To say that the past month has been a stressful one for both the vape industry and the vape community would be an understatement of epic proportions..
Ever since the federal government made their announcement on September 11th, it feels like we have taken one loss after another with no signs of it easing up any time soon.
In the best case scenarios, we’ve been given some semblance of hope at public hearings where policymakers have heard both sides of the argument before taking a vote.
However, it hardly feels as though we have been taken very seriously when you consider that in every one of these instances, every single vote across the board has been in favor of whatever ban was being proposed.
But, despite being swept in these public hearings, they are still preferable to the emergency orders that have become all too common among governors across the country.
New York, Michigan, Oregon, and Montana are just a few of the states where the governor decided that they knew what was best for their citizens and, without discussion, debate, or a vote of any kind, put a ban in place.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is that one by one, these bans are being overturned in a court of law.
First, New York’s ban was put on hold by an appellate judge a day before it was to go into effect.
And then the same thing happened in Oregon.
And as of today, Montana has also joined the list of states where a judge has put a stop, if only for the time being, to the impending flavor ban that is sure to be as devastating as it is unconstitutional if it is to go into effect.
But what does this mean? Are we out of the woods? Is the worst behind us?
Well, no. We still have a long fight ahead of us. But damn does it feel good to get some W’s under our belt.
None of these stoppages to the bans are permanent as of now. They are simply stays that are being put in place while each of the cases play out to a conclusion.
And yes, there is still a chance that in the end, these judges will side with the government and rule that the bans are legal.
But, we have a glaring advantage in a court of law that simply does not exist for us in the court of public opinion which leaves me feeling very optimistic about our chances in any and every court case.
You see, it’s one thing to stand up in public, make erroneous claims about vaping, and then announce a ban.
It is another entirely to make those claims in court.
Because in court, you have to actually prove that the claims are true.
The states are going to be required to provide undeniable proof that flavors are directly responsible for underage use and/or the bizarre illnesses happening across the country if they want their bans to be upheld.
And as you and I both know, they won’t be able to because, well, neither are based on even the slightest modicum of truth.
And this is why these wins, even though they are temporary for now, have me excited for the future of vape.
Because while it seems as though we have failed to win a single battle in the war of public opinion, we are winning in the courts, which is where it actually counts.
As long as these products stay legal and available, we will always have time to win over the general public. But we have to win here first to ensure that this can happen.
Until then, keep fighting. Keep making your voice heard. And keep your head up. Because our efforts are finally starting to produce results and for the first time in what feels like a long time, there appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel.