Hi, I’m MIT.
I have not added to this blog for awhile – primarily because I felt that I had expressed everything that could be said about vaping as a significantly safer way to obtain nicotine compared to combustible cigarettes. I have covered how vaping saved my life, why it needs to be hailed as the greatest public health advancement in history (based on the sheer numbers of lives that it can potentially save), how the vaping industry itself has been its own worst enemy, and why governments are so averse to allowing any solutions that their own self-important ranks didn’t create. Adding more detail, rehashing arguments, and reiterating points that I’ve already made seemed a little tedious – especially in the age of the internet where those blogs are being “discovered” and reread regularly anyway.
So why a new entry now?
Two reasons, actually. The first is because I want to acknowledge how significantly the vaping industry has improved since my initial criticism. Naked girls vaping, cloud competitions, stupid marketing, and intellectual property lawsuit softballs have all become the exceptions rather than the standard – with the adults in the industry putting obvious and public pressure on those who were a little slow on the uptake.
I see more advocacy, professionalism, and solidarity today than I have observed in the past several years of watching the growth of the industry. This is encouraging to say the least, and I hope everyone keeps fighting for this necessary and invaluable technology against the unethical attacks being brought against it.
Which brings me to the second reason for putting myself in front of you again; I am so fucking tired of the money game.
Can cash kill?
To be clear, I really like money. It can be traded for necessities, lifestyle, and improved opportunities. But like any other tool, it can also be used to harm others. Far too often today people are choosing cash over human lives; which is what the politicians, public health “advocates,” pharmaceutical companies, and tobacco companies are doing in the vaping situation (among others).
Local, state, and federal governments are absolutely dependent on the continued sale of combustible cigarettes, as are pharmaceutical companies that produce ineffective but highly profitable smoking cessation products (gums, patches, and drugs), and – of course – the cigarette manufacturers. Over the summer I met with a tobacco company insider who admitted that the cost to produce a standard pack of cigarettes was in the range of nineteen cents. Nineteen cents. The average pack of cigarettes in America retails for around $5.00 (including taxes) and there are 40,000,000 people buying a pack a day (averaged). That’s over $192 million per day in profits and taxes being generated off of a product that kills users; a product that the government and the health agencies/organizations say that they want you to stop using…until you actually do. Because then, their financial controllers look at the decreased revenues and start tearing chunks out of the office chairs with their asses.
So people ask why the FDA, state health agencies, public health non-profits, and some corporations (along with the beholden media) are attacking vaping technology so mercilessly? Just follow the money. They have 192,000,000 reasons every day to fund more bullshit studies, destructive legislation, and attack ads to keep people from quitting cigarettes.
The bastards are trading your life and health (or that of your family, friends, and coworkers) for their necessities, lifestyle, and improved opportunities. For cash.
I will close with a quote that my friend Chris Hughes shared with me – it’s from a 2014 Wall Street Journal article about the negative impacts that e-cigarettes were having on government combustible cigarette revenue. When addressing the rise of vaping and subsequent drop in cigarette sales (odd how that works), one of the directors of a high-yield bond fund that had invested heavily in government cigarette sales revenue-backed debt stated, “Something that might slow this down is if more legislation gets implemented to tax or ban e-cigarettes, which would be beneficial to the sale of combustible cigarettes.” In the two years since this statement, we have seen a drastic increase in attempts to (over) tax vaping, or to ban it altogether.
The attacks on vaping technology aren’t about the children, public health, or safety. They are about lost revenue. They are about money.
And steering tens of millions of cigarette smokers away from the life-saving alternative called vaping for the benefit of your own personal lifestyle is just fucking evil.