Follow The Money, Find Your Answers!
Updated: Sep 25, 2019
On March 4, 2019, the FDA identified the companies listed below as the most egregious offenders selling ecigs to children:
More than 35% of all Marathon’s, Exxon’s, Sunoco’s, BP’s, Citgo’s and Mobil’s in America have been selling to children.
More than 25% of all Shell’s, Chevron’s, Casey’s and 7 Eleven’s in America have been selling to children.
More than 15% of all Wal-Mart’s, Walgreens’, Family Dollars’, Krogers’ and Circle K’s in America have been selling to children.
The FDA also stated on September 11, 2018, exactly one year before President Trump announced his intention to prohibit all flavored vapor, that the 5 brands comprising the “vast majority” of illegal sales were:
JUUL owned by Altria formerly Phillip Morris;
Vuse owned by RJ Reynolds Tobacco;
Blu owned by Imperial Brands formerly Imperial Tobacco;
Markten owned by Altria who was Phillip Morris;
Logic owned by Japan Tobacco.
This can’t be said enough. The vapor products actually targeting our children are all owned by tobacco companies and sold in all ages retail businesses.
Note that these are all closed system vapor products, not open system flavored vapor like what is sold in my small business adult vapor store or the roughly 10,000 other small businesses just like mine.
The guilty companies and retailers, as identified through far-reaching and thorough enforcement actions by the FDA, are not the ones being put out of business.
Also please note that no adult vapor stores or chains made the list. None the less, the small businesses that have dedicated their professional lives to battling the tobacco companies are being put out of business.
In the same statement from March 2019, the FDA stated, “...if these trends of youth e-cigarette use persist, we’ll be forced to consider regulatory steps that could constrain or even foreclose some of the opportunities for currently addicted adult smokers to have the same level of access to these products in order to protect youth.”
Phillip Morris and the rest of these tobacco companies read this warning from the FDA and said, “Bet. Watch us now.”
Fast forward to September 9, 2019. The FDA states, “JUUL products continue to represent a significant proportion of the overall use of ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery system) products by children. Some of this youth use appears to have been a direct result of JUUL’s product design and promotional activities and outreach efforts.”
The FDA goes on to state that a JUUL representative went into a high school and stated that a student “...should mention JUUL to his [nicotine addicted] friend... because that’s a safer alternative than smoking cigarettes, and it would be safer for the kid to use.”
The FDA laid out, I am sure unintentionally, the guide book for Altria who once was Phillip Morris to eliminate an alternative to Marlboro chosen by 13 million Americans. They created this surge in youth vaping on purpose because the FDA told them they would go after Vapor if they did.
And just to make sure their message was heard, Altria who was Phillip Morris spent $2,450,000.00 lobbying in the first quarter of 2019 alone. To gain additional access and perhaps to orchestrate their nefarious plan, JUUL employs or has employed as recently as October 2018:
- Spencer Morrison - 30 year FDA veteran as Director of Risk Mitigation and Compliance;
- Jerry Masoudi - former chief counsel for FDA as Chief Legal Officer;
- Ted McCann - top policy aide to Paul Ryan as a lobbyist;
- Jim Esquea - Obama’s Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services as top in-house lobbyist;
- Josh Raffel - former Trump communications aide;
- Johnny DeStefano - former counsel to President Trump
Employment facts obtained from the Wall Street Journal and ABC.
Now their plan is working. New York just instituted Prohibition against flavored vapor without due process. Michigan is trying to do the same. The President has threatened to do the same federally. Not against JUUL who is happy to only offer tobacco and menthol flavors. Not against Marlboro. Not against Camel who is, I kid you not, now putting coloring sheets on the covers of their cigarette packs.
It may not have required all that much effort to convince some of our political leaders to pursue a purported youth vaping policy remedy that actually benefits the purveyors of cancer to our children.
The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, among other measures, requires these and other Tobacco companies to pay tremendous sums to the States each year ostensibly as recompense for State funds spent on the health consequences of cigarette smoking by State citizens.
Between 1998 and 2017, States received over $126 billion in MSA payments. They spent less than 1% on tobacco prevention programs.
In 2017, States received MSA payments that were 242% of CDC recommended spending levels on youth tobacco prevention. They actually spent 26% of the recommended level.
Multiple states effectively borrowed against projected MSA and tobacco tax revenue in the form of tobacco bonds. As of 2018 and as a partial result of the success of open system small business vapor stores converting 13 million citizens off of their cancer causing products, multiple states face either defaulting on those bonds or raising taxes. And... The levels of MSA payments maxed out by law in 2018. 2019 is the first year wherein the payments will not statutorily increase.
