Vape advocacy is a big deal for us at Banzai. If you follow us on social media, you've seen that this month we're really pushing to get the vape community involved. It seems like every week there's a new law passed that directly impacts vaping in the U.S. At the start of this year, new laws went into effect in our neck of the woods, in Pierce County. While banning the sale and use of "e-cigarettes" to minors is something we can get behind, some of the other restrictions seem unfair and out of touch with the industry. One such rule will ban the use of vapor products in work sites, which means vape shops. The Pierce County Health Department has set up fees a vape shop has to pay in order to allow sampling of e-liqiuds in shops, along with "lab testing" fees, whatever those mean. You can read the new regulations here.
As the Tacoma News Tribune reported, Director of Health Anthony L-T Chen stated, "One of the things that we have been concerned about is people basically hanging out in vape shops and vaping in there.” That is not something that we support.”
Think about that for a moment. The Director of Health doesn't want people to hang out in vape shops. I couldn't find a reason why this would matter to anyone, let alone the Health Department of Pierce County. If someone wants to get setup with a new mod, try a new flavor of e-liquid and relax with some friends, why is this such a huge concern? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!
In regards to these new laws and the potential for more around the country, Banzai Vapors co-owner Brandon Beauchesne sat down with fellow co-owner Marc Jarrett. Marc is also the Vice President of the local advocacy group, Punk Lung Brigade, who plan on fighting these new laws. Below is a couple of questions we asked Marc. Click the image above to watch the full interview with Marc from Banzai's "Active Interview Series"
Q: How do local laws affect local businesses?
A: If Counties and/or Cities create their own rules separate from the
State it will have a negative health impact for the citizens that live
within that local jurisdiction. Customers are more likely not to
attempt a new alternative to smoking if the rules governing it make
difficult and/or expensive for them to try. By creating harsher rules
for vapor products than for tobacco products, municipalities serve to
undermine all the success vaping has had helping people quit smoking.
The fear mongering and spread of conjecture masquerading as news that
local counties have resorted to, in order to pass rules against vapor
products, also help create a misinformed public. And the patchwork of
different rules for local jurisdictions also makes for an environment
which is difficult to conduct business in, and nearly impossible for
citizens to know which laws apply where.
Q: Where does the money go? How does the money we donate help?
A: All member fees and fundraising donations are allocated to lobbying
efforts, legal fees, bipartisan campaign donations and minor operating
costs such as website, accounting, and merchant processing fees.
Part 2 of the Active Interview Series went up on our YouTube page earlier today. Brandon talks with Not Blowing Smoke's Stefan Didak. Click here to watch. Please get involved, get active and stay active!