Tiberius – Electronic Cigarettes
I have been fairly quiet over the last few weeks in order not to blow my cover having infiltrated the underworld of democracy with all its different tunnels, different attitudes and ever-changing goals. The vaping community has been hit hard over the last few weeks with an initially soft looking FDA regulatory structure very quickly turning into a hands-on, controlling dictatorship. My initial findings seem to suggest that politicians around the US are working hand in glove with the regulatory bodies to finally take control of the electronic cigarette and vaping markets – having initially dismissed them as nothing but a passing phase. So what can you expect in the future?
Attack is not always the best form of defence!
Our friends across the waters are taking a very similar approach to the US authorities with a subtle suggestion that the UK National Health Service is taking a serious look at potentially offering electronic cigarettes on prescription. This powerful body has time and time again ridiculed the electronic cigarette industry, attempted to have vaping devices classified as medical instruments and in effect looked to regulate them out of the market. Yes, times are a changing!
US state authorities also continue their quest to grab as much tax as possible from the general public and companies operating in their jurisdiction. While they will deny this time and time again, news is reaching us that many states across the US are banking record receipts from property taxes as the US property market continues to go from strength to strength. On one hand the politicians are crying wolf that property prices are moving too fast and beyond the means of the general public, while on the other hand they generously accept record property tax receipts from investors. So is this the way forward for electronic cigarettes?
Under the democratic radar
The digger I deep into the bowels of democracy across the US, and indeed across the world, the more alarmed I become and the more concerned for the future. Only a few weeks ago government and state officials were happy to ridicule and talk down the vaping industry believing that their own self-will and egos would eventually beat the fighting talk from the vaping community. As if to perfectly illustrate the fickle nature of politicians around the world they have now moved full circle and seem happy to embrace the electronic cigarette industry but at what price?
The tobacco cigarette industry could well be dropped like a hot potato in the months and years ahead, electronic cigarettes could be welcomed as a more healthy option and then, just when you thought the worst was over, bang, electronic cigarette taxes. Some of the smaller states have already begun the ground work for new taxes, complaining about reduced tobacco cigarette taxes and a general lack of funding while economies recover. Many politicians will say one thing in public and something very different behind-the-scenes with an underlying trend to try and catch the public off-guard and sneak in an array of new and potentially lethal pieces of legislation.
What about the health cost savings?
My investigations seem to confirm my initial concerns that while there will be significant health cost savings as electronic cigarettes continue to replace their tobacco counterparts, these savings have already been spent. Any additional taxes raised through the sale of electronic cigarettes are unlikely to be funnelled or targeted towards the healthcare sector and will instead go towards the ever booming state budgets which taxpayers and companies are expected to fund year-on-year.
I believe there are significant cost savings emerging in not only the healthcare sector but also the general business arena with an array of other knock-on cost savings. We can only imagine how many working days are lost each year through tobacco related illnesses, something which the state and national politicians have never discussed in public in my experience. There are potentially billions upon billions of dollars of health cost savings to emerge in the weeks, months and years ahead but where will these end up? Will this reduction in expenditure be highlighted, noted and publicised? Will the general public enjoy at worst a freeze in tax rates and at best a possible reduction? Don’t bet your life on it!
Judge politicians on what they do, not what they say
Politicians, like many in public office, will often say one thing in public and something behind-the-scenes with their colleagues. At the end of the day they need YOUR support and while we should not put all politicians into one simple box, the bottom line is that many will do and say what is required at the time to get your vote. Over the last couple of years it has become apparent that many politicians, who were initially against introduction of electronic cigarettes, are looking to tax these devices and have no interest in their potential benefits – they are changing their tune, behind the scenes.
The more proactive politicians will have you believe they have halted further regulations and potential taxes in the short to medium term but in reality voter apathy towards these changes and the growing power of the vaping community are coming into play. Slowly but surely the myths and the rumours of yesteryear are making way for the real facts and real figures about the electronic cigarette industry. Mark my words, the tobacco cigarette companies are running scared, they will very quickly embrace the industry and attempt a takeover by stealth.
As long as I am able to I will maintain my cover in the bowels of democracy which are very rarely exposed to the outside world. I will continue to monitor and track what is happening behind the scenes, what the politicians and state officials have in store and indeed what the future holds for the vaping industry. It is vital that we all pull together, that you maintain the fight against greater regulation and continue to focus on the positives of electronic cigarettes and their vaping counterparts. We need to dilute and eventually dismiss the rumours, innuendo and downright lies which are circulated about the industry.
For now I bid you a fond farewell and best wishes for the fight ahead – over and out, radio silence will be maintained.
As a nom de plume goes Tiberius is just as good as any. But who is Tiberius, other than an e-cigarette insider with his (or her) finger on the pulse of every major event, and player, in the industry, from the US to EU. Spinfuel will, on occasion, bring you the latest from Tiberius, whenever he (or she) has time to sneak away from the paranoid inner-circle of the hottest industry in the world. Thank you Tiberius, wherever you are. – Team Spinfuel