Subject: Electronic cigarettes and vape shops in Bountiful Utah
So, recently, a news story we here at Spinfuel concerning electronic cigarettes caught my eye, and I have a few words to add by way of commentary. Those who followed my personal blog at http://johncastlewriter.com before I joined the staff here at Spinfuel have seen me “go off” at least once on the nicotine-Prohibitionist nannies of the world; this will mark the first time I will have done so within these pages. Let’s get right at it.
What has happened in Bountiful, Utah, in case you haven’t been following along, is that the City council refused to renew the business licenses of four brick-and-mortar (electronic cigarettes) vape shops: Vapor Loc, Vapor R Us, Vapor Dreams, and Urban Vapor.
Now, in its initial letter to these shops, the city of Bountiful claimed that it could not renew their business licenses due to state law and electronic cigarettes. As of December 30th, however, the city has renewed their licenses for 2014. Now, let’s parse this, shall we? The city has done something that it claimed it could not do.
You know what that tells me? That tells me that they could have done it, from the beginning. If you say that the law prevents you from doing something, and then you do it under a sufficient level of public pressure, that tells me that you were flat out f***ing lying about not being able to do it in the first place.
To be fair, maybe they weren’t lying. To be fair, maybe they’re breaking the law by doing it now. But what’s more likely, Dear Reader? The idea that they would lie, or the idea that they would break state law? I think it’s the former. And I’m betting that you think that’s more likely, too. After all, the way politics is in the U.S. In 2013-2014, it’s simply, sadly, far more likely that politicians will lie to their constituents than it is that they’ll defy those who are in a position to “punish” them by reducing their funding or their state/federal support.
So I surmise that that’s what we’re seeing here: a passel of municipal bureaucrats who lied to their constituents, only to face a massive grassroots backlash under which they caved, and not all the backlash came from users of electronic cigarettes.
But there’s the ray of hope in all this: they caved. They were made aware, in no uncertain terms, that they were facing a loss of credibility so massive and so pervasive that they had no choice but to back down. And that’s how Vapers are going to win the anti-Tobacco Harm Reduction fight and ultimately win their rights to use electronic cigarettes. It’s something that people want. It’s also something so logical, so sensible, so easy to understand that politicians simply cannot, in the long run, lie to us about it. In short: we are going to have it our way, and they can either step out of the way or get shoved out of the way.
The city of Bountiful, Utah, has figured that out. Let’s see how long it takes the Federals, and other countries, to figure it out, as well. Electronic cigarettes are not the problem, they are the solution, to reducing the disease and early death from tobacco use.