It’s Hard Who to Believe
Smoketastic has been involved in vaping and the use of e-cigarettes since way back in 2012. This was when vaping was in its infancy with just a handful of products available. Today it is a multi-billion dollar industry and the war going on behind the scenes is still as strong today as it has been since the initial launch.
Back in 2012 I remember writing a few articles citing the Big Tobacco companies as public enemy number 1! For good reason, as I thought back then, cigarettes are on track to kill a billion people by the end of the century. Smoketastic was really launched solely to help people remove themselves from this very fate. We saw it back then that the Big Tobacco companies were our biggest enemies. But how little did we know back then, and how wrong were we!
One of our main comparisons back then was with other smoking cessation products such as nicotine gum and patches. One thing, to our advantage, was the incredible low success rate. In fact the Harvard School of Public Health released a study (https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/22/1/32) stating that these types of products were no more effective than going cold turkey. Another study by the Journal of the American Medical Association (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12215133) also concluded the same results.
I already knew this, being an ex-smoker myself and having tried every smoking cessation out there. You just have to note, that I found vaping so effective, that I wanted to share the success with everyone, which inspired me to create the Smoketastic site to start with!
The Fight The Vaping Community Has
Most vapers heard a few tears ago about the Not Blowing Smoke campaign that was launched in California, but very few know the real secrets behind this campaign and really sets the scene of the huge fight vapers have in front of them.
The California department of public health launched this campaign to try to curb vaping, but why is the question we ask. More and more smokers are turning to e-cigarettes as a less harmful alternative to smoking, instead of using the other smoking cessation products.
Back then, we were a little surprised, after all, we thought their priority was to preserve public health. So this led to us diving in a little deeper.
The Master Settlement Agreement
The more money that the big tobacco companies make the more they pay the individual states in return. Back in 1998 a deal was made between 46 states of America and the biggest tobacco companies. This is known as the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), this is where it was agreed that the tobacco companies will make these payments in return to the drop of lawsuits against them related smoking related health issues.
This amount of money that the tobacco companies pay, is dependent on their annual profit, directly related to the amount they sell.
Payment Up Front
Most of the States that were included in the MSA wanted the payment up front, but the tobacco companies declined, stating they did not know their profit lines. They did however give forward projections of how much too expect.
Some of the states decided to introduce bonds on Wall Street, as a way of getting that money upfront and planned to pay them off with the money inherited from the promised bill.
Suddenly, almost overnight, Americans started to cut their smoking consumption. Since 2000 sales of tobacco cigarettes has reduced by 3.4% per year.
This should be hailed as a victory, but the States that sold bonds were now in a lot of trouble, as the money coming back from the Tobacco companies were not as much as they were projected for. California is not alone on this default; Ohio, Virginia and New Jersey have already stated that they are taking money from their “reserves” due to these insufficient funds from the tobacco companies.
Popularity Of E-Cigarettes and Vaping
E-cigarettes is becoming more and more popular over the years, becoming the most popular smoking cessation device. The bad news is that this is having an even bigger impact on big tobacco, and the states of America. California and New York are being affected the most, because they not only have the highest populations, but were making the most money out of the MSA.
In 2013 the tobacco companies announced their biggest decline in shipments since 2009 and many financial analysts blamed this decline purely on e-cigarettes and vaping. Claiming that the sales of e-cigarette and vaping devices are doubling year on year.
This prompted Wells Fargo to estimate that the sales of tobacco cigarettes will drop by 68% over the next ten years. This was alarming itself, but they went on to state that they project the sales of e-cigarettes to increase by 13 times.
What Does This All Mean
With this rise in popularity of e-cigarettes and vaping, States like California and New York are in trouble. They have a few options:
- Ban the sales of e-cigarettes – To force smokers back to traditional cigarettes
- Classify E-Cigs as tobacco products – So they can tax them like traditional cigarettes and place them under the MSA.
This may sound like a hard sell, but the States have been clever with their roll out. Their argument is that filing the e-cigarette companies under the MSA, will allow them to afford the tools to stop e-cigarette manufacturers from targeting their products to youths.
14.6% of money that is received from the MSA goes towards this type of prevention marketing, and hence why we are seeing a lot of stories and adverts claiming that there is a problem with teen’s vaping.
It’s a shame that there isn’t full transparency here, and although nicotine is a dangerous addictive drug, the effort from the States of America seem to be in the ability to balance their financial records as opposed to the health of their citizens.
About the author: Nicholas King is a leading expert in vaping and current owner of Smoketastic, one of the most popular vaping review sites online.
Image Credits: Smoketastic from sruilk /Shutterstock