The number 65 will go down in history with regards to HR 2058, the bill proposed by Rep. Tome Cole [R-OK] that will effectively change the predicate date for compliance to the FDA’s deeming regulations of the electronic cigarette market. Rep. Colin Peterson [D-MN-7] becomes the first democrat in the house to put his signature on the bill. How important that is, we’ll get down to in just a second.
Isn’t HR 2058 Dead In The Water?Over the last few weeks we’ve received conflicting report after conflicting report about the importance of this particular piece of legislation. Some telling vapers it is dead, while others are telling them to plow along with contacting their representatives to back it — advocacy leadership have thrown the community in 500 directions. We can state quite categorically that the author of this bill, and co-author of the Cole-Bishop amendment has stated that neither bill is dead and both should be our overall focus. Even though HR 2058 may have sat dormant for a while, it is now picking up signatures as more law makers realize the errors of the FDA’s over reaching power grab.
Why Is This Signature So Important?
Up until this point, many have seen HR 2058 as a partisan bill, some going as far as claiming it is a republican play to “aid their friends in the Tobacco Industry”. While this may sound absurd to vapers, as this community holds more vitriol towards the cigarette manufacturers many claim to have almost destroyed their lives, to the ears of the uninitiated it may actually sound reasonable. Almost all non-vapers believe that the vaping industry is owned by tobacco companies, so that point of view is valid.By having a democratic signature on the list of co-sponsors, we are now able to go back to the many representatives who have turned their backs on this bill as a purely partisan choice. If Rep. Peterson is able to see through the mist of the party line, we may be able to bring others through the fog. We have an extremely long road ahead of us, those of us that are in the battle already know this to be a fact. However, this single mans ability to cross the aisle to help us deal with this issue is probably the greatest piece of news I have heard so far this week.
The Next Move
The next move from the vaping community is the same one that we here at GuideToVaping and CASAA have pushed for months. We created a post a few weeks ago titled CASAA Lists 5 Things You Can Do To Save Vaping– heading to that post will give you a great idea of how to work on in tandem with the advocacy groups who are working on your behalf. The most important part of the list is to contact your representatives and to help educate them. It doesn’t matter what party they are affiliated with, write to them, email them, call them, and try to get a face to face meeting with them. The more law-makers we can convince that our side of the argument is the correct one, the more chance we have of keeping this industry and community alive.