Search This Blog

Friday, April 7, 2017

Why Advocacy Vaping Fails: Politics and Dogs

A while back the topic of filling out surveys for fighting the Pennsylvania 40% vaping tax came up.

Below are some thoughts I posted in response (edited).  Much of what I say here is taken from older blog posts here at (search "nicotine") and Facebook threads.

Personally I think the idea that some "white knight" is going to ride in and make all the PA taxes go away is a waste of time, particularly because of some survey.

We cannot match the lobbying skills. Proven: SFATA hired a perhaps questionable, well paid lobbyist to fight the many from big pharma and tobacco.  Result: 40% vapor tax that no one saw coming.

(I sat in the PA House chairman David Reeds office a few years go observing his feigned interest in Mrs. Wolf explaining how no one in our family smoked any more, no grand children smoking, etc.  This guy has a wife and kids so you'd think he'd be worried about one of his kids smoking, but apparently not.  David, you might also want to look into that "opioid crises."  Successful families in typically are the prime targets of do-gooding doctors pushing pills on the unsuspecting... but I digress.)

We don't have money because ex-smokers are cheap.  Proven: In many years of selling vape, building vape hardware etc. this point was brought home time and again.  No one ever wanted to spend a dime on advocacy.  Even getting shop owners to do something was a major chore.  Result: 40% vapor tax that no one saw coming.

There is very, very little successful history of PA legislative changes of this magnitude (I couldn't find any case where some industry lobby group was able to turn around this type of legislation).  Particularly with "tobacco products."  Gee, let's make this available to "the children"... right!

There is some chance here in PA with a lawsuit that might at least diminishing the breadth of what's covered.  From my perspective this has the best chance of success.  Whittling away the law by bits and pieces (see, this eliquid has the exact ingredients found in frosting, look, a USB charger for a phone cannot be taxed just because someone buys it with a vape, etc.)

While we as shop owners can wish in one hand for "legislative action" we can shit in the other hand (let me know which one gets filled first...)

We can't talk politics.  Proven: I guess all you dems can thank Putin for pushing the vaping candidate over the top.  Remember, vaping is acceptable there. Trump's election was critical and the only real chance other than a lawsuit win (either local or nationally) to stop the FDA. For me this was well worth the effort (see below on the new FDA commish before you start your tears and howling).

Hillary would have only cemented our doom with more rancid nonsense like the NY state recommendations that smoking is better than vaping (from

My experience is that the majority of smokers are Democrats anyway and do not/cannot connect the dots on how their party and Obama threw us all under the bus as far as vaping goes.

(You'd have thought Bernie would be pro-vaping but no...  I spent the 80's building weapon systems to help eliminate the USSR, today I live behind the Irony Curtain.)

I believe most vapers as Democrats will continue to vote Democratic basically ensuring Govenor Wolf will stay here in PA. The Republican legislature is, for the most part, spineless and created taxes for no reason so there is no help there.

A big portion of what's wrong I believe has to do with places like CASAA and the e-cig forum which misdirect(ed) support for a lot of things and people who were trying to prepare so we would't be where we are today (I have posted on this before here).

From my perspective the real work needed to be done 2013/2014 but, surprise, there was no economic support and zero real interest. So now all we can do is wait and hope for the lawsuits.

The surveys mentioned above are, at least in my opinion, a waste of time just like not adapting your business to the new PA vaping business climate.  We have good information from the state tax people that many, many vape shops posses basically zero ability to follow the law.  This is not surprising when you think about what I say above.

So what did I try to do?

Why am I bitching at the "powers that be?"

Let me tell you:

One. Among many other things in 2013 I created and funded an X-Prize for $10,000 to create non-tobacco nicotine because I believed that the FDA would lose on science.  I was unable to promote it on CASAA or e-cig forum or similar because "it was a contest" - I guess like a "mod give-away!!!" (oh the irony).

A bunch of "tobacco" lawyers (many now involved in current lawsuits) told me to go away, I was wasting time with nicotine science and I was ignorant of how things worked at the FDA.  After a year or so I simply gave up and withdrew the prize.

Today "non-tobacco nicotine" is the ONLY nicotine which is unlikely the FDA will regulate:

The next epic e-cig fail will be Lithium Ion batteries (see cases like this):

Maiming, death, houses burning down, airplanes falling out of the sky.

"Oh no!" They cried.  "We can't have that!" (Yes it was part of some other vaping nonsense ban but come on, we need to step up here technologically...)

It's our Achillies heal.  E-cigs can be entirely wiped out by this alone with FDA regulations.


I pleaded with CASAA to have some sort of commercial battery group, try and set up standards, do something, anything. I got involved with IEEE and some guy in England trying to create standards.


We don't do that...

I am involved in very similar related technologies commercially - the e-cig industry look like total morons as far as lipo battery technology is concerned.  We do nothing related shipping, safety or any other rational battery thing.


Nothing on purpose.

A few big lawsuits and/or maimed children and/or airplane crashes and it will be all over.

The real problem here is basically smokers are cowed wimps.  Decades of Nazi-esque "tobacco policy" has made most if not all simply wish to accept their fate.

(Something I do not agree with:

While the nice e-liquid folks funding FDA lawsuits still have money to spend (at least before August 2018) there is a chance.

Then there is Trump and Scott Gottlieb, Trump's proposed FDA commissioner.  Gottlieb owns stock in a vaping chain.

I love the Facebook comments: "Gee, why does Trump keep putting forward assholes that will no doubt profit from their government positions."

Yup.  That's what you need.

Let's get Hillary in there.

If you need this explained to you then deserve to pay 40% to 100% in vape taxes while standing out in the cold vaping while the NY health commissioner tells little Johnny that he's better off with cigarettes.

No comments:

Post a Comment