The past few months have seen e cigarette laws being slapped on innocent consumers, with more still underway. Lawmakers are burning the midnight oil to ensure that e cigarettes and vaporizers are kept out of reach of children.
It was just in September that the United States saw Missouri become the 41st state to enforce a ban on selling e-ciggies to minors. Now don’t get us wrong – we’re not saying children should be vaping. We just don’t think vaping should be treated the same as regular cigarette smoking.
Vaporizers, e cigarettes, tobacco… it’s all the same, apparently
Makes you wonder. Vaping is deemed to be a safer alternative to combustibles. E-cigarettes and vaporizers do not contain most of the harmful chemicals present in traditional cigarettes (the reason they were invented in the first place geniuses). Additionally, they do not reek of that ill-famed musk we are all too familiar with, and by this we mean you can vape and not bother the people around you.
According to lawmakers on the federal, state and local government levels, this is just palaver. Just ask Councilman D-Queens, aka Costa Constantinides of New York who says “these guys” are not in the quitting business, but rather, in the addiction business. Cue *eyeroll*
Why do governments REALLY want e cigarette laws?
Everyone knows traditional cigarettes are heavily regulated. Federal regulations stipulate that every pack needs to have visible warnings, with local regulations curbing where you can light up. There are states that ban smoking indoors totally, with every level of government levying some form of tax on them.
In other words, the so called ‘sin tax’ is a multi-billion dollar cash cow for the governments. According to National Review, governments across all levels have amassed a combined over $500 billion in cigarette taxes and payments from smokers since 1998, with 2013 alone seeing the government shovel in almost $44 billion thanks to MSA (Master Settlement Agreement) payments and taxes.
When you come to the world of vaporizers and e-cigarettes though, there are no such punitive measures against…yet. Meaning, governments lose money when you choose not to smoke. In Michigan, for example, the state and federal governments lose $2 and $1.01 respectively every time someone picks an e-cigarette. In Illinois and New York, the federal government turns a loss of $1.98 and $4.35 respectively.
Is it regulation they want or just another cash cow?
How does this affect you?
What’s the point here?
In a nutshell, the e-cigarette industry is one avenue that is yet to be exploited by governments at all levels to line up their coffers.
What does this mean for you, the ordinary vaper?
You’ll have to dig deeper into your pockets if you want to vape.
Despite heavy tax increases on cigarettes over the last 13 years, this has not resulted to less smokers; just more funds for the power mongers. The same could happen to vaping.
Unfortunately enough, it’s not just the American market that is facing these control measures. The European Union has not been spared as well.
A number of groups such as the CASAA (Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association) are not warming up to these kinds of regulations and they argue it is not in the best interest of the industry since it is just taking its baby steps.
Advocates of the e cigarette bans, on the other hand, argue that little is known about electronic cigarettes, and that a tighter noose will open the door to more research. We’re not convinced.
Some of the common regulations we are talking about at the state and local level include:
- Tobacco taxes
- Indoor use bans
- Sales bans
- Sale to minor bans
- Licensing requirements
What’s the verdict then?
Some e cigarette laws do make sense. Of course no one wants underage kids to pick up the habit.
However, there are some regulations that are just plain ridiculous. Just think about those grouping e-cigarettes with traditional cigarette bans.
It is unfair to drag the vaping community through this mire of unreasonable taxes, or even regulate manufacturers with tedious reporting requirements.
We’re not against laws and regulations. We just think there’s too much scare-mongering amongst the general public and way too many myths about vaping are being spread as facts. Unnecessary sin taxes will only make vaping more expensive and less accessible to the smoker who wants to quit and take up a less dangerous habit instead.
Just give vape a chance. 😉
Do you feel the e cigarette laws are fair? Sound off in the comments below!