The E Cigarette War Can Be Lost

If you pay any attention to news concerning electronic cigarettes then you know that every single day we are facing new attacks, bans, attempts to ban, taxes, attempts to tax, and so on and so forth from the federal level all the way down to the city and town level. You would think from all the negative exposure that vaping was a whole lot worse than heroin addiction or ‘vaping with friends’ has become the equivalent of being a member of some malicious, satanic cult.

These attacks against an activity that is virtually harmless, is maddening. Understanding the reasoning behind the attacks (money, corruption, ignorance, selfishness, and zealotry) do little to alleviate the anger we all harbor against such stupidity. It seems that no matter what we try to do, no matter what science reveals that supports our position, especially over nicotine, no one on the other side is listening to a word we’re saying.

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Not Enough

Every time there is a Call To Action issued from CASAA or any number of people, blogs, organizations, or groups, vapers respond… somewhat. But a smattering of people here and a smattering of people there is not enough to sway the tide turning against us.

So far, the scorecard has been mixed, yes, and while we seemed to be able to beat back most of the attempts to tax or ban e cigarettes in the past, we didn’t beat them all, and it’s becoming easier to strike up a win against us more and more.

LA Ban and the Jersey RHINO

Take last week’s victory for the opposition in LA, where the City Council voted unanimously to place the use of e cigarettes into the same category as tobacco cigarettes.

The L.A. City Council today voted unanimously to place use of e-cigarettes in the same category as cigarettes in city limits. That means puffing on so-called “vapes” or vaporizer pens will be banned in clubs and bars, on beaches, in parks, in markets, in most offices and restaurants, and even in outdoor dining areas.

Will this affect the number of vapers in LA? Will it affect the mood of vapers in LA, and elsewhere. Only time will tell. The Internet was abuzz about this incredibly foolish ordinance last week, though there is little anyone was willing to do about it. And honestly, what could anyone have done anyway?

The ordinance banning public use of e cigarettes can go into effect by mid-April, and because the “acting mayor” himself voted for the ordinance it is very likely that unless something happens it will go into effect quickly. When it does it will reinforce the idea that vaping is the same as smoking, and that is the worst thing that can happen.

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RHINO

Yesterday the New Jersey Jackass, aka Chris Christie, let it be know that his plans for 2015 New Jersey budget includes a major new tax on personal vaporizers and the liquid used in them. According to some, this will raise the price of a 30ML bottle of e Liquid from the current $20 in most brick and mortar stores in Jersey to $100. When I read that I nearly choked.

Read this nonsense: (Link Here)

Christie plans to tax e-cigarettes and e-liquid at the same $2.70 per pack rate that cigarettes have, with legislators apparently worrying that taxing e-cigarettes less than traditional tobacco would be “sending a message out there that they’re somehow safer,” said Assemblyman Dan Benson.

 “…sending a message out there that they’re somehow safer,”

Don’t you just want to scream when you read shit like this?

It’s bad enough that some so-called Republican, someone who supposedly believes in small government, low taxes and free enterprise, would kill the e cigarette marketplace based on lies, and take with it thousands of jobs, but even worse, the disrespect he is showing toward New Jersey citizens who have successfully kicked the smoking habit, is appalling.

At least now his true colors are showing. He is a self-centered, pretentious asshole who has little to no respect for vapers. He sees vapers in New Jersey as a sorry sack of losers, addicted to nicotine and willing to pay anything to get it. (Never mind that natural nicotine is not addictive)

If Chris Christie runs for president in 2016 I will do everything I can to make sure he loses in a landslide…to whoever he is running against. I think we’ve had enough presidents that look down on the populace, and he would surely be another one.

So, what is the landscape today?

Each time a victory for the other side is logged into the history books it becomes easier for them to find success in the next city council meeting, or state budgetary meeting in other parts of the country. Success begets success, and if this continues by the end of year, expect… ‘where vaping isn’t banned it will be taxed’ to be the reality we live in.

If we can’t stop this move toward taxing and banning it will not be long before greedy, corrupt politicians realize that ‘banning’ and ‘taxing’ doesn’t harm their chances of being reelected. And politicians who are not afraid of being voted out of office can be the most dangerous kind.

