Monday, January 8, 2018

Blowing Smoke

When big tobacco jumps on the vaping wagon should we rejoice or be afraid?  The majority of vaping enthusiasts I've spoken with turned to vaping to stop the destructive health decline that smoking created.  While there is no doubt that big tobacco has destroyed millions of lives, are we now to believe they are concerned about the health of the next generation?  One can only speculate that vaping harmed the lining of their bank accounts and they are scrambling to regain their lost funds.  Is it a coincidence that the FDA's regulations coincide with the tobacco companies testing their feet in the water?  Call it a conspiracy theory, or just common sense, but it is a little coincidental.

Who can afford the fees that come with these strict regulations?  A small vaping manufacturer or the big tobacco companies that have made a fortune while destroying public health? The irony is that vaping was created out of necessity from the problem big tobacco is responsible for.  Phillip Morris, better known for their Marlboro brand, has come out recently with their decision for a “smoke-free” world.  Here is a breakdown of costs a e-liquid manufacturer will pay to bring a new product to market according to the FDA website.

  • ·         an SE exemption report = around $1,500
  • ·         an SE report = anywhere from around $3,500 to around $22,700
  • ·         a premarket tobacco application (PMTA) = in the low to mid hundreds of thousands of dollars (around $117,000 to around $466,000), not in the millions of dollars described by some others.

Again, I ask who will be able to afford these fees?  Big Tobacco companies looking to take over the market or the small vaping manufacturer.  The picture is very clear.  Supporters of the need for extensive product testing, state this is needed to guarantee the safety of the adult population that vapes.  Defenders of the vaping community will tell you that big tobacco has shown they can’t be trusted by the thousands of deadly chemicals in traditional tobacco products.  

What happens if big tobacco takes over vaping?  There are those that believe the pharmaceutical companies will turn to vaping as a smoking cessation method and gain millions of dollars from the hard work the vaping industry built as they are being pushed out the door.  Would our government ever stoop that low?  That’s a decision you’ll have to make for yourself.  The next few years will paint the picture of truth.  If we see vaping suddenly embraced by the government, health organizations, and the like, then I’d say those fears were grounded in truth.

Would it be a bad thing if big tobacco took over?  Considering that they are responsible for the health decline of millions of people, ask yourself that question.  Currently, there are four ingredients in e-liquid.  They are Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin, Flavoring, and Nicotine (sometimes).  Considering that a single combustible cigarette contains over 3,000 ingredients, do we trust big tobacco to create another disaster like cigarettes?  Something stinks and it’s not just the smell of stale smoke. 

The question is no longer when tobacco jumps in on the vaping train, but why?  In a perfect world, you could say it was because they realized they were killing people with their products and needed to stop.  In the world that isn’t surrounded by unicorns and rainbows, it’s more likely that they are only interested in lining their pockets and will step on the vaping pioneers that developed this life-saving technology.  Ask the hard questions, research the backstory, and come to your own conclusions.  We’re not blowing smoke, but there’s a big cloud looming over your head.

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