Vape Prohibition: Part 1

Anti-Vaping propaganda is escalating, and states across the country are moving to pass debilitating regulations against the vapor industry. An important question to ask is, what happens next?

More importantly, what happens if they win?

The propaganda machine is kicking into full effect, with the California State Health Department drawing first blood. Launching a multi-million dollar anti-vaping “Wake Up” campaign. With TV and online ads already rolling out, the key message is that “vaping is still smoking”. The campaign goes all out, and holds back no punches in terms of trying to push your emotional buttons. Featuring an infant toddler reaching for an e-cig left laying on a table, in addition to frightening messages such as “Nicotine is as addictive as Heroin” in big bold fonts.

The most curious arguments of course are the alarming pseudo-data they cite. Claiming “E-cigarettes have been found to contain at least 10 chemicals known to cause cancer and birth defects”. Which is an impressive finding, considering e-liquid only has 2 actual chemicals (Propylene Glycol, Nicotine). Vegetable Glycerin and flavor extracts are organic. The most alarming is the contradiction their data presents, since Propylene Glycol is widely used in everything from food preservatives to cosmetics.

For the sake of argument lets imagine regulators succeed, and they pass strict laws over the vapor industry. This is a very real possibility, because as mentioned before, we are not dealing with city level politicians trying to pass a local ordinance. We are dealing with state level politics now, controlled by lobbies and special interest.

Vapers seem to have a belief that they could never ban vaping since smoking is still legal. While that is true, what the majority of vapers don’t realize is that they don’t necessarily have to ban vaping to destroy it.

Industry professionals are well aware of the risk is not an all out ban, but instead debilitating regulations. Particularly by banning the sale or production of any flavor other than tobacco or menthol, banning the sale of open tank systems, and making vaping indoors illegal.

Those three laws are not a made up nightmare scenario. They are real laws on the floor of numerous state senates right now. So what happens if they pass?

Prohibition on vaping would create a free for all black market.

Well for one, it would definitely backfire on regulators, because their “regulations” would literally create a black market overnight for vaping products. What vape industry opponents don’t seem to realize is just how flooded the market is with hardware, and just how easy it is to produce e-liquid. Not to mention just how easy it is to produce hardware yourself.

By debilitating the industry, politicians would destroy thousands of small businesses and jobs. The countless e-liquid brands and vape shops would unfortunately not be able to survive.

Instead of a group of responsible entrepreneurs committed to creating an organized structured industry a black market would form and be forced to sell underground.

Prohibition on vaping would create a free for all black market. Regionalized by location, with “vape bootleggers” seizing the opportunity and selling products.

Instead of e-liquid produced in clean rooms, using premium ingredients and strict quality control. You would have the equivalent of moonshiners, brewing e-liquid in their bathtubs.

Ironically, it would be impossible to control or regulate, because lets be honest, its not like state or even federal governments have the funding for such an endeavor.

We saw what prohibition did to alcohol in the early 1900’s, it didn’t stop consumption, if anything it just made it more profitable for bootleggers. We’ve also seen how ineffective it has been against cannabis, with governments only now being open to legalization due to the taxation potential.

Vaping is not going anywhere, they can paralyze the industry, but they won’t be able to stop vapers from continuing.

Check out part 2 of this series here.