I smoked for 10 years. This experience is one of the chief reasons I am generally for the legalization of drugs.
Tobacco is a bear. It’s not something one should cozy up with. It robs one of vitality and it turns one into an annuity for for the tobacco companies, and now the states which reap huge tax revenue. It’s dumb. It’s stupid. It smells. It’s very unattractive.
More disgusting than smoking however are the anti-smoking zealots who seem to take special joy in getting into other people’s business.
Even more disgusting than that are the zealots who allow themselves to be co-opted by the tobacco companies they supposedly hate.
Because e-cigarettes compete with traditional cigarettes — and many e-cigs and vaping products are made by small upstart companies — major tobacco companies, such as Altria (a.k.a. Philip Morris), have sought to clamp down on this market. The Big Tobacco companies have created or acquired e-cig brands while also pushing for regulation that will make it more difficult for little guys to compete. With the new FDA rule, Big Tobacco is getting just what it wanted. (For more on how and why tobacco companies support e-cig regulation, see this paper, forthcoming in the Yale Journal on Regulation.)
The most significant part of the FDA’s rule is a requirement for government approval of all deemed tobacco products placed on the market since 2007. As a practical matter, this means that just about all e-cigs must go through a new approval process if they are to continue to be sold. This is a costly process — an estimated $1 million or more per product — and must be done for each and every model, flavor, etc. For tobacco giants such as Reynolds and Altria, this is no big deal. For smaller e-cig makers, however, these rules could be the kiss of death.