The Flavor Ban | What We're Doing and How You Can Help
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced on September 11th, 2019 that the FDA will ban flavored vaping products. This coming on the toes of our Governor here in Michigan announcing an emergency flavor ban - and the New York Governor announcing the same due to an "emergency health crisis." This is an assault on the vapor industry from all sides.
The Youth Crisis as a whole: Needless to say, we're 100% against youth vaping, of any substance. For many years now we have had stringent and (as you know) at times annoying processes to verify your age and that you are the adult card holder purchasing these products. From our point of view, the only people who should be vaping are those who are trying to kick the habit of smoking cigarettes. We do everything in our power, including always monitoring and auditing our own system, to ensure no underage sales take place.
This crisis has come to a head, though. Terrible media coverage, horrible journalism, and plain misinformation from those less than educated has created the perfect storm against legal vaping. Forget the fact that the death and illnesses taking place have been attributed to seemingly one common product among the victims. That is THC cartridges purchased illegally from a non-licensed person / business. The CDC even goes so far to state;
"Anyone who uses an e-cigarette or vaping product should not buy these products (e.g., e-cigarette or vaping products with THC, other cannabinoids) off the street, and should not modify or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer."
That is not to minimize the victims, truly, this is tragic. As of writing this we are at 7 deaths attributed to some form of "vaping." That is 7 deaths too many and some would ask - well why isn't anyone doing anything?
Wait a minute...
They are... They have been... But that has to do with Nicotine vaping. The FDA has been regulating the E-Cigarette / Nicotine vapor industry since August 8th, 2016. That is when E-Cigarettes (containing nicotine) were deemed "Tobacco Products" by our government. That is when it became illegal to sell these products to minors. Though, as with any talk about the government, you know there is a huge "But" coming up.
But, the product that seemingly links all of these cases together does not fall under this designation. It is not a nicotine vapor product. They were counterfeit products filled with inferior substances (including Honey Cut which contains Viatmin E Acetate). These products are not regulated and can you guess why? Because they're illegal.
If our Federal Government had some common sense marijuana laws, like we're working to adopt here in Michigan, with quality control and standards regulations - this situation could have likely been avoided. Which is the sad truth about it all. Prohibition only creates a larger black market.
What we're doing
Since the day our Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, announced the Michigan flavor ban we have been in contact with not only our legislators and Governors office, but with the VTA, Greg Conley and the AVA, our lawyers, local shops and... Then with the Federal Ban; national vape shops / websites (even our bigger competitors), the White House, and more. We are doing everything in our immediate power to fight this and we will see this battle through.
I know we have been pretty radio silent since the announcement of the Michigan Flavor ban via our blog, but, you have to understand - writing letters, making calls, visiting with businesses around the state, meeting with legislators... This all takes time. This is not just a fight for our right to vape, but for the livelihoods of our employees, and ourselves. You see, we were all previous smokers that quit using flavored vaping products. Personally, I had my last cigarette on November 15th, 2013. I was a pack a day smoker for over 8 years, but, one trip into a vape shop completely changed my life. One day I was a smoker, the next day I wasn't, and I never looked back.
That is what we're fighting for. This isn't just about vaping, this is about your right to choose. To choose to change your life. To choose to live. To choose to stop assisting our Government in paying back Tobacco Bonds they should have never taken out to begin with. If those aren't reasons to fight this, I don't know what is.
How you can help
And with that, I ask you contact your representatives, the White House, your family, your friends. If you've made these calls once, make them again. Speak honestly but respectfully. With over 13 million vapers nationwide, we have the voice and the momentum to change this decision.
White House Phone Numbers:
- (202) 456-1414
- (202) 456-1111