Have you ever wondered why the Democrats are decidedly anti-vaping while the Republicans are more supportive? To understand this division, we first have to return to the early days of Obamacare.
Back in 2009, President Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act was stalling in Congress. Even though the Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate, the bill was losing traction among both parties. The bill simply was not considered cost-effective. So, Obama decided to ask Big Pharma for help.
He needed the pharmaceutical companies to temporarily lower their drug prices. Not wanting to reduce company profits, the drug companies resisted. They did this by threatening to withhold campaign contributions to Democratic senators and congressional representatives during the 2010 midterms. And it worked. Even many of the legislators in Obama’s own party refused to support Obamacare.
Quid Pro Quo: Vaping industry for lower drug prices
To gain the support of Congress, Obama first needed to get Big Pharma on board. In exchange for releasing their stranglehold on political officials and for agreeing to temporarily lower their drug prices, Obama would create legislation that would essentially bankrupt the American vaping industry. Big Pharma was growing very concerned that the popularity of vaping was eating into their profits from other, more conventional smoking cessation products like “the patch” and nicotine gum.
So, Obama and the Dems passed a little-known law called the Tobacco Control Act of 2009 which granted the FDA authority to regulate the entire tobacco industry. The legislation also led to the creation of the Center for Tobacco Products, a new branch of the FDA that would oversee the process. To head this agency, Obama handpicked a man by the name of Mitch Zeller, a former political lobbyist for Big Pharma companies like GlaxoSmithKline – the patent holder for NicoDerm CQ and other smoking cessation products.
Obama also gave Zeller’s former boss a seat at the legislative table. Jack Henningfield was appointed to the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee. And together, Zeller and Henningfield began the process of writing the now highly-controversial FDA deeming regulations that threaten to wipe out nearly 99 percent of the American vaping industry by 2018.
Obama got his healthcare bill passed, and Big Pharma was promised a way to recoup some of their lost profits from agreeing to temporarily drop drug prices until the President was out of office. And the rest, as they say, is history!