If you vape in the U.S. chances are you aren’t as happy as you should be. In fact, just three years ago you were allowed to vape essentially anywhere. Now, that has been heavily restricted. Just take a look at the current regulations in the U.S. On top of that, vaping products have been increasingly taxed in recent years by both Obama and Trump government administrations.
Why is This Happening?
There has been a lot of reasons given regarding vaping regulations and tax laws that have been put into place over the last few years. However, what most people have failed to mention is that the Big Tobacco companies have had a tremendous effect on the vaping industry.
Although these Big Tobacco companies have entered into the vaping market, they have also lobbied the U.S. Congress to come down hard on vaping companies. You may ask why they would do this, and you’d technically be correct. It seems to go against their interests, right? Well, not so fast. While vaping is still emerging as a big threat to tobacco products, tobacco still accounts for the large majority of “smoking” sales in the world. Essentially speaking, Big Tobacco companies are hedging their bets, although they are still leaning toward their bread and butter product: tobacco.
Also, remember: there is a lot of money on the line in the U.S. because of the way the health care system is set up. So, Big Tobacco (and Big Pharmaceutical companies) have a lot to lose.
Can Vapers Overcome This?
Unfortunately, money talks. Being that the Big Tobacco lobby has an endless amount of money at their disposal, up until recently there’s not much vapers could do but hope for the best. Yes, there are now fairly large vaping lobbies, but they pale in comparison to the Big Tobacco lobby.
However, there is something that seems to be taking place, especially over the last year and change. Unlike the United States, it seems the United Kingdom has a completely different opinion of vaping. Not only have several non-profit organizations come out in support of vaping, but the health arm of the UK government (Public Health England) have personally endorsed vaping products as a legitimate means to help people quit smoking. Even more important is their report which stated that e-cigarettes are 95% safer than tobacco. Additionally, we have the aforementioned non-profit organizations such as Cancer Research UK and the Royal College of physicians who also have endorsed e-cigarettes or whose policy is extremely friendly.
While the NHS would save billions in health care costs if smokers would stop smoking, we can’t cite “bias” as the reason for the outcome of these positive vaping reports. These studies were conducted by non-profit organizations with no money attached to them. On the other hand, if you look at every negative outcome from studies on vaping in the U.S., you will see that the people who conducted the studied largely had “donations” from Big Tobacco and pharmaceutical companies.
More important is the subject of advertising. After all, less people would know about vaping if it weren’t for advertising. Current advertising laws are, to put it lightly, bad in the U.S. However, in the UK, they are the opposite. The advertising authority in the UK have been lobbied to overturn light restrictions on advertising. Even with the light restrictions, vaping advertising laws in the UK are great. In the US and even Germany, it is either questionable or outright illegal to advertise vaping products, even online. However, in the UK, you can find many websites, such as this one, that advertise vaping products. Websites like the one linked to here are flat out illegal in European countries like Germany and operate in the grey area in the U.S. The U.S. should really follow the UK’s lead here.
So Back to the Question of Overcoming This…
Fortunately, it seems like the U.S. is back tracking on their outlook on vaping, primarily due to the research out of the UK. Furthermore, people have now had their eyes opened to just how much influence the Big Tobacco lobby has, especially in regard to its impact on the U.S. Congress. As of now, it looks promising but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.