All of this is important to research and reflect on, but what’s even more significant is the overall repercussions that countless American workers, business owners and families will be negatively affected by this transition the FDA felt the need to install and enforce.
Does the FDA truly understand what it is that they’re doing? It could be interpreted that they have no idea what it is they’re creating and destroying simultaneously.
The fact of the matter is that, no matter what the FDA thinks they’re doing, whether they truly believe they’re protecting the youth of America and making a safer society for us all or whether they are simply following orders from the nation’s most powerful industrialists, they are ruining lives in in the process, young and old.
FDA Regulatory Overreach Interpretation
When taking the severity of the published FDA Regulations on the sale of vapor products into consideration, one must not merely glance at the mainstream media stories, yet if you care to understand what exactly these federal restrictions actually entail, then it is absolutely essential to scratch the surface until you’re able to dig deeper. Read as many articles you could possibly discover whether online or in vapor magazines and other publications – do the proper research, if you are a vaper, this is your due diligence.
This is the final installment of the research series on the topic of Senator Ron Johnson demanding the FDA to produce evidence and adequate documentation for their regulatory overreach. The regulations have transformed – the story of this authoritarian nightmare for small business owners and vaping enthusiasts can now be referred to as a “headline topic-turned-sociopolitical issue.” Furthermore, it is irrefutable that you’ll often see the word “Overreach” when putting in the work to research the issue. So, out of curiosity, I felt the need to right click on the word “Overreach” while working on a separate article in the Google Documents Application just to see how “Overreach” was being defined by the app. Here is the example sentence that was provided for that particular word: “Faustus’s lunacy in thinking he can overreach the devil.”
Ummm, Sure, Okay? That’s a tad bit creepy and slightly reminiscent of what is being expressed by this FDA regulatory overreach with the new vaping requirements. After reading that particular excerpt, I simply thought…”WTF.” To be clear, in no way did I recite those letters to myself in the exact order that it is always presented to us, I actually mouthed it’s literal translation due primarily to the fact that I am an American adult with Constitutional Rights, namely the Freedom of Speech. Plus, I kind of like the sound of the literal translation, meaning, I guess I enjoy swear words from time to time, especially among these specific circumstances. The point here is that “WTF” was a suitable response to this sample sentence due to the fact that it was representing the word “Overreach” as pure evil and something bred from hell. Too dramatic? Perhaps.
However, if you stood to lose everything, the business you started from the ground up, you’d be feeling rather dramatic as well. Many of my friends and colleagues can surely attest to that. One of my favorite hobbies is going vape-shop-hoppin’ – back and forth to as many different vape shops as I can find, searching for the best deals and friendliest staff. Now, this hobby of mine will be no longer available, as the transition to these regulations will take place over the next two to three years and many shops have already begun closing their doors for good. The FDA estimates that 99.9% of the vaping industry will be eradicated. What if you owned one of these businesses? My deepest apologies goes out to these trailblazing, innovative modern-day businessmen and women who have put every penny they’ve earned into their ventures. I’m sorry I could not do more to help. I wish I had the proper connections to simply flip a switch so we can end this drama. You will always have my support.
FDA Regulatory Overreach Repercussions
If you feel this interpretation is too dramatic, allow me to illustrate some repercussions from the overreach. Say for instance, I were to interview thousands of these small business owners in the vaping industry so we can all hear the experiences they’re going through due to this regulatory “Overreach” by the FDA. These ordinary American citizens who happen to own their own businesses, who gave up their former careers in order to throw everything they had, giving everything they could give to help smokers switch to a healthier alternative – believing wholeheartedly that they were ultimately making the world a better a place for all to live and live freely. A majority of these business owners became passionate and thankful for the livelihood they were able to build from the ground up in which they felt great about helping others while earning an honest buck, making their families more well-off in the process.
However, now and in the not-so-distant future, with special thanks to the insightful provisions set by the FDA, all of those glorious feelings and positive attitudes that were gained and shared by some of America’s fastest-growing small business owners will be directly stripped from their lives and the smiles on their children’s faces may turn to frowns or at least empty stares of confusion when their parents inform them they have to move to smaller houses and meet new friends since their smaller living quarters will be located in a different type of community.
