After a stressful and contentious week of sloth-like vote counting across multiple states, Democrat Joe Biden appears to be the winner of the 2020 presidential election. While current President Donald Trump is not yet conceding the election due to allegations of voter fraud in Pennsylvania, many within the vaping community are wondering: What is the future of vaping should Joe Biden become president?
Biden appears to be an outspoken opponent of vaping, especially flavored disposables like JUUL. He is on record as saying that he would be open to a federal ban on vaping, or at least to the highest restrictions of sales of flavored vapes. But he always qualifies these statements by saying that more research is still needed.
Biden, vaping, and the 2020 campaign trail
Thanks to Republican Grover Norquist and his conservative organization Americans for Tax Reform, the vaping community was shocked to learn in January 2020 that then-candidate Joe Biden had a rather indignant view of vape shops and their owners. When asked by an attendee of a Grinnell, Iowa, campaign stop whether Biden would talk with owners of vape-friendly businesses before initiating any federal bans, Biden declared that he flat-out “doesn’t care” about these small businesses.
“I don’t care what it does to a small businessperson who’s selling this stuff. If it is damaging lungs, if it’s causing the kind of damage that is said and that studies not been fully done yet. If it turns out that it is that I would eliminate it. I would make it I would go after it in a hard way. I would make it broader, not just for he is.”
To add fuel to the fire, Donald Trump faced the same polli9tical pressure to implement a nationwide flavor ban back in December 2019, but he chose to implement much narrower regulations affecting only flavored disposables like JUUL. If history is prologue, then Biden will likely take a much more aggressive position against vapes than his predecessor simply to prove a point and flex his political muscle.
Biden’s odd demand for more ‘scientific data’ about vaping
During a campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa, last year, Biden professed a need for “serious scientific data as to whether or not it (vaping) has the kind of long-term damage on the lungs and it causes death before we allow it to be sold.” This mimics his numerous statements regarding the COVID crisis where he consistently says that his presidency will “follow the science.”
But the science of vaping is already in, and it is extremely positive. In 2016, the premier federal health agency of the United Kingdom – Public Health England – released documented evidence indicating that vaping is 95 percent less harmful than smoking.
In August 2018, a study published in the Oxford Academic medical journal showed that second-hand e-cigarette vapor evaporates within seconds and poses no significant health risks to innocent bystanders. And in mid-2019, scientists from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland released revolutionary research indicating that vaping is 99 percent less carcinogenic than smoking.
Biden’s strange relationship with Big Pharma
With so much pro-vaping information already available, why does Mr. Biden still need more “scientific data” before he can decide vaping’s fate? His seemingly aggressive stance against electronic cigarettes may stem from his strong and decades-old ties to Big Pharma.
According to the website Open Secrets, Joe Biden is the #1 recipient of campaign contributions by the pharmaceuticals industry in the amount of $6,324, 837 and climbing. In comparison, Donald Trump – the second-highest recipient – only received about $1.6 billion.
Related Article: Vaping is 99% less carcinogenic than smoking, says research
Because Big Pharma manufactures and distributes the more conventional stop-smoking aids like nicotine patches, gums, and lozenges, pharmaceutical industries have always been the vaping industry’s primary nemesis Meanwhile, Joe Biden’s long and affectionate history with Big Pharma dates all the way back to when he was Vice President under Barack Obama.
Vaping versus legalized marijuana
Under the Obama Administration, Joe Biden was instrumental in the passage of the Tobacco Control Act of 2009. When it was signed into law, this single piece of legislation gave the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the legal authority to regulate smokeless tobacco products. The FDA deeming regulations soon followed which threaten the vaping industry’s existence to this very day.
Regarding legalized marijuana, Biden’s history is also concerning. His involvement in the passage of the 1994 Crime Bill has led to the imprisonment of incalculable numbers of predominantly black and brown Americans whose only crimes were the possession of very small amounts of cannabis. Yet, on the 2020 campaign trail, Biden said that he is pro-legalization of marijuana but only when stronger regulations are in place.
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