Vape Gate – How did we get here?

vape shop, e-liquids, blue cloud vapes

The FDA is accepting comments about the 2019 lung injuries acquired from vaping illegal THC products sold on the black market. Below I share with you my response to the FDA. Please read and freely share this post.

I am a vape shop owner and this is how I explained pulmonary lung injury “vape-gate” to my constituents.

We did not foresee this problem until medical marijuana dispensaries opened across the U.S. in explosive numbers. What law makers and law enforcement failed to realize was the effect it had on the corner dope dealer. Dispensaries sold vapeable marijuana with potency never before seen. This stronger liquid THC quickly grew in popularity. More people were quick to adopt this new product because it was strong and less harmful than the combustible form. Doctors were quickly writing scripts and with reckless regard to who really qualified.

This massive exodus of customers left the corner dope dealer with no business. He needed to recover lost sales and find a way to compete with dispensaries. It was obvious the dealer had to recreate a vapeable THC but his first attempts failed. This guy was never a chemist and knew nothing about making this product. He searched the internet for information and found what he thought was a recipe for liquid gold.

His new found recipe called for vitamin E acetate of which he knew nothing about. The recipe work and he quickly filled carts to sell to customers. He stepped up his marketing efforts and sold it online to thousands of people on the black market. Overnight he was successful but soon after many people became sick and died as a result of his learning curve. The CDC worked feverishly around the clock along with the support of the FDA and announced they discovered vitamin E acetate was the culprit. The dope dealer adjusted his recipe and the problem went away.

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT
The result left the vape industry victim to a media hysteria that will have an unfair lasting effect on the health of the American public and the vape industry. The consumption of nicotine flavored e-liquid had nothing to do with the pulmonary lung disease whatsoever yet more people listened to the media and blamed the vape industry. I can see how the media, law enforcement may look to the vape industry for clues but they have not done enough to help the public understand that those who vape nicotine flavored e-liquid to stop smoking harmful cigarettes are at least risk, if not, no risk of acquiring this deadly pulmonary disease. The FDA and CDC should publicly help restore faith in vaping and support our efforts to convert more smokers to vaping.

This injustice by the CDC and FDA has fueled anger among politicians and anti-smoking/anti-vape groups who quickly lay blamed on the vaping industry for what was later discovered to be online sales of illegal THC products on the black market. Resulted was the tobacco age was raised to 21 and the American Academy of Pediatrics sued the FDA on the enforcement of a deeming date for stricter compliance regulations sooner than projected. The compliance regulations adopted by the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) under the FDA will decimate the vape industry and leave consumers with few options for e-liquid and e-cigarette devices. Worse, thousands of businesses, both in manufacturing and retail will go out of business and more Americans will be unemployed. Consequently more imports coming into the US through black market channels will circumvent tireless FDA and CTP regulations. The timing of the deeming rule could not be any worse after America continues to recover from a pandemic and the George Floyd riots.

PERSONALLY AFFECTED
I am at odds with the whole situation as I am a 56 year old, single vape shop owner. My house will fall into foreclosure, my car will be repossessed, I will lose my $728 per month health insurance policy and for what, attempting to help smokers find a safer alternative to combustible cigarettes? You think this sounds scary to you, it should. You are reading this from a government supported paid position that cannot be taken away from you.

The whole “vape gate” problem clearly exonerates the vape industry but the repercussions will end up destroying our industry and put more vapers back into cigarettes. The reality is that not one person has died as a result of vaping nicotine infused e-liquid yet over 1300 Americans die DAILY from smoking combustible cigarettes. When will the truth cross paths with lawful legislation to extinguish the tobacco industry and begin embracing the vape industry?

How did we come to this? Here we have an industry created by smokers who turned to technology to create a safe product that is 95% less harmful than tobacco cigarettes. We can’t help but put on our conspiracy theory hats to look for answers when common sense has not prevailed. The answers we come up with range in magnitude but the problem still continues. Scientific reasoning clearly prefers vaping over tobacco cigarettes but the vape industry is far more scrutinized than combustible cigarettes. How is this even possible? The failure to come up with a viable solution that makes sense fuels my anger knowing we are not being treated fairly. What do we do come September 9th?

You can share your comments with the FDA at:
https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=FDA-2020-N-0597-0001

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