It is referred to as the vaping “community” for a reason, because the art of vaping has indeed built a foundation that has evolved into a community surrounding itself and a community has been solidified from within. It allowed the business owners within the vaping industry to provide for their families, to live in better communities, with better opportunities. Why would the Federal Government want to eliminate all the good and all the happiness that has come from this once very tiny, but now very innovative and relentlessly expanding industry? Politics? Economics? Public Health? Envy? Hegemony? Child Safety? Marginalization? Money? Power?
What is the real problem? Where is the true answer to this mind-boggling prohibition? The answers to why this is happening may never be found, yet the truth of how it has happened may be revealed in due time. Time heals all wounds, as is said by many.
Have Senator Johnson’s Letters Helped Formulate More Clarity?
It was, at first glance, very promising for countless vaping advocacy groups, vape-related businesses and vapor product consumers to read words written by the Chairman of an important federal government committee – specifically words organized in a sensible fashion, emphasizing logical viewpoints which many advocates tend to share as well. For instance, in Johnson’s first letter, he clearly stated: “How is the FDA’s regulation of e-cigarettes not a premature restriction on an industry, given the FDA’s admission that it does not have “sufficient data” about e-cigarettes to determine the effects on the public’s health?”
This is obviously an extremely well-made point of view. The Senator was raising some strong argumentative factors for all who read the letter to deeply consider – all those except the FDA apparently. This proves that without a doubt, the FDA is operating with an extreme lack of logic and absent sense of civility. Or, more likely, they are basing their decisions on a hidden agenda.
That is exactly why I was fascinated by looking deeper into learning who Senator Johnson is as a man, as a politician and as a leader in the political environment trying to seek-out more clarity. A man with some authority inquiring about the same information many vapers wanted to and needed to know.
Vape-related business owners and Vapor product consumers are very logical and sensible people for the most part, so a reasonably explained reply that could help the vaping community understand the rationale behind this enforcement of harsh restrictions reflective of a modern day “Prohibition Era” would certainly allow the vape industry some sort of peace or inner-calm and a stronger comprehension of these mysterious closed-doors the FDA refuses to crack open.
Ultimately, vapers and vape-related businesses need Chairman Johnson to do more, to help push the FDA to provide evidence that at least made sense, some concrete proof toward a better understanding of how the FDA justifies destroying thousands of American lives and contributing to the fast-paced decline of small business in America.
Will Senator Johnson help the Vaping Community Gain a Logical Explanation from the FDA
Realistically, the clarification Senator Johnson and the vape community is demanding may never be reached, but the FDA directly admitted that they know absolutely nothing about this technology and so they are clearly afraid of it. So, is the answer to why this is happening merely the fact that people do not understand it and thus fear it? I’m not convinced by that simplification because this has obviously been building up to become such a complicated state of affairs that I’m beginning to believe that the FDA is unable to provide an appropriate explanation since I’m more convinced they do not know exactly what to say or how to say it.
Overall, if we do not learn anything from this clear violation of unethical regulatory overreach, we will at least learn that advocacy has taught us to never conceal the truth from the general public and actually make the real facts known. That’s what I want to see happen next from Chairman Ron Johnson, I want him to reveal how these regulations and the hype which allowed them to become reality, were fueled by a massive cover-up commited by Big Government and Big Businesses conspiring together to prohibit a billion-dollar industry from functioning and thus flourishing – an industry primarily made up of anti-tobacco small business owners, dreamchasers, goal-achievers, young professionals, as well as innovative entrepreneurs.
What’s more, is that most of the individuals who are responsible for growing the small-business sector of the vaping industry are multi-faceted. They are health-improvers, passionate researchers, truth-seekers, inventive answer-designers, ladder-climbers, consumer-solution reminders, open-minded artists, 24/7 hard-working grinders, radiant trailblazers, creative pathfinders, vivid visionaries, game-changers, former tobacco-abusers, active advocates, true-believers, in which all of these amazing individuals make-up the dwindling remainder of the true saviors of lifesaving we see so little of today. Some may be thinking, these claims are over-the-top, however, what is most extreme is the fact that nearly half a million Americans die each year due to tobacco-related illness.
The vape industry is one of the most unique and fascinating cultural phenomenons we’ve all been witnesses to throughout the beginning of the 21st century. Some may argue that the very act of vaping is indeed one of the biggest public health interventions within human history – now forced by federal regulation to remain in the dusts of yesteryear. Still, it’s so difficult to wrap your head around – destroying a billion-dollar industry for what reason? In fact, the reason doesn’t matter nearly as much as the notion that this is the United States of America – the so-called land of opportunity or now we might be “the land of not-your-turn-to-be.” America was built on the base of small business and having the right to pursue your dream in growing that business.
