7000+ Vape Shops Are At Risk
There has been a recent call from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) to put pressure on the FDA to finalize their supposed ‘deeming regulations’ on electronic cigarettes. CASAA has since launched their own Call To Action in an attempt to blunt the actions of CTFK. We believe CASAA is correct to place this Call To Action despite the ‘known’ proposed regulations being more than a year old. However, today I would like to talk to you about something that is often overlooked when supporting or attacking electronic cigarettes…the economy.
American’s are earning an average of $1600 a year less than they were in 2009, and that trend continues with no sign of slowing down or reversing. Next year the cost of ObamaCare will go up substantially for those that can afford it, while more and more people with less income will receive more subsidies for their health insurance. With less money to spend fewer employees are needed. Fewer employees mean more people out of work, even less money to put into the system, more subsidies, and on and on it goes. Things are, well, not good.
The FDA, should it make the wrong decision about electronic cigarettes, will do more harm to the economy than anything else since the banking crisis of 2007. This is something that needs to be carefully considered by the FDA and the Obama administration before organizations like CTFK get their way.
Look, I’m not going to waste your time or mine defending electronic cigarettes. We all know they are infinitely safer than tobacco products, and are, themselves, NOT tobacco products. To spend our time on more of talking points in support of e-cigarette is not time well spent right now. What is time well spent is to talk about the effects on everyone’s lives should the ‘stupid, ill-informed narcissists’ get their way.
7000 and Counting
A couple of months ago Spinfuel eMagazine began a major new project that is still at least two months away from launching, but this move by the CTFK warrants a bit of an unveiling about the new project and what our findings have discovered about the state of the e-cigarette business in the United States.
Our project, which we are calling in-house, the “Vape Shop Project” is a brand new, constantly updated directory of every Vape Shop in the United States (phase one), Canada and Australia (phase two), The UK and Europe (phase three) and then the rest of the world (phase four).
Our Vape Store Project will result in something no one has ever done before. It won’t be just another directory, it will something much more than that. I don’t want to say too much at this point, but the team we’ve hired to sort through every single Vape Shop in the US has learned that there are now more than 7000 Vape Shops operating in the US, with an average of nearly twenty new shops opening their doors every day.
The figures I’m about to talk about come from our team’s interviews, questionnaires, and certain public records, and although I am completely confident in the numbers, please understand that these are not verified by third-party accounting firms. Like political polls, our results come from random calls to vape shops in cities and towns we are culling the information from for the Vape Shop Project. Anyway…
On average, every Vape Shop employees around 4 people. These employees are earning well above minimum wage. More importantly, for the vast majority of employees their job at the vape shop is their sole source of income. In other words, if the FDA makes it impossible for 7000+ vape shops to remain open, tens of thousands of people will be thrown out of work, millions in investments in to these vape shops will be lost, and many thousands of families will be in severe financial stress. And bankruptcy’s will increase sharply as thousands of entrepreneur’s lose their businesses.
With one single action by the Food and Drug Administration the United States economy will suffer a terrible blow. Can this be allowed to happen?
The Big Nevermind
God knows it’s easier to ignore the problems we face these days than face them head on. By and large millions of us have decided that the reality we live in today is just too damn real to deal with. The world is on shaky ground, threats against the U.S. are very real, and our quality of life is not what we thought it would be just a decade ago. Paying attention to all the bad news can be debilitating, I know. It’s depressing, stressful, agonizing. But ignoring it doesn’t make it go away… it festers whether we pay attention or not.
The Big Question
So I ask myself, ‘Would this administration, would the Food and Drug Administration, really kill off 7000+ vape shops based on unproven rants from anti-smoking zealots and false claims made by anyone that, for whatever reason, doesn’t want to see electronic cigarettes effectively stamp out smoking, return millions of people to improved health, to better the job market, to increase taxes coming into the treasury, or to give people a chance at a real life… all in fear of “renormalizing” smoking, when vaping is not smoking in the first place?
A part of me wants to believe that cooler heads will prevail, and that when the final proposed FDA regulations are made public that this industry will not only survive, but prosper. I want to believe that people who have the kind of power that can ruin lives with the stroke of pen will yield to real science, the realities of the economy, and the will of the people.
I want to believe that the FDA, an organization that has done nothing to stop the sale of tobacco cigarettes or flavored vodka, that had allowed charlatans to buy air time on national networks to hawk products that make claims so outrageous that only the truly stupid would believe, that approve drugs so dangerous that the side effects far outweigh the rare success story, would in turn do the same thing for a family of products that really are safer than the products they replace.
Will the FDA see through the anger of narcissistic ranting of people that know nothing about this industry? Can the FDA see who the true villains are in this story, or are they too drunk with the power to realize that facts matter, not emotion, when it comes to protecting the citizenry? I want to believe they do see through it, but it’s just so hard to put any faith into any government agency.
In conclusion, facts do matter. Vaping is not the problem, it’s the solution. Thousands of different products, from box mods to e-liquids, are improving the lives of millions, providing jobs for tens of thousands, infusing cash into strapped cities and towns, and to do something so rash that it would force 7000+ vape shops to close their doors would be the stupidest over-reaction of the last 50 years.
Remember how Bill Clinton, a democrat, swung the election in his favor by repeating the mantra “It’s the economy, stupid”? Just imagine the impact of closing down 7000+ shops with the stroke of a pen. Isn’t it still, ‘the economy, stupid?’
John Manzione – Publisher