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Vaporizers – And now for something altogether different…or not.
Since the first opinion/commentary piece I published here in Spinfuel I’ve been called a cynic more often than anything else. And believe me, I’ve been called a lot of things. With the recent ‘slips of the tongue’ and other bits of factoids rising to the surface it’s time to face the facts; vaporizers are the ‘The Bastard Son of Jennie Fields’. The e-cigarette community is disrespected, taken advantage of, and generally bitch-slapped on a regular basis, simply because all of us look like “smokers”.
It’s been decades since first-world countries like the US, UK, France, Germany, et al, has seen such a power grab by ‘Big Government’ politicians, (and that’s saying something, considering most of the EU lean socialist anyway) only this time they are so brazen in their lust for control over our daily lives that it seems nothing is going to stop them until… well, who knows? Their grip is tight, and getting tighter, and it is very clear from the actions of government types that vaping is one area where they believe it will be easy to beat up on us, tax us, restrict us, and otherwise treat us like third class citizens.
Our good friends over at the Ashtray Blog ran a story yesterday about an Italian MEP who is concerned about the lack of revenue being generated because of falling tobacco sales ‘partly’ due to the proliferation of electronic cigarettes. You should definitely pop over the Ashtray Blog and read it. It is an astounding admission of something I have been saying all along; that the major concern for politicians is loss of tax revenue due to e-Cigarettes.
Surely cynics the world over, including myself, was correct in their assumptions. It was never about health, it was about money. Even before I ever heard the word e-cigarette I’ve known that, at least here in the US, our government was playing both sides of the smoking game. One side was spending billions of dollars convincing people of the evils of cigarettes while the other side was greedily rubbing their hands together every time a new cigarette tax went into effect. I can’t count the number of times I’ve told people around me how rewarding it would be to see every smoker in the country stop smoking en masse just to watch the government scramble and back track their doom and gloom talk about tobacco, or come out and tell the citizens that taxes on everything have to go up because the people they depended on for revenue took to heart what they themselves told them about smoking and they up and quit. “Oops. We did our jobs a little too well. Whatever are we to do now?”
Now, I admit that I have always been one of those people who cannot deal with authority figures. Since I was 6 years old I rebelled against anyone trying to tell me what to do, so I have an especially cynical place in my heart for arrogant, selfish politicians who stand on the mountaintop shouting family values while tipping their shoes in the bathroom stall looking for sex. Seeing this blatant admission, even if it came from across the ocean, is at once both satisfying and depressing. But hey, it’s not about ‘me’.
You can rest assured that unless some scientific study reveals that vaping causes an agonizing death within a decade of ‘first use’ that there will be no bans on e-cigarettes in any first-world country (not counting the current uproar over the 4mg nicotine limit being bandied about). There is too much money involved now.
Politicians are convinced electronic cigarettes are no longer a ‘fad’, that they have become lifestyle choices for millions of ex-smokers, and that people who vape love it so much they will pay the taxes do so with a smile on their face. Vaping is mainstream now, and the loss of revenue from tobacco can no longer be overlooked.
For our brothers and sisters in the European Union if this ban on e-Liquid over 4mg of nicotine is upheld then it will, without a doubt, cause major problems for Vapers and vendors alike. I don’t want to see that happen, and if there is anything we can do from here we should all do it. This 4mg limit is ridiculous and it won’t solve anything. The probable outcome of such a limit will be people spiking his or her own e-Liquid with nicotine solution obtained elsewhere, which will simply make e-Liquid dangerous for many attempting to raise the nicotine level back up to 18 or 24mg.
Over here our politicians are much too greedy to limit e-Liquid to 4mg. They will want to allow as much freedom as possible in nicotine levels so taxes can be levied on this exploding market. It’s quite possible that the EU, when it comes time to make their proposal into law will follow whatever the US decides to do. Only, knowing that the EU taxes much more heavily than we do (which I find unfathomable), tax rates for e-Liquids will be much higher in the EU than here.
So Now What?
I mean, really, now what? What ever happened to the ‘deeming regulations’ that were supposed to appear in April anyway? It’s the middle of May and we’ve heard nothing. Why?
Everyone involved with writing about the current situation with vaporizers generate thousands of words a day with ‘Will they or won’t they’ scenarios. We’re all guilty of it, and with good reason. We all know ‘deeming regulations’ are coming, so we speculate on what those deeming regulations will be. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of waiting, just get on with it already. Once we know, once we understand where they are headed with regulations we can focus our energy on specifics. Now though, it’s one week we’re writing about banning, the next we’re writing about taxes, and the next we’re writing about both. We’re all simply waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I’ll wrap this up with one final thought; however all this shakes out the one thing we can all count on is this; vaping is not going away. It will continue to grow no matter what. An outright ban is impossible, heavy taxes are probable, and millions upon millions of people will continue to flock to it because tobacco is even more expensive, and dangerous, and it’s taking its toll on the lives of millions. The powers that be, however, are too power hungry to allow things to happen openly and freely. They want control, and one way or another they will get it.
Sometimes you just have to say, “Fuck it”, and carry on…