Big cigarette companies in the US are encouraging the government to help snuff out competition from small start-ups trying to sell electronic cigarettes, according to a piece in the National Review Online by Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association.
‘When the success of America’s largest companies is threatened, they often turn to the government for a helping hand,’ Conley said. ‘They have been doing that for at least the past century. In recent years Congress gave more than $1 trillion in bailouts to banks, car companies, and credit lenders in the midst of great financial turmoil. But that kind of generosity isn’t the only way Uncle Sam has helped many of America’s biggest companies maintain market share. Using the growing bureaucracy’s powerful regulations, many corporations have worked hand in hand with government to snuff out competition.’
Conley went on to say that a recent example of this offensive was Big Tobacco’s actions against the thousands of small start-ups that were helping people quit smoking. ‘Cigarette companies are spending millions of dollars to push product bans, higher taxes, and expensive regulations on their competitors,’ he said.
Conley appeared to be most concerned about the attacks being mounted against premium vapor products, the sorts of refillable products that have been credited with the most success in weaning smokers from traditional cigarettes.
‘Reynolds [American]’s push for more-coercive taxation, burdensome regulations, and even bans on their competitors make sense, as no company wants to see its consumers switch to products it doesn’t sell,’ Conley said. ‘Unfortunately, if the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] and state lawmakers merely accept the agenda being pushed by Reynolds and other large cigarette companies, public health and market freedom will suffer. It’s time lawmakers and bureaucrats realize this and stop trying to protect cigarette companies from consumer choice.’
The full story is at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/396466/big-tobaccos-war-vaping-gregory-conley