions of costs that taxpayers must pay each year. It's estimated that each pack of cigarettes costs taxpayers more in the long run that the pack costs when it is purchased.
This means that the presence of tobacco companies not only harms smokers but the country and the environment. It is clear that cigarettes are doing harm to our country, yet politicians still accept money and vote in the interests of big tobacco.
The Start of the War on Vaping
Simply put, big tobacco has cornered politicians into making moves that could conceivably destroy the vaping market. Here's how.
As we've mentioned, big tobacco has taken a significant hit in the face of the rise of the vape. There's a little bit of history that goes into how they tie into the government and why.
When Clinton was in office, big pharmaceutical companies developed and held patents for numerous alternatives to smoking. Things like nicotine gum and the patch hit the market and posed a big threat to tobacco companies. Big pharmaceutical, an arm of the government, lobbied to raise taxes on cigarettes.
With a rise in prices on cigarettes on top of the presence of alternatives to smoking, cigarettes lost their "cool" in the mid-90s, leading to a decline in sales.
That decline in sales, however, meant an increase in profit for pharmaceutical companies. These companies made money from the sale of smoking alternatives. You can start to see the how the manipulation of our government works to profit for some.
The FDA Starts to Expand
A little further into the 90s, the FDA made an attempt to legally regulate the tobacco industry. In order to do so, they would need to get nicotine legally classified as a drug. This way, they could legally regulate the industry and everything in it.
Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation (BWT), upset by the government's expansion, took the FDA to court. Surprisingly, BWT won, leaving the industry unregulated by the government. That point marked a long-winded effort by the U.S. government to gain control of the tobacco industry.
The government's efforts were unsuccessful until recently when soon-to-be Obamacare provided the FDA with an opportunity to regain control of the tobacco industry.
Obamacare and the Tobacco Control Act
Obamacare was originally intended to benefit the general population by limiting the prices that big pharmaceutical companies could charge for prescription drugs. Because of the relationship between Big Pharma companies and the U.S. government, this move was not well received by those who had vested interests in profiting from pharmaceutical drugs.
In order to successfully pass Obamacare, Obama had to give Big Pharma something to even the playing field. Unfortunately for vape lovers, that something was the Tobacco Control Act of 2009. This act introduced a new branch of the FDA, titled "Center for Tobacco Products."
This branch was headed by those affiliated with Big Pharma. In addition to shifting the control of the tobacco industry, the act redefined electronic cigarettes as tobacco products, bringing them under the umbrella of the FDA's control.
Even though e-cigs don't contain any tobacco, they are under the control of the Center for Tobacco Products and the FDA. This reflects the intentions of the government. It's a sad example of manipulation that puts people at a disadvantage.
So, what does this mean for vaping?
The Pre-Market Tobacco Application
The Pre-Market Tobacco Application (PMTA) requires all vape products to adhere to the same application process that big tobacco has to in order to register their tobacco products.
The PMTA is a long and expensive process, which puts many of the thousands of vape products in jeopardy because their companies don't have the funds to complete the process. The application for each product could cost anywhere from three hundred thousand to upwards of one million dollars.
The process also takes close to 2,000 hours to complete and does not guarantee that the product will be approved. This means that vape companies must pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in addition to being put under the microscope and judgment of the U.S. government.
Only one in six applications have been approved to-date, meaning that it is a scrupulous and difficult examination to pass. This process must be completed for every vape, e-cig, modification, or aspect of an electronic cigarette device. This puts small businesses at an extreme disadvantage.
The process has to be completed for all vape products created after February 15th, 2007. Estimates state that nearly 100 percent of products will need to be taken off of the market due to the extremely high costs of the application.
What Does This Mean for Vapes?
The consequences of this legislation will put millions of lives and businesses at a disadvantage. The fact that the U.S. government has limited access to smoking-alternatives is very disheartening. The fact that it did this to increase profits for big pharmaceutical companies is even more troublesome.
Unless legislation changes, it appears that vapes will be dominated by a few companies, and those companies will be under the eye of the U.S. government. The boom in flavors, modifications, and models of vape pens may be a thing of the past.
Much of the variety and flavor on the market was a result of the presence of small businesses. Those businesses will now be forced to either take expensive applications which hold no guarantee of acceptance, leaving them vulnerable to bankruptcy.
Smoking is an epidemic that can only be solved through individual choices and big moves on the federal level to help people quit. Acting to drastically limit the market of vape-products is a move that does just the opposite of what the government should be doing.
While nicotine patches and gum have proved to be generally effective, no product has swept the nation like vape devices have. People are genuinely helped by the presence of vapes, and this presence is likely to be gone soon. Not only do people quit smoking, but the enjoy vaping as much as they do cigarettes.
A large culture of vape consumers has developed in the face of the wide and interesting market of modifications. Nicotine patches are an eyesore and are typically hidden by shirts or pants. Vapes, however, are a source of conversation, a reason to get to know someone, and a reason to get interested in quitting smoking.
While a large-scale reduction in the smoker population wasn't quite achieved, vapes were on their way to being a solution to the number one preventable cause of death in human beings. That is quite the large achievement.
Whether the PMTA will destroy the vape industry or simply lessen its size is yet to be determined. Let's hope that whatever happens, the quantity and quality of vape modifications available is still enough to keep people interested in quitting smoking.
Get Involved with Vapes
There's still time to get involved in vaping. Stay up-to-date with the latest vaping news and make sure you keep an eye on the politics around you. If you're outraged by the government, make sure you vote and take matters into your own hands.
If you're interested in getting any electronic cigarettes, vape juices, or modifications, we have everything you need and more.
- Blazed Vapes Staff