The state becomes first in the nation to ban retail and online sales of flavored vapor products.
States and municipalities across the United States have been hastily enacting bans on the sale and/or use of vapor products at a growing rate over the last several years. These bans range from restrictions on the use of vaporizers in public spaces to outright prohibition like the complete ban on the sale of vapor products enacted in San Francisco in June.
Michigan, in an unprecedented move, became the first state in the country to ban the sale of flavored vapor products. The new law comes at the direction of Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who claims the move is aimed at protecting youth in the state.
Public health officials have praised the new law for helping to limit the appeal of vaping to youth. Members of the vaping community criticize the ban as an unnecessary regulation that restricts adults from purchasing vapor juices they prefer.
While preventing minors from vaping is a significant health concern, restrictions like this more often than not end up impacting adult vapers the most. Multiple studies released over the years have shown flavor bans harm adult smokers who have successfully switched to vaping. Some experts are worried about the impact these flavor bans will have one this group of former smokers.
First Statewide Ban
Michigan became the first state in the United States to ban all flavored vapor products, including menthol. The ban, which covers both retail and online sales in the state, does not restrict the sale of tobacco flavored vapor products.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer directed the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to impose the ban, which goes into effect immediately. The ban will last for six months and can then be renewed for six months, during which time state officials plan to develop permanent regulations concerning the sale of flavored vapor products.
The Governor claims the move addresses public health concerns and complaints that e-cigarette companies are using flavors such as bubble gum to entice minors. “My number one priority is keeping our kids safe and protecting the health of the people of Michigan,” she stated in an interview with the Washington Post.
Various cities and municipalities throughout the United States have enacted regulations restricting the sale of flavored vapor products. These bans may be placing former adult smokers at risk of relapsing by removing the appeal that made them switch to vaping in the first place.
Truth About Vaping
Multiple studies have emerged over the last couple of years, noting the potential negative ramifications of flavor bans. In a study conducted by Yale University, researchers found that former smokers who switched to vaping were likely to switch back to smoking in the event of a flavor ban.
This misinformation unnecessarily places these former smokers at risk of relapse in the name of protecting a group not likely to take up vaping in the first place. In a study performed by Public Health England, researchers found that as little as 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens who try vaping continue to do so regularly.
These attacks through misinformation come despite repeated evidence highlighting the efficacy of vaping as a smoking cessation aid. In a study by the University of Louisville, researchers there found vaping to be the single most effective smoking cessation tool available today.
Another study published in the Journal of Aerosol Sciences found vapers have a 57,000 times lower risk of developing cancer compared to smokers. Researchers concluded particulate matter vapor is less harmful than particulate matter in smoke, noting vapor particles dissipate nearly instantaneously and do not contain similar carcinogenic byproducts found in tobacco smoke.
The Michigan ban establishes a risky precedent for other states in the nation. Despite clear evidence supporting their claims, lawmakers in other states may follow Michigan’s lead in the name of progressivism.
The vaping community has already seen this with bans on vaping in public spaces. Despite multiple studies finding second-hand vapor to be harmless, municipalities have been banning vaping in massive waves following large metropolises leads.
These unneeded flavor bans act against the public interest and public health at large. By restricting what made vaping appeal to them in the first place, adult smokers who switched to vaping may be more inclined to take smoking back up.
Members of the vaping community must remain vigilant in countering misinformation, as well as speaking out and voting against lawmakers who do not have their best interests in mind. Lawmakers enacting these trendy bans without citing detailed research to assert their claims should be held accountable.
How do you feel about flavor bans? Do you believe we’ll see more statewide bans following Michigan’s lead? Did the appeal of certain flavors get you to vape initially? Let us know what you think in the comments below. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive all the latest vaping news!
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