Big Win! New Vaping Regulation Voted Down In This State
Nebraska state senators recently shot down a proposal which would have raised the age to buy vaping products to 21 while leaving tobacco products at 18.
Vaping regulations are a complicated topic with no clear cut answer for everyone. Vaping itself has only been around for the last ten years or so but in that time it’s grown into a massively influential and profitable industry. As such, legislators around the world are continuing to debate the proper way to handle regulations. Things are even more complex in America, where each state currently has free reign to regulate the industry however they please. Typically this has meant more negative news for vaping than positive, but Nebraskan lawmakers recently shot down a proposal which would have raised the minimum age to buy vaping products to 21.
This news was met with mixed reaction, as vaping supporters praised the level headed decision making, while anti-vapers blasted the change of heart. Those fighting against vaping firmly believe acceptance of vaping, even exclusively for harm reduction and smoking cessation purposes, is ultimately leading teens into a life of vaping, and eventually smoking. The vaping community instead points to independent research which suggests these concerns are being overblown. Regardless, this latest development is a definite win for the vaping industry.
The proposal was introduced by Sen. Dan Quick of the Nebraska State Senate. According to Sen. Quick, the plan is designed to “proactively address” teenage vaping. Initially, it only targeted vaping products, while leaving tobacco alone. Meaning you’d need to be 21 to purchase a vaporizer, but could get cigarettes or any other form of tobacco at 18. This was one of the major flaws in the original proposal which ultimately lead to its downfall. It’s actually encouraging to see there is a line at which even misguided legislators will stand up for vaping. Instead, lawmakers are currently working on an alternative version of this bill which solves some of the most glaring issues.
The amendment, which was formally introduced by the General Affairs Committee changes the proposed minimum purchase age from 21 to 19. More importantly, it also includes tobacco along with vaping products. After all, how does it make any sense to ban vaping from a portion of the population who has full access to much more dangerous combustible cigarettes? A separate amendment would have raised the purchase age for vaping and smoking products to 21, but that proposal was voted down 25-22.
The Case For Vaping
It’s unclear precisely what led to the vote, but it doesn’t take long to make a strong case for the harm reduction and smoking cessation value of e-cigarettes. For starters, we have reason to believe not only is vaping an effective smoking cessation tool, but it may actually be more likely to lead to success than anything else. At the same time, reports seem to indicate the teenage vaping “epidemic” is being overblown. A study of over 60,000 teens concluded that at most only 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever vaping on a regular basis. So it’s physically impossible for any more to end up smokers due to vaping.
The case for vaping only gets stronger once you take a look at the harm reduction evidence. A report back in 2015 by Public Health England found vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking. This was big news at the time, but these days we get this type of result all the time. Just a few months back a team of researcher discovered that e-liquid vapor has 93% fewer toxicants than cigarette smoke. But to truly understand everything at stake, consider the report from the Journal of Aerosol Sciences which concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is about 57,000 times lower than a demographically similar smoker.
There’s no shortage of bad news surrounding the vaping community at any given time, so it’s always great to get a piece of positive news. It’s even better to see legislators use their brain, and not restrict vaping access while leaving tobacco alone. This would indeed be a massive mistake which would almost certainly lead to more smokers in the long run. That said, we still have a lot to fight for. Our vaping rights are always under attack, and the best way to protect them is by teaching more people about everything e-cigarettes have to offer. The more people who understand what smokers stand to gain, the easier it will be to change the climate around vaping.
Are you surprised things were reconsidered? What’s the most crucial part about vaping to you? How could we make the vaping industry more well understood? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.