New Law Could Irreparably Damage The Vaping Industry Overnight
A bill currently making its way through Congress aims to significantly roll back vaping rights in America once again.
Vaping regulations have been ramping up over the last several years as concern reaches an all-time high. It’s only been a little over ten years since modern vaporizers first hit the scene, but the industry has grown into a massively important, multi-billion dollar business. As such, any plans to significantly curb vaping rights are immediately met with intense debate from both sides. Anti-vapers believe e-cigarettes need to be reigned in, as they’re leading to a new generation of smokers. Those in support of vaping blast these claims as purely anecdotal, instead pointing to a growing pile of peer-reviewed research for the harm reduction and smoking cessation value of vaping.
Unfortunately, lawmakers in America have once again sided with anti-vaping rhetoric instead of independent research. In fact, a new bill currently proposed to Congress could potentially destroy the vaping industry in the blink of an eye. The news was met with varied reactions, as only a few people fully understand what this bill could mean. Regardless, the coming months could have a massive impact on the size and scope of vaping in America.
A String Of Proposals
There are several different anti-vaping proposals currently making their way through both houses of Congress. While some of these are relatively innocuous, others would severely damage the entire industry. One of the most restrictive proposals is called the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019, or RYTEA. This bill was brought to the table by two house Dems, Rep. Donna Shalala (D-Fla) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), and is currently gaining a lot of support among anti-tobacco lobbyist groups. According to Shalala and Pallone, their bill is designed to curb teenage vaping by placing several strict regulations on the industry. These changes would include making the legal age to buy tobacco and vaping products 21, while also making it illegal to purchase any vaping products online whatsoever.
In addition to those two stipulations, the bill would also make it illegal to buy flavored e-liquids anywhere, even in brick and mortar stores. This provision is seen by many as the most damaging, as it assumes sweet flavors have zero role to play in making vaping an effective smoking cessation tool for adults. The bill also earmarks around $100 million in additional tax revenue for the FDA to use as they please, called “user fees.” Other members of Congress have made less restrictive proposals. For instance, Senator Mitch McConnell recently introduced his own version of an anti-vaping bill. However, his version was much more reasonable, only raising the age to 21 without many of the other severe restrictions. So even if RYTEA doesn’t pass, there is still an excellent chance vaping will be newly regulated over the coming months.
What Science Says
If these legislators took even a little time to read the research we have on vaping, their perception would likely be a whole lot different. Going back to 2015 and we have research which strongly suggests vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking. That report published by Public Health England was one of the first large scale studies to make these conclusions, but it wasn’t the last. In fact, just a few months back we got another piece of evidence which shows e-liquid vapor has 93% fewer toxicants than cigarette smoke. But even more impressive than all that is the report from the Journal of Aerosol Sciences which concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of a smoker is about 57,000 times higher than a demographically similar vaper.
If you look past the harm reduction value, there’s still a lot to love about vaping. For instance, when tested alongside all the other most common smoking cessation tools and methods, vaping was not only determined to be quite successful but actually more likely to lead to work than anything else. But perhaps the most critical piece of evidence we have on e-cigarettes is in regards to their impact on teens. A report of over 60,000 students conducted by Action on Smoking and Health concluded only between 0.1%, and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever picking up a vaporizer more than once or twice to experiment. This means far fewer must ever be ending up smokers thanks to vapes.
Many experts have called 2019 a make or break year for the vaping industry, and with bills like this all over, they appear to be right. That’s why it’s never been more vital for us to fight back to ensure our vaping rights. If more people understood how much safer vaping is, or how much is at stake, they wouldn’t be so quick to demonize e-cigarettes as basically the same as tobacco. Improving this public perception problem remains the biggest key to protecting our vaping rights moving forward. The more people who know what they stand to gain, the harder it will be to take away.
Do bills like these worry you, if not why? What’s the most essential part about vaping for you personally? How should we be working to spread positive information about vaping to those around us? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.