It’s amazing how much can change in only a few months. A couple months ago, on September 11th, the White House Administration announced a plan to ban all vaping flavors.
President Trump even went as far to say, “We are looking at vaping strongly, it’s dangerous, children have died and people have died. Trump also exclaimed, ”We are going to have some very strong rules and regulations.”
White House Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar also weighed in on the 11th stating there would be strong parameters set in motion in the coming weeks to remove all vape flavors from the market.
This announcement from the White House was instant and dire. The White House warning of pending flavor bands effectively froze most of the vape market and brought many companies to their knees or drove them out of business all together.
All the while, the number of deaths and hospitalizations from a mysterious vaping related lung disease were increasing by the day. After September 11th the media was in a collective hysteria covering these vaping related illnesses on a nightly basis, while attributing blame to large vape brands like Juul and lack of federal regulations on flavors. Many media outlets claiming that flavors were designed to target children and attract them to the vape products.
When the first deaths and illnesses were being reported many in the vaping industry smelled something fishy with placing blame on nicotine vaping products. Others suspected the vapes that sick or dying people were using may have been tainted in some way or not nicotine vape at all - but black market THC ingested in vapor form through cartridges.
This would make sense; nicotine vaping has been around for more than 10 years and no such illnesses or deaths have ever been reported in the past. So what had changed?
On November 9th a number of media outlets (Including our CDC in the USA) reported that investigations were pointing to a new culprit in the deaths and illnesses that were thought be from nicotine vaping products. The federal report found that the majority of the cartridges tested were THC that was mixed with an additive called Vitamin E acetate.
Vitamin E acetate is a sticky additive that is usually found in food products. THC cartridges on the black-market are ‘cut’ with vitamin E acetate to increase the viscosity or thickness of the THC oil. ('Cutting' is used when a seller wants to have more product without paying for actual product) When inhaled into the lungs the additive can be deadly to the user.
Right on the heels of this new media coverage on vitamin E acetate and it’s possible cause of lung related deaths and illnesses was the November 10th pro-vaping rally outside the White House in Washington D.C. Thousands of vaping advocates from all over the nation converged to show their support of vape and disapproval of the Trump Administrations' potential vaping ban.
This week the Trump administration will be announcing a decision on flavor bans, new vape regulations, or even federal age hikes to 21 for all vape users. It’s suspected that President Trump may be changing his harsh tune on vape flavor bans or regulations because of the jobs that would be lost and the potential to lose millions of votes in the upcoming 2020 election.
The once booming vaping industry has been hurt during this fight and now awaits the next barrage from the White House in the coming days. What the Trump administration decides to do will shape the vape industry in the foreseeable future and could have far reaching impacts on thousands of business across this nation.