Controversial Topics


Like everything else on this website, these are just my opinions, specifically on controversial topics that catch my ire.


Tobacco

I know what tobacco is. I've smoked it, sniffed it, chewed it, hell I even grow it.

And I have lots of e-cigarettes ranging from the moribund to the latest and greatest, from disposable to rechargeable, from cig-a-likes to cigar-a-likes to e-pipes and pens and mods.

I also have made my own devices and e-liquid.

And there is no way at all that I can say any e-cigarette is a tobacco product. It simply is not a tobacco product. (period)

However, the law does.

And that is all she wrote. WAKE UP!

The Deeming Regulation is affecting the Tobacco industry as well as the vaping industry. And there is common ground between the two even though the e-Cigarette is not a tobacco product.

Everyone needs to get off their separate horses and on the same damn train. Individually we can be hacked apart. United together we stand a much better chance.

But this will never happen. 90% of the vaping industry will not band together with themselves, let alone a separate industry.

Further, vape shops need to start selling tobacco products. They need to start selling cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chew, snuff, pipes, tubes, tube stuffers and all that is necessary for RYO.

Why wait for tobacco shops to sell vaping products? It's already started.

I hear vape shops complaining but taking no action. Well take this one. You complain about a fall off in customers or sales. Well instead of whining and moaning about it, start selling products that are going to bring new customers into your shop. In other words, start selling tobacco products to get the smokers coming into your shop. Do you really think the person behind the cash register at a gas station is as knowledgeable about e-Cigarettes and vaping as you are? Yet that is the FIRST place most smokers wanting to try an e-Cigarette go. I believe we will see more e-Cigarettes than just disposable cig-a-likes show up in tobacco shops.

You might even think about selling the tobacco products at cost. That's how you get more customers. Furthermore, to stay in business in the future, guess what? The business requirements are the same. Bite the bullet, register, license, follow the process, you are already carding and you have to register anyways. That's half the battle already done, just license, follow the new PMTA process as far as you can, submit product listings, components and ingredients (due date passed) listings, that stuff should have been a gimme. Then submit HPHC data if you can, (due date coming), I know it's expensive, just do as much as you can. But don't due it half assed. Pick a few products if you can only afford a few, like even one or two. That will be better than nothing. And doing nothing will not cut it.

I do not look down my nose at people who smoke. My wife still smokes. Though we both agree vaping in the car and house and around children is fine because we understand the credible science that vaping is safer and there are no second issues neither via contact nor inhalation unlike the credible science that smoking kills you and causes cancer including second hand via contact or inhalation. My wife knows this, is a retired medical professional, yet she still smokes.

Tobacco product use is a personal preference. I threw it all away. And just like we don't want big brother telling us we can't vape as the safer alternative, smokers and chewers don't want big brother telling them that they can't smoke or chew.

Many in the vaping community have blamed Big Tobacco as the culprit in the conspiracy against e-Cigarettes. This is wrong.

I think many in the e-Cigarette business want 900 degrees of separation from Big Tobacco because they are afraid of the stigma, afraid it might wash off on them, or lose sales if they don't shun tobacco, or try to set themselves apart.

This is wrong headed, wrong thinking. That is already assumed by over 200 million Americans.

The reverse is true for tobacco users though the tobacco industry is interested in vaping and has e-Cigarette products. Which vapers hate because of the sex, lies and video tape around tobacco cigarette manufacturers of yesteryear. Today none of them say smoking is safe. None of them say nicotine isn't addictive. The time when tobacco industry Mongols lied to the last man, testifying before congress, is long gone.

And Big Tobacco can't catch a break from government health officials with their e-Cigarettes either. They get lambasted with idiotic questions like "so are you telling me you now care? then why are you still selling cigarettes?"

The answer is quite simple. Because people want them. Because people still smoke. Much to everyone's chagrin.

At this point, none of that doesn't matter any more now does it?

The Deeming Regulation which is now law, treats it all the same.

As far as the Government is concerned, e-Cigarettes are a tobacco product by federal law.

The vaping industry is still stuck in the Bargaining phase of dealing with grief.

It is time for everyone, tobacco and e-Cigarette, to move smartly to the Acceptance phase.

I was surprised to know how much similarity there is in the legal cases, suits against the FDA from Tobacco and Vaping.

