Here's what I wrote to the FDA on their regulation.gov site:
I smoked cigarettes for 30 years, a pack a day and sometimes more. I hated them. The cost, the smell, the enormous amount of waste produced. I tried multiple times to quit, to no avail. The patch, the gum, even cold turkey. Nothing worked. I tried Blu, and it was awful. It lasted less than a week. The flavors were terrible, and having to recharge the battery every hour or so was just impossible. I went back to smoking for another couple years.
Then my health started suddenly going down hill. My teeth were falling out, I was hospitalized with a near fatal case of Pulmonary Emboli (blood clots in my lungs). All my doctors told me to quit smoking. So I took another look at e-cigs, and found that there had been some major improvements and a much wider variety of options available. I went to my local vape shop and got a little starter kit, an ego battery and a CE4 clearomizer, and some juice. I quit smoking THAT DAY. That was over seven months ago.
In the time since I quit smoking and started vaping, my physical health has improved dramatically. I can walk, I can breathe, I've lost weight and my skin has cleared up. I no longer take my anti-clotting medicine, and haven't had any problems. My self-esteem has improved, too. I no longer stink, and I am much happier. I don't crave cigarettes at all. I no longer throw out tons of butts and ash every day. Vaping has been an incredible lifesaver for me. I love the flavors and myriad of options available. It's become a wonderful new hobby, and I am an active member of a thriving community of online vapers. I was never much of a 'joiner' until I started vaping. Now I help other people on a daily basis and it feels great.
The FDA proposals would ruin my life. I support regulation and age restrictions, but handing the whole business of vape culture over to Big Tobacco would destroy the community and everything we've worked for. I thought you folks were supposed to be protecting consumers, not limiting their options in favor of pharmaceutical companies and tobacco interests. Their products don't work for us anymore, and we want changes. Vaping saves lives. I see it every day on the e-cig forums - people talking about their doctors and dentists being thrilled with the benefits of vaping. Cigarettes were eating away at my bones and gums and since I started vaping, the damage has come to an abrupt halt.
Please, please reconsider what you are doing and how it will effect millions of people's lives. Small businesses that have sprung up in the vape world will be destroyed overnight. People will go back to smoking and die, or will be forced to turn to the black market. Again, I respectfully ask you to please reconsider. Lives are at stake.
Thank you for taking the time to read my comments. I sincerely hope you'll do the right thing.
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