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Congress Pushing Vape Ban As Trump Retreats

Jordan Premonics

Posted on November 21 2019

Congress Pushing Vape Ban As Trump Retreats

If you’ve been following the vape news recently there’s been a TON of confusion going around as to where the federal government is going to land on vaping. A few weeks ago Trump touted a full-on federal flavor ban along with a few other restrictions (which sources claim are coming as a result of the First Lady and First Daughters direct input on the president’s decisions). We were supposed to get a definitive statement on vaping from the president by the end of last week but that never happened. Now, because of Trump’s stalling, Democrats are taking the opportunity to champion the vape ban and score some political points with the uninformed American public. 

Once again it seems like our vaping industry is being used as a football in the never-ending political game of disingenuous arguments against vaping. The members of our government on both sides of the political divide seemingly care more about appearing to be concerned about the health of their constituents than actually doing anything actionable. 

After all, with all this talk about vaping being unhealthy and flavored nicotine being bad, I haven’t seen any of these people pushing for vape bans pushing for more cigarette bans and restrictions. In fact, despite the formerly laid out plans to cut the nicotine out of cigarettes announced by the FDA in 2017 just today, they’ve announced they won’t be following up on that! 

Source - https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/20/tobacco-stocks-rise-on-report-that-fda-wont-cut-nicotine-levels-in-cigarettes.html

So here was an actual effort by the Federal government to reduce cigarette consumption and addiction, yet it’s being shelved and pushed back. There were also talks of banning menthol cigarettes which have also since been shelved. So when politicians are saying flavors in vape are a problem but flavors in cigarettes are not, I find it hard to believe them. 

Now we have a new bill, this one approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. This latest bill is much more aggressive than anything we’ve seen recently and contains a number of industry destroying restrictions. The ban would prohibit all flavored tobacco products, raise the tobacco purchasing age to 21, and ban online sales entirely. 

So you can go to war and kill a person at 18 but the government thinks you’re not responsible enough to decide if you want to smoke? 

Despite the fact that this bill has gained enough momentum to push through the House of Congress, drawing support from both sides of the aisle, it is still very unlikely to pass the Senate. Remember, anything being voted on in the Senate has to be approved for voting by the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. I think we've all seen just how slowly Mitch works, that bill will probably still be on his desk in a years time. 

Still, the politicians are taking this opportunity to get their licks in and sound like they’re making a difference. Dick Durbin, a prominent Democratic Senator took the opportunity to blast Trump stating “I'm hoping that the president cares more about children than he does about the lobbying pressure from 'Big Tobacco' and 'Big Vape companies”. 

Who are these big vape companies Dick? Is he talking about JUUL, who is now controlled by their majority shareholder Altria group, makers of Marlboro and other cigarette companies??

Once again it looks like we’re being grouped into Big Tobacco despite the fact that Tobacco companies are losing customers to vaping hand over fist. We here in the vape industry have ALWAYS been against Big Tobacco, to group us together just shows how ignorant these politicians are. Of course, ignorance is the convenient excuse, a much more sinister motive may be coming from the insidious financial dependence of local governments on MSA money from Big Tobacco. 

When the MSA (Master Settlement Agreement) first hit the law-books in 1998 it sounded like a great idea. Tobacco companies would pay states settlement money for cigarette caused diseases among their populations, the payouts would be based on the number of cigarettes sold in each state. Which made sense, because everyone knew the nicotine alternatives had a less than 50% success rate so it was a good bet that people would continue to buy cigarettes and the states could count on Big Tobacco settlement money for funding. What nobody saw coming was the advent of a completely new technology that made quitting cigarettes easier than ever before. This led to a drastic drop in cigarette sales which in turn led to the settlement money from Big Tobacco decreasing to the tune of several hundred million dollars per state.  

According to the National Association of Attorney Generals

  • New York received $1,432,460,402 from Big Tobacco payouts in 2016, in 2019 they received only $616,022,075. Less than half of the 1.4 billion previously paid out before vaping became popular.

  • California recieved $1,111,243,297 in 2013, in 2019 they only got $849,315,111 in payouts. 

