It took me a while to follow this particular trail of breadcrumbs… but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in life it’s the fact that there is always a trail of breadcrumbs. In an official report filed this month (June, 2013) by Altria Group Inc. to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the corporation announced it’s recommendation to the FDA that the agency (among other questionable things) include in their regulation of E-cigarettes (or MRTP- Modified Risk Tobacco Products) guidelines to “Good Manufacturing Practices that enable consistent product performance and reduce variability.” Remember the terms in bold print… these are the terms that will attempt to bury the smaller, healthier e-cigarette companies.
It has already become apparent that Big Tobacco companies are referring to e-cigarettes as tobacco products, which is inherently false. Nicotine is derived from tobacco, true, but it is no more tobacco than Premarin is horse piss. Nicotine does not maintain the qualities, traits and characteristics of tobacco after it is isolated. Why does this matter? Because Altria’s Nu Mark MarkTen E-cigarettes will turn a higher profit if E-liquid is regulated as a tobacco product, by which Altria is already prepared to abide. And abiding by the FDA’s tobacco regulations is something that only the wealthiest corporations can afford to successfully finance.
Now, let’s revisit those aforementioned, highlighted terms. If you can remember back to your analog smoking days, you’ll remember that a Marlboro Red bought at a crappy gas station in Bumf**k Mississippi tasted EXACTLY the same as one bought at a high society cigar store in Beverly Hills. This is because the Tobacco companies go to extreme measures to ensure that they provide consistent product performance and reduced variability. Straight from the horse’s mouth, in a report filed by Big Tobacco to the World Health Organization entitled “ADDITIVES, CIGARETTE DESIGN and TOBACCO PRODUCT REGULATION” a spokesman for a tobacco corporation discussed the use of reconstituted tobacco. Essentially, this term refers to tobacco that has been processed and combined with additives and various other chemicals (Ammonia chemistry) in order to “equalize the concentration of nicotine.” Ammonia chemistry produces “free nicotine” which is more potent than naturally occurring nicotine.
This is all fine and dandy… I suppose if I wanted to sell billions of cigarettes to millions of people, I’d prefer that they all be fairly similar in constitution. The problem comes in the form of greed, and is seen in another statement made during the same World Health Organization-submitted report. One might assume that reconstituted tobacco (a severe misnomer of the highest degree) is a fancy term for “recycling waste tobacco” or making the manufacturing process more economically feasible. It is admitted that this is not the case, implying that the process more than likely costs more money and uses more tobacco than the alternative of keeping with the natural farm-to-cigarette method. They give two real reasons for the use of reconstituted tobacco: 1. It introduces a significant amount of additives into the blend increasing the “addictive capacity” of each cigarette. 2. It makes the smoke of the cigarette easier to inhale.
So, to tie all of this together… this is how it’s all going to go down: The FDA, with the full support of Big Tobacco, will regulate E-cigarettes as a tobacco product. In doing so, they will establish guidelines for “Good Manufacturing Practices,” which will require consistent product performance and reduced variability. To fulfil these requirements, Big Tobacco will modify it’s processes of reconstituted tobacco to make their E-liquid blends more addictive and consistently uniform. There will be very few smaller, private, proprietorship or LLC-based E-cigarette companies who can even dream of ever being able to afford the manufacturing equipment, not to mention labor, energy, insurance, etc. costs required for the process of tobacco reconstitution. And without that equipment, they will never be able to meet the FDA’s regulatory requirements. So, there you have it. Corporate America wins again by standing on our shoulders to reach their goal, then after they have a firm grasp they reach down with a scimitar and decapitate us. Say goodbye to your three-ingredient E-juices. Gotta love the ingenuity of the ultimately corrupt and the absolutely greedy.