Photo: AP

Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson has a simple message for American vapers: Let me be your hero.

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The Johnson campaign recently became the first to openly champion vapers’ rights, issuing a statement criticizing last week’s suspiciously vape-less presidential debate.

“What you’ll never hear from those candidates is how the economy is being killed by excessive regulation,” wrote Jim Wallace, the Johnson campaign’s national director. “Vaping, a new industry offering products as a healthier alternative to smoking, is about to be regulated out of existence. That doesn’t make any sense.”

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Wallace warned that federal regulations threaten to put “as many as 12,000 vaping shops” out of business, affecting an estimated nine million vape-mericans.

“As Gov. Gary Johnson has said, the free market and entrepreneurial spirit should be encouraged, not destroyed,” the statement continued. “Nowhere is this more obvious than the vaping industry.”

As of press time, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have yet to respond with their own statements, but at least one vaping advocate hopes that will soon change.

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“Gov. Johnson’s belief in limited government aligns with those of many vapers,” Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, told Gizmodo. “Gov. Johnson is the first presidential candidate to support vaping, but we are hopeful that he won’t be the last.”

[Vaping360]