GOP Senators Murkowski, Collins, Romney join Democrats in new anti-vaping bill
Last week during the impeachment hearings, lawmakers from both sides of the political spectrum were secretly working behind the scenes to push a new federal anti-vaping bill through congress.. Sponsored by Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen of Delaware, at least three republicans – Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, and Mitt Romney of Utah – signed on as co-sponsors.
Unlike the partial flavor ban enacted by President Trump in early January, the Resources to Prevent Youth Vaping Act focuses primarily on enacting additional federal taxation on e-cigarette manufacturers and retailers of vaping products. Of course, Shaheen and her cohorts are being devilishly creative by relabeling these extra taxes as “user fees.”
Related Article: Public health expert alleges ‘CDC coverup’ of teen THC vaping data
What is a user fee, and what is its purpose? These moneys would allegedly be collected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and sent directly to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the purposes of more aggressive federal oversight of the American vapor industry. The fees could also be used for educational programs and to increase public awareness of the dangers of vaping. Those “dangers,” unfortunately, can be anything that the FDA deems them to be.
Taxation in the interest of ‘protecting America’s youth’ always works
This all may sound completely legitimate to the average, non-vaping, non-smoking voter after having been steadily spoon-fed a healthy diet of lies and disinformation about vaping by the mainstream media, Big Tobacco-funded politicians, and even the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The latter has been publicly criticized by medical experts and vaping advocacy groups alike for its less than stellar performance during the outbreak of the EVALII scandal last fall.
Instead of warning the public about the vaping of Black Market THC products, the CDC wrongly asserted for nearly six months that nicotine-based vapers were likely involved. It was only in mid-January that the agency finally issued a tweet recommending that the general public avoid “e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain THC, particularly from informal sources.”
The sponsoring of the Resources to Prevent Youth Vaping Act by Senators Shaheen, Murkowski, Collins, Romney, and also Democrat Dick Durbin proves that these vape-hating politicians are still working with outdated information. Or worse, these lawmakers may already be fully aware that nicotine-based vapes are not to blame, but they simply don’t care.
Murkowski, Collins, Romney issue public statements
Additionally noteworthy is the fact that each of these senators is issuing public statements in favor of the bill that reference their so-called deep desires to protect America’s youth. For example, Senator Collins said on Twitter, “The dramatic increase in the use of e-cigarettes by our young people is threatening the progress we have made to reduce overall tobacco use. Teachers have talked with me about the growing epidemic of vaping in high schools and middle schools in Maine.”
In a January 22 press release, Lisa Murkowski also mentioned “teachers and parents” and the “youth vaping crisis.” A portion of her statement reads, “Data from 2019 indicates that more than 1 in 4 high school students have used e-cigarettes. I continue to work with my colleagues to take flavored products that are designed for no other purpose than to attract kids, off the market, but our efforts cannot stop there.”
Senator Romney also references “kids’ health” as his reasoning behind his decision to co-sponsor the bill. The same press release quotes the Utah lawmaker as saying, “The FDA currently assesses and collects user fees from manufacturers and importers of cigarettes and other forms of tobacco, but electronic nicotine devices are not subject to the same fees. By granting the FDA the authorization to collect user fees on e-cigarettes, our legislation builds on the positive work done so far to tackle the vaping crisis and protect our kids’ health in Utah and across the country.”
It’s hard to convince American voters that raising taxes is a good thing, except in cases where those extra taxes are allegedly needed to protect our children. If the voters of Maine, Utah, and Alaska would do a little Google research though, they’d likely discover just how incredibly ill-informed their elected officials truly are about nicotine-based vaping.
(Image courtesy of CNN)