The the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized $18 million in vaping products from China.

They're cheering that they are protecting American youth but...from what? $18 million is nothing, and yet the Biden administration spent three months preparing to nab it. All because on surveys, if you count any young person who claims to have used a vaping tool, and massage the numbers, you can manufacture an 'epidemic.'

For no reason anyone can fathom, the Obama administration did just that. Despite stupidly named "e-cigarettes" being overwhelmingly used for smoking cessation and harm reduction among adults - there were no smokers 'created' because a young person started with vaping, they're only created because some young people are still stupid - the government decided to ban them using "it's for the children" rationalization. It was "Reefer Madness"(1) about one nicotine, the one thing in cigarettes that can't kill you.

Sticking it to China may be a goal of the Biden administration, perhaps because a key election point was that Republicans were xenophobic, when it turned out that career Democrats inside government agencies were colluding to hide their involvement. And the WHO was complicit in costing American lives and economic sanity, all to protect themselves from Chinese retribution.

What happened next was entirely predictable; the government ban made them cool for young people and for a brief time they became a fad. Out of nowhere Juul rose to fame and then crashed and burned nearly as quickly. A device whose marketing had been so lame that they used Jenny McCarthy in ads - a funny, goofy anti-vaxxer only appealed to progressives, not kids - was suddenly corrupting kids?

Running a science and health nonprofit, my concern was that Draconian bans would (a) create a black market and therefore make criminals rich and (b) creating a labyrinth of regulations so expensive that small companies couldn't compete and it would be taken over by the Big Tobacco that formers smokers who took up vaping hate.

They didn't want Big Pharma, they didn't want Big Tobacco, they wanted control over how they quit.

So, yay, the Biden administration stuck it to China for a pittance, we're in proxy wars against Russia and anti-Semites already, so China is only being added on to the pile of things politicians will botch(see: Afghanistan) but vaping is no longer a fad. The same surveys government is insisting show an "epidemic" show use has plummeted.

But buying on the black market - that is cool now, like it always has been. Government created that, just as I worried. And they turned over the industry to....Big Tobacco.

There are three companies with 'approval' under the Obama and Biden FDAs (Trump basically kicked it down the road) and the names are RJ Reynolds (Newport, Pall Mall), Altria (Marlboro), and Japan Tobacco International (Winston, Camel et al.) - all Big Tobacco.

So the government isn't keeping "illegal" Chinese imports out of the hands of children, they are mostly keeping them out of the hands of former smokers who hate large tobacco companies.


(1) Like FDA for an alarming amount of time this century, "Reefer Madness" began as social justice fundamentalism. The church who created it even used the name "Tell Your Children" to drive the point home. Exploitation film distributor Dwain Esper knew it was going to make money so he rolled it on the grindhouse circuit, then it caught fire again in the 1970s. Today, that church is reborn as the Biden administration. They are using agencies to create regulations that act as bans everywhere they can. At least until someone can get the Supreme Court to revisit the 1984 Chevron Deference fiasco that made it possible for presidents to basically create laws without needing Congress.