Us vs Them

Originally published here on September 1, 2016

It’s interesting to sit back and watch the dynamics of the vaping industry, from trends to outsiders trying to understand the inner workings.  Even seeing the public perception can be mind boggling, no matter how much effort is poured into education the public on the actual vs the myth.

Take for example the following question.

“What is Vaping?”

I briefly covered this during my last article, but I feel it’s a topic that deserves some very in depth analysis.  Why?  Ask anyone in the street what vaping is, and you will get conflicting answers.  I know that I was guilty of seeing the actual cigarette looking devices from convenience stores in the same light as a RX200 with a bottle of Boss Reserve.  The truth is that comparing these two is like apples and oranges.

Functionally, they work about the same.  A conductive wire hooked up to a battery, passing through cotton that has been soaked in a solution that contains flavorings, nicotine, and a PG/VG type mix to emulate cloud production.  Seems simple enough, right?

A closer look shows that there may be reason to question the validity of some of these devices.  MarkTen, blu, Vuse are all devices that have either been created or are owned by big tobacco companies.  Each flavor has some sort of tobacco base (menthol, vanilla tobacco, etc.)  With the exception of blu, you can’t change out your flavors on a whim.  It also stands to reason that you can’t create your own flavors for personal use.  YouTube videos exist that show a detailed dissection of what actually goes into these things.

However, if you go to your local vape shop, these devices are as clear as day.  You can see what goes into a tank, how a battery operates.  You can pick and choose your flavor/nicotine combination.  Some people can even make their own juice for personal consumption, choosing exactly what goes into their body vs the big tobacco version.

Why is this such a big deal?  The recent FDA regulations make it blatantly obvious that the line dividing the two categories has been blurred dramatically.  Steps make it appear as though the big tobacco devices will stay on the market (although with heavy restrictions), while vaping devices are being swept under the rug due to expensive application processes and heavy scrutiny.  Perhaps this has been the intention all along.

Even campaigns like the Still Blowing Smoke campaign in California gives rumors and myths as fact, giving the public the misconceived fuel to believe that if you heard it on the radio, it must be true, right?

The fact is that this country and most of its states are losing significant amounts of tax money since they banked on tobacco being able to fund things in the budget.  Things such as highway construction, education, healthcare…all funded by the several millions of dollars from taxes on cigarettes.

The cigarettes that people are smoking less these days…

Because people found this vaping devices that helps them kick the habit easier….

That the government is not making anything other than sales tax off of…

Do you see where I’m going with this?

I’m not asking that everyone switch to vaping.  Obviously the better option is to not do anything at all.  What I am saying is to not believe the rumors.  Take the time this weekend to find a vape shop, walk in and check it out.  Ask questions about how devices work, what is out there on the market.  There are certain things that a shop owner cannot say due to the proverbial gag order from the FDA regulations.  Honestly, though, it makes a huge difference to educate yourselves instead of believing everything you hear.

This is the information age, right?

Until next time….

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