Vaping hangs in the balance without amendment
When I opened Binky’s Vapes two years ago, I started with the “American Dream” in mind and focused on building success from the ground up. Now, that dream is in danger of turning into a nightmare come August 2018.
Rules recently released by the Food & Drug Administration will result in the closure of my store and hundreds of others in Mar yland. Without action by Congress, particularly our Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md., 5th), more than 50,000 jobs will be lost nationwide and current adult smokers will be denied access to products internationally recognized as far less harmful than smoking. Congressman Hoyer has the power to change this course.
My family and I started our business in our basement and have worked hard to grow this business and have created a community around the people it serves. We found vaping as an alternative to smoking and now, I have had the opportunity to help so many with their health by offering them the same alternative. Countless people have told me they are living a better life because of vapor products, but all of that is at risk of being taken away.
Despite the known health risks, just last year it was reported that more than 850,000 Mar yland residents still smoke cigarettes. While more than three-fourths of them reported wanting to quit, of the smokers that do make that attempt during any given year, only a small number will succeed using pharmaceutical tools. Smokers deserve options, which is why I support the bipartisan Cole-Bishop Amendment to the House Agriculture Appropriations bill. This amendment will help reduce the number of smokers by giving Mar ylanders — and people across the country — the alternatives they deserve.
The Cole-Bishop Amendment should become law this year. Without it, more than 99 percent of vapor products on the market today will be banned due to massive costs associated with gaining retroactive product approvals by the FDA. By modernizing what the FDA calls the “predicate date,” the amendment would allow products that were on the market when the FDA finalized their regulations to stay on the market. Some activists claim that this change would leave vapor products unregulated, but that’s just political rhetoric. To the contrar y, the amendment specifically requires and empowers the FDA to set rigorous product standards, advertising restrictions and other measures.
Congressman Hoyer has been a leader in pushing job creation and fighting to rebuild our economy here in Maryland. We know he recognizes that small businesses are the backbone of the economy, and that keeping money in the district is vital. That is why we are hopeful that Congressman Hoyer will fight for us. The vaping industry is benefiting so many areas, including the economy and in reducing smoking in Maryland, so why not fight to help move it forward?
My customers and I are asking Congressman Hoyer to formally request that Democratic leadership include the Cole-Bishop Amendment in this year’s omnibus spending bill. By doing this, he will be defending numerous small businesses, including Binky’s Vapes, that have a large economic impact in his district.
Binky’s Vapes is only one of thousands of vapor businesses in America. Tens of thousands of jobs hang in the balance due to the rigid refusal of the FDA to regulate reasonably. We are asking Congressman Hoyer today to defend consumer choice, small businesses and local jobs by pushing for vital changes to the FDA’s regulation to occur this year.