Regardless of what the vaping industry once was, what it has become or where it is forced to stay, all vapers, especially advocates of vaping, now know these national restrictions are not necessarily an intrical plot or unexplainable conspiracy, this whole scenario is out in the great-wide-open for all to see. However, U.S. citizens are plagued with apathetic attitudes toward this blatant violation of constitutional rights because they are smothered with news of mass shootings all across the American soil and additionally obligated to stay informed about the upcoming Presidential election, a three-ring-circus far from providing peace of mind.
Unfortunately it seems as if our own fellow-citizens tasked with the duties of attempting to govern the American population would rather see this country transform from the land of the free and home of the brave into the land of the plea and home of the grave. Morbid? Perhaps, however, as previously mentioned, it is necessary to reiterate smoking tobacco cigarettes account for the deaths of nearly a half-million Americans annually and approximately 6 million globally.
God forbid we have a consumer-driven market creating safer alternatives for smokers to turn to when they feel the need to quit the deadly habit of tobacco abuse. Vaping does not consist of any combustible tobacco, it is merely the heating of nicotine. The only similarities between both smoking and vaping is the process of how each is administered – inhalation and exhalation, that is it, no other similarities.
Yet, it’s not out of the question to suggest that maybe our nation’s leaders of business and government do not want us to quit smoking, given the fact that the tax revenues earned from Big Tobacco exceed the total sales from the Vaping industry. If they wanted us to quit, there would be far more government officials supporting the movement of vapor product sales- essentially helping preserve the industry.
Are there Other Elected Officials Directly Helping the Vaping Community? Who are they?
Whether you believe in Senator Johnson and his overall intentions or not, you must admit, he has been a crucial factor in raising questions that many in the vaping community also have and Johnson has had the gumption to make them public. How many other politicians are diligently expressing their concerns about these particular regulations? Well, I could answer that by telling you Rep.
Fred Upton, a Republican Congressman from Michigan is largely in favor of vaping and this is highly advantageous for Vapers and their beloved industry. Anyone want to guess why this could be such an advantage? Never mind, I’ll just either remind you or inform you that Fred Upton is the Chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee which the HR 2058 bill must pass successfully through first before a vote goes into Congress.
The Cole-Bishop Amendment & HR 2058 bill are critical pieces of legislation for the Vaping industry. HR 2058 essentially would help decrease the harsh severity in the regulations. CASAA states in a blog section on their website: “The FDA Deeming Authority Clarification Act of 2015 (HR 2058), introduced by Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, would save the U.S. vapor industry from being destroyed by improper regulations by the FDA. This bill would amend the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act to change the grandfather date for “deemed tobacco products.” This change would allow for most vapor products currently on the market to remain on the market without being subject to the burdensome (read: prohibitive) pre-market FDA approval application process.” (https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2058/text)
The Other Politicians Supporting the Vape Industry
How many additional individuals holding a position within public office are boldly questioning these very serious circumstances? Not many more, but another Congressman, Republican Robert Anderholt of Alabama as well as Iowa’s Attorney General Tom Miller has released a number of statements expressing his concerns for not identifying this obvious technological advancement as a highly effective tool for smoking cessation. How many other people in general, besides advocacy groups or independent advocates, are actively confronting this crony capitalistic decision made by the FDA?
Larry W. Faircloth, from the West Virginia House of Delegates has announced that he will be running to be elected as his state’s Treasurer has also drafted a Congressional Petition and Resolution Enactment for Fighting the FDA. In this Petition, he states:
“We strongly believe this is an inappropriate framework for regulating low-risk, smoke-free vapor products that contain no tobacco. We strongly believe that FDA should allow e-cigarette manufacturers and retailers to tell the truth about their products in that they can be an effective way to end a deadly cigarette habit. We strongly believe the FDA should develop a separate regulatory framework that is tailored to the vapor product industry and helps facilitate consumer access to the diversity of products that are available today. We strongly believe that vapor products present a monumental opportunity to greatly improve public health. Therefore, the FDA’s regulatory intervention is extreme and will unjustifiably cause thousands of Americans to lose their jobs while, at the same time, place millions more at risk of returning to smoking or never having the opportunity to switch to a low-risk alternative to cigarettes.”
