A recent White House Listening Session on the subject of vaping covered the controversial claims by some parties that vaping is causing serious illness among young users. The session became more a shouting match than debate at times, with the representatives for the vaping industry standing their ground ably in the face of the President of the USA and a number of authority figures (Photo credit: Image by Pexels from Pixabay).
The session came about thanks to recent revelations that a number of people who are regular vapers have fallen ill thanks to using the product. The problem is that none of the illnesses have been directly linked to regulated vaping products, but are said to be caused by illegal black-market cannabis oil vape cartridges. To explain the situation more readily, it is important we talk about the vaping industry in the USA.
What is the Controversy?
Largely, the controversial aspect of vaping centres around the flavors available for vape use. Let us explain further. In the US, the vape device most people used is composed of 510 thread vape pen battery and 510 thread vape tank. They have the option to add their own flavor of e liquid. These flavors can be anything from basic tobacco flavor through a range of exciting and innovative fruit and other flavors, and here lies the root of the problem.
The anti-vaping lobby claims that it is these flavors that are encouraging young people to take up vaping, which was originally introduced as an alternative to smoking tobacco. The vaping industry representatives – present at the meeting were executive director of the Vapor Technology Association (VTA) Tony Abboud and Gregory Conley, President of the American Vaping Association (AVA) – claim that this is not true, despite government advisers stating otherwise.
Indeed, at the listening session President Trump – and others present – were informed by Matthew Myers, of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids pressure group, that the most popular flavor with adults is tobacco, which is simply not the case. Another anti-vaping group, Parents Against Vaping eCigarettes (PAVe) claimed that ‘millions of teenagers are addicted’ to nicotine thanks to vaping, and proposed a complete ban on all flavors. Once again, despite this suggestion being supported by many other anti-vaping groups, there is no substance to the claims at all.
President Trump Listens
As the meeting progressed, Mr Conley of the AVA was able to put forward points that President Trump appeared to understand, regarding the problems that would come about should flavors be banned – namely that a black market for such goods would emerge in that event. As the market is currently regulated, it is far safer than a black market version.
Mr Conley also explained that in the months since President Trump announced that ‘vaping kills – in September of this year – the CDC, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, has accepted that the outbreaks of lung illnesses in vapers has been largely caused by black market cannabis cartridges, which are not regulated ad are not sold legally.
Further comment from Mr Conley and Mr Abboud also appeared to raise concerns with the President who understood that the vaping industry is comprised mainly of a number of smaller businesses which in turn provide a good number of jobs, and they cannot afford to challenge any motions that would threaten their business. Therefore, any move to ban flavors would kill off a large number of legitimate business and result in the loss of many jobs.
The interest now lies in a bill that is making its way towards the House or Representatives that would impose a ban on flavors, and also a national restriction on vaping products to those over 21 years.