Politicians on the left and right valorize small business. As it happens, small businesses create most of the new jobs in the US. Yet businesses that sell e-cigarettes, most of which are family-owned and employ just a few people, are the targets of unrelenting assaults from governments at all levels.
My new story for Medium, The unrelenting assault on vaping is taking a toll, looks at the impact that bans, taxes, prohibitions on shipping, misinformation and FDA rules have had on vaping. An estimated 3,500 vape shops have closed since 2018. Jobs and tax revenues have been lost.
Worse, anti-vaping campaigns are making it harder for smokers to switch to e-cigarettes, which are a much safer way to obtain nicotine. That’s terrible.
Most vape shop owners are former smokers who quit by using e-cigarettes. They’re motivated by passion as well as money. Kim “Skip” Murray, who is about to close her vape show in Brainerd, MN, tells me: “Being involved with this technology has been a privilege.”
I’ve been mildly obsessed with the story of vaping for more than a year now, and I’m going to try to stay on top of it. There is so much misunderstanding about vaping and smoking. And it is literally a life-and-death issue. Please take a look at my story.