Where has the Libertarian Party been throughout this Debate?
Minus the equivalency to handful of federal government partisans consisting of a few Congressman, a Senator or two, a House Delegate and an Attorney General, not too many other voices are being heard when there certainly should be many more collective.
For example, why haven’t we heard from Presidential candidate Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party? Former Governor Gary Johnson is a long-time marijuana advocate as the Governor of New Mexico for many years. Libertarians are literally the political party based on principles of laissez-faire economics (“hands-off, government!”). The Libertarian Party Preamble states:
“As Libertarians, we seek a world of Liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefits of others.”
Libertarians strongly oppose any government interfering in their personal, family and business decisions.” Libertarian Party members state, “Essentially, we believe all Americans should be free to live their lives and pursue their interests as they see fit as long as they do no harm to another.
We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.
Consequently, we defend each person’s right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power.”
Why would Libertarians not become more involved in the regulatory overreach by the government agency, the FDA? The Vaping regulations can obviously be categorized as government interference which does not allow citizens to follow their own dreams – in fact, this interference by a government agency is indeed damaging countless dreams. Where are the Libertarians? Senator Ron Johnson is not Libertarian, yet he has still made an effort to interfere with the FDA regulations, something that the Libertarian Party should strongly be in favor of.
Not to mention, why would the American public simply allow such a clear abuse of power with authoritarian methods to occur without any pushback? In retrospect, whenever Americans are exposed to learning about violations of Constitutional Rights, they quickly and typically express their emotions that consist of feeling downright disgusted.
Americans often view such actions by the government as wrong and especially shameful. Well, it could be said that it is shameful for the American general public to sit-back and allow such a violation of our beloved constitutional rights. Time to step it up America. Oh, wait a second, I forgot, the federal government has brainwashed Americans into believing vaping is the same as smoking – why and how in the holy goodness of Gandhi could the American general public be so naive? Nevermind, don’t even attempt to answer that, it will take far too much time to list all the reasons – which these reasons are mainly due to controlled social behavior by the powers that be, the American Center for Civilian Obedience I believe could provide some statistics (feel free to disregard my sarcasm here, then again, I may have to Google search the concept of an “American Center for Civilian Obedience”). Actually, do me a quick favor and search that, let’s see what pops up. We’re having fun, right?
Is the Process of Writing Letters the Best Approach to Confront the FDA?
When researching the actions of writing letters to the FDA that Senator Ron Johnson sending one after the other, it supplies some minor relief, but it certainly assembles much doubt as well.
My primary reason for feeling rather uneasy about this situation is simple – an individual representing the federal government in public office is questioning an administrative agency representing the federal government and demanding clear, concise answers in a timely manner. When has anything concerning the federal government that required a rational explanation, ever been completed in a timely manner, especially paperwork?
Furthermore, why not reassess the scenario and strategize a more effective approach? How about abandoning the technique of sending paperwork accompanied by a due date, either thrown down by the wayside or thrown out the window completely?
These questions are directly aimed in the direction of Senator Johnson, of course. Why not try your hand at a more efficient questioning method simply by executing a more strategic and direct demand, such as requesting to appear in front of the governmental affairs committee, where Senator Johnson leads as the committee chairman?
Then again, beggars can’t be choosers and I should be extremely thankful for the very fact that Senator Johnson is at least being proactive and using his position of authority to question the logic behind the decisions made by the FDA. So, Senator Ron Johnson, (although it is doubtful he is reading along), I thank you for being a politician in favor of seeking out the truth and logical reasoning. I hope those are your true intentions because, for vaping advocates, that is most definitely the case.
What do Vaping Advocates Represent & Symbolize?
What vaping advocates ultimately practice and preach: seeking justice, discovering truths, honoring honesty, presenting facts and passing on all that information to the proper authorities or more accurately the most open-minded lawmakers – if they exist.
Above all, vaping advocates are determined to share their factual research with the general public. Let’s just hope the public listens and hears it all loud and clear and for goodness sake, stop wasting time with Pokémon Go – but it’s so much fun though, right? Who cares? It’s just another distraction – another motivator for civil disengagement. Focus on what makes the people you share this world with safer and better off. What if every citizen used their free time to participate in more activities that were beneficial to protecting their fellow countrymen & women? What would our social conditions be like if more of our fellow citizens fully believed in civil engagement? That is, being directly involved with engaging in activities defined by civil duty, being a responsible citizen who cares about their community.
