If you’re a vaper, there’s probably no way you missed the news that the FDA’s new vaping regulations. Their new strategy supports vaping as an alternative for smokers. This makes sense, since the FDA also plans to lower the nicotine content in cigarettes at the same time. Thus, more smokers may then consider vaping instead. But will they? Smokers by and large are often turned off of the idea of vaping because of the huge stigma surrounding e-cigarettes. Add to this the fact that large media outlets and junk science reports have made vaping seem even more dangerous and evil than cigarettes and you have a recipe for reluctance. I vape, for instance, but I know a lot of people who smoke and I’ve often heard them say things like, “You don’t know what’s in that,” or, “I’ve heard that’s not much better than smoking.” I’ve even gotten flak from people who think that you’re still basically smoking if you’re vaping. The question remains whether, despite all of these reservations, smokers will turn to vaping out of necessity. I mean, it’s pretty surprising that the FDA would suddenly turn against big tobacco, right? Well, I think there are a couple of things that can explain this. My co-worker brought something up the other day that makes me wonder about how many smokers will become vapers after the FDA’s new vaping regulations go into effect. It also made me reconsider how anti-big tobacco these regulations are. He said, “Now people will just have to buy twice as many cigarettes.” That’s entirely possible. And that wouldn’t harm big tobacco’s pocketbooks. Another point is that Big Tobacco has been aware for a long time that cigarettes are likely to be eclipsed by e-cigarettes, so it’s not as though this will totally blindside them either. Many tobacco companies have their own e-cigarettes. Add to this that Phillips Morris has developed the iQOS cigarette which burns actual tobacco instead of vaporizing e-liquid. They know what’s up; they’re ready to snuff out the little guy if they need to. Additionally, big tobacco firms are the only organizations that would be able to afford the PMTA even though it has been pushed back to 2022. As the FDA’s new regulations stand, the PMTA still affects products made after February 15, 2007. Big tobacco doesn’t have a lot of e-cigarette products compared to its massive assortment of cigarettes, so it won’t be a problem for them to shift their funds to this requirement if it ends up standing. Meanwhile, small vape shops would still be left struggling to scrape together cash to cover PMTA for all their iterations of juices, carts, and e-cigs.