Election Season Recap – A Vaper's Perspective
Love him or hate him (and most folks fall into one of those two camps), Donald Trump will be our next president. While we're not here to serve as political pundits, there is one issue we do follow closely: your right to vape.
Speaking solely to this perspective, the prospects of a Trump administration coupled with Republican control of both houses of Congress are promising. While the incoming ruling party is known for seeking to legislate other moral issues, limiting personal freedoms when it comes to tobacco and/or nicotine consumption certainly doesn't register with Republicans the same way it does for Democrats.
Trump, like other Republicans, has frequently spoken out against government regulation of private industry. Democrats including Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, meanwhile, are among those leading the charge for increased e-cigarette regulations. While unified Republican control at the national level won't stop the onslaught of more locally-based restrictions, it means further heavy-handed regulation from the top down is unlikely.
In fact, the vast majority of national-level elected officials who've openly voiced support for vaping as a means of tobacco harm reduction caucus with the Republicans. This includes Duncan D. Hunter of El Cajon, California, who infamously took a puff off an eGo-style vaporizer during a Congressional hearing, who handily won re-election this month along with Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, another prominent vaping advocate who openly challenged the FDA and squeaked out a win.
While Trump hasn't directly spoken in favor of or against vaping as it currently stands, he has called for reform of the FDA, which in conservative terms usually means a weakening of authority. That's a good thing, but vice-president-elect Mike Pence did, while governor of Indiana, sign into law a disastrous bill that effectively turned over all production of vapor products to a select handful of businesses and threatened thousands of vape industry jobs.
So, what comes next in the very real battle between vapers and government over-regulation? Hunter is leading the charge for an amendment to an omnibus agriculture spending bill that would revise the FDA's "predicate date" under which all vapor products would have to retroactively apply for FDA approval, an onerous process that could cost millions and put the majority of vaping product producers out of business. A similar effort in late 2015 was unsuccessful, so now is the time to join a vapers' rights organization like CASAA (it's free) and contact your congress-critters of either party to let them know what vaping means to you.