Published on November 29th, 2016 | by Jimmy Hafrey
Vaping Defending by Veterans To Save Lives
Another voice is being added to the chorus of dissent that has been plaguing the FDA deeming regulations for vaping, and it comes from an unlikely source: veterans.
Veterans who serve in the armed services, on average, smoke more than civilians. To date, it’s being reported by The Daily Caller that just 32 percent, or less than one-third, of all veterans have never smoked a traditional cigarette. That means that out of the millions of service members that work at home and abroad, over 65 percent smoke cigarettes. This is a high percentage when compared with the 20 percent of civilians who smoke and it’s thought that cigarettes are used as a stress-coping mechanism.
And until a decade ago, smoking traditional cigarettes was their only option.
Now, as Will Cohen, who founded the Vape a Vet Project, points out, veterans are leaving the traditional smoking method for vaping. He stated in a recent op-ed he wrote on the subject that:
“Veterans and service members deserve the right to a tobacco alternative.”
Just like civilians, veterans deserve the right to have vaping as an alternative, which is why the Vape a Vet Project was founded. It is a nonprofit charity that aids current and former military members in quitting smoking. The group takes donations in order to provide a free smoking cessation kit that includes a vape device, extra tanks, and one bottle of vape liquid.
But now that the FDA regulations have gone into effect, vaping is endangered. It’s already thought that the vast majority of vape shops will close by 2018, leaving the market devoid of a suitable and safe alternative to smoking. Some shops have already closed, and many are looking towards bankruptcy to deal with the PTMAs and the extra taxes that passed this election season.
Although several studies tout the benefits of vaping and the UK encouraging vaping as a smoking cessation tool, the FDA remains undeterred in their assumption that vape products are the same as tobacco. This is unfortunate, as we have written before about how new technology has made it possible for synthetic nicotine to be created and used for public consumption.
Veterans such as Will Cohen are outraged that the FDA regulations, which put vaping in the same category as tobacco, will devastate the industry. And many of them, who own vape shops themselves, are raising their voices in order to be heard.
“Some estimates indicate roughly two million ex-smokers are using vaping products in our country today,” Ron Marshall, a vape shop owner who owns two stores in Montana, wrote in a Great Falls Tribune op-ed on the effects of the FDA regulations on the industry. “If the FDA removes virtually all vaping products from the market, I have little doubt that many of those ex-smokers will return to traditional cigarettes. From a public health perspective, that outcome would run contrary to the mission of the FDA.”
None of this will stop veterans for fighting for their right to vape, however, and the fight continues. With the deadline of August 8, 2018, looming large for all businesses to submit their PMTAs, veterans will continue to battle against the anti-vaping establishment.