Samantha Bee of TBS's Full Frontal usually helms most of the taped segments and sparingly uses correspondents. This past Monday on the latest episode, Bee used one of her friends to cover a vaping convention as part of her tobacco versus e-cigarettes topic.
Bee begins the segment stating that the FDA is enforcing expensive regulations that can possibly harm the vaping industry. Bee, in her sarcastic form, starts the voice-over stating that the tobacco industry struggles to compete against the growing vaping market, despite one of the vaping products being endorsed by a medical expert. The video cuts to a blu e-cig commercial that features the "medical expert" who is actually actress Jenny McCarthy, which causes the studio audience to burst into laughter.
The segment continues as Bee talks about how many independent businesses in the vaping industry might have to shut down if they can't afford to go through a federal review to keep up with the expensive FDA regulations. Bee points out that the tobacco industry has no problem with their funding, and even has a political stronghold to stay ahead of their competition.Samantha Bee wanted to go more into this topic, but without having to actually talk to anyone in the e-cigarette community. She claims in the video that she also has "certain contractual conflicts" as an excuse not to talk to e-cigarette users.
Bee ponders for a moment in her dressing room before she looks over at her friend, Allana Harkin, who's sitting in the room with her. Bee decides to delegate the task of going to a vape convention to Harkin, since Bee isn't really getting along with her.
Harkin looks forward to going to the vape convention because she thinks she's going to get quotes from "wholesome, heroic small business owners" but is surprised when she walks into a smoke-filled room that looks like a heavy metal concert.
"These people don't look like the owners of small businesses. They look like the people breaking into small businesses."While Harkin looks like she's having second thoughts about attending the vape convention, she does interview many of the attendees that passionately state their reasons that the e-cigarette market should not be lost to the tobacco industry.
One of the people that Harkin interviews tells her that vaping changed his life and got him off his nearly two packs of cigarettes a day habit. When he tells her that he can breathe better with vaping, Harkin misunderstands and thought he said if he could "read a lot better," and he gave a funny response.
Nah, reading still sucks. But I can breathe a lot better."The attendees grow on Harkin, even though there was one small business owner that she interviewed that droned on a bit. The business owner, Elizabeth, is a veteran that opened her business after she left the military. As she keeps talking to Harkin, she ends babbling on other topics that makes Harkin lose interest to the point that she covers Elizabeth's mouth and decides it's time to party.
At one point, Harkin is on stage with the speakers, getting the crowd going with a "Let freedom rule" chant. She also starts vaping and blowing smoke, making out with a dinosaur costume, and leaning on different guys for support.
Harkin draws her own conclusion that the vaping industry has every right to stay in business, since e-cigarettes are less harmful than real cigarettes.
"Is vaping glamorous? Of course. Would it be effective to penetrate ISIS with a variety of spring fruits? It's worth a try."Harkin states at the end of the video that unless the courts or Congress overturn the latest FDA rules, many of the small, independent vaping companies will have to close their doors.[Photo by Charles Sykes/AP Images]