The following is a guest post. As usual the opinions and content are solely those of the author.
Big Tobacco Companies seem to have always taken profits over public health. It became evident when the C.E.O’s of the 7 largest tobacco companies testified in front of congress in April and May 1994. This was dramatized in the motion picture “The Insider” were Dr. Wigand described the 7 leaders as the “7 dwarves” Each Chief exclaimed that “nicotine is not addictive” in what was called the Waxman hearings after Rep. Henry Waxman D – California. Later documents revealed they were well aware of the addictive properties of nicotine.
Since that time till now these Big Tobacco companies have been in solidarity with each other for the sole purpose of maximizing profits all while minimizing the negative perception the public has on these companies. They methodically and strategically lobbied to increase taxes on their tobacco products merely to keep their claws on the Government. The Government increased revenue from tobacco taxes so in essence the fat cat politicians thought twice when putting their new revenue streams in jeopardy. Therefore making it harder to remove these products from being sold to the public.
When the Vaping Industry started coming to light in the end of the first decade in the 2,000’s they once again lobbied to put many restrictions as they seen the innovation of e-cigarettes as an arch enemy. They stated publicly they wanted e-cigs to be on a level playing field and have all the restrictions as they did. They set up smear campaigns to spin the use of vapors as also harmful to the public when in fact was not the case.
We can determine their modus operandi by their actions. As an example when they lobbied to increase taxes on their products they pushed the idea of increasing funds for various social programs but their real objective was greasing up the so called public servants. They lobbied to put more FDA restrictions on vaporized products in the name of public health. That is laughable since we all know where their true motives lie.
In today’s current times Big Tobacco is up to some tricks again. We can just view their actions like in 2012 Lorillard Tobacco purchased Blu eCig which is a well-known name brand for $135 million. (Blu eCigs is now owned by Imperial Brands which is a British Tobacco conglomerate.) 2 years later in 2014 Nu Mark which is the parent company of Phillip Morris International gobbled up Green Smoke Inc at the purchase price of $110 Million. Many tobacco companies also started developing their own e-cigarette brands such MarkTen which doesn’t hide anything and looks identical to a traditional cigarette.
The big Tobacco companies all share a similar voice in the public saying that they are changing and their interest lie within public health. When we look at their past history their public voice was just something said to public that made them look like a company that had moral values but their true intentions showed otherwise. The question is what are they planning? Why the change of heart when it comes to vaporized e-cigarettes?
There has been many safer alternatives to consume a nicotine fix even before the explosion of vaporizers. Many of these alternatives have been discovered by the big tobacco companies but they have always insisted on pushing their profitable traditional cigarette. Now in a complete 180 degree turn they are now supporting electronic cigarettes as a healthier alternative to smoking.
Business experts acknowledge the shrewd business savvy tactics the tobacco companies possess. They say everything they do comes down to the bottom line. Their profit margins. They see the trends as cigarettes become increasingly regulated along with the negative public perception will drive down consumption and figure e-cigarettes as their alternative to deliver their products.
So the question also is this a positive for the vaping industry? For the community in general we think not. It really depends on the part of the industry you favor. These tobacco companies are only in support of the e-cigarette or the traditional cigarette look-alike. These products of course look like their traditional cigarette and are less likely to be modified. That in essence puts more control and power within these companies. The goal of these companies all by their lobbied actions and their public campaigns is to grab a majority of the consumers spending through this billion dollar industry. All while they eliminate their competition which is the small business owner.
They are behind the FDA proposed juice regulations. Not for public health reasons but merely for control. This in turn will be harmful to the small business owner trying to build their local vape shops. Who knows what will be the future outcome of these newly proposed regulations. Who knows what the fate of the vape business owners is. We being a part of this vaping community will be keeping a watchful eye.
About the author- Was a smoker since the age of 13 till he started vaping in 2015. Still fighting the nicotine addiction. Currently runs and owns the online vaping shop http://modclouds.com