This isn’t news to e-cigarette smokers but more and more people are waking up to the reality that politicians and ‘public health advocates’ primary motive isn’t the welfare of average citizens. It’s about a desire to mandate to others how they “should” live which basically is in a way that the aforementioned politicians and ‘public health advocates’ approve of. The good news is that there’s starting to be some resistance to these scolds and their heavy handed efforts.

They got away with it for the most part during their crusade against cigarette smoking. ‘Big tobacco’ was an easy target and they were able to push smoking bans all over the country despite the questionable validity behind their claims that secondhand smoke is dangerous. Their primary message was obvious–cigarette smoking is the worst thing and people should quit at all costs. They hoodwinked the masses that their interest was in ‘public health’ when in reality it was all about money, power and control.

That has become very evident during the e-cigarette boom. Despite the fact that there is no evidence about the health impact of e-cigarette smoking they’ve gone after the industry simply because it ‘looks’ like smoking. That and it provides the anti-tobacco kooks with a new gravy train. Lost in their spurious attacks against e-cigarette is a very important fact–a large percentage of people who use e-cigs do so as a means to quit smoking cigarettes. The ‘public health’ nuts conveniently ignore this since it plainly reveals them as greedy, power mad and hypocritical. 10 years ago smoking was the worst thing ever and quitting was practically a moral imperative. E cigarettes are a valuable tool to help smokers quit which in theory should make them popular among public health types–but not when money and power are at stake.

The anti e-cigarette mob uses the same shopworn justifications they did to go after smoking including the old standby of the argumentatively bankrupt, the well being of ‘the children’. Unfortunately too many in the media and government still swallow their lies hook, line and sinker. There is a pushback against their fraudulent campaign against e-cigarettes but unfortunately it’s not big enough to prevent further restrictions of the personal freedoms of consenting adults.

While every power mad politician and gravy training ‘health advocate’ in the US piles on to the nascent e cigarette industry to advance their own interests there’s plenty of fearful hysteria in the United Kingdom as well. The British tabloid press is notorious for hysterical headlines and that was evident in a Daily Mirror story that warned of children getting addicted to e-cigarettes due to the many tasty flavors available.

Like all of the ‘talking points’ from the e-cigarette prohibitionists the story was long on speculation and anecdote and completely bereft of statistics or hard data. This was true not only for the existence of the problem (children using e-cigarettes) but also the causality (tasty flavors being the reason that children are using e-cigs). That didn’t stop it from being widely reported as fact in other media outlets and by the usual coterie of health scolds.

There’s only one problem–it’s not true at all. That was the verdict of the information arm of the British National Health Service who debunked the story as complete rubbish. The Daily Mirror story was based on an opinion piece looking at the prevalence of teen smoking in Wales and speculating that tasty flavors could lead to more e-cig use that could then serve as a gateway for tobacco use–a very tenuous theory to say the least. Unfortunately the newspaper reported the opinion piece as if it were factual and the NHS countered with their own findings which suggested that ‘a few’ teens in Wales had tried e-cigarettes though most knew what they were. Not exactly an epidemic by any means. The NHS survey didn’t address causality so the suggestion that e-cigarettes were attracting kids due to the variety of flavors or that they’re a ‘gateway’ to tobacco use is the same mere speculation that fuels the arguments of ‘health advocates’ worldwide on the subject.

Not that any of this is surprising. In the US, the same parasites that have made a career out of demonizing smoking are looking for a new gravy train. They’re able to feed on the American fear of technological change and the maddening habit of politicians to seek preemptive prohibition of new technology–or for that matter *anything* new. And just like the media in the US carries water for these non contributing members of society the exact same dynamic is on display in England.

Much of the justification for the ridiculous anti e-cigarette hysteria is the well being of ‘the children’. This is significant not only because using ‘the children’ as your primary argumentative linchpin is a clear sign of not having any cogent points to stand on but for a more practical reason–the Federal government doesn’t have a clue how many of ‘the children’ are using e-cigarettes.

More specifically, the Federal government doesn’t have a clue how many teenagers are using e-cigarettes. And you can forget about them knowing how many are going from e-cigarettes to tobacco cigarettes (the CDC also hilariously suggests that e-cigs might be a ‘gateway’ to marijuana usage, not that they have any data on that either). Ditto how many teens have switched from tobacco cigarettes to e-cigarettes and how many of these did so in an effort to quit smoking.

These revelations are from a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on risky behavior by teenagers. There’s a good reason why there is no data on e-cigarette usage–the CDC didn’t bother to ask despite being one of the most outspoken critics of the industry. Not that there’s any need for the regulators and scolds to have any facts before they act. Their need to control citizens, hold on to power and keep the revenue streams flowing is enough.

