How The Vaping Industry Is Preparing For A Fight That Could Change Everything
NJOY has joined with others in hiring lobbying firms to help weather the storm of anti-vaping propaganda
Being caught in the middle of a passionate fight is nothing new for the vaping industry. It seems like for just as long as modern vaporizers have been on the market, people have been debating their efficacy and long-term effects. Things have only gotten more divisive over the years as vaping becomes more prevalent in the public eye. As a result, the FDA has been ramping up their efforts to curb what they call a teen vaping “epidemic.” Most recently they began the process of banning the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in shops across the country, a move that’s been met with plenty of strong rhetoric from both camps.
Most likely due to the increased heat coming from federal agencies and parental groups alike, several large vaping companies have recently begun hiring lobbying firms to help in the fight against continued disinformation. Given the public perception to the benefits of vaping remains pitifully low, at around 13%, it’s no wonder they would need help to spread to growing evidence for the harm reduction and smoking cessation value of e-cigarettes. The latest vaping company to hire a big-time lobby firm is one of the oldest e-cigarette makers in the country, NJOY. They recently filed papers that registered up and coming lobbying firm, Card & Associates, to “educate officials.”
A Push For Lobbyists
NJOY, in particular, has faced some tumultuous times over the last few years, having filed for bankruptcy back in 2016, but recovering in a big way last year, into this year. With the news they’re also seeking help from major lobbyists, it proves it’s more than an aberration, but rather a significant trend in the American vaping industry. Over the last couple months, the FDA has been moving away from the continuum of risk model that had so many in the vaping community excited when Dr. Scott Gottlieb first took over back in May of last year. This September they shifted their campaigns to indicate not only does vaping contain addictive nicotine, but the other substances could have adverse health effects, a claim they gave no evidence to back up. They followed this news with the announcement of the upcoming flavor ban mentioned above.
Juul Labs, the current market leader for vaping in America, has also been looking to lobbying firms to help protect themselves from the misinformation. This came after increased pressure from the FDA over their products and marketing. They’ve taken so much heat that they’ve taken several steps to align themselves more closely with the smoking cessation value of their products. This included pledging over $30 million to fund research and only allowing former smokers who have quit using Juul to be in their ads. Regardless, Juul Labs felt it was necessary to get the help of two separate firms, Insight Public Affairs and Empire Consulting Group.
Vaping Keeps Growing
As the vaping industry continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, some are still concerned over the impact they’re having on our health. Given how little you hear about it from the media and legislators, it’s unsurprising why so many people don’t realize we actually do have a ton of evidence which clearly indicates the harm reduction and smoking cessation benefits of vaping. For example, we’ve known since 2015 thanks to research by England’s public health agency, PHE, that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking. But it didn’t stop there. Last year we got research which indicated the lifetime excess cancer risk of a vaper is around 57,000 times lower than a smoker from a similar background.
As if that wasn’t enough to justify its value, we also have plenty of reason to believe that vaping is the best smoking cessation tool at our disposal. A study conducted by a team from the University of Louisville wanted to test the success rate of different smoking cessation tools and methods. After collecting all of their data, they found that vaping was even more likely to lead to success than prescription drugs. But likely the most common argument against vaping involves the impact their acceptance could have on the youth. Luckily, a survey of over 60,000 teens indicated that only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever picking up vapes, let alone combustible cigarettes.
Given how much peer-reviewed evidence we have on vaping, as well as how many people smoking kills to this day, you would think that e-cigarettes would be almost universally praised and utilized. Unfortunately, as we all know, this is far from the case. That’s precisely why companies like NJOY and Juul Labs are in desperate need of professional lobbyists. They’re paid to use logic and evidence to prove their points to legislators. It’s sad that this is what it takes to protect what could very well be the best shot we have to end the smoking epidemic once and for all. Regardless, we must work together to spread the positive information about vaping to the smokers in our own lives. Hopefully, with enough support, we can block the FDA from trying to limit our vaping rights any further.
Are you surprised vaping companies need to hire lobbyists? Do you think this will help get the vaping industry the understanding it deserves? How can we best spread the benefits of vaping to our peers? 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.