Controversial New Vaping Law Just Took Effect In This State
Minnesota recently became the latest state to ban vaping in all public spaces, including most workspaces.
Given that vaping has only really been around for just over 15 years now, it’s no wonder so many different legislatures are still working out how to handle vaping regulations. However, instead of taking the growing pile of positive research into account, lots of places have instead implemented misguided vaping rules which equate vaping and smoking.
Minnesota recently became the latest state to follow this trend, as just earlier this week their controversial new vaping ban took effect. The new law makes it illegal for people to vape anywhere smoking isn’t allowed, but supporters are saying this is setting a dangerous precedent.
At the same time, anti-vapers are applauding the new restrictions for placing public health above profits. However, vaping advocates shoot back at these claims for missing a large part of the value vaping provides society.
Regardless, vapers in Minnesota are now subject to the same sorts of restrictions which may have helped drive them away from cigarettes in the first place. Only time will tell what type of impact this law will have outside of the state, but many are worried about the growing frequency of such laws.
It was earlier this year, back in May, when state legislators voted in a special one-day session to pass a $48 billion two-year budget deal, which included a myriad of policies implemented this week. Among them is the new vaping ban, which prohibits people from using e-cigarettes in restaurants, bars, workspaces, and most public places.
This was accomplished by adding vaping to the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act, which now outlaws the use of battery-powered devices that provide a vapor. The law means business owners will be required to post signage which informs customers of the new restrictions.
The vaping community has been very critical of the move, with business owners, in particular, stepping out against it. Jason Bye of Northland Vapor Company said “There is a common misconception that vaping has a secondhand effect. It doesn’t even have a firsthand effect. That’s why it’s vaping and not smoking.”
These business owners have seen first hand all the good that e-cigarettes have provided, and acutely understand how many people could revert to smoking when forced into the same places as people smoking. Some experts have even equated this with forcing alcoholics to go into a bar to get a drink of water.
The Case For Vaping
The studies that have been conducted about vaping have proven time and again that it is substantially safer than smoking. One of the major standout reviews was first published by Public Health England back in 2015.
That study found that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking, but in the years since we’ve gotten reports from others finding the toxicants in e-liquid vapor are 93% lower than cigarette smoke. Another study, published in the Journal of Aerosol Sciences found that the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is 57,000 times less than that of a smoker of similar demographics.
Research has also shown that vaping is a highly effective smoking cessation tool. In fact, it was a study out of the University of Louisville that put vaping up against other smoking cessation tools, like nicotine gum, nicotine patches, and prescription drugs. That team determined vaping was the most effective tool to help people quit long term.
States like Minnesota are inadvertently giving a major advantage to Big Tobacco. Though they believe that they are doing good by their citizens what lawmakers are actually accomplishing is the discouragement of smokers looking to quit.
By equating the dangers of smoking and the effects of vaping, they are creating a negative social bias towards these products. It creates a situation in which smokers don’t understand everything they stand to gain by switching to vaping.
It is crucial, not just in Minnesota, but in other states and countries, that lawmakers learn the benefits of vaping. You can do your part by reaching out to your representatives and letting them know how vaping has helped you.
If lawmakers are willing to listen to science and reason, as well as the heartfelt truth of the good vaping can bring, then laws like this will be less viable. If vaping could become more commonplace and accepted by society, than more smokers will be motivated to take it up, and perhaps we can improve public health together.
Is it a poor choice for states to be passing harmful legislation about vaping? How did vaping help you quit smoking? Do you think restrictions like this should be reversed? 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.