Shane Brooks’s insight:
view source here
I have to agree with much of what the author has to say. Democrats, I are disappoint. It’s disheartening when the party you came to believe to be interested in facts, science, statistics, economic recovery, and public health–go out of their way to lose a completely winnable issue on something so relevant to everything we all claim to care about.
Money in politics, corporate collusion, corruption, conflicts of interest, public health, and rigging the game in favor of big industry campaign donors such as Big Tobacco and Big Pharma are all wrapped up neatly within the “eCig” debate–with a big fat bow on top.
Being an entrepreneur in this industry myself, let me be honest and upfront with you about the vape industry–so that you know what we’re dealing with.
You may have noticed dedicated vape shops and/or lounges opening up. They will NOT be selling tobacco in any way shape or form. In most cases, they either make their own in-house blends or carry several different lines from reputable vendors…sometimes they do both.
I can tell you with all honesty, that there are many very good vendors in the US that hold themselves to the highest standard in the quality of their” eJuice” or “eLiquid”. There’s a couple of things at play here such as the often brought up products from China. I’ll go over them each.
Most of the devices come from China and they’re ok and they’re improving in build quality in many cases, but I would be extremely cautious of their eJuice for sure—because that’s what you’re putting into your body and we all know China can have you ingesting some funky stuff.
Most places selling those eJuices (the ones we should be concerned about), would likely be tobacco shops, head shops and gas stations trying to cash in on the industry. Gas stations and big retailers such as WalMart are likely to sell the ones from nJoy, Blu, Mark 10, etc.
Coincidentally, they’re owned by big tobacco companies. Well not nJoy, they have folks “associated” with Big Tobacco on their boards and likely investors as well. I’m still skeptical of nJoy for these reasons and refer to them now as Big Vapor.
I mean, sure, they’re advocates of the vape industry and likely have the most funding to help fight the good fight–but I wouldn’t look for them to advocate for real fair free market competition in support of the small businesses you see in your communities today.
I’d look for them to take the typical corporate monopoly highway and advocate for affordable enough for them to comply with ridiculously exaggerated and needless regulations, but just out of the reach of your typical small business owners. I could be wrong.
Even some of the so-called advocacy groups for the industry, with all of the good that they do, will be supporting needless regulations that will force many businesses to close up shop, if they can’t afford to outsource their product to be produced by a pre-approved third party juice maker in some level 5000 biohazard lab–by “highly trained” eJuice makers in space suits….as well as a sweet fat monthly fee for an industry seal of approval.
Is it intentional? I don’t know. Follow the money, observe the politics, learn about the people, and most importantly–listen to what they say and watch what they do.
Let’s make one thing clear, manufacturing eLiquid isn’t rocket science. If you can trust your local baker or restaurant to serve you safe food, and your bartender to mix a safe drink, or local craft beer maker to deliver a safe brew–you can probably trust your local vape shop to mix you safe high quality vape eLiquid.
In any case, support for these small local businesses is essential. Most are Mom & Pop shops, people who’ve had their health and lives changed by a product that they/we all believe in. This is also a rare instance of working class folks creating a true free market that is largely self-regulated, and is capable of competing against big industry and special interests.
Big tobacco should be heavily taxed and over regulated. They’re the one’s who created harm and knowingly ruined lives as they profited greatly enough to easily afford to stay successful and dominant.
So dominant, that their punishments are slap on the wrist settlements and fines that they can pay from their petty cash. Despite how corporate media is spinning it to the public, the industry they seek to punish and destroy is the local competition of Mom & Pop shops offering a safe(r) alternative–not Big Tobacco…it’s a clever ruse.
Legislators have recently proposed craziness like an insane 90+% tax on eCigs and the FDA wants to classify them as tobacco products. If that fails, another attempt will be made to classify the devices as pharmaceutical products. The last thing they want to see is thousands of small operation competitors becoming the beginning of the end–for life as they knew it in the tobacco and pharma/nicotine related industry.
If they succeed, big tobacco and big pharma will be successful in cornering the markets for themselves and killing off a huge number of small businesses who won’t be able to afford to compete.
Then, all of the devices will be sold at retail giants like WalMart as the number of local vape shops that manufacture their own blends will shrink down to almost nothing.
If your loved ones are going to vape, do NOT buy eJuice/eLiquid from tobacco shops, head shops, gas stations, or any of the industries products from retail giant job killing corporate welfare queens like WalMart.
That’s just gross anyway.
Get the good quality stuff from your dedicated local vape shops (sure, you might find a few crappy opportunists from time to time). Join local vape groups on social media and find out where the quality eJuice is and isn’t. They’re very friendly and active when it comes to finding the good quality products in your area and telling you who to stay away from. Bad vendors won’t remain in business very long.
Please, have them go to a local vape shop and support the real small business owners who’ve essentially fostered and nurtured this market, and the innovation and quality you already see today.
