Seems to be a relatively benign introduction doesn’t it? After all, we do have rights. Just as we had rights when we smoked. We are after all human beings with rights and privileges within our respective societies.
Trouble is, this particular ‘group’ are anything but benign.
Looks pretty enticing doesn’t it? The site goes over pretty much all the legislative bullshit ranging from taxation, through bans, marketing and sales, right up to regulation. The site encourages the user to sign a petition. Fortunately for me, I use a pretty large high-resolution monitor so I caught the site footer immediately.
Nu Mark LLC. Owned and operated by Altria. You know them, owners of Philip Morris. It is more than a little coincidental that a major tobacco company has done this. By adding a voice to the petition you are actually supporting the tobacco industry.
Let me be clear here. I have no problem with the tobacco industry. I have no problem with smoking. I don’t really have a major problem with tobacco companies selling electronic cigarettes. I do have a problem with tobacco companies trying stuff like this.
Current advocacy is purely grassroots, despite what those in tobacco control think and when all is said and done, we have done a reasonable job in rattling the cages of those that thought they were safe in their ivory towers. Many advocates such as myself are limited in what we can do, whilst others don’t have the same day-to-day restrictions.
What confused me slightly, Altria aren’t exactly penniless yet the site looks pretty amateurish, especially considering the zero budget notblowingsmoke.org. Suppose they are trying to become part of the grassroots movement. Well screw you, you are most definitely not welcome!
Of course, this coming to light has raised quite a few eyebrows within the vaping community. It also sparked a lovely little rant on VTTV which was highly entertaining (thank you Mr Dave Dorn).
Not to mention some of the responses on Twitter:
It does of course beg the question why they have made this move. On the one hand, you could speculate that they really are trying to provide a beneficial force for vaping. This is something that I can’t believe, given this article.
Altria spokespeople are eager to push the “all for one” type mentality throughout.
In black and white, tobacco companies have no idea what it would cost for the vape shops that have sprung up all over the globe. They also don’t really care.
The global vaping market, which could top $7 billion this year, is evenly split between cigarette look-alikes, often sold by tobacco companies, and refillable “vapors, tanks and mods” – devices which users modify to suit their needs.
“Evenly split” is it? Last time I went around my local town centre, there were far more people using 2nd and 3rd generation devices and not the tobacco companies cig-a-like products, which are quite frankly shite. However, they do work for some so there is that.
It isn’t just one company that are against the open vapor market either. They want to force unnecessary regulations on to vaping shops that will subject them to far more scrutiny than is actually needed.
Vape shops often mix nicotine and flavoring, just as pharmacies compound drugs, said Richard Smith, communications manager at Reynolds. This means “the vape shop seller is a manufacturer under the applicable laws and regulations.”
In a way, they are actually right but pharmacies fall under medical jurisdiction not manufacturing. Totally different ball game, comparing the two is a little wonky. Yet they go on to say:
Reynolds says that’s not true. “We fully support innovation in tobacco products, including vapor products,” said Smith. The company wants “a level playing-field where all manufacturers are subject to equal treatment.”
Innovation in tobacco products, including vapor products. So they are not classifying vapor products as tobacco products which the FDA insist they are. Interesting. Unfortunately for the tobacco companies, there can never be a level playing field with the current proposed regulatory framework from any country. The playing field they want, is the one they already have. Market domination.
The most worrying thing?
It plans to help small companies by phasing in new rules. The European Union also plans to give firms time to adapt. It has said clear rules will help smaller firms; it plans to assess the costs of notification.
Both the FDA and the EU plan to phase in any new rules to give companies time to adapt. There can not be any adaption to the rules that are currently laid out that would keep vaping the way it is currently where it is keeping millions of users away from tobacco and allowing millions more to make a better choice.
our friends idiotic “allies” at Altria:
Quit trying to “help”, we don’t need it and we sure as fuck don’t want it.