Finally some much awaited positive news for vapers in the US. This new bill goes a step further than the renowned Cole-Bishop proposal, which is expected to be attached to Trump’s spending plan, and could be voted on as early as this week. “Cole-Bishop is like gaining the inch, and Hunter’s legislation the yard,” said Joe Kasper, Hunter’s chief of staff.
One step further than the Cole-Bishop bill
The Cole-Bishop Amendment, H.R.1136, would reverse the existing deeming rule, which regulates e-cigarettes as tobacco products, hence subjects the products to the same harsh regulations governing traditional cigarettes. However, pointed out an article published yesterday on Reuters, “Hunter’s bill would go further, bringing the entire regulatory process to a halt.”
The bill proposed by Hunter would exempt vaping devices from many of those rules, including the long and costly licensing process that has been putting many vape shops and manufacturers out of business. Many public health experts have been advocating for more reasonable rules for months. They argue that making the products unavailable or more expensive will only serve to push smokers who have been using, or intend to use, the proven effective cessation tools to quit, either back to smoking, or else drive them to purchasing the products on the black market, where they are unregulated and unsafe.
Rep. Hunter has been an important figure in fighting for the endorsement of vaping products as harm reduction tools for smoking cessation. Last February he sent a letter to President Trump explaining how the US is doing it all wrong in over regulating the products. Additionally, only last week, Hunter wrote another letter, this time to acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley, urging him to reconsider the newly announced e-cigarette ban on US Navy vehicles.
Vaping products for smoking harm reduction
To that end Hunter’s bill would include the use of vaping products as NRTs for harm reduction purposes. Health experts have been pointing out that while the US is normally all for harm reduction, such as in the case of distributing clean needles to heroin addicts, the country has take the opposite approach where it comes to smoking. Smoking still kills 1 in 10 people in the US, and in countries where vaping products have been endorsed, such as the UK, the number of smokers has reached a record low. Hence, this bill could mark an epic victory for public health.