Demonstration to save e-cigarettes in the USA - "Vaping has saved our lives"

As Donald Trump prepares a new policy to heavily regulate e-cigarettes in the US, vejpers across the country are rallying to protest. 

On Saturday, a large demonstration is planned outside the White House under the slogan "We vape, we vote". The event is organised by the United Vapers Alliance (UVA).

"It's about the right to choose. We are adults who have chosen to vejpa instead of smoking. Vaping has saved our lives. What gives our politicians the right to take away that option?" says the UVA activist. Tristan Thompson to Canadian TV channel RegWatch.

The organisation now hopes to reach as many as possible of the 11 million people who use e-cigarettes in the US. In the pot is over 10 000 vejpshoppar that will be forced to close if their products are banned. These are upwards of 100 000 jobs that disappear.

The debate on e-cigarettes and flavoured e-juice has been raging for a long time and has flared up considerably since over 1600 people suffered lung damage after using improperly manufactured cannabis (THC) flavoured e-juices bought on the black market. Despite authorities confirming that the damage was not caused by regular nicotine e-juice, several states have banned the sale of flavoured nicotine e-juice. Even Donald Trump has publicly called on the federal authorities to "clear the market" of flavoured e-juices.

Arguments have so far centred on the fact that vejp use among young people is increasing in the US and that the health risks of e-cigarettes are unknown. At the same time, studies show that the number of young people smoking analogue cigarettes has fallen sharply as vejp use has increased. In-depth studies also show that young people who previously smoked or were at risk of starting to smoke are now using e-cigarettes instead, For example, CNN reported earlier this week.

The debate has pitted health experts, scientists and economic interests against each other. According to Tristan Thompson it is clear that money is behind the states' ban on flavoured e-juice.

"Trying to ban a product in this way, because of an unjustified moral panic, is simply absurd. It's not ok, and regardless of your political colour and affiliation, you have to react. General product bans have not worked in the past, they will not work in the future and they will not work now. Politicians know this too. This is not about saving young people from e-cigarettes. There is an economic motive here," said Mr Perez. Tristan Thompson to RegWatch.

The motive, according to Tristan Thompson and other commentators, is called "MSA - Master Settlement Agreement". Since 1998, several states have an agreement with the big tobacco companies that forces the companies to pay large sums of money in relation to their annual local cigarette sales in the various states. In return, the agreement prevents states from suing the tobacco companies for the damage their products cause. As a result, fewer smokers is not necessarily seen as a positive development in some states from a purely economic perspective.

"This is a huge amount of money for some states. The MSA is a major reason why they want to ban e-cigarettes or alternative products that attract smokers - states lose their MSA money when cigarette sales decline. Those of us who have chosen an alternative to cigarettes do not fit into their economic calculus. So they are banning our products" says Tristan Thompson.
He is joined by YouTube influencer and vejp activist Matt Culley. But Matt Culley says that another major reason for the burning debate is that vejping has long been a source of anger, and confusion, for several established anti-smoking groups in society, groups that hate not only smoking, but also smokers on an ideological level. Vaping has become the new hate object, they say. Matt Culley.

"Smokers are probably the most stigmatised group in society. Smoking is not just a class issue, but a deep moral issue rooted in the perception of addiction. Smokers are seen as sick individuals who MUST be forced to choose - stop smoking or die. It is "no pain, no gain". All forms of harm reduction, whether methadone programmes or nicotine via e-cigarettes, are not seen as alternatives, but as equally "evil" phenomena. It's as if it's not really good enough; vejphing is repugnant to them because it's actually not only proven to be healthier, but also something that users enjoy. Then it's all wrong, according to this puritanical way of looking at drug addiction" says Matt Culley to RegWatch.

The demonstration starts at noon in Washington (around 17:00 CET) and runs for a few hours with speeches from all major vejp associations and consumer organisations.

Read more on Vejpkollen:
Authorities: Illegal e-juices caused the lung damage in the US
Researchers warn: "Banning e-cigarettes leads to more smoker deaths"
The flavour bans in New York - "Weavers are sent back to smoking"

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