These days what brings ecig brands, e-cig opponents, and vapers together behind the same banner is actually existing or pending ecigarette laws. Sound a little strange? It is.
Everyone seems to have a problem with current and proposed legislation, but of course each feel that for different reasons. While most vaping companies are at least somewhat wary of new ecigarette laws, even big ones like Blu and Njoy eCig, the interesting story here is what makes ecig industry opponents so upset about a lot of those same laws.
The short of it is this: they think legislation isn’t going far enough, while at the same time it will restrict further crackdowns on ecigarettes.
This angle to all the new state ecigarette laws being passed is that it is discreetly pushing through obstacles to make things harder to treat ecig brands like traditional tobacco in the future. The idea is that while states are passing legislation to, for instance, ban the sale of ecigarettes to minors, they are also including other tidbits that could have a big influence down the line.
One of those is to make sure that ecigs aren’t treated as tobacco. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, within the states that have already outlawed the sale of ecigs to minors, a whopping 31 have done more than that. Some folks still wonder ‘are ecigs are like cigarettes‘, well they aren’t and even opponents know it. Those 31 states have also specified that electronic cigarettes or any vapor product is not a traditional tobacco cigarette.
Are Ecigs Like Cigarettes?
That seems pretty obvious to all of us vapers who do use ecigs, for that exact reason in fact. They aren’t traditional tobacco cigarettes!
We expect them to be treated differently because they are in fact… different. It is as simple as that.
But the fear of ecigarette opponents is that making the delineation between the two will close off certain channels of action.
One example would be all of the laws already on the books for traditional tobacco cigarettes, like advertising restrictions. Ecigarette laws are currently in a grey area where they can advertise relatively freely because there are no laws against that. This can help ecig companies, especially ones with deep pockets like Blu, Njoy or Logic eCig, reach millions of smokers with TV commercials and ads.
Another reason that ecig opponents are up in arms about these laws “slipping” in details about electronic cigarettes is the possibility that they will restrict them from being taxed.
Always follow the money they say, and in this case they would be right. Government and other groups would like nothing more than to find a way to tax electronic cigarettes and they fear that clearly labeling them as ‘not regular cigarettes’ in any proposed ecigarette laws would prohibit that.
With traditional tobacco sales in decline and e-cigarette sales on the way up, it seems that they don’t want to be left without a cart to hitch themselves to. They do have to do something to make up for all that lost cigarette tax income, right?
The truth is that only Missouri’s state legislation explicitly states that electronic cigarettes can not be taxed in the same was as a tobacco product, this according to the dean of the School of Public Health at Georgia State University.
Some lawmakers even disagree that any of this means that ecigarettes can’t be taxed or regulated in the future.
From how we read things, all it does is say that they can’t lump ecigs in with traditional tobacco cigarettes, not if or how they can be taxed.
With state ecigarette laws being passed left and right and the federal government being cautious in what stance they take, we seem to be in for a long battle to make e-cigs mainstream.
None of this should come as a surprise to those who have been reading the latest ecig news on Expert Vaping, because we all know how much ecig opponents cling to fear-inducing projections. If at first it was the fear that ecigs would attract a new generation of smokers through our youth, now it is that the ecigarette laws helping to prevent that create other loopholes.
It never seems to end with these folks, even when many e cig brands are completely on board with ecigarette laws such as age restrictions for their products. Some are involved with the We Card program, while virtually all online retailers have an age restriction for their site. But this battle over electronic cigarettes isn’t always a logical or reasonable one.
The fact is that there are too many interests at stake, so we should expect to see more battles and lawsuits. The sort of thing that leads ecigarette opponents to reject the very legislation they have wanted all along. Go figure!