Despite experiencing personal success in quitting smoking through vaping, it is a violation for any vape shop owner to mention this fact publicly, in writing, in their stores, or in any forum consumers may hear their story. Think of a fitness guru founding a gym to support the exercise routine that works best for them and NOT being able to mention the routine anywhere.
In the vaping industry many businesses are founded by former smokers who successfully, finally quit smoking through vaping. Their story led them to reach out to other smokers. Creating retail stores and manufacturing operations these vapers focused on helping people live smoke-free if they choose to. Making safer, more efficient delivery systems over the last decade, their passion led to improvements in quality, opportunity, and access for people seeking reliable, safe ways to quit smoking.
Federal, state and local government stipulate any vape shop owner may be in violation of the new FDA Deeming Rulesfor sharing accurate information and personal success. According to FDA guidelines and state level interpretations this confuses consumers, violating protection laws. Many state and local authorities, special interest groups, and lobbyists agree. If owners share their story with any consumer it can confuse the consumer since the FDA has not deemed Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) approved for smoking cessation. Since bureaucrats have not supported a link no link can be discussed. Vaping is merely another form of tobacco, like chewing and smoking. Vaping will be treated as tobacco according to current government guidelines.
Sharing scientific research supporting safety and health through vaping, telling personal success stories, or giving guidance in the selection and use of vaping products potentially violates government standards and must not be done. When meeting people trying to end their addiction to cigarettes, chew, or other forms of tobacco vapers may violate rules by simply talking about vaping as a possible alternative.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) business stakeholders cannot, in any way, provide details related to the obvious connection between an increase in vaping, decrease in smoking, and overall improvement in health among vapers who are former smokers. Public health is being positively impacted while bureaucracy and cronyism is not happy.
Owner violations can happen in their stores, on websites, social media pages, or any other place a consumer may see, hear or read the information. People who share their stories can be accused of violating government regulations. They will face fines and criminal charges as the governing body bringing action sees fit. Should the owner challenge the findings a great deal of money, time, and effort will overwhelm most mom and pop stores who simply cannot survive the regulatory onslaught. Draconian as it may sound this is reality in the US.
A Case in Vermont Reveals Penalties
In Vermont the Attorney General went so far as to fine an owner $50,000 for his patrons leaving their success stories on his social media pages and for him sharing his success. The AG claims the owner should have removed them, you can’t make this up. By leaving them our vape shop owner was in violation of marketing guidelines under the FDA Deeming Rules and the Vermont AG’s understanding of those rules.
“On January 31, 2017, in response to the AG’s investigation and increased regulation of the e-cigarette industry, Vermont Vapor announced that it will be closing its business and that the company’s owner plans to move out of the State. The very next day, the Vermont Attorney General’s Office delivered a proposed settlement agreement to Vermont Vapor that, among other things, would require the e-cig manufacturer to:
- Pay $50,000 in civil penalties to the State of Vermont;
- Admit to various alleged violations of the Vermont Consumer Protection Act;
- Cease and desist from:
- Making unsubstantiated testimonials and smoking cessation, health and safety claims;
- Providing free e-liquid samples; and
- Featuring certain “vaping Santa Claus,” “vaping Easter Bunny” and “vaping skeleton” yard inflatables at its retail location.
- Agree to liquidated damages of $10,000 for each future violation of the settlement agreement.
Vermont Vapor has denied all wrongdoing and reiterated that it has chosen to close down rather than entertain the AG’s investigation and settlement proposal.”
The owner went out of business and is leaving his state after six successful years helping people quit smoking. Why? He was sharing his actual, truthful experience with vaping and allowed his customers to do the same. None of them sounded confused about how vaping helped them.
Not FDA Approved for Smoking Cessation
The FDA has not approved vaping as a cessation product. Since the government has not ruled vaping can help people quit smoking it violates their governing rules to say it helps even when the mountain of scientific evidence and millions of testimonies show it does. Truth takes a serious backseat to rules designed by bureaucrats in DC.
Humans naturally share experiences. We actually rely on each other to alert to both good and bad experiences, today we commonly refer to these as ratings. The truth over this past decade is without question, vaping is far safer than smoking as well as safer than lozenges, patches and gum (easily available without extra tax or age restrictions and approved by the FDA for smoking cessation). Though Chantix is approved by the FDA many have had dangerous experiences, including attempted suicide. Nobody has attempted suicide through vaping yet Chantix can be publicized on TV by drug companies while vaping cannot be shared at all, anywhere or by anyone associated with the industry.
People recommend vaping to friends and family. A community of former or transitioning smokers socialize, support, and celebrate those breaking free of burning or chewing tobacco. Vaping works for millions but somehow vape shop owners violate US governing regulations while living daily with this true reality, it works for them.
Among other claims, sharing personal experiences while working in the industry can potentially confuse consumers. Smokers seeking a possible way to live smoke-free are left to dig on their own when it comes to the pros and cons of vaping despite it being 95% safer than smoking. Industry experts are there to help…whoops, that’s a violation.
Why Should Silence Continue?
Because it’s helping so many word is getting out despite the lies of government’s friends. Instead of celebrating smoking’s decline the FDA insists vaping is merely a tobacco product. Government bureaucrats must denounce sound science and millions of success stories to maintain vaping is just as bad as smoking while leading youth to cigarettes; both emphatically disproved through medical science and a decade of user experiences. What should our government bureaucrats be saying? If you smoke try vaping, the science leaves no doubt.
Vaping saves lives but…mums the word or you’ll violate the rules and confuse people protected by consumer laws. Government bureaucrats silence vape shop owners who dare share success from e-cigarettes and their modern day line-up of quality vaping products. Are we actually going to expect ex-smokers, regaining health through vaping, to silently sell devices and eLiquids without bursting with the joyful news regarding their personal success?
Most business owners are driven to share success with others. How bad is that?
Vape shop owners should not be silenced in sharing their success, should they? Should we insist any who share their experience be levied with civil penalties, Consumer Protection Act violations, and be required to cease and desist sharing their stories? Why is this overregulation fitting for the vape industry?
Vaping saves lives, this is an indisputable fact and by stating it here I violate government rules. That’s okay, perhaps if enough of us do more smokers will be saved, public health will be improved, and bureaucrats and lobbyists will be forced to admit their rules do more to confuse and harm than vape shop owners telling their true stories. Government silences vape shop owners in the US but the truth sets our voices free from such governing tyranny.