A local reporter asked me a few days ago, regarding the hysterical push to prohibit adult flavored vapor products, “Why now?” I answered, “Because they can.” That answer was given before uncovering the 2019 statutory cap on MSA payments. There seems to be a more clear explanation for the timing.
Anecdotally but relevantly, regarding the two States that have moved the fastest to institute Prohibition without due process:
New York has spent $700,000.00 of Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement Funds on golf carts and a sprinkler system at a public golf course rather than on youth tobacco prevention efforts.
Between 1999 and 2003, Michigan spent 75% of MSA payments on college and high school scholarships and 0% on tobacco cessation or prevention efforts.
Sources for the MSA information above are:
Public Health Law Center
Tobacco Free Kids
United States CDC
The New York Times.
How is it possible that all my non-vaping friends and fellow citizens are not up in arms about this? The same SOBs that lied about the chemicals in their cigarettes for decades are scamming all of us. We are being had.
And there are ways to address the surge in youth vaping. I’m not advocating for doing nothing. If there were no other options to stop children from Juuling, and if I actually sold tobacco company products, I would sacrifice my business. But there are lots of regulatory options that will actually address the issue rather than eliminate competition to the purveyors of addiction to children.
We can target the companies that target your children like JUUL who is Altria who was Phillip Morris; stop online sales; restrict sales to adult only retail locations; or even ban the damn tobacco companies from participating in the vapor industry at all, along with multiple other remedies I would love to discuss with #realDonaldTrump. Despite denials and evasions from some of the wrong headed vapor advocates you see on the TV and social media, there is a problem. And it is caused by the makers of Marlboro and JUUL. Not by us. Not by me. My father raised me right.
Many non-vaping citizens out there are happy about the new Prohibition because you believe the scam you’ve been sold. You think the government is protecting your children. I don’t think for a moment you mean us ill will or tacitly support Marlboro. Yet you do us harm and support Marlboro by your acceptance of this scam.
I don’t blame you. You’ve been lied to. CNN and other media outlets have run highly misleading if not outright false stories about the connections between flavored vapor and youth addiction for months right beneath paid ads run by JUUL. The media that has been misleading you is being paid by the makers of Marlboro to tell those half-truths, falsehoods and dangerous conflations. And they don’t even try to hide it. They rightly assume that you are too wrapped up in hating or loving Trump to notice or care.
I know it’s a scary world. I know the world feels like it is falling apart. I’m terrified every time my daughters’ school texts me that this time it might be a shooter. I know you haven’t had time to look into this with everything else going on. I understand and I don’t blame you.
But right now at this moment in history, your fellow citizens need you to do the right thing and support us. This isn’t a red and blue issue. Governor Cuomo is a Democrat. President Trump is a Republican. Marlboro’s dollars are green.
The facts and the truth are readily available and easily accessed. If you really believe any of the things you say you believe about our country, now is the time to stand up together and stop America’s 3rd Prohibition brought to you by Phillip Morris.
If you liberals really believe in science, choice and the common good, stand up. If you conservatives and libertarians really believe in economic freedom, liberty and choice stand up. Speak out. Put it on your FB page and Twitter feed. Call the White House at 202.456.1414. Tell them you don’t vape and you think vape users are annoying douchebags if that is how you feel, but that you won’t stand for this corrupt BS. Tell them that you believe in American freedom, justice and truth.
Or don’t. I’ll lose my business and my employees will lose their jobs. So what? 89,999 other Americans will lose their jobs. So what? 13 million Americans will lose their freedom to decide what is best for themselves. So what?
But what is next? What scam is going to be run in collusion between some multi-billion dollar company, all the multi-billion dollar media conglomerates, and either corrupt or ill-informed political leaders? Which of your valued freedoms is next?
I don’t know. I really don’t. But I promise you, and I’m speaking for all 13 million of us adult flavored vape users in America, We Will Be There For You If you can just be here now for us.
If we can make it clear here and now that the American people will not be fooled or bought by Big Tobacco’s billions, or anyone else’s billions... If we can make it clear to ourselves that Americans can still come together to save each other across the Trumpian Divide... we just might all have a better tomorrow, If not, American freedom, truth and justice is dead.
Documentation available in comments of original post.
Notes from Vaporize: This is just the beginning of something big.