It may sound a little extreme. But when our elected officials are beholden to anti-vaping special interests, is it too extreme to say that we all must take a stand against one before we can achieve the other?
We think not.
How Government Works
It’s no secret that big interests lobby the federal government to legislate in ways that are favorable to them. This happens every day in the hallowed halls of Congress. While controversial, it remains standard operating procedure.
What many may not realize is how that influence can directly affect their own lives. One significant way is that lawmakers may vote to support laws that are actually detrimental to their constituents.
This is certainly true for the vaping industry. At least two large industries act as hurdles to wider acceptance of a product that provides a strong alternative to the well-documented dangers of cigarette smoking.
Influence #1: Big Tobacco
Big Tobacco has given members of Congress more than $11 million in 2017, according to OpenSecrets.org, and the year isn’t even out. With such a close and lucrative relationship to Big Tobacco, lawmakers are inclined to protect that industry — one that sees the vaping industry as competition.
And rightfully so. With its tobacco flavors (created with no actual tobacco content), nicotine, and hand-to-mouth component, vaping has the potential to take many people off cigarettes for good. Hence, a strong vaping industry is counter to Big Tobacco’s interests, and consequently lawmakers’ interests.
According to the World Health Organization, around 6 million people die from tobacco-related illnesses each year, 600,000 of them from secondhand smoke.
That e-cigarettes have the potential to save many lives and are free of many of the other downsides of combustible cigarettes gets lost in the confusing, often misleading national debate. The public is underinformed about the relatively recent phenomenon of vaping, and those who benefit from that ignorance have no motivation to see the real story get out there.
Influence #2: Big Pharma
The pharmaceutical industry, or “Big Pharma,” produces smoking cessation products including pills, patches, and gum, all of which see mixed results. With pharmaceutical interests having already donated nearly $28 million to members of Congress this year, as documented by OpenSecrets.org, that industry certainly has lawmakers’ ears and probably their votes, too. Based on those numbers, it holds even greater sway than Big Tobacco.
Getting Beyond the Influence
While it’s a revered right to be able to petition (“lobby”) one’s government, it should not happen at the expense of so many lives.
As an American you have every right — if not more — to lobby the government on your own behalf. Anyone interested in e-cigarettes becoming a mainstream product should look into who’s influencing lawmakers’ votes. Let officials know, both when a new anti-vaping law is being considered, and also, if it passes, that you strongly disagree with it, explaining why in personal terms. Tell them the good that vaping has done in your life.
Equally important, share that story with those around you — friends, family, and colleagues. Some may be smokers looking for a way out of their habit. Others may be looking to influence the smokers in their lives. Those who have no connection to smoking can also benefit from your story, as a majority of the public still knows little about vaping. As a vaper they trust, you can tell them the unvarnished truth about e-cigarettes.
The greater the awareness of vaping and its harm reduction potential, the greater the acceptance of it will be. It’ll be harder for lawmakers to support anti-vaping laws, no matter who’s behind them, when the public is overwhelmingly against them.
So, spread the word. We certainly are. It will save lives.
Who’s with us? SVBS
Patrick Moody is the Senior Copywriter at Nicopure Labs. He has more than 20 years of experience writing in a variety of industries, including education, technology, and broadcasting. For more information about Nicopure Labs, distribution or reseller information, please visit www.nicopure.com