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Vaping ban: could it really happen? 

vape ban

The vaping scene has been sent into shock, following an announcement by US President Donald Trump that his administration will pursue a ban on flavored e-cigarettes. The move comes after several supposed vaping-related deaths, and concerns about products being too accessible for minors. But is this an overreaction? And if the ban goes through, what would be the consequences for vapers around the country? 

What’s the story? 

vaping banOver the past few weeks, reports of vaping-related illnesses and even deaths have grabbed the media’s attention. In excess of 400 lung illness cases have been reported in more than 30 states, with the average age of those affected just 19.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a federal agency, must now come up with a plan to take all non-tobacco flavored vaping products off the US market. This is not the first time that the FDA has come for vaping, after the announcement of a “deeming deadline” in 2016. This promised to put tight restrictions on vape manufacturers, but the initial August 2018 deadline was pushed back to 2022 for non-combustible products. 

There is some precedent for such an all-encompassing ban, with Michigan now prohibiting flavored e-cigarettes. San Francisco has gone further, with city lawmakers voting to ban e-cigarette sales altogether. According to Alex Azar’s press office, US Health and Human Services Secretary, the FDA’s full plan will be released in the “coming weeks.” 

Why a vape ban would be a bad move 

The US government must weigh up whether flavored e-liquids are a net benefit to public health. On one hand, these products are more attractive to those who have never vaped or smoked than regular tobacco cigarettes – especially youngsters. On the other, flavored vape juices have been a revelation for smokers who have tried and failed to quit. Nicotine e-liquids still offer the same hit, without exposure to all the nasty carcinogens in smoke. 

The CEO of JUUL, the wildly popular vaping company, recognizes the current issue with flavored e-liquids, calling them “problematic.” However, JUUL could perhaps benefit from a flavor ban. This is because they have already stopped selling most flavored products. A ban would force other companies to compete with JUUL, the dominant brand in the vape pod market. 

Obviously, children and teenagers getting hold of flavored nicotine e-liquids is a big problem. At best, they could end up with a nicotine addiction. At worst vaporizing these products could have serious health consequences. But why should law-abiding, vaping Americans be punished for something they have nothing to do with?

Moreover, even if flavored e-liquids are ultimately banned nationwide, these products wouldn’t disappear. Instead, they would likely re-emerge on the black market, where there are no quality checks, at all. Bootlegged vape pods are already a problem – particularly with marijuana. Indeed, exactly the same happened during alcohol prohibition during the early 20th century. Rather than banning flavored e-liquids, ensuring that products are safe and that only adults are able to access them would make much more sense. 

If the goal of an e-liquid ban is to make people safer, the signs point to it having the opposite effect.

Vaping is safer than smoking 

We now have strong research that long-term vaping is safer than long-term smoking. Public Health England have released studies highlighting this. The United Kingdom’s healthcare system even endorses e-cigarettes as a way of quitting smoking. The US should consider such pioneering research before making any hasty moves on vaping. 

While some advocate “cold turkey” as a way of quitting smoking, the reality is that many benefit more from a “harm reduction” approach. Reducing the risk to health by getting smokers to start vaping is better than trying and failing to get them to just stop smoking. By stopping the sale of flavored e-liquids, many smokers-turned-vapers could end up regressing back to combustible cigarettes. 

Furthermore, for regular e-liquid vapers who want to stop taking nicotine completely, CBD is a superb alternative. A small trial showed that CBD consumption helps to reduce nicotine cravings and cigarette intake. Many users enjoy the act of vaping, just as they previously did smoking. With CBD e-liquids, people can keep vaping, while minimizing the health risks. 

How to stay safe with vaping 

That said, there are some important precautions to take, whether you use nicotine, cannabis or CBD vape juices. As these industries are unregulated, it’s much easier for companies to put poor quality products on the market. In many cases, this isn’t harmful to anything other than your wallet. But some brands are prepared to put unproven and even dangerous ingredients into their e-liquids, and pass them off as legit. Cheap, untested vape juices could be responsible for the illnesses and deaths are occurring right now. It’s hard to know without extensive research, but nobody doubts these products are out there.

Thankfully, staying safe with vaping has been made easier by well-meaning e-liquid brands. They want to create a thriving industry, made up of safe and effective products. Trusted companies have no issues in sending their products to accredited laboratories for testing and analysis. Prospective customers are able to access the results. Brands willing to go through the third-party lab testing process are much, much more likely to be manufacturing safe e-liquids.