Of course just being mentioned in the study is a form of vilification. Once you get past the obvious–fighting, weapon use, gang violence–‘risky behavior’ is in the eye of the beholder. The questions they ask are ask are a good way to understand the agenda of the Federal government to marginalize behaviors that threaten their financial benefactors and the status quo. Not only are e-cigarettes mentioned as a ‘risky behavior’ (not that the CDC considered it risky enough to ask about it) but so is excessive text messaging and computer usage. That fits perfectly with the Federal government’s ‘bait and switch’ on the future of technological change. Technology is good, but only inasmuch as it doesn’t threaten the status quo and particularly the overbearing power of our government itself.

While the power mad politicians, public health advocates looking for a new ‘gravy train’ and a fear mongering media continues to pile on e-cigarettes and their users there are some regulators urging a different tactic. They suggest that the e-cigarette scolds keep an open mind about the nascent industry and consider the ‘big picture’ of possible health benefits. In what amounts to good news for the e-cigarette industry the top level government official charged with their oversight has recently begun to forcefully advocate this refreshing and pragmatic view.

That would be Mitch Zeller, who heads up the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products. With the FDA recently claiming oversight jurisdiction for the industry Zeller’s opinion now carries a lot of weight. And unlike the majority of scolds and regulators who hypocritically overlook e-cigarettes role in helping people quit smoking he gets it. He wants “advocates and foes to view nicotine-containing products as a continuum — from cigarettes, to their electronic counterparts, to cessation gums and patches” which is precisely what they *haven’t* been doing in their rush to demonize the product simply because it ‘looks like’ cigarette smoking. Reminding the parasites that it’s not about the nicotine but rather the ‘delivery method’ he suggested that it might be time to ‘rethink’ the role of nicotine.

With very little data on the long term health impact of e-cigarette use any kneejerk reaction is premature and misguided–not that this reality will stop the rush of scolds and regulators to get their fangs into the industry. The FDA should be credited for their somewhat realistic and pragmatic view of the e-cigarette industry. There’s a good reason for that–recent research suggests that e-cigarette users are 60% more likely to quit smoking than non users. Unfortunately the mainstream media has been very quiet in reporting this benefit of e-cigarette use. The media is typically fearful of the future of technology so it’s not surprising but their disinformation does have an impact on public opinion.

Of course given the FDA’s track record of regulatory overreach it’ll take more than some well chosen words to improve their image. There may be some hope, however. They recently backtracked on their silly plan to crack down on wood aged cheese which is a sign of progress though not proposing an unnecessary regulation in the first place would be even better.

The e-cigarette feeding frenzy continues as power mad politicians and ‘advocates’ try to conflate their use with tobacco cigarettes. There’s definitely a profit motive for these money addicted non-contributors–they’ve never met a tax revenue they didn’t like. And there’s nothing that scolds enjoy more than telling other people how to live their lives. Now the anti-vaping kooks are demanding a Federal prohibition of vaping on commercial air travel because…uh….just because.

Realistically, these scolds want to ban e-cigarette use because a) it’s popular and b) they don’t like it personally. The justifications are unimportant–it’s simply something that these megalomaniacs don’t like for whatever reason and they’re going to use their power to try and make sure people don’t do it. That’s why their rationale–and the rationale of other e-cigarette opponents–is just so flimsy.

One thing they don’t like is that some e-cigarette advertising has touted that one benefit is that they can be used where traditional cigarettes can’t. In the twisted mind of a politician, this justifies action. Of course that’s the same reason that smokers chew gum in situations where they can’t smoke but chewing gum doesn’t *look* like cigarette smoking and the control class doesn’t like that. The DOT and FAA recited some of the well worn (and factually unproven) tropes about ‘harmful substances and respiratory irritants’ along with the ubiquitous ‘for the good of the children’ but overall the justification for a Federal ban on e-cigarette use in airplanes is flimsy even by the dubious standards of ‘public health’ control freaks.

At the heart of the entire crusade against e-cigarettes is a desire by regulators and public health advocates to keep their power and revenues intact. With tobacco use on the decline they need something else to demonize to perpetuate their parasitical gig and e-cigarettes fill the bill. They’ve all but ignored the big hypocrisy in all of this–that e-cigarettes are widely used and effective to quit smoking regular cigarettes which we’ve been told for years is the worst possible thing that a human being could do. You’d think they’d welcome the use of e-cigs to stop smoking but clearly not when money and power is at stake.

We’ve documented the countless ways that power mad, money hungry politicians have attempted to cash in on the growing popularity of e-cigarettes. They’ve been joined by the usual public health scolds and have sought out to demonize vaping the same way they did smoking. They seemingly could care less about the hypocrisy of vilifying a product that many people use to *quit* smoking which these types spent the better part of the past twenty years convincing us was the worst thing possible. Thankfully, a recent editorial published on the Forbes magazine website sees their efforts for what they really represent: a cash grab.