If you don’t have one in your town, please shop from an online vendor you can trust. A simple google search will take you to well-known and informative forums, or you can join a local or state FB Group—they’re everywhere and they’re good people. They can point you in the right direction of trusted online vendors. Voting with your money is a very effective thing you can do if you don’t have time to volunteer in some capacity as an activist for your cause.
This “show” we’re seeing by some in the Senate, is not to go after big bad tobacco or to “protect the children”, it’s to achieve exactly what I just described–and they know exactly what they’re doing.
These politicians are not the do-gooder, science respecting, kid & public health protecting champions they’re trying to portray themselves as. It’s just another expansion of their middle and lower class harming sin tax and industry settlement collection programs to help fund their pet groups and rewarding each other.
The representation on the right will portray themselves as the “liberty lovers & protectors of freedom”, while creating regulations to support the big industries (Big Tobacco/Big Vapor).
The representation on the left will portray themselves as “champions of health & protector of children”, while creating favorable regulations for big industries (Big Pharma).
It doesn’t matter who’s right, the end result is the same. We end up punching ourselves in the face thinking we were fighting each other–and allowing big industry to consume OUR government and use it against us. Divide and Conquer.
I can’t think of a better example in recent history that can highlight this point as much as this particular industry right now.
It’s exciting because we actually have a small chance of fairness in doing something really good, while kind of screwing the system at the same time. If ever you’re going to take the words “shop local” seriously and support small business–while sticking it to the man…this is it.
Democrats and the left need to snap out of it and get their shit together. This is a public health issue and an economic issue and so much more. It’s easily winnable and Progressives/liberals/Democrats/Lefties (so many labels…my goodness) should want to win it.
Please do not reveal yourselves as the hypocritical, special interest, science denying, small industry destroying corporate douchebags you claim to be against.
If approached in the most ethical and intellectually honest way, it’s a win for public health and small local economies throughout the nation–and a real pain in the ass for the corporate establishment often mistaken as or referred to as “Big Gov”.
Are you interested in learning the real science, with the sources linked for your validation, and the ingredients of what really goes in to manufuacturing of eLiquid?
Do you want to know if vaping is really safe?
Do you want more in-depth details in how the deeming regulations proposed by the FDA is designed to kill small business, handing it over to big industry?
Do you just want the damn facts with no punches pulled, the good and the bad?
Do you want to know the best path forward in helping stick it to Big Industry and keeping this a vibrant real job creating free market system?
Please visit :
Glimpses Through The Mist: Are e-cigarettes the new condom?
Source: Electronic Cigarette News
Last September the CDC noted with alarm that the percentage of teenagers who had tried electronic cigarettes doubled between 2011 and 2012. “Many teens who start with e-cigarettes may be condemned to struggling with a lifelong addiction to nicotine and conventional cigarettes,” CDC Director Tom Frieden worried. In a Medscape interview a few weeks later, Frieden suggested that […]
Shane Brooks’s insight:
The last article I summarized, I was willing to give the CDC Director Tom Frieden the benefit of the doubt–thinking maybe he was just ignorant.
As the information in this older article by Jacob Sullum clearly demonstrates, that Dr, Frieden for some reason doesn’t really care about scientific data, protecting children, or anyone else’s health–as his history and current statements would suggest. One has to wonder why.
"In fact, nine out of 10 high school students who reported vaping in the previous month were already cigarette smokers, suggesting that the increase in e-cigarette consumption might signal successful harm reduction. Last week the CDC reported additional NYTS data that further undermine Frieden’s claim, showing that smoking among teenagers fell as vaping rose.
Between 2011 and 2012, when the share of middle school students who reported using e-cigarette in the previous month rose from 0.6 percent to 1.1 percent, the share reporting past-month consumption of conventional cigarettes fell from 4.3 percent to 3.5 percent.
Among high school students, past-month e-cigarette use rose from 1.5 percent to 2.8 percent, while past-month consumption of tobacco cigarettes fell from 15.8 percent to 14 percent. Although these trends do not necessarily mean e-cigarettes are responsible for the decline in smoking, the numbers hardly seem consistent with the story Frieden is eager to tell:
That the availability of e-cigarettes is leading to more smoking than would otherwise occur. Since the numbers showing an increase in vaping come from the very same survey as the numbers showing a decrease in smoking, it is puzzling that the CDC decided to highlight the first trend two months before the latter one, especially since the smoking data suggest Frieden’s fear, which was repeated and amplified by various activists and politicians pushing for strict e-cigarette regulation, is misplaced.
But the omission is puzzling only if you assume the CDC is mainly interested in the truth, as opposed to scientific-sounding justifications for an irrational anti-vaping prejudice."
Source: Electronic Cigarette News
Of all the threats to Americans’ health — a list that includes bird flu, measles and West Nile virus — few get Dr. Tom Frieden as riled up as electronic cigarettes.
