Connecticut is seriously considering an e-liquid flavor ban, a move which experts say would have several unintended consequences.
It’s been up to the various governments around the world to decide how to properly regulate vaping since they first hit the scene over ten years ago. At first, there was a lack of peer-reviewed evidence to guide decision making, but these days that’s hardly an excuse. Some countries, such as the UK, have fully accepted vaping and incorporated it into their smoking cessation programs to wonderful results. The same can’t be said in many other places, where legislators seem more concerned with demonizing the harm reduction and smoking cessation tools than listening to the growing pile of evidence.
Connecticut is currently facing a fight like this, as state leaders want to push through an e-liquid flavor ban that outlaws virtually all vaping flavors except traditional tobacco. Vapers in the state are fighting back against this unfair regulation, pointing to evidence which suggests flavor bans do little more than give an advantage to Big Tobacco companies. Despite this research advising against it, vapers in Conn. may soon be pushed back into a life of cigarette smoking.
Connecticut Flavor Ban
The latest session of Congress across America is making waves. In Connecticut, the Senate Dems are pushing several different pieces of law aimed at reducing the impact of vaping. They claim to want to protect the youth, but research indicates they may be making things worse. One of the first measures proposed is to seriously reduce the types of e-liquid flavors available in the state. This move gained a lot of support quickly, including from a few top members of the legislature including Senate President Martin Looney. All these politicians seem convinced that sweet e-liquid flavors don’t serve any legitimate purpose for adult vapers and are only used to attract teens into the habit.
The lawmakers remained quite mysterious about how exactly they planned on making their plans a reality, but with support coming from both sides of the aisle, it’s looking more and more likely that this flavor ban will become a reality. If their version of an e-liquid flavor ban is anything like those found around the country, it will likely ban all flavors except tobacco and menthol. Unfortunately, research indicates that if this happens, it will ultimately only make things better for the Big Tobacco industry. The report conducted by Dr. John Buckell of Yale University found that if vaping flavors are banned, it will lead to a 5% increase in tobacco sales in just a year. Alternatively, if menthol cigarettes were banned and e-liquids left alone, it would decrease Big Tobacco sales by a full 10%.
Why Support E-Cigarettes
We have plenty more research which indicates vaping is one of the best harm reduction and smoking cessation tools ever created. Back in 2015, we got our first report which found vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking, but that wasn’t the last time. In fact, as recently as a few months back, researchers concluded that e-liquid vapor contains around 93% fewer toxicants than cigarette smoke. Taking things another step forward is a study published in the Journal of Aerosol Sciences which concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is around 57,000 times lower than a demographically similar smoker.
But the value of e-cigarettes doesn’t stop with harm reduction. We also have reason to believe vaping is the best smoking cessation tool on the market. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Louisville tested all the most common smoking cessation methods and aids to determine which is the most likely to be successful. After analyzing all their data, the team concluded not only is vaping a useful smoking cessation tool, but it’s actually more likely to succeed than anything else. But perhaps the most telling piece of evidence we have is a report of over 60,000 students asking about their relationship with vaping. After interviewing all the teens, the team concluded only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever picking up a vape full time, let alone switching to smoking.
Despite a large and growing pile of research indicating the value of vaporizers, lawmakers around the country are still set on harshly regulating the devices. What makes it worse is all the good that vaporizers have been able to do in places such as the UK where vaping has been accepted and incorporated into their smoking cessation programs. But now is not the time to get discouraged. We need to fight now more than ever to secure and protect our vaping rights. If e-cigarettes are ever going to reach their full potential as harm reduction and smoking cessation tools, then it’s of the utmost importance that we help spread positive information to those around us. The more smokers who know what they stand to gain, the easier it will be to protect our rights.
Do statewide flavor bans like this bother you? Are these types of bans having an adverse effect on the public? What’s the best way to support the harm reduction and smoking cessation value of vaping? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.