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Is Vaping Becoming A Partisan Issue? Yes And It’s Bad News.

I am a Libertarian independent. I generally dislike partisanship of any kind. I especially dislike it when it impacts items of true importance. That is my pre-disclosure before giving you my two cents about the dangers of vaping becoming a partisan issue. I see it coming and I’m not liking where this is going. The views discussed reflect my opinion and do not represent the views of ECCR.

The Wacky Blend Of Politics And Science

Once upon a time the scientific community attempted to communicate to various leaders that the nature of the universe was not what they thought. The earth was not the center of the universe. The earth was not flat. Even as late as the 19th century there were theories of a flat earth. The scientists that insisted on evidence based conclusions had to defend their theories against superstitions and political agendas. Many of the real scientists were ridiculed or accused of pursuing an evil agenda. Politics. Ultimately, progress and reason won but not without the consequence of anger and stagnation.

In our lifetime, right now today, we face the threat of damaging the only home God gave us. In terms of how we are responding, one can only cringe when thinking of how our children and grandchildren will regard our territorial political disputes. Despite the evidence and consensus of the scientific community regarding global warming, the media portrays the issue as being scientifically divided. It isn’t. Only the politics is divided.

It is not a sound state of affairs. There are many conservatives reading this right now and assuming that I am a liberal because of my position on a matter of science that I have total certainty on. That assumption proves my point. I am not a liberal. I want less government, more individual liberty, more privacy etc. To be honest, I am barely political at all. I am way too dang busy. Yet by my merely pointing out that the science on global warming is clear, many will evaluate me politically and use that political bent to totally disregard anything I have to say. That’s a problem. That’s the dynamic here. And that’s the dynamic we invite if vaping becomes a partisan issue.

Vapers Rejoice As Trump Fires Surgeon General Murtha

It was not long ago that US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murtha identified vaping as a potential threat to public health. The arguments put forward by the Surgeon General were deeply flawed. ECCR covered this extensively and we worked very hard to correct the record. Dr. Murtha’s uninformed position on vaping was a tremendous disappointment to us.

Many vapers feel as though the firing of Murtha is a victory for vaping. It very well may be. But I won’t be popping champagne corks until I know what’s coming next. And I won’t be letting my guard down. I will continue to involve myself in fighting for vape rights by promoting and distributing reasoned arguments based on evidence and common sense.

What will a new Surgeon General do? We don’t know but we suspect that we will see a move toward a more unregulated climate. That could be good. We know that Donald Trump wants far less regulation from the FDA. The reason that he points to is so more drugs can get to market more quickly. Now many in the vaping business see this as favorable. But, favors for Big Pharma do not necessarily portend a more favorable regulatory climate for the e-vapor industry.

Big Tobacco has mixed regards for vaping. Vice President Pence has been an advocate for Big Tobacco in the past and in the state he governed, Indiana, we saw some of the harshest anti-vaping laws introduced in the United States.

My point here is that you cannot judge where someone will fall on vaping based on their politics. You have to look at their history, their self-interest and affiliations. Don’t look for a D or R by someone’s name if you want to know where they will fall on vaping. At least  not yet.

Grover Norquist Thinks Vaping May Have Won It For Trump

Grover Norquist thinks vaping helped Trump win the electoral college despite losing the popular vote by 3 million. A few strategic votes made all the difference. With more than 10 million vapers in the US Could that be the case? Perhaps. But one of the men on the winning ticket was Governor of the state of incredibly harsh vaping laws and site of the pivotal right to be smoke free lawsuit. In many ways, Indiana is ground zero in the fight for vaping rights and Governor Pence signed into law the regulations that have been so controversial.

By the way, the imposition of those Indiana anti-vaping laws are now being rolled back! Moreover, the process that led to the imposition of those anti-e-cig laws now also appears to be under investigation.

So I don’t know if Grover Norquist is right or wrong. But I do know that I do not share his faith that vaping has a friend in Republican politics. Ultimately, I still see our community, the vaping community, as largely grass roots and up to us to be stewards of our own rights. We have to depend on ourselves first and foremost.

Gregory Conely and Bill Godshall are passionate, amazing, professional vaping advocates. Respectfully, they are also partisan gentlemen. I think the world of both gentlemen but I believe they do a disservice to our cause by injecting politics into this. HR 2058 has bipartisan support. Instead of making this political, we need to be making it an evidence based issue with the overarching interest of freedom of choice and public health.

The Creation Of Wedge Issues

Partisans love wedge issues. It is a way to galvanize your support and prevent your supporters from hearing the other side. Both parties do it. Both parties are guilty. I do not want vaping to be a wedge issue.

What Do We Do?

Well, I tell you what we do not do. We do not turn vaping into a political argument. If we do that, there will be no reasoned discussions. Everyone will retreat to their corners, bust out the talking points and we’ll all be talking to brick walls.

Vaping needs to be a reasoned discussion. We win our arguments on merit. We win by convincing, not fighting. We lose if vaping becomes political. Liberal Democrat vapers, I am talking to you. I know there are a lot of you. I’ve met you at umpteen hundred trade shows over the years. I hate to put the pressure on you but this ball is in your court. You have to talk to your capital D reps and urge them to support vaping.

If any capital D reps are reading, be aware that if Republicans do take ownership of this issue you could be squeezed out. Many of us who believe in vaping will be vaping voters. Their are leaders in the vaping community guiding vapers to see the GOP as the party that will save vapor. Right now, with due respect to Bill Godshall, Grover Norquist and Gregory Conley, I do not see that Republicans are the party of vaping rights. Many of the harsh anti-vaping legislation we have seen at the state level has been GOP initiated. I don’t think it is wise for the aforementioned highly regarded gentlemen to make it partisan because of their personal affiliations. And I don’t think we, the vaping community, should fall into that trap.

I’m starting to feel like America may soon become a nation where we will be picking which beer we like based on politics. I am not liking this trend at all. Thanks for letting me get this gripe off my chest.



Electronic Cigarettes • June 15, 2017

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