The Forbes editorial begins by explaining why in theory taxes on cigarettes are legitimate–in theory the added revenue from tobacco use would go to pay for smoking related health care expenses borne by the government. The revenue should be used to pay for what are known as ‘externalities’–societal costs that aren’t covered by the free market. Of course, they continue, tobacco taxes have never been about ‘externalities’. Instead, they’ve been about extracting as much money as possible from a ‘demonized’ industry to pay for all sorts of things like education. This is an easy sell politically because a) smoking is bad for you and b) no one likes ‘big tobacco’.

In light of this, Forbes argues that taxing e-cigarettes is silly and illegitimate. They argue that the only reason that the politicans and bureaucrats are piling on e-cigarettes is ‘because many people enjoy them’ and the underlying reason is that “liberal elites can’t fathom people making their own choices about what to put in their bodies.” Forbes continues to speak the truth “Taxing e-cigarettes is a money grab. If people use e-cigarettes instead of real cigarettes, the state loses money.” Obviously that is bad for government contractors, public employees unions, etc. Of course none of this makes any sense due to the fact that there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that e-cigarettes help people quit smoking which means, in the words of Forbes, they should be ‘subsidized’ and not taxed.

That’s not going to happen, of course, because of the addictive properties of money to government at every level. They just can’t get enough and don’t care how they get more.

As regulation crazed and power mad politicians and opportunistic anti-tobacco and public health parasites pile on to the growing e-cigarette industry it’s becoming apparent that they don’t have any really good positions against them. Instead they’ve trotted out the shopworn talking points they used to gin up the anti-tobacco movement and the overblown hysteria over ‘second hand smoke’. Serving to underscore the analytic bankruptcy behind their position they’re now fretting over the fact that advertising for e-cigarettes isn’t banned from television the same way that tobacco cigarette ads have been verboten since 1971. Because, you know, the children…..

The e-cigs on TV arguments sound very familiar. One scold says that the ‘e-cigarette and Big tobacco’ (notice how she conflates the two) are ‘lying when they say they’re not advertising to children’. Scold #1 favors Federal regulation banning sales to children and television advertising. Another scold makes an obvious point indicating that since a portion of the television audience is under the age of 17 as e-cigarette advertising increases they are “increasing exposure to youth.” Scold #2 continues to decry “unregulated advertisement messages about the benefits of e-cigarettes” and is concerned that “there are no counter messages by the public health community.” Of course it wasn’t *that* long ago that the biggest concern of the ‘public health community’ was to get people to stop smoking by any means necessary. Obviously if your organization derives funding and influence from the vilification of smoking getting people to *stop* smoking will ultimately run you out of business. Hypocricy is necessary when money and power are at stake.

A third scold continues this line of argumentation shrieking that “there has been an absolute explosion of youth exposure to e-cigarette advertising on television.” He also tries to conflate apples and oranges when he links e-cigarettes with ‘Big Tobacco’ but admits “it’s deja vu all over again.” It may be ‘deja vu all over again’ in the anti-tobacco turned anti-vaping kook playbook but they’re talking about two different products.

The regulation happy anti-vaping kooks want e-cigarettes added to the list of tobacco products–including cigars and pipe tobacco (which also shouldn’t be banned but that’s another argument for another time)–that are prohibited from advertising on television. While most e-cigarette manufacturers let all of this bleating fall on deaf ears blu eCigs released a statement reiterating that they “proactively set limitations on when and where” they advertise in “an effort to minimize any potential exposure to minors.”

Don’t look now but the e-cigarette craze is starting to evolve faster than Big Tobacco and power man government regulators can react. While sales of what we’ll call for lack of a better term ‘traditional’ e-cigarettes is still strong there is a growing trend toward the use of vaporizers. Industry analysts are suggesting that vaporizers now represent as much as 50% of all e-cigarette sales and are growing much faster than ‘traditional’ e-cigs.

It seems counterintuitive that consumers would prefer a product that is larger, bulkier and less convenient to carry around but that’s exactly what is happening here. Vaporizers are larger–like a really large fountain pen–and have bigger batteries meaning that they last longer than ‘traditional’ e-cigarettes. They are also refillable and hold more liquid. The vaporizer liquid comes in hundreds of flavors and trying these flavors is becoming something of an aficionado hobby like cigars.

As vaporizers start to increase in popularity the popularity of ‘traditional’ e-cigarettes may be slowing. According to Wells Fargo sales of e-cigarettes at convenience stores rose 71% in the 52 weeks ending May 10th but only 3.6% in the most recent 12 weeks. Although its difficult to get accurate sales figures due to the fragmentation of the vaporizer industry Wells Fargo also estimates that their sales are currently growing twice as fast as traditional e-cigarettes.

