Dear President Trump,
I want to thank you for your time and consideration as I hope you will find the time to read my letter and consider my concerns.
I am a voting citizen and a former E-Cig user. I unlike many users used these products to kick my cigarette habit and would eventually quit using nicotine E-Cigarettes as well. Even so I support the freedom of all individuals to live their lives how they choose. While I’m sure your intentions are good I submit to you that this ban on flavored vape products will only make this problem worse.
Recently, the media has reported on a new “crisis” that they say is a result of vaping products that present an alternative to traditional cigarettes and other methods of smoking and tobacco ingestion. As of September 23rd of this year they have reported 9 deaths that have resulted from a lung disease that is allegedly caused by the many flavored E-Vaping products that are on the market. However, what most Americans are not being told is the real source of this sinister ailment.
This has led to a gross misinterpretation of what’s actually going on and I fear this is evidenced, with all due respect Mr. President, in your calls to ban all flavored vape juices from the market. First you have to think, these products have been on the market and 100% legal for years but have only now began to cause only 9 deaths? Weigh that against the 480,000 deaths that take place every single year from cigarettes and you begin to see this ban for what it is. It has “special interest” and “big tobacco” written all over it. Most Americans will also be hard-pressed to believe the timing of Phillip Morris’s heat-not-burn tobacco product line receiving FDA approval has nothing to do with the ban.
It’s unfortunate that we have leadership in Washington D.C that once again has allowed special interests to win, but even more disappointing is the lack of consideration that has taken place regarding the effects this ban will actually have. What the media has not told people is that this ailment has not once been caused by a legal vaping product that has been available at American stores and online retailers for years, but by black market DIY THC vaping products that would not exist if marijuana were legal and readily available in all states.
Legal retail THC vape juices are lab tested, and good companies will release their test results publicly and disclose their processes and ingredients. A good manufacturer won’t use potentially deadly substances like Vitamin E in their production and thus won’t poison their consumers. This new “vaping crisis” if you can even call it that is not evidence that we need to put an end to vaping. It is evidence that we need to put an end to the war on marijuana and lift the ban nationwide so that consumers can have access to safe and quality products.
Banning vaping for users who already have access to safe and legal products will only make this problem worse, and will harm the economy. As early as 2014 there were over 5,000-10,000 vaping shops nationwide and estimates by the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association placed those numbers as high as 35,000. How many jobs are you willing to kill in the name of reactionary politics?
What’s more when flavored vape juices are no longer available at legal stores where do you think their patrons will go? Do you assume they will suddenly start going to the gym and switch to a healthier diet program? More likely they will they switch to cigarettes, which are far less safe and have claimed far more lives. Even more likely than that however, many users will turn to the black market to obtain the products that you have banned, and more deaths will occur as more users turn to unsafe and untested products. No doubt the government will use this as a “See I told you so” moment to claim they were right about the problem that they actually created.
How many people must die and how many people will be locked away in cages with real criminals and violent offenders who see early release because there’s no room in our prisons, before we see that prohibition has historically only turned small problems into major crises? How long will we continue to make the same mistakes, and how long will the American people suffer in the service of special interests?
Many people believed you were a president who would be different. Many thought you would stand up against special interests, and see the folly in these bans, and in fruitless endeavors like the war on drugs. Yet here we are receiving more of the same. I am asking you, Mr. President, to be true to what you ran on. Do not kowtow to special interests. Put an end to bad policy. I am asking you as a voter and as a concerned citizen, please reconsider you ban on flavored vape products. It will only harm the economy, and it will make the issue at hand worse, as prohibition always does.
I thank you again for your time and consideration. I hope you will consider what I have said, and if possible I look forward to your response. I wish you the best and thanks again,
-David B. Beaver