House votes next week to ban flavored vapes – including online sales
A bill that aims to curtail the alleged teen vaping epidemic appears to be heading for a floor vote any day now in the democratic-controlled House of Representatives. HR 2339 will not only ban the sales of flavored vapor products by non-age-restrictive retailers, but it will prohibit all online sales, as well. If passed by both chambers of congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump – which seems highly unlikely, this bill would be the most devastating blow to the adult vaping community to date
The bill is sponsored by Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) and co-sponsored by Rep. Donna Shalala (D-Fla.). What’s really strange about this whole affair is that Pallone has no expertise in nicotine research, tobacco regulations, or even the FDA. He is the Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which has nothing whatsoever to do with vapor products.
Trump will never sign anti-vaping bill HR 2339 – will he?
In an interview with The Hill, Rep. Shalala said that House leadership promised her a floor vote early next week, but she made similar statements last year about the very same bill. Last year, the bill was apparently tabled by congress democrats because they had more urgent matters at hand – namely the impeachment of Donald Trump. And never failing to miss an opportunity to beat a dead horse, this time Shalala is yet again blaming Trump for this supposedly dire need to pass an anti-vaping bill of such epically ludicrous proportions.
“Congressional action is even more critical now after the president retreated from his promise to prohibit flavors in tobacco products that are so popular with our youth… We must advance this legislation in order to prevent losing another generation to tobacco-related illnesses and premature death.”
Republican and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel (Kentucky) has yet to comment on the likelihood of HR 2339 passing, but he also self-identifies as the legislative “Grim Reaper” of Congress. So, there’s that.
But there’s also almost zero chance that President Trump will sign the bill even if it were to pass both houses of congress. After all, it was only last January 2 when he signed an executive order banning only the sales of pod- and cartridge-styled flavored vapes. The chances that he will up the ante now – especially after Shalala is publicly admonishing him for not going far enough the first time – is virtually nil.
Still, House democrats remain persistent. Thanks to a $160 million anti-vaping campaign funded by democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, the Democrats appear to be all too willing to continue spreading disinformation and conspiracy theories if it means the chance of embarrassing Trump. The fear and phobia over flavored vapes began several years ago but got a power boost last summer when reports first began surfacing of a “vaping related” lung disorder.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responsible for spreading this ugly rumor which would eventually be officially attributed to illegally manufactured cannabis-based cartridges laced with Vitamin E acetate – a common thickening agent. As far back as September 6, 2019, former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb tried to derail the quickly escalating public hysteria with a tweet.
“Based on current reports it’s likely to be case most of the vaping injuries are related to illegal products and mostly THC and CBD. It’s not clear FDA can regulate vape pen not sold for use with tobacco nicotine. Congress may need to expand FDA’s authority.”
Even though Gottlieb’s statement made clear that nicotine-based vapes were not the direct cause of the mysterious outbreak of respiratory illness, a CDC press release issued over a month later was still strongly implying that legal, nicotine-based vapor products were under as much suspicion – if not more so – than their illegal, THC-enhanced alternatives.
“While this investigation is ongoing, CDC recommends that you consider refraining from using e-cigarette, or vaping, products, particularly those containing THC.”
Much like many of today’s House democrats, the CDC was apparently choosing to ignore the advice and scientific evidence offered by the FDA – the federal agency solely responsible for vaping regulation in the first place. Instead, they are opting to promote misinformation designed to eviscerate the American vaping industry in the hopes of winning a few measly votes in the upcoming 2020 election.
Good luck with that.