Step One – Copy This Stuff:
I am writing you to discuss the issue of eCigs and Vaping in our state. The first thing we constituents usually hear from our uninformed elected representatives on the issue is that this industry is owned by Big Tobacco. That is absolutely false propaganda: most of the industry is comprised of small business owners in communities across our great nation who have absolutely no ties to the tobacco industry whatsoever.
Unlike the small-business vape shops springing up all over the nation that want nothing to do with them, big tobacco companies sell first-generation technology in gas stations and big box corporate retail stores where they already have a foothold in their tobacco market. They, along with pharmaceutical companies, are losing sales revenue to the “little guys” because people are making the switch from deadly traditional tobacco smoke and avoiding dangerous yet FDA-approved “cessation” drugs that are not only ineffective but have been shown to be a suicide risk. It only follows that these large market players have a vested interest in seeing small business unable to compete.
When combined with the revolving door between these industries and the regulatory agencies we taxpayers fund to protect us and the money these industries spend to influence the legislature whose salaries we pay, we cannot help but be aware of the corruption within our government and its watchdog agencies. We know the tobacco settlements were sold as bonds to states and they’re losing money in a big way, putting strain on local economies in most states. We consider this additional evidence that politicians are dangerously addicted to tobacco money via these settlements and vice taxes. We are aware that many of OUR elected representatives suffer from this addiction and therefore rely on strong tobacco sales, and therefore “must” put the needs of these corporate interests above our own. This collusion with big multinationals, who have even less morals than the taxes they evade, must end. It’s time to practice what you preach and allow for a truely free-market capitalist society, and you can start with the vape industry. I vape and I vote.
The economic impact that small Mom & Pop vape shops are having is huge and it’s only going to get bigger, provided the industry is regulated in a fair manner using realistic and affordable science-based regulation rather than the ideological pseudoscience pushed to the media by many “representatives,” ideologues, and the corporate-owned media. The science is out there, and we are aware that the anti-scientific propaganda is a concerted effort by a cabal of public and private interests to hand the industry over to Big Tobacco and Pharma as they are the only ones who can afford the ridiculous fees and proposal guidelines requested by the FDA.
It’s been said that we don’t really know what’s in eLiquid nicotine solutions. That’s false and easy to refute, since it’s on the label: propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, distilled water, flavoring, and optionally nicotine. It would cost more to add the funky chemicals and questionable ingredients alluded to in the propaganda pseudoscience. On its face, it’s utterly ridiculous. No one requires absurd proof of herbal remedies to be safe, and many of those are more biologically active than eLiquid. We know there are many more proven carcinogens in traditional tobacco smoke and thousands more when it’s combusted via igniting the tobacco, yet, they’re still widely available on every street corner in America and causing illness and death by the millions. Ask any vaper who’s made the switch how they feel about their health. Better yet, if you have a loved one who smokes, buy them a quality device and eLiquid from a local vape shop. See the results first hand, because I assure you: the proof is in the pudding.
Since it is not tobacco, without tobacco’s history of fraudulently selling poison and killing millions, there is no need for tobacco taxation to be levied on the industry. A state sales tax should suffice. Outdoor bans are ridiculous, and indoor bans should be left up to business owners unless their local laws prohibit it. If a restaurant won’t allow someone to smoke, but allows eCigs, then an incentive is given for a person to try the alternative. This simple personal incentive would benefit the public health and the health of local economies.
As far as regulation goes, if you can trust your local baker to bake a safe cake to eat, or your local bartender to mix you a safe drink—as verified by the county health inspector–then you can trust your local vape shop to deliver a safe product as well. It’s just as artisanal and the regulations should be set locally county wide via their local health inspections, just like a restaurant. Even the most strict regulatory scheme shouldn’t be any more than what a local craft beer maker has to abide by.
Opening up competition in this manner will revitalize many Main Streets across America, in communities hit hard by vacancies and vanishing local businesses, by creating a new market for free enterprise. I urge you to do some real research and get informed. The faulty pseudoscientific arguments and fears–formaldehyde, metals, diseases–is propaganda not even fit to be called junk science and we’re not going to play that game anymore. If you choose to engage in lies and propaganda, we will follow the money, make the connections, and vote you out of office on principle alone. We are organizing and growing bigger by the day. All we ask for is intellectual honesty, truth, fairness, the chance to compete, and the ability for consumers to be able to afford this alternative.
Please visit the “Is Vaping Safe” page and the blog at ClandestineVapes.com to get educated and informed concerning the real science behind the product and what’s really at stake. Support us and we’ll support you.
Step 2 – Look ‘Em Up
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Step 3 – Go Get ‘Em
When you find how you want to communicate with your representatives, paste your stuff, fire it off and wait to hear back. If you get a response – great! Keep up the dialogue. Be real, be honest and be -gulp- nice. The best way to convince some people is to forge a relationship. Keep it going, and you can really help the cause.