Guest Post: Should the vaping industry use the courts?
News that a relatively new body in the US managed to raise more than $100,000 to take the electronic cigarette fight to the courts has opened a very interesting debate. The body in question is The Smoke Free Alternative Trade Association which has a number of US fundraising exercises in the pipeline as a means of building up a legal war chest. While this is a very interesting development, is this the right route for the vaping industry or should the current tactic of a softly softly approach continue? Why use the courts? Historically court action has proven to be very expensive and time-consuming for bodies such as the tobacco industry and potentially the vaping community. Very often legitimate arguments can be bogged down in legal chitchat which can sometimes mask the truth from the public by an array of legal restrictions. It is a very interesting development to see such a forthright campaign group not only set to use the courts but also raise a significant amount of money in such a short space of time. But is this really the right route? Time to stop the rumours and mistruths Since the vaping industry emerged from the shadows at the turn-of-the-century it has been the victim of an array of campaigns which began with dismissal, ridicule and now we have moved on to potentially excessive regulations. Despite the fact that the vast majority of medical trials have been very supportive of the industry we have seen untruths and rumours peddled as fact as a means of reducing the popularity of electronic cigarettes. As we touched on above, so far the industry has taken a softly softly approach using the emergence of credible medical data to counteract the rumours and untruths. To a certain extent this has proven to be successful, building a bridge of trust from the industry to consumers, but perhaps now it is time to ramp up the pressure? What are the chances of a successful court campaign? In many ways the industry is only looking for a level playing field and the ability to bring medical trial data and supporting evidence into the public domain. Court action in what many see as controversial issues, such as vaping, have the potential to drag on for many years and be extremely costly. However, perhaps it is more valuable to the industry to attract the media coverage which high-profile court cases tend to create and then use this as a means of fighting back? There are some ongoing court challenges at the moment regarding the vaping sector although as seems to be the norm with the worldwide legal system it tends to be one step forward and two steps back. If nothing else the successful fundraising by The Smoke Free Alternative Trade Association has already given the industry the publicity it craves. Whether any court action is ultimately successful remains to be seen but perhaps the potential to bring electronic cigarette supporters together under one fighting banner could prove to be a decisive moment in the future of the vaping industry? Blog brought to you by: