Silence Speaks Volumes

Contributed by Paul Johnson

I first started refuting the anti-vaping ads and articles in this paper in the July issue. Since then I have exposed the lies, presented facts supporting the truth and refuted the irrefutable. Not surprisingly, there has been no response to my articles and the anti-smoking organizations have reverted to anti-smoking ads. Opinion and pseudo science are no match for the facts and the truth, and I suppose I should consider this at least a small victory for pro-vaping advocacy. 

Unfortunately, that is not the case. This is a tactic that opinion based, pseudo science movements have started using over the past several years. It works like this: We’ll spread our opinions and lies until someone challenges them and once they are exposed, we’ll just go silent and end the discussion. With nothing to challenge, the opposition will tire and go away. The truth and the facts won’t get out and we’ll continue on our merry way, quietly and behind the scenes. 

Well, I’m not going away. The FDA’s “Deeming Regulations” are marching forward unchecked and even many vapers don’t understand the full implications of these regulations. Most think that it just relates to child safety caps on the e-liquid bottles and device safety. Nothing could be further from the truth. This nearly 500-page document of regulations (another tactic – make it so long and involved that even the people it directly affects get frustrated with the minutia and give up) covers every constituent of vaping devices from cotton to wire to batteries to chip sets to the e-liquid, with or without nicotine. It subjects every device and e-liquid not available on or before 2007 to pre marketing fees at a cost of an estimated $100,000 per SKU, not including the cost of the actual testing and scientific analysis. That’s every device and every flavor of e-liquid and it’s not just a one-time fee for a single flavor, it’s every nicotine level within that flavor. Say you make a single flavor of e-liquid and you provide that flavor in zero, 3 mg./ml., 6 mg./ml. and 9mg./ml. nicotine levels. The cost of the pre-marketing fees for this single flavor would be $400,000 and it does not guarantee that your single flavor will be approved for sale. 

Furthermore, the retail stores are restricted by law to not teach battery safety, device safety, modify any device (which includes building or installing coils or wicks for their customers) or to provide free tastings. The industry as a whole is restricted by law from stating that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking tobacco or that modern vapor products are the most effective tobacco harm reduction products available, even though that is the fact on both counts (see 2016 RCP and NHI reports). Since 2007, the vapor industry has self regulated and done very well at eliminating the very compounds in e-liquid that the FDA is forcing the industry to go back to because that is the most recent research they have based their regulations on. One has to ask themselves, whether they feel this issue affects them or not, if this is honestly in the public’s health and safety interest.

Here’s why you don’t know what you don’t know. In this month’s (Oct.) issue of Scientific American, find the full article titled “How the FDA Manipulates the Media”. It explains that the FDA has a tool that they use to suppress information. It’s called a Close-Hold Embargo. A basic overview of how this embargo works is this: A scientific finding, in this case the FDA’s deeming regulations, is posted to select trusted reporters and media outlets with the stipulation that the information cannot be published before a stated time and date and there can be no outreach to other sources than those approved by the organization making the release. This essentially eliminates independent and objective reporting. 

(Full details can be seen here: )

Last month I concluded my article with, “Your deep fried or flame broiled delicacy may be next.” To some that may have sounded like hyperbole but on 9/26/16 the news media reported that the Oklahoma Cattle Farmers Association is under fire from the SPCA. The SPCA is trying to create federal regulations for that industry, making it too exorbitant to raise cattle for your dinner plate. 

We all have very busy lives. At the same time, if we all plod along as sheep, special interests will rule us all. Your silence speaks volumes too, and they are loving it!