They're also undeniably intriguing. So let's examine them -- not as fact, but as the widely traded, thinly supported conjecture of a marginalized community in crisis. Who killed vaping in America? If you listen to the truthers...
Big Tobacco killed vaping
Alleged reason: Vaping endangered cigarette revenues, and outpaced Big Tobacco technologically
Popularity within the vaping community: High
"It all comes down to big business. What the tobacco companies are doing is trying to eliminate all their competition," Steve Milin, owner of Chicagoland vaping e-tailer and retailer Vapor4Life, told me in a phone interview in April, before the regulations had been released.
This line of thinking -- which is accepted as fact in many vaping circles, and entertained in nearly all of them -- pivots on the claim that the FDA's regulatory requirements pose an insurmountable financial burden to most vapor companies. That part is probably true. The FDA estimated in its 2014 proposal that bringing a single product to market would cost around $335,000. An independent research firm later told the Wall Street Journal that the process would likely run $2-10 million. Either way, it's a big chunk of change for what's essentially a roll of the dice that your product will eventually earn approval to be sold.