Politicians have come in for significant criticism over their handling of the vaping industry in recent years.
First of all they ignored the industry, then they ridiculed it, then they spread myths and untruths but now they appear to have accepted it is here to stay.
However, many subtle attempts to control the industry have failed and now extremely harsh regulations are coming into play.
As a consequence, there is growing concern that political ignorance could have a detrimental impact upon the vaping industry. This is not just a new industry we are talking about.
This, in the words of many experts, could be our best chance to tackle the medical issues brought on by the thousands of chemicals in tobacco cigarettes, many of which are known to be carcinogenic.
BALANCING THE ARGUMENT
There are many different arguments when looking at the vaping industry and whether indeed the regulatory structure should be light touch or extremely rigid.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and its European counterpart have gone for an extremely rigid approach with very little leeway.
There is no doubt this approach is forcing many vaping shops to go out of business and placing extreme financial pressure on small to medium-sized groups.
The crux of the matter revolves around long-term research into potential health implications which are still ongoing. Politicians and regulators around the world have a duty to protect the public but they also have a duty to act on evidence not rumours.
Many believe that politicians and regulators have jumped the gun and the extreme regulations recently introduced could disrupt the industry as a whole.
IGNORING THE MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS
One issue which has yet to be resolved is the manner in which many politicians and regulators around the world seem to be ignoring the positive vibes from medical professionals.
For some reason the politicians think they know better than those with significant medical experience, some of whom have suggested vaping products could be up to 95% less harmful than their tobacco counterparts.
There are others who talk of issues with secondary smoking, specific ingredients, etc and while they should be listened to, surely the consensus amongst medical professionals should be more prominent?
We even had the authors of a report into electronic cigarettes complaining to the European Parliament that their data had been misinterpreted to support the introduction of Europe wide regulations.
It really is difficult to understand why politicians are not taking a more balanced approach to the industry and the problems of tobacco addiction.
MONEY, MONEY, MONEY!
The US government and European counterparts collect a significant amount of income from the tobacco industry.
As a consequence, there have been accusations that politicians are looking to protect their tobacco tax income as much as possible and then eventually replace this with a vaping tax.
Whether this is harsh or indeed correct is debatable, but we are literally talking billions of dollars in tobacco taxes which are currently being used to shore up budget demands.
It is interesting to see that while the FDA in America was extremely slow in reacting to the growing vaping industry, only recently introducing strict regulations, individual US states filled the information vacuum with their own agendas.
We have seen a number of US states introduce specific vaping taxes of late and many more are expected to follow in 2017. Even though the vaping community has a voice which has never been louder it is political agendas that are currently dictating the direction of the industry.
Whether we will see the introduction of industry/user friendly regulations in the future remains to be seen. Indeed, why did the politicians and regulators not speak to vapers for their views – surely this would have balanced the argument?
Do you think political ignorance is going to kill the vaping industry? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…
About the Author: This article was written by Mark Benson who works for UK Vape Warehouse.