Small Business Thrives in the Vaping Industry
Today during lunch, I made my way to my usual favorite spot to grab some grub. Tucked away in a small shopping plaza lies a little taqueria offering some of the best tacos and burritos in Washington, I promise. Entering through the door, I waved hello to Beth, the owner, and got my usual. The attention to detail she performs with finesse, and the authentic flavor is a delicious smorgasbord of complementing flavors.
I always try to make it a point to avoid big food chains, and support my local small businesses. Not every place has pleased me as much as Beth’s, but neither has any McDonalds burger. Beth knows me because I order the same food often. Why change something that has already reached perfection? Small businesses simply can’t compete with the massive marketing budgets of larger competitors. Which is why they rely on customers like me to give their food a chance.
Taxation Could Kill Vaping Industry
However, small businesses have sprouted all over the nation in the wake of an exploding popularity in vaping. With e-liquid manufacturers ranging from craftsmen working out of their garage, to popular brands like Cosmic Fog, the vaping industry has grown rapidly. Aside from big tobacco brands such as Vuse or Blu, there are no real dominating leaders in the industry, making competition fair game. Each of these new businesses are trying their luck, putting forth immense effort in crafting their art, and making something special born out of a burning passion.
Unfortunately, regulation by the FDA threatens nearly 99% of these small businesses in the vaping industry. If the FDA deems liquid nicotine a tobacco product, as expected by the end of the year, companies would be required to submit applications. The application would require businesses to itemize ingredients, potential health effects and how each product is manufactured. The process would spell a very expensive and time-consuming dilemma for most of these small businesses. Such a process is expected to put them out of business given how long and costly it is.
E-cigarettes also use liquid nicotine and face the same regulations. However, companies like Altria Group Inc., Lorillard Inc., and Reynolds American Inc. have substantially more financial resources at their disposal and are able to afford the higher cost of a regulated and heavily taxed vape industry. Having lost ground to the personal vaporizer market, big tobacco is eager for these regulations to go into effect. Personal vaporizers account for $2 billion of the $3.5 billion in sales the vaping industry is expected to generate in 2015, according to Wells Fargo Securities.
Protect the Vape Industry. Protect Small Business.
It's small owners like Beth that have one desire, to pursue their passion and be able to make an honest, hard earned living. We have a right to know what is in the products we consume, but not at the cost of the American dream. Small businesses account for 54% of all jobs in the United States. Killing small businesses isn’t just a casualty of entrepreneurial spirit, but the livelihood of so many good Americans like yourself and myself. I understand this, and that is one of the many reasons I choose to support my local small businesses.
We shouldn't allow big tobacco to win. Our communities have tried so hard to win a long fought war to reclaim their lives from tobacco products. Why should we reward the misdeeds of tobacco companies? Part of being an American is having a voice that is heard. I hope that even if you are not someone who vapes, you understand what is at stake here. I encourage you to share this blog, idea, cause, because vaping has had a prolifically positive impact on our society in more ways than one. Costing society more than $18 a pack is just the financial toll big tobacco has had on society. Cigarettes rob people of their health, life choices, dignity, and years of life spent with loved ones. What good can you think of that big tobacco has done? When the ash has finally settled, who is better off?
Live long, vape on!