Updated December 12th, 2017.
While the vapor industry has largely demonized the big tobacco companies for years in the crusade to keep vaping out of the hands of the public, the truth is that many big tobacco companies are realizing that they need to change.
At this juncture, the majority of vapor companies do not have the funds necessary to lobby for their products and their customers. Having Big Tobacco money in the vaping game may just be the only way to truly advance the legislation regarding vapor products as a whole.
Reason for Concern
Despite the sudden turn of support from Big Tobacco for the vapor industry, there is still plenty of reason for concern. Most notably is the fact that companies like Phillip Morris are only now getting involved because they have their own vapor products. These products are not actually vaporizers, but rather some new smokeless technology that is yet untested. Furthermore, there is serious doubt about whether or not these companies are telling the truth about their new products, given their long history of public deception.
It could take years to gather enough research to definitively support these new smokeless products, and they still wouldn’t necessarily rule in favor of actual vapor companies who have worked for nearly a decade to establish themselves. For many in the vapor industry, there is concern that having Big Tobacco companies on their side could actually undermine their efforts and give the public the perception that they have something to hide, too.
Perhaps the most shocking part of all this is the fact that so many researchers are actively speaking out against the World Health Organization. Oftentimes WHO gets caught up in bureaucratic rulings that don’t reflect our current understanding of the world. This is because it often takes years for them to issue guidelines on any new subject, and by the time they make their decision the information they were using is often outdated.
Scientists outside of these organizations have a greater opportunity to stay up to date and to participate in ongoing research as technology changes. Nevertheless, even with dozens of scientists arguing for better legislation, it could take years to see a positive shift in public perception. The true test will be whether or not local activists manage to work together with these scientists to put on demonstrations and contact their representatives.
For now, it seems as though little headway will be made with the group of scientists that are currently speaking out. It will likely take several more years, and perhaps hundreds or thousands of scientific voices, to effect real change in policy. This will be a slow and arduous process, made even slower by the lack of funding for third-party research to prove the benefits of vaping over smoking.
Plus, there is still only one Big Tobacco company that is active in the vapor community today, and the next closest competitors say they are still a year or more away from releasing any serious new tech.
Originally published June 30th, 2014.
Even as the WHO wants to reclassify electronic cigarettes as tobacco products, big tobacco companies stand behind scientists who disagree with the reclassification.
Despite numerous studies into the issues, concerns linger over the health safety of electronic cigarettes. But despite the concerns of some, many experts agree that these smokeless cigarettes pose fewer risks to than their traditional counterparts.
Groups like the World Health Organization (WHO) want to classify e-cigarettes as a tobacco product. However, a group of 53 scientists have made a case that classifying these devices as a tobacco product would jeopardize the opportunity to reduce instances of diseases and deaths caused by smoking cigarettes.
Big Tobacco Backs Scientists
Big tobacco companies are not worried by the decline in traditional smoking. Instead, they are investing in e-cigarettes. Tobacco companies are also lining up to support scientists against the WHO. Most directors of Big Tobacco companies would agree that classifying e-cigarettes as a tobacco product would make it harder for smokers looking for an alternative to dangerous traditional cigarettes.
While none have provided any funding for research about e-cigarettes, some have carried out research of their own or have been consultants for drug companies developing smoking cessation products. For example, Philip Morris International (makers of Marlboro cigarettes) has spent roughly $650 million on a device to reduce tar and benzo(a)pyrene (a known cancer-causing chemical).
If the WHO does not yield their position, it could possibly discourage smokers from seeking an alternative. Nevertheless, regardless of the politics involved, e-cigarettes offer those who no longer want to smoke tobacco cigarettes an alternative. VaporFi offers several kinds of starter kits that can provide you with all the tools you need. In addition to offering starter kits and custom e-liquids, you can browse our blog and knowledge center to learn more about the world of electronic cigarettes.
Image By WAYHOME/Shutterstock
Gianna Del Monte is the Brand Manager at VaporFi. She has been in the vaping industry since June 2015 and has extensive experience in successfully managing and marketing a variety of new vapor product launches. Originally from New Jersey, Gianna has lived in the Miami area for the last 5 years.
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