How can a country that trumpets liberty and personal freedom constrict the passions of its citizens? If a new law is passed, how is it enforced? History shows again and again the long-term repercussions of prohibition: black markets, organized crime, political turmoil, and the criminalization of common folk. With the recent backlashes against the community, we must be unrelenting in our battle against vaping prohibition.
Several countries have restricted sales of vaping products senselessly. Border seizures, possession charges, and laughably steep fines have kept vapers from their e-juice. The United States is in a state of flux. Currently, vaping products are considered unregulated tobacco products by the federal government. In 2010, the FDA attempted a ban that was rejected by appeal courts. As of April 25th, 2014, the FDA issued a “deeming rule” proposition, lumping vapor into the “tobacco products” category. Imagine where it could go from there! It might come to a country-wide vaping prohibition.
The following countries have banned vaping products*:
Albania: Bans importation, distribution, and advertising.
Austria: Only permitted for licensed medical practices.
Brazil: Import, sale, and advertising forbidden.
Brunei: Sales banned. $10,000 dollar fine for violations.
Columbia: Banned absolutely.
Indonesia: Banned absolutely.
Malaysia: Only for medical purposes with proper licensure.
Mexico: Bans on importation, distribution, and advertising.
Oman: All sales banned.
Panama: Import, sales, and marketing banned.
Qatar: Banned absolutely.
Singapore: Banned absolutely. $5,000 fine for violations.
Taiwan: Banned absolutely.
Thailand: Banned absolutely.
Turkey: Banned absolutely.
United Arab Emirates (including Dubai): Banned absolutely.
Uruguay: Banned absolutely.
Venezuela: Banned absolutely.
If vaping prohibition were to happen in the USA (and this is a big “if”), chaos would ensue. Avid vapers may start buying packs of smokes again. Dejected vapers might become vapor boot-leggers, and a dangerous black market would flourish. Vapor speakeasies would sprout across the nation, and our policing resources would be squandered on enforcement of a needless prohibition. This is speculation, but with the frenzy of anti-vaping zealots in positions of power, who knows what could happen?
If the vaping industry is choked by unfair restriction and regulation, countless vapor businesses would go under. At this juncture, consumers would likely turn to the world’s second largest world economy– the black market, which brings in nearly $10 trillion annually. Ironically, the push to regulate could drive vapers to buy from unregulated street-level dealers. If public health is the concern, driving vapers away from business and into the clutches of smugglers is a worst-case scenario. If street-dealing went mainstream, youngsters could get e-juice and hardware easily and illegally. Newly illegitimate consumers would live in a world of risk of paranoia; they’d suddenly be criminals, with no recourse or product safety. This legislation under the banner of “public health” would make America a more dangerous place.
Something to think about:
Do you see a ban or vaping prohibition in the near future? If so, will it happen suddenly, or incrementally?
*Source: E-Cigarette Politics