Guest: Vape shop owner Chris Hughes of Smoke Free Alternatives
Also: Trump beating, tied with Clinton in key swing-states; Philippines elects own 'Trump'...
By Brad Friedman on 5/10/2016, 4:48pm PT  

On today's BradCast, voters head to the polls in West Virginia and Nebraska; The Philippines elects its own version of Trump (but worse); and the FDA issues deadly new rules that may wipe out an industry and help kill hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of American. [Link to full audio below.]

First up, it's Primary Election day again, this time in West Virginia and Nebraska (Republicans only). In WV, many voters will be forced to vote once again on 100% unverifiable touch-screen systems, though Donald Trump tells voters not to vote at all, at least until the general election. At the same time, new polling from Quinnipiac [PDF] shows Hillary Clinton virtually tied with or losing to Trump in three key swing-states (OH, FL and PA), while Sanders outpaces Clinton in each, beating Trump in all three crucial states.

Meanwhile, in elections overseas, London elects its first Muslim as Mayor, though he's worried he may not be able to visit other Mayors in the U.S. if Trump becomes President and, in The Philippines, it looks as if they have elected a new President who is even more disturbing than Donald Trump. So, yes, it can happen.

Then: the FDA issues insane new rules for electronic cigarette and e-liquid manufacturers which could end up killing the vaping industry that is currently helping to prevent the tobacco-related deaths of some 500k Americans each year. Chris Hughes, President of the PA Chapter of the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association, and owner of the Fat Cat Vapor Shop, explains the new onerous regulations and how Democrats are supporting them despite scientists and experts, such as those at UK's Royal College of Physicians who recently announced: "in the interests of public health it is important to promote the use of widely as possible as a substitute for smoking."

If the misguided FDA rules are finalized, it could cost as much as $1 million to receive approval for every single vaping product, e-liquid flavor (including each level of nicotine). The only companies likely to afford that process are the Big Tobacco companies that the bulk of the vaping industry is hoping to put out of business. In turn, millions of folks who have quit smoking by moving to vaping (which has almost none of the dangers of tobacco cigarettes) are likely to begin smoking again. "People smoke for the nicotine but die from the tar," explains Hughes, adding, "there are over 7,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke. And many of them act in concert with nicotine to make it more addictive." That is not the case for vaping products!

As someone who, thanks to vaping, was able to quit the deadly habit after decades of smoking myself, this is a very disturbing development. It's made even more disturbing by the particular big name Democrats (some of the otherwise best Dems --- Hughes names names!) who support the new regulations that will only help both Big Tobacco and, as Hughes notes, "the same giant pharmaceutical corporations that make nicotine patches, lozenges and gums [and inhalers!] and view my business, and thousands of other small businesses in the country, as competitors."

"This plan, if its fully implemented," he says, "will close every vape shop like mine in the United States. The only other thing we can say certainly will happen is smoking rates will skyrocket again across all demographics. There are currently over 9 million adults using these products regularly in the U.S. and those people will seek an alternative product. The alternative for them may be to go back to smoking in many instance. Half of those people will die prematurely as a result of smoking. And that's the catastrophe."

While I try to contain my rage here, even in writing this item, Hughes suggests those who would like to support the effort to kill smoking by saving vaping should stop by the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association ( They offer a number of things you can do immediately. He also suggest you "call your representatives and tell them --- politely --- that you feel very strongly that the Senators should re-evaluate their stance on vapor products."

Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with disturbing climate change news and, thankfully, even a bit of hope...


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