There’s a genuine rush to stem the rising tide of vaping. It’s mostly in response to the overdoses, of course, but to many in the public health arena, it’s way overdue. They’ve worried about the practice for a long time. Back then few were listening. Now the whole country has to pay attention.
Much of the activity towards regulation is on the state and local level. There’s work at the Federal level, too, but that’s where the vaping industry is likely to focus its stiffest opposition, so anti-vape advocates would like a backstop at the lower levels of government. I suspect it’s a good strategy.
Here’s a report on one such effort, in the District of Columbia:
From the article: “D.C. lawmakers on Tuesday proposed sweeping measures to curb the rise of youth vaping, including a ban on flavored e-cigarettes and requiring a prescription to buy other electronic smoking products…. A bill…would ban the sale of vaping products at any location that is not a medical marijuana dispensary or a pharmacy.”
I’ve often wondered why vaping wasn’t already by prescription only. All but one or two of the adult vapers I’ve known have health conditions that pretty much require them to give up smoking. So why not let the physician control access?
As for youth vapers: Michigan and New York have already instituted bans on flavored cartridges. Sensing trouble, the brain trust at JUUL recently decided to forgo marketing “fruity” and dessert-flavored products (banana, mango, creme, cucumber). They left the popular mint and menthol cartridges off the list.
Hedging their bets, I imagine. Meanwhile, vape lobbyists insist that ultimately, bans won’t work.
“Gregory Conley of the American Vaping Association said bans on flavored e-cigarettes are misguided because the flavors are also attractive to adults looking to stop using traditional cigarettes.” Which I discovered is true for at least one vaper of my acquaintance, but not for the others, who are mainly interested in reproducing that little “boost” they once got from puffing a cigarette. They don’t pay much attention to flavor.
Of course, the flavors are aimed at kids, not adult smokers.
If a;; this has the feel of a scattershot response to a problem that may already be out of hand, that’s a fair assessment. We’re facing off with a fully-grown, highly profitable industry convinced their massive business could literally collapse if restrictions pass. Job losses would be formidable, they argue.
Yeah, well, isn’t that because they shouldn’t have been marketing and selling all those vape devices to vulnerable kids in the first place? They figured on getting away with it and for quite a while, it looked like they had. Now that golden era might be coming to an end.
We’ll see. These folks don’t give up easy. There’s a lot of money at stake. JUUL’s parent company has replaced the JUUL CEO with somebody from the tobacco industry.
What does that tell you?