     

    So basically this ban boils down to the protection of government funding by Big Tobacco. I think, like most of the bans we’ve seen being touted, this bill will die before it ever becomes law. But then that begs the question, why bother making the bill in the first place? 

     

    9 comments

    • David: November 28, 2019

      Well its working cause i just got a message trying to check out on 8 vape and they wont ship to mass. Flavored and menthol cigs dip and other products have been banned being sold by convenient stores but can be sold in tobacco stores so these poor owners of small gas stations and convenient stors loose alot of sales remember the guy buing a pack of new ports is going to buy a scratch ticket and a redbull too. Big loss for people trying to make a living. This is the USA nothing should be Banned. Alcohol kills all sorts of people and kids so does Bleach No Bans there. This is all Altria and pensions for congress and state law makers. Look at the portfolios and see whos lobbying the halls and its an easy story to understand. Big Government was not the idea of the men who created the greatest country and Massachusetts is a perfect example of a people and law makers who are so far left its unrecognizable inside these state lines. Better vote come 2020 cause there are many and plenty who want to make ur state just like mine. Ruled by Jack suited lovers who want to ban everything that makes America Great and as for the people theyll get the scraps as they overlook from their castles. I know crazy right…Been to SF lately?

    • Justin Franks: November 25, 2019

      Not only are states seeing large drops in revenue from the TMSA, many states were foolish enough to take out loans on future expected TMSA payouts. But with the advent of vaping, the lower TMSA revenue stream equates to a large deficit in those states who gambled and lost.

    • Anthony J. Broyles Jr.: November 24, 2019

      Now see this is just another game that they are play to run the Gambit to try to make that money up that they’ve lost. many years ago when kids started smoking there were no flavors except for menthol so what was the excuse then they didn’t try to protect the children then! It’s all become a three-ring circus to keep the money flowing and the people sick! the Dutch government doesn’t care about saving the children, they don’t care about saving the lives of the millions of smokers. it’s all about what money they can get out of the deal and two in order to do that they need to crush the one industry that is taking the money out of their pockets! Vaping for life is my motto, and I’m sure there are thousands upon thousands out there that would agree.

    • Sue: November 22, 2019

      The article would have been more helpful if it contained sme info on what we the people can do about this. Maybe just a link to a site that lists every state’s current Congressional representatives?

    • KG: November 22, 2019

      Follow the money. Theres an interesting video I came across that explains how “big tobacco” has to pay a certain amount of tax dollars to each state based on how much of their product is sold in each state. Now that less people are smoking due to the recent rise of the vape industry, the states are losing their kick-backs from BT and causing deficits in their budgets. It only makes sense that they want to ban vapes in order to drive people back to smoking. Follow the money. These democrat politicians don’t care about “saving the children.” They care about collecting income based on a tax they now don’t have.

    • Kevin: November 21, 2019

      Phillip Morris sells smokeless cigarette since 2014 all Over the World Except USA , But now that E-cigs are to be banned they are coming Here with them , Coincidence I Don’t Think So .

    • Kevin Gleim: November 21, 2019

      I am so sick and tired of all ths B.S. I have posted elsewhere that Philp orris the Marlboro Cigarette makers made a Smokeless Cigarette in 2014 and Have been selling them all over the world except here in America , But now with all this crap about Banning E-cigs They are going to start selling them here in The USA , Boy what a Coincidence that is. Do I really need to say More ???

    • Karen Ginthwain: November 21, 2019

      I’m so confused. So this morning a bill was passed in MA ban all flavored vaping products INCLUDING menthol cigarettes. I have been practically I’ll over this all day thinking I’m having a difficult of enough time now with just the ban on SALES of these products. what will happen if all these products are banned all together?! I’m a flavor vaper…Flavors aided in saving my life helping me quit cigarettes nearly 6 yrs ago. Never smoked another after I got my vape. So what happens in MA now?! IM SO ANGRY. NOTHING like taking this out on the wrong industry, I feel, if the illnesses and deaths were caused by vitamin e in THC. smh. Youth issue…some parental guidance maybe, stricter age verification. Banning is not the way to solve the NON ISSUE in my opinion.

    • Phyllis Greenway: November 21, 2019

      Looks like a money maker for government. They need to stay out of our private business !!!

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