I have heard pipe and cigar reviewers refer to the vaping industry lawsuits as a possible windfall for them. While this may or may not become true there is a better method. Bottom line upfront is that all of us are affected by the FDA deeming reg, a.k.a. the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act Amendment of Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and we are not organized at the individual industry level let alone at the combined level. I see no reason why the pipe tobacco, cigar and vaping industries cannot band together, pool resources and fight the FDA. The arguments used by these various industry lawsuits are similar and in some cases identical. If you read the entire law as it pertains to tobacco and e-cigarettes you will see commonality in over reach  and arbitrary and capriciousness in the law. Further, a lot of us vapers were once smokers. Have we forgotten that? The smoker organizations fighting these same legal battles consider us vapers alien, as in alienated. It is up to us to reach out to them and not look at the vaping lawsuits as a potential windfall but to ask them to join with us. Our biggest problem individually let alone together is we are not organized.

Other cases have been filed by Lost Arts Liquids LLC, John Middleton Co. LLC (subsidiary from Altria), Enrique Fernando Sanchez Icaza and Global Premium Cigars, LLC or the Alabama retailers over the FDA regulations will not be included in the newly consolidated lawsuit because they have not been filed in the same Federal Court. Additionally is an interview with Frank Herrera of H New Media Law one of several clients is 1502 cigars. Mr. Herrara is a.k.a. cigar law. You can see an interview with him here on youtube with stogie review. Frank Herrera has launched lines of Herrera Cigars. The name Frank Herrera might not be known to many, but Herrera is well-known in the cigar industry. Herrera is a lawyer to many of the cigar companies in South Florida who specializes in trademarks. His company is also well-known for launching another boutique cigar line called La Caridad Del Cobre (named for Cuba’s patron Saint). The La Caridad Del Cobre wasn’t a widely distributed cigar, but it is one that gained almost a cult status among many cigar enthusiasts. There are also videos here on youtube from the pipe tobacco fanbase on the FDA regulation, for example Derek Tant, and Muttnchop Piper. The Cigar Association of America (CAA), Cigar Rights of America (CRA), and the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailer Association (IPCPR) filed lawsuit in the DC court on 15 July. This is separate from the vaping industry now combined Keller & Heckman right to be smoke free (R2B Smoke-Free coalition) and Nicopure labs lawsuits. Which were heard by the DC court on 19 October. There is an interview video on youtube with Azim Chowdhury that is beneficial to all, vaper as well as cigar and pipe tobacco enthusiasts. This lawsuit for e-cigarettes used pretty much the same arguments: (Note, the judge found in favor of the FDA on all points in this lawsuit - July 2017)

(1) declare that the Deeming Rule exceeds FDA's statutory authority, is arbitrary and capricious, or an abuse of discretion under the Administrative Procedure Act with respect to FDA's failure to either establish a new grandfather date for all deemed e-vapor products or exercise its enforcement discretion in this regard;

(2) set aside the Deeming Rule to the extent that FDA has applied the February 15, 2007 grandfather date to e-vapor products, and remand the rule to FDA so that the agency can set a new grandfather date for all deemed e-vapor products consistent with the Court's decision;

(3) remand the rule to FDA so that the agency can conduct a proper regulatory impact analysis that addresses the lack of long-term clinical data for e-vapor products; and/or

(4) declare the rule unconstitutional to the extent that it applies the February 15, 2007 grandfather date to e-vapor products. Azim uses the words "difficult to win", "onerous" and "devastating to the industry." I suggest those same terms apply to the cigar and pipe tobacco lawsuits as well. I also suggest the same ridiculousness applies. The problem with pipe, vape and cigar fans is the same problem vapers have, we are not organized like a lobbyist. Neither separately nor together and the deeming rule affects us all. Even those that don't smoke or vape even though they don't know it. We don't need Government making life decision choices for us.

I resent my Government taking away my liberties. Being a previous smoker I know all of you do too. It has been said that the only true freedom we have is the ability to make our own choices. I have found that to be true in my life. Even if those choices were bad and stupid. Not to mention the negative impact this has on small and medium sized businesses and jobs at a time when we NEED MORE. Like the pipes I still have, passed to me by my father and grandfather, vaping accessories a.k.a. e-cigarettes contain no tobacco but are deemed “Tobacco Products” by the FDA. We are talking chunks of wood, stainless steel, glass, electronics and plastics and they are all "deemed' Tobacco Products which has a legal definition and meaning. Even though they contain no tobacco they have to be labeled as such. Some of the e-liquid we refill our e-cigarettes with is derived from tobacco but some is synthetically created nicotine. In other words, you could have an open system e-Cigarette in which nothing is derived from a tobacco plant. Yet this law "deems" it legally a tobacco product and is required to be labeled as such. In other words the law requires manufacturers and vendors to LIE.