Final thoughts 

The plans for a flavored e-liquid ban are certainly concerning for the industry. The worst that could happen is for an ill-thought plan to be rushed through as a knee-jerk reaction to recent developments. It’s essential that any move from the Trump administration and FDA to make vaping safer is done via an evidence-based approach. 

Vaping has made a positive difference for millions of Americans. A strong response from vape advocates is very likely. Hopefully a resolution will be found that protects both health and personal freedoms. 

 

If you would like to vote to stop Donald Trump from signing the federal flavor ban of e-cig products please click here.

8 thoughts on “Vaping ban: could it really happen? 

  1. This is a knee-jerk reaction to fake news. We have mass shootings that occur everyday and the opioid epidemic is nationwide. Cigarettes have been the cause of millions of deaths and they are still around but yet they have chosen to focus on vaping. Vaping has been around for at least 10 or 12 years and now after all this time there are 6 deaths reported and identified as caused by the underground sale of a THC cartridge laced with vitamin E. I can’t understand how this was even considered to be related to flavored vape juice and those of us who vape know is it not the same thing. I personally tried every product on the market to help quit smoking and nothing worked for me but vaping. I was a smoker for 27 years and I was able to quit and have vaped for 5 years and I have never felt better. This is a personal choice that I made that improved my quality of life and I am sure it has done the same for thousands of others. If you eliminate the flavors in vape juice young people will most likely switch back to smoking, so what has this accomplished? The underground sales will become more widespread and more youths will become sick or die and this is not an acceptable solution. I think that someone needs to evaluate the endless possibilities that could come to fruition if this flavor ban is implemented. At the moment this industry has done pretty well with following FDA guidelines and perhaps this is something you should consider along with the fact that it is healthier and has helped so many.

  2. You can die of lung cancer too. This is a way for people to get off the cigarettes. This would be have a devastating effect on those who depend on it as an alternative way to stop smoking. Look at the side effects of all the medications you give them to quit. This is no different that plane crashes. You only here something bad about the airline when they crash. Stop being a hater Trump.

  3. ok 1 if they are to look at the vape i have seen so many young 18 19 year olds useing that big mods that makes so much vape cloud that you think you were in london. if it is used with a brain you use a vape pen and its as much as your breath on a cold day.
    The young one i have seen i asked them” why do you vape so much?” Their answer.” so i can get high it does have a bit of thc in it.
    you would have to vape the whole catridge of oil to get a tinny bit of a hint of a thouhg of a buzz . If they know smoking is bad and yet they still want to smoke they will find away.
    but in the mean time it could shut down the chance that some one like me who does not ins and need meds for medial issues that the rxs did not touch. Might not get the help i need.
    the news just says that there are all these desaths from vape. they do not say 1 the age of the people, 2 the amount of vape used, 3 if it was cbd or just the ecig, 4, or was it all nicotin in the big mods.
    thank you for undertsating.

  4. Cbd vape has helped tremendously with my severe depression and anxiety. Antidepressants made my health worse.

  5. It’s not even the nicotine based flavored vape that’s killing people. Its the fake thc cartridges. This is the stupidest thing ever. It would just put more money in the pocket of phillip Morris once again ……

  6. US President Donald Trump his administration is an overreaction to the problem I agree rather than banning flavored e-liquids, ensuring that products are safe and that only adults are able to access them would make much more sense. put tight restrictions on vape e-liquids manufacturers even all flavored blended e-liquids should be certified of there ingredients before sale to the public ensuring there are no deemed harmful chemicals added.
    I have been a vaper for 12 years, I feel ten time better in health for vaping and no more harm has come to my lungs other than what was done by the authorised legal lawful sale of cigarettes that are still sold to this day.

  7. i live in pa. where i am, there is one vape shop, and the rest is retail vape. most people have no idea what is involved with vaping around here, and don’t even know what juice is, outside of a pod. i have found that some don’t know what a burnt coil is, so they have no way of knowing that something is wrong. some chain-vape high salt nic and wonder why it hurts. so many little things are out there that a newbie will get harmed by if they do it wrong. one thing about these problems, most affected are using batteries, and pods made by big tobacco. people using devices from a vape shop, are not. what is done to an underage drinker? should we do something to an underage smoker? i know, don’t give the youth candy, fruit, or sugar, or they will smoke flavored cigs!

  8. Thanks! Well written! Very good information.

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