Another Major US City Announces Plans To Ban Vaping
The city would join San Francisco and the state of Massachusetts in complete vaping prohibition.
The vaping industry has been under intense media, and regulatory scrutiny after reports of illnesses misattributed to e-cigarettes became an easy source of clickbait and filler stories for news outlets across the country. Despite a growing body of evidence absolving them of responsibility, e-cigarettes and vapor products continue to be targeted by lazy journalists.
Los Angeles may soon be joining San Francisco, as well as the state of Massachusetts, by banning the sale of all vapor products. This total prohibition on vaping will not only dismantle a local retail industry primarily comprised of small businesses but may also expand the black market responsible for these illnesses.
City Council members who sponsored the proposal state they’re attempting to take dramatic action in response to reports of illnesses. Unfortunately, those illnesses have been largely misattributed to nicotine vaping. Opponents of the measure note that the vast majority of people becoming ill were vaping illegally produced cannabis oil acquired on the street, not nicotine vapor products from retailers.
It is important to note that in the majority of cases where a potential cause has been identified, unregulated THC oil cartridges were found to be the source of these outbreaks. To date, there have been no reports of illnesses being directly linked to the use of regulated nicotine vapor products.
The Real Problem
The Los Angeles City Council announced a proposal to ban the sale of all vapor products and devices within their city until deemed safe by the Food and Drug Administration. If approved, Los Angeles would join San Francisco and the state of Massachusetts in the total prohibition of vaping.
Sponsors of the proposal state the measure is an attempt to help curb the rise of illnesses that continue to be misattributed to nicotine vaping despite evidence pointing to the contrary. “Los Angeles is not content to wait and do nothing as the numbers of illnesses and even deaths associated with unregulated vaping devices increases daily,” read the motion introduced by Councilman Paul Koretz.
Critics of the proposal continue to note that these cases are being caused by illicit THC cartridges, and not the nicotine vapor products and devices being targeted in bans like the Los Angeles proposal. “No one in Los Angeles apparently wants to look uncool by bringing up very real dangers posed by illicit THC products,” said Gregory Conley, President of the American Vaping Association.
Despite the current hysteria and negative climate surrounding vaping, daily reports are coming out exonerating nicotine vaping and note the role illegal cannabis oil has played in these outbreaks. As always, the use of regulated nicotine vapor products pose little risk and have not been directly linked to any reported illness to date.
The Real Facts
Smoking is a worldwide epidemic that impacts over 1 billion people across the globe. In the United States alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are nearly 38 million smokers, of which 16 million are currently living with a smoking-related condition.
Amidst the height of this epidemic, vaping has repeatedly proven itself as one of the greatest smoking cessation tools we have. A study conducted by the University of Louisville concluded that vaping was the most effective smoking cessation option available, outperforming going cold turkey or even prescription options.
In addition to vaping’s track record as a proven smoking cessation aid, there is also an expanding body of research highlighting the reduced risk vaping poses compared to smoking. Unrelated studies published by Public Health England and the Roswell Park Cancer Center each concluded that e-cigarettes are at least 95% safer and 93% safer than cigarettes, respectively.
In addition, research published by the Journal of Aerosol Sciences discovered vapers have a staggering 57,000 times lower risk of developing cancer in their lifetimes when compared to smokers. The researcher team also noted that the particulate matter in vapor is far less stable and smaller than cigarette smoke.
The Los Angeles’ City Council’s proposal to completely prohibit vaping is set to be another devastating blow in the current legislative war against vaping. This comes despite public health and economic experts warning against the high risks of dismantling an entire retail industry and pushing former adult smokers to the black market or even back to smoking.
If passed, the ban would effectively force small mom-and-pop vape shops to close, which represent a significant majority of sales in the $6 billion-a-year domestic retail market. In addition, former adult smokers who are unable to quit vaping may turn back to tobacco or the black markets, which are the cause of these illnesses in the first place.
The ban may effectively create an economic crisis, exacerbate the current health crisis created by illegal THC oil, and only lead to more deaths in the worldwide smoking epidemic. Members of the vaping community must remain vocal and civically engaged in defending their right to vaping and help shift the current discussion surrounding it.
How do you feel about Los Angeles’ proposal to ban vaping completely? Have you personally used vaping to help you quit or reduce smoking? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive all the latest vaping news!
(Image Credit – Pixabay – https://pixabay.com/images/id-1031706/)