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Vaping group garners kudos for backing child-proofing law

A US Senate bill has been introduced that will protect children from the danger of drinking nicotine-containing e-liquid, and will go a long way toward protecting vapers and their suppliers from further negative publicity. The bill, introduced by eleven Democratic Senators, will require child-proof caps on e-liquid containers. It's as simple as that.

A good deal of negative attention has been leveled against the vaping community and industry lately because children of careless parents have drunk e-liquid that was left lying around. Anti-vaping enthusiasts have raised the roof about how this displays the dangers of vaping, failing to notice that what it actually shows is the dangers of foolish parental carelessness. But it's an easy fix. Child proof caps. Problem solved. Too bad the industry didn't come up with it on its own. That would have been a PR coup.

(It was also kept hush-hush by vaping opponents that it is impossible to ingest a lethal dose of nicotine e-liquid, since nobody seems to be able to keep the stuff in the stomach. Not a single one of the incidents that produced so much hand wringing resulted in a life-threatening emergency, and most of the children did not even have to go to the hospital. The problem was treated at home, with a sponge.)

One of the real heroes in this whole affair is Greg Conley, formerly legal affairs advisor for CASAA, and now the director of the new American Vaping Association (AVA), an organization devoted to providing a positive public image for the vaping industry and community. The AVA issued a press release on Monday favoring the child-proofing bill and other "common sense laws" that will create safer harm reduction products in the tobacco area, such as a ban on sale to minors.

The AVA release says the bill "aligns with the mission of the e-cigarette industry: to create safer products that further the government’s goal of reducing tobacco-related disease and death.” “E-cigarettes help smokers quit the tobacco habit, but they aren’t for children,” said Conley in the AVA statement, garnering headline status for his organization in an article on the child-proofing bill.

The article goes on to cite the AVA press release to the effect that classifying vaping supplies as tobacco products will "essentially cede the e-cigarette business to major tobacco corporations" by imposing a costly regulatory burden on independents. Thus, the public is starting to hear a voice from the vaping industry that is not identified as coming from Big Tobacco, but indeed opposes Big Tobacco in the name of vapers. This will no doubt surprise a public that has grown used to voices that identify Big Tobacco interests and e-cigarette interests as identical, voices that see e-cigarettes as "a trick by Big Tobacco to get our kids hooked on nicotine."

Conley's group has retained the services of the BGR public relations group in Washington DC, in order to get positive messages about the non-Big-Tobacco vaping industry into the media. They also have a Facebook page with over 2000 "likes" so far, a number that is rapidly growing. And not a single one of them from a Big Tobacco company.