Luckily, the vaping industry may have found a political ally in Senator Ron Johnson, who seems to be one of the few politicians directly voicing their concern and speaking out against the overreach of the FDA regulations. This allows the vaping community to feel some sense of security. Not to mention, having a sitting-Senator with some authority, it allows the vape industry to feel some minor type of relief – a feeling of relief that the vape movement still maintains a sliver of social relevance.
When a major political figure stands up for an industry that is essentially being shoved face-first into an era of Prohibition, a relief is slightly and lightly lifted. The impossible odds vapers are up against tend to seem less strenuous, still believing that their livelihoods are undeniably significant. Yet, how does the vaping community know this is not just the complete opposite? I’m almost certain that I’ve heard a powerful dialogue sequence in the film Shooter and coincidentally a few other movies, which states “ Nothing is at all what it seems.” While this is certainly suspicious and creepy, it may very well be the reality we all live in but still somehow refuse to understand it.
On Instagram, Senator Ron Johnson’s actions of challenging the FDA seems to be posted quite a few times. However, I recently read one of my fellow advocate’s posts, which was quite intriguing and seemed to approach this issue with a similar mindset as my own, which includes: absolute suspicion & pure speculation. A member of the advocacy groups known as VAPERSArmy and The Vaping Legion, with the Instagram name @Tw11tch made a post on this social media site that clearly stood out among the rest. Underneath a picture of the Senator, @Tw11tch wrote:
@senronjohnson AUGUST 8TH IS FAST APPROACHING!!! To all of those not in the loop, Senator Ron Johnson has been the political face for Vapers for a few months now, Simply because he has written several formal requests for the FDA to explain it’s deeming regs and the science behind it. So what’s wrong with this? The FDA has essentially a year to respond so it’s unlikely to accomplish anything since he is likely to be out of office (being favored to lose by as much as 14% this election). The buck will be passed to the next candidate. WHAT HE CAN DO: File a Formal Legislative Injunction that will require the FDA to reply within 72 hours. It is essentially a Subpoena. There will be no waiting. Ask Senator Johnson (Your elected official) to make this happen. Nothing is preventing him from doing this. #demandjustice #JOHNSONJUSTDOIT #vapingsaveslives #JOHNSONsubpoenathefda #wethepeople #isupporthr2058 #isignedit #ivapeivote
Here is Exactly What Johnson Can Do:
File a Formal Legislative Injunction that will require the FDA to reply within 72 hours. It is essentially a Subpoena. There will be no waiting. Ask Senator Johnson (Your elected official) to make this happen. Nothing is preventing him from doing this.
All in all, we have discussed much more information than I expected, then again, it was absolutely necessary for a thorough sociological analysis of this situation. SO, we have discussed what Senator Johnson can do, but what can I do besides just simply researching and ranting on and on about the failures of others? Good question, right?
Well, I know exactly what I should do – I decided there is only one way to find out more information or better insider info than what the Internet or my college textbooks could not provide and that is to go directly to the source himself. Thus, I am planning to call Senator Ron Johnson’s offices located in Washington D.C., as all requests by the press are directed to contact this office location in order to ask any sort of question that might be written or recorded. Besides, with so many issues on his plate that he is forced to juggle, I’m sure he’d love to hear from me.
Not to mention, I’m sure he’d love to hear from all who have been reading along. Therefore, please see the contact information listed below for Senator Ron Johnson.
Additionally, Please review this pre-written letter which is a perfect example of how a vaper can be proactive by writing to Senator Johnson: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3ZMfzcAH4TJeG5mREtWX2s2Z0k/view
Add your comment below
That pretty much sums up everything I have prepared for this 5 part research series on Ron Johnson’s Letters sent to the FDA – an attempt to challenge the regulations on vaping. Please feel free to comment on this article below or make other story recommendations that you may possibly enjoy reading in the near future.
If you take anything away from this series of research articles, I hope that it is these vaping regulations are illogical and something needs to continually be done in order to revise this authoritarian ruling made by the FDA. Remember that every voice matters, especially yours and this is America, so we can take action, it’s our right. You are strong, you are intelligent, you are someone who matters, so be proactive in any issue you care for – be an American advocate!