On September 2nd, 2014 the American Vaping Association (AVA), issued an immediate public statement chastising R.J. Reynolds for their attempted proposition to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), to ban virtually all models of e-cigarettes. Incidentally, R.J. Reynolds’ call to ban the majority of e-cigarettes only calls for the complete elimination of reusable e-cigarettes, or as they refer to them “open-system” e-cigarettes. Additionally this ban would seek to confiscate all e-liquids currently on the market, thus removing the ability to choose from a variety of flavor combinations. Not terribly surprising, this ban would only leave the e-cigarette industry open for “cig-a-like” e-cigarettes, just like R.J. Reynolds’ new e-cigarette “VUZE”. (A coincidence…I highly doubt it!)
This is the exact statement R.J. Reynolds submitted to the FDA during their open comment period. (For those that are unaware, the FDA is incorrectly considering the classification of all e-cigarettes as tobacco products):
“In contrast, there are a growing number of open-system manufacturers --- namely, aerosol tank manufacturers (which are typically located in China) and retail “vape shops” in the United States that sell, mix, and compound flavored liquid nicotine solutions that can be used across or within other aerosol tank products. By their very nature, open-system vapor products present a unique risk for adulteration, tampering, and quality control not exhibited by any other class of tobacco products. Moreover, due to their variability and use with any number of components, it is unclear if or how these products could gain clearance from the Agency, regardless of the pathway prescribed. For this reason, FDA should, in its final rule, ban the sale of open-system e-cigarettes, including all component parts.”
I don’t know about the other readers out there, but when I finished reading that statement I was completely dumbfounded by the utter lack of common sense and logic that R.J. Reynolds appears to be missing! Any knowledgeable individual, whether they vape or not, should be able to see the flaws in this preposterous statement. R.J. Reynolds’ argument focuses on false information regarding the manufacturing and use of these “open-system” e-cigarettes. Yes, some lower quality e-cigarettes do come from China, but that is why it’s best to do your research first and find a reputable vender like “Vapemate”. Secondly they state that these e-cigarettes present user risks which include the user disassembling the device. What they fail to realize is the fact that most people buying these devices are using them to help with nicotine cravings, not to waste money on what often can be expensive devices simply to take them apart. Additionally if people are going to disassemble their devices, the “cig-a-like” e-cigarettes and cartomizers are at the same risk of being taken apart as well.
When “Big Tobacco” makes ludicrous statements like the comment/suggestion R.J. Reynolds left for the FDA, thankfully there are organizations like AVA to keep these fear-mongering corporatizations in check. The American Vaping Association does not produce any e-cigarettes or e-liquids; they exist only to serve as advocates and educators for the vaping and e-cigarette industry, and to distribute the actual truth to the public and government officials.
The president of the American Vaping Association, Gregory Conley, released the following public statement in response to R.J. Reynolds’ FDA comment:
“R.J. Reynolds’ call for the FDA to ban the majority of e-cigarette products should be seen for what it really is — an admission by R.J. Reynolds that it simply cannot compete in the current e-cigarette market. Recent market reports show that while sales of open-system e-cigarette products and e-liquid are booming, sales of closed-system cigarette lookalikes – the kind that R.J. Reynolds sells — have stagnated.”
He goes on to say:
“Surveys of e-cigarette users have consistently demonstrated that vapers who use refillable open-system products are far more likely to be smoke-free than are those who use closed system products that are designed to resemble and taste like cigarettes.”
As Gregory Conley stated, “R.J. Reynolds’ corporate motto is ‘Transform Tobacco’”. Already there is a major problem with this slogan, especially for a company that is attempting to promote their new e-cigarette. E-cigarettes and e-liquid are NOT tobacco!!! Nicotine and tobacco are two completely different things with entirely different molecular compositions. By saying ‘Transform Tobacco’, R.J. Reynolds is not only confusing e-cigarette users into thinking their e-cigarettes actually contain tobacco, but they are more importantly perpetuating the problematic idea that e-cigarettes which contain nicotine are the same as the carcinogenic, tar-filled, combustible tobacco cigarettes. Gregory Conley also points out the troubling fact that rather than R.J. Reynolds reinvent and modernize itself into a technology based company, they instead request the government to simply ban the majority of its competitors. (Perhaps this relates back to the fact that R.J.R. really can’t compete with the competition?)
In the wake of uncertainty for the future of e-cigarette regulation, “Big Tobacco” and certain public health organizations that claim their interests are in preserving the health of the entire population, (but increasingly seems like they are only concerned with the elimination of all nicotine related products), vapers and advocates alike need to stand together to prevent these corporations from taking away our rights and freewill. According to the AVA, more than 40 million Americans still smoke, and approximately 400,000 individuals die each year due to smoking related diseases. If we allow these technological advancements like e-cigarettes and e-liquids to be removed from the market it would force thousands of people to return to smoking combustible cigarettes… just like the ones R.J. Reynolds famously produces.
Full Public Statement Available at the AVA Website: http://vaping.info/ava-rj-reynolds-ban-e-cigarettes