Misinformation remains rampant, as vaping indoors may soon be illegal across yet another state.
Vaping is regularly the target of politicians looking to win support among parents and anti-vaping activists. Several states and counties have recently enacted vaping bans, which essentially treats vaping and smoking as one and the same.
Lawmakers in Wisconsin are looking to expand the states current smoking ban to include vaping products. They cite concerns over potential risks with the devices, especially the misrepresented lung damage attributed to vaping.
Anti-vaping activists have praised the expansion as one that protects teens and is a step in the right direction for public health. Alternatively, members of the vaping community have criticized the ban for potentially infringing on their rights, as well as creating a negative association between vaping and smoking.
Vaping bans are being hastily enacted across many municipalities and states at an unprecedented rate. These bans create a negative association between vaping and smoking, which may deter smokers from trying an effective cessation aid and replacement.
Another Statewide Ban
A bipartisan group of legislators is proposing to add vaping products to the state’s existing ban on smoking, enacted a decade ago. Current legislation only covers tobacco products such as cigars, cigarettes, and pipes.
If passed the statewide ban would be similar to one enacted in Milwaukee about a year ago, along with those adopted in nearly a dozen other states. Differing from an earlier proposal, this bill does not explicitly address smoking marijuana publically, which remains illegal in the state.
Sponsors of the bill pointed to potential concerns with the chemicals in e-liquid as a primary reason for the ban. Lawmakers also cited several unsubstantiated reports claiming possible teenage lung damage associated with vaping.
The ban comes during a time where lawmakers are rapidly passing vaping bans carte blanche in an attempt to garner popular support as we quickly approach the election season. Despite a growing body of research highlighting vaping’s efficacy as a smoking cessation aid, these politicians continue to paint vaping in a similar light to smoking.
Benefits Of Vaping
As mentioned previously, vaping is an incredibly useful smoking cessation tool. In fact, researchers from the University of Louisville found vaping to be the single most effective tool in helping smokers reduce or quit their habit.
Groundbreaking research printed in the Journal of Aerosol Sciences concluded vapers are 57,000 times less likely to develop cancer when compared with smokers. Their study found particulate matter in vapor is much less harmful than the larger particulates found in smoke.
Lawmakers in Madison had cited potential use by minors as the reason for expanding their smoking ban. Despite these claims, a study by Public Health England, featuring over 60,000 teenage participants, found only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens ever pick up a vaporizer, let alone switch to smoking.
These bans add to a long list of infringements on our fundamental rights committed by politicians. Despite the evidence highlighting the efficacy of vaping as a reduced harm smoking cessation tool, lawmakers continue to enact bans to appease parents.
These parents are unable to take necessary accountability for their poor decision-making. They instead want lawmakers to enact legislation to pick up the slack for their inattentiveness.
These bans restrict the rights and freedoms of responsible adults looking for reduced-harm alternatives to their habits. Members of the vaping community must remain committed to civic engagement and participation in the public discourse to help balance this one-sided onslaught.
This negative narrative may lead smokers into believing vaping poses a similar risk to cigarettes when the research clearly shows its benefits as a smoking cessation aid. It is a major risk to public health at large to allow such narratives to go freely unchecked.
How do you feel about the current narrative surrounding vaping? Has vaping helped you reduce or quit smoking? Are these vaping bans potentially harmful to public health? Let us know down in the comments below. Please be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check back here for all the latest news surrounding vaping.