Many Voices Many Votes

I often wonder if vapers can manage to set aside other political beliefs in order to stand against the overly regulated, heavily taxed burdens that will be placed on e cigarettes. I’m betting the politicians believe we won’t set our differs aside, and we will continue to do as we always have, vote down the party line. They probably believe that Democrat vapers and Republican vapers will vote for their respective candidates, regardless of where they themselves stand on taxing and regulating e cigarettes. If that’s true, we’ve lost.

We live in a free country, supposedly, and we have the right to vape, wherever and whenever we want (as long as we’re not interfering with the rights of others), and we should set aside ALL other concerns we have as voters and focus on one thing; the right to vape.  Until the matter is settled once and for all.

We need to cast our vote in every election at every level of government, for those who support our right to vape, without excessive banning or taxes, and vote against those that refuse to listen to the science or support the concept of freedom of choice, regardless of their party affiliation. In other words, we must vote against anyone in public office that does not support our right to vape.

If we do not make this commitment to each other, today, we run the risk of losing it all. I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to pay $100 for 30ML of e liquid, nor do I believe the politicians have the right to pick and choose what activity is a sin, and thereby an activity to levy a sin tax against. Sin taxes are wrong, but to place a sin tax on a product that is harmless, beneficial to society at large, and stands to be the most effective product ever developed to get people off tobacco, is downright evil….and yet instead of being lauded as the most important product of the decade, it, and we, are being punished. It is insane.

My Platform

I came up with a set of ideals that a candidate for public office must have before I will consider casting my vote for him or her. I’ve listed them below. I hope that you too will choose to use this platform, or one similar, as a guide to help you through the next couple of years during which very important elections will occur.

Now through the end of 2106  I am going to set aside all other policies, because really, what do these crooks ever really do anyway? I’ll campaign for candidates that support my mini platform below, and campaign against those who do not. If it turns out that all the candidates refuse to support e cigarettes, then I’ll do my best to campaign against them all. What I won’t do is sit on the sidelines while this 3 billion dollar industry, this fast growing segment of our economy, a segment adding thousands of jobs to the workforce, and supporting hundreds of families, is disseminated by greedy, worthless politicians.

The Acid Test – In order to win my vote, a candidate must support ALL of the following

1: Recognize that Vaping is NOT Smoking

2: E Liquid is NOT Tobacco

3: Vaping is “infinitely less” harmful than smoking

4: Second hand vapor is harmless

5: E Cigarettes cannot be taxed like cigarettes

6: Online stores are legal and must stay legal

7: Vape Shops must not be restricted to certain neighborhoods

8: Vapers cannot be discriminated against

9:  Regulations must not hinder the growth of vaping

10: Flavored E Liquids cannot be subjected to bans

I call this my  ‘Many Voices Many Votes Platform’. It might be completely worthless, and mean nothing in the end, but it does mean I won’t go down without a fight.

Why This Is Vital

Every time we lose a battle the opposition is emboldened. What was once unthinkable, a real ban and/or heavy restrictions and taxes, has become a real threat. Unless we begin to act as one, and put aside all of our ‘liberal vs. conservative’, ‘democrat vs. republican’, ‘creationists vs. materialists’, and every other topic politicians use to divide us, we will lose our right to use electronic cigarettes in the ways of our own choosing. Or at the very least, we will soon pay a whole lot more than what we pay now to enjoy what is rightfully ours to enjoy. I can’t stress this enough, and it bears repeating over and over…

…If we do not stand together against the tyrants, the greedy, the corrupt, and the zealots, we will lose.

I’m not asking you to stand with me, I’m not asking you to do anything. That said, if you are as serious about the freedom to use electronic cigarettes as I am, if you too want to see this market grow, with minimum regulations and minimum taxes, then you’ll copy my mini platform and spread the word. You’ll apply this platform to candidates in your own area, and you will set aside any of the other beliefs you currently hold, and vote for the right to vape. Politicians promise the sky but never deliver, so this could be a huge waste of time. Even so, in the end, at least I’ll know I did what I could. That, my fellow vapers, is all we can do. What are you willing to do?

John Manzione

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