Shane Brooks’s insight:
Dr. Tom Frieden of the CDC seems like a good guy. At first glance he doesn’t appear to have any glaring issues of corruption within big industry, and his past resume and work to curb smoking and improve health is impressive and noble.
However, as I dig ever so slightly deeper, I see the that a Senator is calling for an investigation into the CDC practices concerning corruption–tied to who else but big pharma. Surprise surprise…I’m shocked.
For someone who is so well educated, intelligent, committed to improving public health, and getting folks to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes–he sure is ignorant. Or is he?
Virtually every single one of his talking points concerning his problem with eCigs, is easily debunked and on it’s face–ridiculous and insulting.
Dr. Frieden claims that eCig manufacturers of the liquid nicotine products don’t want to submit for testing and application for approval with the FDA. You see, Mom & Pops have created and nourished this market growth in this exciting new industry–not Big Tobacco as they would like us to believe.
They keep showing those inferior first generation beginner devices like Blu and nJoy, which are owned by Big Tobacco. Conveniently, their devices are sold in gas stations, retail giants like Wal Mart, and tobacco smoke head shops looking to cash in on an industry for a quick buck.
What they conveniently fail to mention, is the thousands of small businesses, local Mom & Pop vapor shops opening in virtually every city across the country. These shops, for the most part, are very good at self regulation. If anyone is looking for a quality vape device and nicotine products to use in them, these are the places you go–not to a gas station, WalMart or a head shop…gross.
They do not target or sell to children, nor have any type of tobacco product in their businesses. If they did or mixed a dangerous or low quality product–you could be guaranteed that the vape community will make it known and have them shut down.
Most of these local shop owners are former smokers who are helping others, despite the corporate propaganda we’re being fed by our very own taxpayer funded agencies–we’re supposed to believe in and trust.
Yes, the little guy has finally hit the jackpot and capitalized on an opportunity first–and that scares the shit out of Big Tobacco, and Big Pharma. All of this really boils down to these two industries, the agencies we should be relying on to protect us–and how they’re playing this clever game of good cop bad cop.
The reality and the truth is, they want to charge these small businesses an insane amount of money for testing and application submittal to keep selling their products.
To give you an idea, it will cost hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars, to meet the requirements of only one flavor at one dosage strength of nicotine–a product that cost less than one hundred dollars to produce.
Who can afford that, besides Big Tobacco and Big Pharma? You, your neighbor, friend, or family member more than likely sure as hell can’t. So in one swipe, you kill 90% of the industry competition and innovation. Not to mention the one product and market force that could seriously challenge Big Pharma and Big Tobacco’s dangerous products and market share.
The ingredients are already tested and FDA approved for the most part. There is no reason to require over-the-top expensive laboratories with all the CDC bells and whistles. While it takes talent to mix a quality and delicious batch of eLiquid–it’s basically as easy as baking a cake (Just the mixing of a few liquid ingredients in proper ratios, according to recipe).
All that’s really needed is a commercial kitchen with an epoxied floor, stainless steel sinks, stainless steel mixing table, vent hood, refrigeration, storage cabinets, uv sterilizer for your mixing equipment–and proper protocols and procedures for storage and mixing area.
Just open up the industry to regular local, state and the occasional surprise federal health inspections. Most Mom & Pops could afford to continue competing with realistic, fair, and reasonable oversight.
There’s no doubt that this could level the playing field between big and small business, foster creation of real jobs that help bring back local small businesses to downtown areas, improve public health.
As a bonus, the satisfaction of sticking it to corrupt and complicit government agencies–and their big industry buddies they publically love to hate. This is the main issue of the FDA’s proposal that we must not lose sight of–and work hard to hammer home.
Or…just sit back and hand it all over to Big Tobacco and Big Pharma, and let them sell their "trustworthy" products to the masses at WalMart and in gas stations. It’s only recommended if we prefer the status quo of defeating ourselves on our own dime, and enjoy repeatedly kicking ourselves in the ass. Whichever.
If the director of the CDC or the FDA think I’m scared to submit my product, then offer to pay for it as a one time citizen courtesy and publicly publish the findings. Put me in my place and silence me.
Maybe Lorillard will be kind of enough to pay for my product testing. They could compare the quality and safety of my product, with their product from the sellout company they purchased.
They’re working in a ridiculously overkill laboratory environment and walking around in spacesuits. Surely, their product must be safer, cleaner, higher quality–and just plain damn better than mine.
I’ll put my product and a dozen other small business owners products I know of in the industry, against Big Tobacco, Big Pharma or any Big Budgeted companies nicotine product–any damn day of the week.
What do you say Big Tobacco and Mighty Guardians of Public Health? Let us compete. What do you have to lose?
Source: Electronic Cigarette News