Sometimes, reality isn't what it seems. And once in a rare while, it is exactly the opposite. That is the case in today's Rest of the Story.
Yesterday, I revealed that Dr. Stan Glantz has accused electronic cigarette associations of being front groups for Big Tobacco, insinuating that they are masquerading as grassroots vapers' groups but in reality are working to protect Big Tobacco profits.
Today, I show that ironically, it is Dr. Glantz who is working to protect Big Tobacco profits, while the electronic cigarette groups are working to make cigarettes obsolete.
The most telling point is Dr. Glantz's opposition to legislation that classifies electronic cigarettes as being separate from tobacco products. The electronic cigarette associations have been lobbying local and state governments not to classify e-cigarettes as tobacco products. This makes perfect sense because they are not tobacco products. They contain no tobacco. They are orders of magnitude safer than cigarettes and should not be treated in the same category for regulatory purposes.
Obviously, it is to the great disadvantage of cigarette profits to have e-cigarettes classified and treated separately. For example, if e-cigarettes are taxed as heavily as cigarettes, then cigarettes are protected from competition and have a huge market advantage. If e-cigarette use is not allows in the same places where smoking is allowed, then cigarettes also are protected from competition and gain a huge market advantage.
By opposing the classification of e-cigarettes as tobacco products, the e-cigarette associations have been everything they can to avoid regulations that treat these products in the same way. The reason is simple: such regulations would give cigarettes a huge competitive advantage in the market place. Laws that categorize e-cigarettes the same way as tobacco products are essentially protective legislation for tobacco cigarettes. By fighting such a classification, e-cigarette associations are doing what they can to reject the idea of this protective legislation so that they can gain the upper hand on cigarettes and eventually, make these products obsolete.
Ironically, Dr. Glantz (and numerous anti-smoking groups) are supporting the protective legislation. Which raises the question: Who is acting more as a Big Tobacco front group? The e-cigarette associations, which are fighting protective legislation for tobacco cigarettes, or Glantz and the anti-smoking groups, which are trying to get protective legislation ensconced in every state throughout the country, so that cigarette profits are protected nationwide?