The vaping industry is fighting for its very survival in a multi-front war against various groups that would, on the surface, seem like unlikely allies: Democrat politicians, tobacco companies, pharmaceutical companies, and state governments. This bizarre alliance is an example of what Jonathan H. Adler of Case Western Reserve University School of Law calls a “Bootlegger and Baptist” theory of regulation, which is when groups with divergent interests unite over a common goal, in this case the regulation of e-cigarettes. The theory is named after the unlikely coalition of bootleggers and Baptists who were united in their goal of keeping alcohol illegal during Prohibition.
What exactly is causing these radically different groups to unite forces against the nascent vaping industry? What are they afraid of?
If you look at the politicians who have voted against vaping you’ll see that the majority of them are Democrats. Whether you agree or disagree with them on all other issues, it’s undeniable that being against vaping rights is almost exclusively a left-wing phenomenon. But why are they so opposed to vaping?
The answer is, as always, follow the money.
For years, smokers who were looking to quit their deadly habit were faced with only two choices: Going cold turkey or using some form of nicotine replacement therapy (gum, patches, etc). Most people have problems fighting their nicotine cravings when going cold turkey, so they went in droves to their local pharmacies to shell out for pricey nicotine patches and gum in the hopes of being able to slowly taper off their cravings. For decades this has led to massive and predictable profits for the titans of the drug industry. Whether the nicotine replacement therapies were effective or not was irrelevant. The only thing that mattered was that people thought they were and would continue to pay for them in the desperate hope that they would be able to finally quit cigarettes. Once e-cigarettes hit the market, smokers realized that they could simulate the effects of nicotine replacement products with a product that actually mimicked the motions of smoking and gave them a variety of flavors, making it much easier to finally kick the habit. As more and more vaping products were sold, Big Pharma began to see the profits from the nicotine replacement products shrink.
The pharmaceutical companies who manufacture nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) such as gum or patches have a huge interest in crushing the e-cigarette industry. Many of these NRTs are actually covered by the Democrat-passed Affordable Care Act, which was created with input from Big Pharma. This was just the beginning of a lengthy and lucrative partnership between drug companies and congressional Democrats.
Leaders from within Big Pharma have publicly stated that the industry is hurting their bottom line, and after spending over $100 billion developing NRTs, they will do anything to protect their market share from the emerging threat of unregulated e-cigarettes. Transparency Market Research predicts that the vaping industry will be worth $16.02 billion by 2019. In 2014 it was only worth $6.4 billion. From the point of view of Big Pharma, every dollar earned by vaping companies is a dollar taken away from them. The insane growth of the e-cigarette industry must be stopped if they want to continue to earn outsized profits from useless smoking cessation aids. One of the most cost-effective ways for them to stop that growth? Political contributions.
Read more at vaporvanity.com