If this trend continues it may leave ‘Big Tobacco’ behind the curve. The anti-smoking kooks and regulation loving government functionaries should be able to lump vaporizers in with e-cigarettes since they obviously have no problem with ‘overreach’ of their authority but ‘Big Tobacco’ is in the process of making a big investment in e-cigarettes. Obviously they’ve got the resources to get into another segment of the ‘vaping’ business but they may eventually realize they’ve spent a lot of money on a product category that is ‘yesterday’s news’.

At the consumer level, there appears to be a greater satisfaction level with vaporizing with smokers suggesting that they’re less expensive and generally more enjoyable. Interestingly the FDA who recently got their panties in a wad over e-cigarettes has informally admitted that they don’t have a position on vaporizers and may not have oversight authority over them–yet.

The anti-vaping kooks are grasping at straws trying to find a ‘hook’ that will allow them to demonize e-cigarettes the same way they have tobacco products. In addition to the last resort of the argumentatively bankrupt (‘It’s for the children’) these scolds have tried to raise a fuss over the safety of many of the materials used in the manufacture of e-cigarettes. In an effort to better ensure that all phases of the construction process are safe and to facilitate better quality control a number of e-cig manufacturers are moving manufacturing from China to the United States.

You can make a compelling case that the Chinese invented the e-cigarette. At the very least they invented the battery powered cartridges that produce the vapor. For much of the e-cigarette boom manufacturers imported their product from China in many cases shipping flavoring from the United States. With the industry booming there’s now a move to bring production to the United States. This not only helps with safety and quality control but will likely reduce manufacturing costs in the process.

Several companies including Mistic and White Cloud have announced the move. Industry analysts suggest that this is a trend that could continue in the near future. Not only is it beneficial in the ways outlined above but there’s a good chance that the FDA could demand more oversight of the production process as they wrap their tentacles around the e-cigarette industry. At the same time, however, several large brands have indicated that they have no plans to change the current Chinese based manufacturing process. NJOY is one of these–they ship flavor to China for assembly there and they dismiss concerns about safety and quality insisting that their own quality control processes are the best in the industry.

As ‘Big Tobacco’ gets in to the E-cigarette game they’ll likely produce products in the United States as well. Reynolds American has already started manufacturing e-cigarette products that are distributed regionally and they plan to expand their market later this year. These companies want to grab their share of the e-cigarette market as a hedge against a further decline in tobacco sales. Some analysts project that by 2020 e-cigarette sales will surpass sales of tobacco cigarettes in the United States.

As the anti e-cigarette cabal comprised of the ‘usual suspects’ including power mad and cash hungry politicians, health advocacy groups seeking to remain relevant and their fellow travelers in ‘Big Pharma’ tries to tax/regulate/otherwise rein in their growing popularity they’ve conveniently ignored one of the primary reasons for their use: trying to quit smoking. They have to ignore this fact and especially in light of the fact that they’ve spent much of the past two decades shrieking about cigarette smoking. The anti-tobacco kooks repeatedly claimed that smoking is the worst thing a person can do for themselves and their fellow citizens and they should quit by any means necessary.

Apparently ‘any means necessary’ doesn’t include e-cigarettes. Anti e-cig types either ignore this important function or trot out a few favorable studies to try and invalidate their use as a smoking cessation aid. Unfortunately for them–and fortunately for freedom loving Americans–there’s a growing body of evidence that suggests that e-cigarettes are helpful in quitting smoking. There’s an interesting wrinkle in the studies that the anti-vaping kooks cite to discredit their use as an anti-smoking aid–these studies didn’t actually research real world smokers who were trying to quit.

The more recent studies focused on real world smokers using e-cigarettes to quit. A British study determined that e-cigarette users were 60% more likely to successfully kick the smoking habit than users of other over the counter methods (eg: nicotine patches and gum) or those who used nothing to assist them. At least five other studies are more cautiously optimistic but suggest that e-cigarette users are more likely to quit smoking and just as importantly not start again than smokers who use other methods or nothing at all.

The reality of the situation–the fact that e-cigarettes are so effective at helping people quit smoking might be the reason for the vitriol of the anti-vaping forces. The last thing any ‘advocate’ wants is to be made irrelevant so it’s a better career move to vilify e-cigarettes than it is to embrace them. Then there’s the ‘follow the money’ angle–‘Big tobacco’ is trying to get in the e-cigarette game and they want regulation to price smaller companies out of the market. ‘Big pharma’ certainly doesn’t want cheap, over the counter methods available that are more effective than expensive prescription drugs. They’ve both got plenty of money to distribute to advocacy groups, lobbyists and the politicians that they’ve bought at every level of our corrupt government.