Ludicrous E-Cigarette Conspiracies
Ever since the FDA announced its new e-cigarette regulations, vapers across the US have been in uproar. As a vaper, you almost certainly only see the positive benefits of using an e-cig instead of traditional tobacco. So, any regulation must have reasoning behind it and if e-cigarettes are a positive force, who do you blame for this lack of foresight?
This way of thinking has led to some increasingly popular conspiracy theories being floated about the vaping industry. We’ve outlined three of the theories below and shown the minimal evidence often involved in each case. All blame another group for the FDA regulations as an attack on vaping. Read on to discover if you believe these are true.
Big Tobacco Killed Vaping
Allegation: Big tobacco was harming revenues and advancing too fast.
In many vaping circles this an accepted line of thinking, it is almost a resolute point rarely challenged. This all pivots on the claim that the FDA regulatory framework puts unbearable strain on independent e-cigarette manufacturers. There is some truth to this with the estimated costs of FDA market approval between $300,000 and $2 million.
It is true that big tobacco is unbelievably wealthy. According to the World Lung Foundation, in 2010 the combined profits of the six leading tobacco companies were equal to the combined profits of Coca-Cola, Microsoft and McDonalds. This should provide big tobacco with plenty of money to get its e-cigarette products through the approval process. Its products will also go through the approval process faster because they tend to sell closed cigalike products with limited flavor selections.
In comparison, e-cigarette manufacturers tend to be small businesses, with more products to go through the approval system. In many ways this is a symptom of money in politics undermining the democratic process, this has been happening in other industries for years.
Some weight is added to the conspiracy by the comments made by big tobacco on the FDA regulations. In 2014 several tobacco companies suggested that open system mods should be banned. There is still no evidence that this is a conspiracy organized by big tobacco on purpose but you can see why some vapers are frustrated by their attempts to capitalize on this lucrative market.
Big-Pharma Killed Vaping
Allegation: Vaping is more effective than NRT and harmed revenues
Big-pharma has a lot of ties to major lobbying organizations like The American Lung Association. A quick look on its website will show that its sponsored by Pfizer and AstraZeneca. Other organizations like The American Heart Association and The American Cancer Society have similar deals in place. Companies like Pfizer produce patches and gum to help smokers quit, making it naturally opposed to any alternative measure that may suit some smokers better.
Leading market research firm Mintel revealed that there was a 4% decrease in sales of NRT products in 2014 in the UK. A similar pattern emerged on a global scale. Considering it is a multi-billion-dollar global market this represents a significant loss of earnings for big-pharma. It has spent money supporting anti-vaping politicians. Again this is not enough of a case for a conspiracy theory, it further demonstrates the ways in which money is corrupting politics.
The Tobacco Control Lobby Killed Vaping
Allegation: Organizations against tobacco view vaping as one and the same and refuse to admit mistakes.
Unlike the previous entries this one is not about money but is in fact about morality. To accept this conspiracy, you have to come to the view that tobacco control groups are heartless, with little interest in the overall state of public health. This theory is impossible to prove or disprove but is almost completely illogical.
Tobacco control groups are generally opposed to vaping. However, you could argue that the reluctance of these groups is simply a response to the facts at hand. Yes, there are many studies that highlight the benefits of vaping but there are also studies that show it in a negative light. There is every chance that these groups will come around to a more enlightened way of thinking when more evidence is presented to them. Only time will tell whether it is opposed on principle or because of the current state of research.
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