Vaping myths abound yet I’m a vaper. That means I don’t smoke traditional tobacco cigarettes or cigars. I feel the need to dispel a few myths or concerns about what I do, address what the government is trying to do with the industry, and why.
Vaping is using an atomizer powered by a battery to vaporize a flavored nicotine [or non-nicotine] liquid so the vapor can be inhaled like the smoke from a traditional cigarette. The liquid is made from all food grade ingredients approved by the FDA and rated as GRAS. The liquid consists of four basic components. Propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerine (VG), flavoring, and nicotine. PG IS NOT ANTIFREEZE. PG can be found in many food products we buy and consume everyday of our lives. PG is in coffee based drinks, liquid sweeteners, ice cream, whipped dairy products, and sodas. In the food industry VG is used as a sweetener, or a thickening agent in liqueurs. In the pharmaceutical industry, VG is used in cough syrups, expectorants, toothpaste, mouth wash, skin care products, shaving cream, hair care products, soaps, and water based personal lubricants. The flavorings are from companies that make food extracts to enhance or duplicate flavors of some of our favorite foods, deserts, drinks, or for the novice trying to make the transition, there are tobacco flavors. Flavors can be PG, VG, or a blend of the two.
If used, the nicotine in the liquid may be derived from tobacco (or other natural or synthetic sources), but that’s where the similarity ends. Nicotine is a stimulant similar to caffeine. Nicotine is a common chemical found in vegetables such as egg plant, cauliflower, potatoes, and tomatoes. Liquid nicotine comes in the same fashion as the flavors, usually in a PG/VG blend in concentrated form to be blended at certain ratios with the flavoring to achieve the individual vapers desired nicotine level.
New people trying to quit smoking used to generally start with a nicotine level of 24mg, or 2.4%. Today’s advanced products allow many to start at 1.2% or .6%. People wishing to stop the habit altogether can ween their way down to 0mg at their own pace. I haven’t had a real cigarette since December 23rd 2014. I haven’t stopped using my vaporizer yet, but my current nicotine level is just 6mg.
Each ingredient is FDA approved by itself. there is no sinister thought process behind what I do. I’m not trying to seduce your children with my vapor, my thousands of flavors, or my interesting looking mods (boxes or tubes that hold the batteries), or various atomizers (atty’s).
Okay, having lined out what it is, lets look at the government’s side of it. In the state of Texas, the tax per pack of cigarettes in $1.41. I smoked a pack a day when i quit. In the 17 months since that comes to roughly $719 that i haven’t paid the state in taxes. That’s just me. How many others in the state have taken that route? The state is losing millions of dollars each year to the electronic cigarette industry.
Why do they NEED the money? Here’s the thing. In 1998 the tobacco companies settled a lawsuit with 46 states to tune of $206 billion over the first 25 years of the agreement. Many of the states wanted to use their money up front so they sold bonds to get their money upfront. Now a portion of that tax money I mentioned was supposed to go into the coffers backing the bonds. The math was done to accept a 1% drop in sales each year, either due to the death of smokers or the grasp of the numerous stop smoking campaigns. Some like me put a kink in that math.
Electronic cigarettes were not around in this quantity in 1998, or were faddish and considered irrelevant. A 4.5% drop was reported by Morgan Stanley compared to projections for 2013. At that rate, there will be no money left to back the bonds the government sold. It would be in the best interest of the state if I kept on buying cigarettes.
Then there is the pharmaceutical companies. I’m not buying the nicotine gum, patches, or lozenges. I’m not buying Chantix. I’m not having chemo or radiation treatments. I could blame the tobacco industry for part of this too, but I’m kind of on the fence about their involvement in the restrictions governor Abbott just signed. To say the tobacco companies are losing money is not the same as saying they aren’t making a profit. The tobacco companies are seeing a growth in this market and are making an attempt to tap into it with their nasty little cig-a-likes. Poor performers in the market. The tobacco companies have made the agreement to pay the billions already, whether they sell another pack or not and many are embracing vaping products of their own.
The FDA will continue to use tax payer money to produce the anti-smoking commercials showing you the gruesome portraits of cancer survivors with hole in their throats, or with missing jaws because they’ve been eaten alive with cancer. The FDA is the same group that tells you its okay to take hallucinogenic drugs like Chantix that “may cause thoughts of suicide and depression”, but don’t worry, it is an approved cessation method. Vaping myths created by government and its benefactors help ensure a market for their approved partners’ products.
The restrictions the FDA and the state would like to impose on us is overreach and will stifle the growth of our local economy. We’ve seen a surge in small business growth in the past few years due to the rise in popularity of e-cigs. These small shops are paying in sales tax. These shops are employing people. These people are assisting others in their quest to stop smoking. The restrictions will make it hard for us to get our e-liquids. The restrictions will most likely get people to continue smoking, which is what the government needs, vaping myths still abundent.