Last Updated on November 14, 2019 by

Mark Benson on besting the authorities at every turn

If you look at news articles on a regular basis you will see an array of US state authorities attempting to bring in a variety of restrictions on the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping devices. You could be mistaken for assuming that these attempts to crack down on the vaping industry are successful when in reality the industry continues to go from strength to strength. Historically there are very few business sectors which have survived such a vicious onslaught which bodes the question, why does vaping continue to beat the authorities?

Comparisons to tobacco cigarettes are positive

If the tobacco industry and state authorities across the US, and the federal government, had wanted to they could have stubbed out the electronic cigarette industry many years ago. It would never have reached the mass market, it would never have reached the worldwide press and instead the options available to tobacco smokers would have been limited to say the least. However, in what could go down as one of the greatest oversights in business history, governments and tobacco companies effectively ignored the vaping industry when it was a relatively niche market.

As a consequence, the authorities are very much behind the development curve of the vaping industry and even though many politicians have attempted to muddy the water, comparisons with tobacco cigarettes were very quickly “out there”. It has been very difficult for the authorities to rein in the industry and in many ways it is now a law unto itself in the eyes of the wider public.

Suspicion, intrigue and mistrust

Over the last few weeks we have seen a couple of medical trial reports suggesting issues with vaping devices, although the situation is very different when you look at the small print, but the vast majority of medical research has been more positive. This now begs the question, why do some politicians, regulators and state authorities seem adamant that electronic cigarettes and vaping devices should be regulated “out of existence”?

This attempt to influence the wider public has backfired in spectacular fashion and led to serious trust issues between the general public and the authorities. It has got to the stage now when there is open hostility towards proposed vaping regulations and many voters are now willing to put pressure on their local politicians. In some ways this has seen a number of politicians step back from outright criticism of the vaping industry as they consider the risks to their long-term political careers. The truth is that tobacco smokers and the vaping community in general no longer believe politicians and federal/state authorities are balanced in their approach to the industry. Are they right to adopt this view?

Has the vaping industry just become too powerful?

There is a growing opinion that the vaping community and the vaping industry have become extremely powerful across the US and indeed across the world. The main dangers going forward are believing the hype and losing focus on what the community and industry actually wants to achieve. There will be some regulations in due course, there will be ongoing concerns about potential long-term health issues but these need to be addressed head-on and some middle ground given by all parties. As long as the vaping community remains level headed and focused, there is no reason why it should not continue to grow in the years ahead.

If the industry becomes greedy and refuses to be flexible, well that is another matter……

Mark Benson

For further information about electronic cigarettes please visit the website.