Money and Vaping: What is Happening?
We find ourselves at a time when anti-smoking activists are pushing for more regulations on the vape industry than ever before. Australia has become the land of vaping prohibition, where they have deemed every form of nicotine, except for cigarettes and replacement therapies, as poison. Brazil has banned the sale, importation and advertising of any kind of electronic cigarette. Calgary, Alberta, recently joined the list of places that have banned vaping in public areas. Sale and possession in Hong Kong is punishable by a fine and/or a two year prison sentence.
Here at Mt. Baker Vapor, we have felt the increasing pressure of legislation in our home state of Washington, and have decided to relocate to Arizona because of it. But is this really what legislators should be concentrating on? The third U.S. president, Thomas Jefferson, declared the only legitimate role of government to be “the care of human life and happiness.” It is without a doubt that the right to vape is key to the pursuit of happiness for many of us.
With so many threats to this industry, I often find myself pondering the reasons behind increasing prohibition. Money seems to be the biggest issue here. Current speaker of the United States House of Representatives, John Boehner, received an estimated $137,700 in contributions from the tobacco industry in 2014. Altria Group, the parent company for Philip Morris spent $1,777,441 in donations to political figures between 2013 and 2014. How can Big Tobacco be allowed to influence so many opinions in our government when an estimated 6 million people die every year from tobacco related illness?
The Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association says that the vaping industry is expected to be worth $10 billion or more by 2017. Money and vaping rights are two of the largest concerns within this industry. But what is happening with money and vaping? Is this new found wealth causing us to go blind to our cause? With all this money up for grabs it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture, which has always been to get people off of cigarettes and on to healthier lifestyles.
With a huge cut to their business, and some serious money to be made off of e-cigs, it’s no wonder Big Tobacco is now spending billions of dollars in electronic cigarette research. With more and more eyes focusing on what the world of vaping has to offer, this issue of money (who is getting it, and who is going to get it) has begun to overshadow the mission that got most of us into this business in the first place: freeing people from smoking.
I’ll admit that I haven’t spent much time in this business, but so far I have met some of the most caring and intelligent people of my life. People whose hearts aren’t ruled by money and greed, but by concern for the common man. We all need to make a living somehow, but above all else, us vapors want to be free. Free to vape, and free to enjoy life without the pressures of Big Tobacco, government and the almighty dollar.
Something to think about:
What correlations do you see between money and vaping? How has money influenced decisions in your own life – vaping habits or other?