Candidates continue to fight for the top spot in this year’s presidential election. As poll numbers bounce up and down, special interest groups are gaining a lot of attention, but one group might matter more than others according to a recent article in the Huffington Post. Electronic cigarette users could have the final say to determine the next POTUS.
According to HuffPost, many political pundits are closely watching the ecig industry to see which candidates garner the most support. Grover Norquist, the libertarian founder of Americans for Tax Reform, believes ecig fans will play a huge part in this year’s election. “I think that the next election, at the presidential level, and a lot of other levels, is going to be determined by the vaping community,” he said.
Norquist pointed out that ecig users are highly educated and spend a great deal of time advocating for fair and balanced regulation. “Vaping is not a product. It’s a movement,” he said. “It is a community, it is a political movement in support of a community and it’s changing the country in very good ways.”
There are currently around 10 million ecig users in the United States, a significant number when you consider the potential weight on an election. Ecig users are a passionate group, with a history of tobacco addiction and a firsthand knowledge of how ecigarettes offer a better alternative that can be life changing. If an candidate threatens their lifestyle and ultimately their ability to stay tobacco-free, it’s bound to swing the vote.
As far as party lines go, Norquist believes most ecigarette users and advocates will lean towards the GOP. “Democrats are hostile to the vaping revolution and will use taxes and regulation to throttle a growing industry that could potentially save lives,” he said.
Norquist and his colleague Paul Blaire spoke out about this issue in a recent issue of National Review. “Since 1998, governments have collected more than $500 billion in cigarette taxes and payments from smokers. In 2013, Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) payments and taxes helped the government rake in nearly $44 billion. No such punitive tax regime exists for e-cigarettes. Each time a smoker picks up an e-cigarette in Michigan, the state loses $2, and the federal government loses $1.01 per pack; in Illinois, $1.98, and in New York, $4.35. It adds up quickly, and for big spenders in state capitols, that’s a problem.”
At the end of the day, many ecig users are also voters and their opinions will have a definite sway on the presidential election. Do you think the GOP will have an extra leg up over the Democratic Party because of ecig users? Could vapers be the deciding factor in the race for the White House?