According to Time Magazine, 10 percent of all Americans now enjoy vaping. What this means is that vaping has been growing in popularity over the last few years for a variety of reasons.

So why does vaping keep getting banned? That is the topic this post will explore.

Data Supports Benefits for Current and Former Smokers

Current data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows that, with over nine million adults vaping occasionally or regularly, only four percent have never used a traditional tobacco product (cigarette, cigar, etc.) in the past. As well, fully half of all current tobacco users and half of former traditional tobacco users have also tried vaping.

But perhaps the clincher is this—academic research to date heavily supports the use of vaping as a healthier, as well as more socially conscious and environmentally sustainable, alternative to use of traditional tobacco products. In other words, e-juice is better for people and the planet.

E-cigarettes, which may not even contain any nicotine products (many vaping enthusiasts opt out of nicotine products), have been shown to be a potential aid in helping smokers quit, as well as significantly less harmful (95 percent less, to be exact).

Despite positive, affirming reports from other governmental agencies, including the CDC, the Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the FDA has declared war on the vaping industry.

The FDA’s War on Vaping

As of May 5, 2016, the FDA published a nearly 500-page document dauntingly titled, “The Deeming.” This document outlined its reasons for enforcing the type of strict regulations that, in essence, amount to a ban on all vaping-based products.

The document appears to revolve around statistical evidence that points to greater numbers of youth trying vaping. What the research does not verify is how many youth tried vaping more than once, how many were converting over from traditional nicotine products like cigarettes or how many youth actually used nicotine in their vaping.

In fact, the NIDA data shows that only an estimated 20 percent of youth vapers use nicotine—80 percent are opting for non-nicotine flavored e-juice instead. The FDA document also failed to reflect that, even as vaping use increases among youth, the use of verified hazardous substances such as heroin, other opioid-based narcotics, prescription drugs and alcohol has dropped.

What May Be Driving the War on Vaping

The FDA states that its efforts revolve around regulating, not banning, the products produced by the vaping industry. However, careful scrutiny of the new regulatory requirements, which center on obtaining the FDA’s approval prior to offerinh these products for resale, come with simply insurmountable timing and financial challenges for the many small vaping businesses around the country.

Speculation is that vaping makes the traditional “Big Tobacco” industry nervous, and likely with good reason.

Interestingly, the Hill recently reported on a growing number of pending lawsuits against the FDA for its regulatory efforts. The Right to be Smoke-Free Coalition, along with eight others, were the first to file this past summer. The the Electronic Vaping Coalition and the American Vaping Association have joined forces with Nicopure Labs in a similar lawsuit.

Whether the FDA is able to push forward with its regulatory efforts against the vaping industry remains to be seen. But what is good news for the vaping industry and for vapers is this—there are legal channels in this nation that permit pushing back against actions that seek to limit free enterprise, freedom of speech and freedom of choice.

You can keep up with all of HIGH TIMES’ news right here.

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