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E-Cigarette Brands Unhindered Online Thanks to the White House

By Raymond Polidori

Monday September 1, 2014
The White House has protected your right to buy e-cigs online
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For those following the news surrounding e-cigarettes, at some point you get accustomed to all the negativity coming by way of governments toward e-cigarette brands and the industry as a whole.

Whether at a local, state, or national level, there are plenty of politicians and other government officials who seemingly have placed a target on the e-cig issue. We understand why, since this is an argument that tends to tap into the public’s emotional understanding of the industry, rather than a rational one, making people weary of e-cig juice being toxic and linking vaping to popcorn lung, for instance.

What that means is that it is much easier to get behind the opposition to e-cigarettes rather than the movement for them. With relatively little data out there about e-cigs, governmental groups and leaders are fearful of a return to smoking’s heyday are very skeptical of the industry and its many enticing e-cig starter kits.

That is what made this story of the White House’s response to the FDA’s regulation proposal for e-cigarettes came as somewhat of a surprise. With all the furor we have seen from some senators and congressmen, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget actually ratcheted down the language of the FDA’s proposal in a very favorable way for e-cigarette brands.

The key provision that was changed had previously stated it would create a prohibition of non-face-to-face sales, which could have been interpreted in a number of ways. Besides the intent of keeping e-cigs out of vending machines, such a clause could be read in a way that restricts online sales of electronic cigarettes and the e-cig juice used to fill them.

The internet is where most e-cigarette brands started and where the majority still do their business, so restricting online sales could have had an immense effect on the industry. The availability of a wide variety of e-cig starter kits and e-cig juice flavors really expanded the interest in the new technology, so putting a clamp down on online sales would have been a blow.

Thankfully, the White House clarified that part of the FDA’s proposal to make it clear that it should restrict the sale of e-cigs through vending machines specifically. This singular move has left the door open for online sales, where a large amount of e-cig users buy everything that they need.

Does Obama Support Vaping?

president obama smokingSo why would the White House make such a change to the proposal? Does Obama support vaping? As a former smoker, does he know the difference between vape and smoke and what the e-cig could mean for public health? Why did he go against the FDA and limit what the FDA wanted to do to diminish vaping? Knowing full well the impact that their edits would make, we are left to wonder what was behind it.

Is Obama secretly a supporter of electronic cigarettes? He is a former smoker who dropped the habit, although there is no word on how he did it, other than the President suggesting that he is too scared of his wife to go back to smoking. People tend to blame Obama for everything but in terms of politicians that have actually acted to protect vaping, can’t argue that the President has stepped in where he could to give smokers an alternative.

Frankly there are both Democrats and Republicans that are hostile to vaping as well as Dems and GOPers that are sympathetic to vapor. This is not a partisan issue, this is an education issue more likely.

Kidding aside, we don’t know how the President’s past 7 seven years without a cigarette was for him. Maybe he sympathizes with smokers that have found an alternative in e-cigarettes.

The reasoning could also be purely economic, as the White House’s Office of Management and Budget has its own interest there too.

Their job isn’t to stifle growth of business, and especially new industries such as this one.

This may be the reason that they left a lot of the proposal alone, but focused on toning down the elements that would hinder e-cigarette brands from developing the industry further. Restricting online sales would have also made for an unfair marketplace, as only the biggest players could afford to straight to retail stores. It would have had all the potential of a typical monopoly, one that slows innovation and keeps prices here.

Whatever the reason may be, for those of us buying e-cigarettes, e-cig juice, and other products in this industry online, we are thankful that the White House took action. We already covered the advantages to buying e-cigarette products online, but lets not forget that the ease of entry into the industry can produce exciting new products and push the technology forward.

We tip our hats to you over in Washington for doing that much, whatever your reason was for doing it.

Ray,
Team ECCR

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