Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has been vocal in his opposition to the e-cigarette industry – recently advocating for regulation that would stifle marketing efforts as well as product development. “It is safe to say that e-cigarette companies are stepping over the line to market these products to kids, to get them hooked to smoking” Schumer said. The senator’s comment ignores the fact that most people who vape do so to avoid smoking. Also, what study says that vaping is a gateway drug to smoking? Why would vape companies want anyone smoking, let alone children? The comment does not logically add up.
It is possible that there is a darker reason for Schumer’s objection to e-cigarettes.
FEC filings show Schumer has received an estimated $236,700 in campaign funding from individuals at Lazard Ltd. – a company heavily invested in Medtronic, a medical equipment provider. Why did folks from Lazard donate to Schumer’s campaign?
One of Medtronic’s central business units is cardiac rhythm disease management. Smoking is often linked to cardiac rhythm diseases. For-profit medical companies like Medtronic predict and depend on the millions of patients checking in for smoking-related ailments. They do not want to see an end to smoking, nor do they want healthy alternatives as it would hurt their profits. These companies are part of The Smoking Economy, a host of industries that benefit from the health issues traditional cigarettes impose upon society. The Smoking Economy is the strongest, stealthiest enemy to the end of smoking and the expansion of vaping. By once again antagonizing the growth and sale of a healthier alternative, Senator Schumer is holding up The Smoking Economy to help his billionaire friends make a few extra bucks. In return, those friends help him get re-elected
If Schumer and other policymakers in the pocket of these companies have their way, smoking will continue to be the go-to method of nicotine consumption in America. And Schumer’s donors know it. According to SEC filings, Lazard recently increased its stake in Medtronic Plc (MDT) by 43.8 percent. Schumer will continue to fight against e-cigarettes. Fewer smokers will make the switch to vaping. Medtronic will sell more pacemakers. Lazard, with the help of their friend Senator Schumer, will continue to profit off of the sickness and death of others in the years to come.