As of late there have been numerous reports that minors are using electronic cigarettes at higher and higher rates. This has fueled the fires of the anti-vapor camp, giving them more ammunition with which to target electronic cigarettes. The argument is that electronic cigarette makers are targeting children and that vaping will turn the next generation into smokers. Politicians have even taken to using this argument when they want press. As logical people it makes us wonder why politicians would be doing this. If they truly believe that vapor is bad for children, why are they wasting time with press releases and media interviews instead of passing legislation that would keep vapor out of the hands of children?
This is a notion that we as vapor lovers have supported for years now. While we feel that electronic cigarettes are truly a better option than smoking, we agree that it is an indulgence that should be reserved for adults. Over a year ago we published an article encouraging vapers to talk to their children about electronic cigarettes. We feel that every vaping parent should, in fact, let their children know that electronic cigarettes are for adults and contain nicotine, which has been proven to be addictive. At this point it doesn’t really seem like anyone, vapers or those against it, disagree on this point. So why all of the grandstanding from politicians?
The first reason is money. Politicians use anti-vapor arguments to spur an interest in regulation. Then they tie up the regulation process because they want to make sure that sin taxes are applied to vapor. Good regulation that would have taken vapor out of the hands of children has been put on hold due to no other reason than money. It happened in the State of Michigan just a couple of months back and continues to happen in states and towns around the nation. It would be entirely possible, and legal, to enact an age limit on vapor and then revisit taxes later. This would actually speak to public health and the safety of children, while still allowing politicians to go after their tax dollars. Yet none of the powers that be seem to be doing this. Instead they write letters and take interviews with the media to further their careers.
It’s hard to see this as anything but scapegoating. Electronic cigarettes could be embraced for the vast amount of good that they can do for smokers. In the essence of safety, public health and our children, these politicians could enact legislation that keeps them away from minors, and then push for studies and research which would better define the effects of vaping and lead to improvements. Instead they fall back on politics and bureaucracy. It is high time that they answered for their actions. They have officially become part of the “problem” that they so passionately speak out against. They are the ones with the power to save the children, yet they do not. We challenge you to demand answers from your elected officials who take this stance. Simply ask them why the ability to appear on television is more important than the arguments that they are making while they do so. The entire process lacks logic.
In order for vapor to reach its true potential, we need to know more about it. If there are health concerns, let’s study the effects on health. If there are concerns about our youth, let’s adopt a system that makes it more difficult for them to attain. These are the initiatives, in our opinion, that politicians should be focusing on. If we do not hold our elected official accountable, none of these factors will be addressed as they could be. So, before you join the ranks of politicians that are blasting vapor you should question why they aren’t taking the steps to make it safer.