On top of that, if a vendor assembles and shows a customer how to wick their e-cigarette they are deemed a "manufacturer" just like the "blender" for mixing pipe tobaccos. And this has a huge impact. The pipe tobacco, cigar nor vaping communities fully digest this impact. The law requires Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). ISO9000 doesn't cut it. Think pharmaceutical here, think class 1 cleanrooms, toxicology and biology labs, certification, continuous training, process and origin controls and tracking and all the documentation all that entails. Add to that requirements in the law for import "fees" to offset the FDA costs. Keeping in mind the FDA doesn't test anything. They make regulation that congress enacts into law. The FDA makes all the retailers and manufacturers pay and conduct the testing as written by their rule codified into law by congress. So in reality, those tariffs and "fees" help pay for their time crafting this legal nonsense only. On 15 July 2016 the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR), Cigar Association of America (CAA) and Cigar Rights of America (CRA) filed a joint lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and their Commissioner Robert Califf jointly and separately along with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and their Secretary Sylvia Burwell. Let’s hear their lawsuit points:

Count I: FDA’s Actions Regarding the Predicate Date and the Substantial Equivalence Process Are Arbitrary, Capricious, an Abuse of Discretion and Not in Accordance With Law, and Exceed FDA’s Regulatory Authority.

Count II: The Final Rule’s User Fee Provisions are Arbitrary, Capricious, and Not in Accordance with the Tobacco Control Act, and Exceed FDA’s Regulatory Authority.

Count III: The Final Rule’s User Fee Provisions Violate Plaintiffs’ Members’ Right to Due Process and Equal Protection.

Count IV: FDA’s Failure to carry out a Proper Cost-Benefit Analysis Violates the Regulatory Flexibility Act and Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

Count V and VI: FDA’s Treatment of Premium Cigars and Failure to Consider Option Two is Arbitrary and Capricious.

Count VII: The Final Rule’s Warning Label Requirements Impermissibly Restrict Free Speech.

Count VIII: Regulation of Tobacconists Who Blend Finished Tobacco as “Manufacturers” is Arbitrary, Capricious, and Not in Accordance with the Tobacco Control Act, and Exceeds FDA’s Regulatory Authority. Count IX: Regulation of Pipes as “Components” Rather Than as “Accessories” is Arbitrary, Capricious, and Not in Accordance with Law.

The suit asks for relief by vacating and setting aside the final rule as unlawful, arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion, and otherwise not in accordance with law, and in excess of FDA’s authority. They ask for a permanent injunction restraining Defendants from implementing or enforcing the Final Rule.

Language that sounds similar to the Keller and Heckman lawsuit.


International

There are those that believe what the U.S.A. does has no effect on anyone else. This is utter bunk. We all affect one another and vaping is no exception. The US affects Canada and the UK and the UK and Canada affects the US. In fact, it has been shown for the past nearly 100 years that policy in the US lags policy in Europe. There are outliers of course, but I see no reason for this to not be the case with vaping.

The World Health Organization troubles me greatly. It's anti e-Cigarette rhetoric appears to be just as unintelligent as the U.S. FDA. I can only conclude the same corruption mechanisms are at play.

And the FDA's sharp as a bowling ball mind, claimed that we vape differently here in the US then in the UK. ROTFLOL! I don't know what is more sad, that idiot saying that or the fact that some people will take it at face value. We use the same devices, the same liquid, the same flavorings, we have the same lungs, we're all homo sapiens sapiens, yet he claims it's different! I got news for ya, all forms of vaping that exist here also exist in the UK and around the world you dumbass.

Kudos to the Royal College of Physicians. I was pleasantly impressed. Somehow you managed to avoid the corruption and politics that plagues most others. Whatever your model is, we need to replicate that here, in Canada and around the free world.

The only real difference internationally is that some are doing good science and health studies (UK, university of Milan) and others are bantering shills (US FDA, etc).


   

 

 

All the information contained in these pages are only the opinions of the author and the author is not an expert at anything.