There’s nothing like scaring the hell out of parents about their children to raise a non-issue to a full moral panic instantly. The anti-tobacco industry has done this successfully over and over, and now they’re using it to pressure the FDA to include a full ban on e-liquid flavors in the deeming regulations.

A new report from a coalition of anti-nicotine groups, led by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, claims to show that kids are being lured into nicotine addiction by flavored products sold by “tobacco companies.” Of course, the flavors they use as examples — gummy bear, cotton candy, blah blah blah — are not sold by tobacco companies, but by independent vape companies that were built by ex-smokers who quit by vaping.

We know the FDA wanted to ban e-liquid flavors, except tobacco and menthol. The original version of the deeming rule actually included a flavor ban. The agency was pulled back from prohibiting flavors by the White House Office of Management and Budget — probably to avoid a massive fight — but nothing prevents the FDA from adding it to the regulations any time they like.

And that’s what this anti-vape cabal wants. They’re encouraging people to contact their Congressional representatives to demand votes against the Cole-Bishop Bill (HR 1136), which would change the predicate date in the deeming regulations to allow current vape products to remain on the market.

They’re trying to mobilize opposition to legislation that would save the vapor industry by whipping up fear about the hated tobacco industry driving kids into a lifetime of “addiction.” They’re shameless in their lies. “Flavors improve the taste and reduce the harshness of tobacco products, making them more appealing and easier for beginners – often kids – to try the product and ultimately become addicted.” they write. “Since most tobacco users start before age 18, flavored tobacco products play a critical role in the industry’s marketing playbook.”

They imply that they have science to back up their hatred of all things vaping, but it’s all based on a foundation of dust. “A government study found that 81 percent of kids who have ever used tobacco products started with a flavored product, including 81 percent who have ever tried e-cigarettes and 65 percent who have ever tried cigars, they say.”

How does that work? Well, since the FDA has deemed e-cigs to be tobacco products, any company that makes e-liquid is now a “tobacco company.” So every statement they make about tobacco use or tobacco manufacturers now applies to vaping and vaping products.

It’s all nonsense — like every bit of anti-nicotine and anti-vaping propaganda these groups have ever issued. They use the threat of smoking to encourage rules that will prevent smokers from accessing far safer products, and confuse the disease with the cure over and over again.

“As this new report reinforces, the tobacco industry is relentless in its pursuit to recruit the next generation of addicted users, and at an early age – exploiting new technology and appealing flavors to seal their deadly deal,” said The American Heart Association’s CEO Nancy Brown in the press release.

Vapers need to take action now to counteract this public relations offensive. Call your U.S. Representative, and send letters and e-mails. They need to hear from every vaper that the Cole-Bishop Bill protects the products that help us stay away from smoking. Tell them your story. Ask them to consider the lives of adult smokers. Remind them that there is no evidence that kids are moving from vaping to cigarette smoking; in fact, kids are smoking less now that ever before.

Remember, the quick link to connect with Congress is at CASAA’s site. If you want to include information about why flavors matter so much to adult vapers, Clive Bates has a terrific paper describing the myths and facts about e-liquid flavors. It’s perfect for quoting.

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