The Fight Against E Cigarettes And Why It’s So Fierce

March 2nd 2014 – If you really want to know why it has taken the FDA so long to reach some sort of consensus in their supposed ‘deeming regulations’ to classify e-cigs as tobacco products, you really don’t have to look so hard. It’s been a part of the public record all this time.

All the news reports you see against e cigarettes, all the chest-thumping you see by phony politicians who want to ban e cigarettes, and all the supposed ‘concerned’ citizens against e cigarettes boils down to one thing. Money. It has nothing to do with the safety of e cigarettes. Nothing.

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It’s been said that money is the root of all evil. I believe that, and I’ve believed that most of my life. I hate money, but I understand it is a necessary evil. But the things it makes people do, the immoral, dishonest, cheating things that people do in order to obtain money, and keep it, is something I find most disgusting of all. So, when I see, or read, all the manufactured outrage against e cigarettes I remind myself why it’s happening.

 “The agreement requires the tobacco companies to pay approximately $195.9 billion to the states between now and 2025 (in current dollars). These payments are increased to account for inflation (with a minimum increase of 3% per year), but are reduced when the top four cigarette companies’ combined U.S. cigarette sales or their combined percentage share of the total U.S. cigarette market fall below 1997 levels – and those companies’ U.S. market share and sales have been declining steadily. So far, this downward volume adjustment has reduced the amounts paid by all the participating manufacturers to the states by more than the upward inflation adjustment has increased them but the inflation adjustment is catching up. “

FULL TEXT HERE: http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/research/factsheets/pdf/0057.pdf

195.9 Billion

If every smoker in the US quit smoking tomorrow a whole lot of politicians would stand to lose a whole lot of money. Billions! What? You don’t think it’s YOUR money do you? Are you not familiar with this?

The Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between the states and the major U.S. tobacco companies will direct a lot of money to the states, but it says nothing about how that money should be spent.

Unless the Master Settlement Plan (MSA) between the tobacco companies and the states was changed to include e cigarettes, a market shift away from tobacco cigarettes are going to mess up the dreams and schemes of some money-hungry people. So is it any wonder why so many dirty, immoral politicians are trying so hard to bring e cigarettes in under the ‘tobacco product’ umbrella? Sure, they talk about bans, but those words are as empty as their words against tobacco. In the end, its about money.

It will be much easier to convince the citizenry that e cigarettes are just another type of cigarette, and therefore they must be considered cigarettes…and as such, they will fall under the the MSA agreement. If e cigarettes takes over tobacco cigarettes in the coming years then the payoff continues IF they are labeled tobacco cigarettes. In fact, with the number of people quitting tobacco over the past decades, the advent of the e cigarette will save the payoff agreement. No politician really wants e cigarettes to go away any more than they want tobacco cigarettes to go away.

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The MSA

Stripping away all the lies, deceit, and evil surrounding the deal between tobacco companies and the government you would be left with this simple narrative that I can imagine would have went something like this:

Government: “Science has settled the dispute. Tobacco is dangerous. It kills people. So what should we do about it?”

Big Tobacco: “Without stipulating this so-called science of yours, you can’t deny that there are millions of people that love our product. You just can’t take it away from them. We are a free country, are we not?”

Government: “But your product kills people.”

Big Tobacco: “I’ll tell you what; how much money would it take for you to look the other way?”

Government: “A lot. I mean, a lot.”

Big Tobacco: “We can work with that. We happen to have more than ‘a lot’. Give us a number.”

Government: “You expect us to ignore the fact that your product is killing the very people we were elected to protect, in exchange for money?”

Big Tobacco: “Why, yes, yes we do. You do it all time. Chantix anyone?”

Government: “Well, at least we’re on the same page then. Okay, 200 billion, over 30 years. And we still get to bitch and moan about you as much as we want.”

Big Tobacco: “We can do that. You can bitch all you want, but if we agree to pay you this money you cannot make our product illegal. In fact, you have to protect us.”

Government: “Of course, we’re not idiots. If you can’t sell your product you can’t pay us. So, we want you to sell your dangerous product, we just want to be able to talk smack about you as you do it.”

Big Tobacco: “Sticks and stones, you know. Fine by us. Let’s make this a formal deal then, in writing. Oh, and one more thing. If people wise up to the so-called dangers of smoking then we get to pay you less. And, if something else comes along that happens to be a lot safer, then you have to do everything in your power to stop it in its tracks. OR, classify it as tobacco products so you can tax them too. You have to help us stay viable.”

Government: “Deal. Oh, and we get to call this a victory, that has to be part of this. We have to look like we beat you.”

Big Tobacco: “Call it whatever you want. Call us death peddlers if you want, just don’t get in our way, and if somebody else gets in our way you have to destroy them. Got it?”

Government: “Done. Nice doing business with you.”

Big Tobacco: “Nice doing business with you. Care for a smoke?”

Those Damn Chinese!

An innovative and smart guy working for a company in China decides that cigarettes are bad, but he thinks he can invent a way to be able to continue to smoke without getting sick. He goes on to work on such a product and after some trial and error he is successful.

Along comes the “e cigarette”, throwing a big fat wrench into this 195-billion dollar payoff, er, I mean settlement between the tobacco companies and the states, IF the e cigarette actually found a foothold here, and became a legal, safe, and effective way to get people off tobacco products that is.

Every time a smoker quits tobacco a few pennies are reduced from the annual payout. Imagine what would happen if all smokers switched to e cigarettes.

The next time you read all the obfuscation from uptight, shortsighted, narrow minded hypocrites, just remember why these e cigarettes have all their panties in a twist.

An imagined conversation for the first unveiling of the e cigarette

Man One: “Hey, look at this, look what I made.”

Man Two: “What is it?”

Man One: “I found a way to mix up a few chemicals and heat them to the point where they vaporize.  Once it turns to vapor I inhale it and blow it out. It looks like smoke! Is that cool or what?”

Man Two: “Yea, that is pretty cool. So it’s like a cigarette then?”

Man One: “Well, no. There’s no tobacco in it, at all. Just 4 safe chemicals. I’m not burning anything, certainly not tobacco leaves. I’m heating it up to the point where the chemicals vaporize. It’s fun, it’s delicious, and the chemicals are harmless.”

Man Two: “So it’s not a cigarette then?  What is it?”

Man One: “I’m thinking of calling it a “Vapor Stick”.”

Man Two: “Oh, I dunno man, sounds kind of lame. You’ll probably sell more if you called it a cigarette. Maybe something like an ‘electronic cigarette’.”

Man One: “Maybe you’re right. I guess it could look like a cigarette. The vapor does look like smoke. Okay, I’ll call it an electronic cigarette.”

Man Two: “Good idea. I just hope people won’t think it’s actually a tobacco product. That would spell trouble. You know, tobacco taxes and all that shit.”

Man One: “Oh come on, it’s completely different. No one is that dumb.”

Man Two: “Yea, you’re right. What was I thinking?”

John Manzione

Further Reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobacco_Master_Settlement_Agreement

http://reason.com/archives/2000/01/01/puff-the-magic-settlement

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