TLDR: Regulators in Massachusetts, California, New York, and Washington, D.C. are considering banning the sale of flavored vape in an effort to curb youth vaping – even though studies are showing that it’s not JUST youth who enjoy flavors – adults do too! Unfortunately, these regulations may push ex-smokers back to smoking.
“But even more worrisome is that regulators in Massachusetts, California, New York and Washington, D.C., in an effort to address the problem of youth vaping, are prepared to throw the nation’s 2.5 million former smokers who rely upon e-cigarettes under the bus by severely restricting the sale of e-cigarettes. This is the definition of throwing the baby out with the bath water.
The Board of Health in Somerville, Massachusetts has enacted, and the New York City Council and California legislature are considering, laws that would either restrict the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and menthol cigarettes to adult-only stores or ban them completely. While eliminating or reducing access to flavored e-cigarettes may seem like a good idea to protect youth, what few policymakers are considering is that what they are actually doing is making it easier for youth to access real cigarettes than the fake ones.
Although these proposed laws would restrict the sale of menthol cigarettes, they leave entire shelves of non-menthol cigarettes unregulated and easily available. These are the very cigarettes that are the most prevalent among both youth and adult smokers.
The irrationality of these rules becomes even more evident when you consider the effect of Somerville’s regulations. The Board of Health has decided that retail stores may not sell Newport cigarettes (which are almost all mentholated) but may continue to sell Marlboros (which are nearly all non-mentholated).”
Opinion: There are and have been a lot of snap decisions made in controlling vaping in the name of limiting youth access – but it seems law-makers may not be considering the repercussions for adults who are using vaping as a smoking cessation aid. It’s unfortunate – but hopefully they will take the time to consider the consequences of a ban and can find alternatives to these new laws.