Experts Warn Vaping Bans Won’t Stop Illnesses
Reports indicate black market cannabis oil cartridges are responsible for the so-called ‘vaping crisis,’ not traditional nicotine vapor products.
Following the announcement of a federal ban on flavored vapor products, several states throughout the country have enacted or announced similar bans of their own. These bans have ranged from statewide flavor bans affecting both retail and online sales, to complete prohibition on sales of all vapor products.
These statewide bans have cited reports of various illnesses misattributed to “vaping” in general. Making matters worse, they largely target nicotine vapor products despite illegally produced THC cartridges being proven as the cause in the vast majority of cases. Some public health experts are warning prohibition may only worsen outbreaks as more products are forced into an unregulated black market.
Experts warn that banning tightly regulated and thoroughly tested vapor products won’t end the use of dangerous black market products, but rather push users toward devices which pose considerable risk. Anti-vaping activists stand by the bans they’ve advocated for, stating flavor bans protect teens by limiting the appeal of vaping.
Hysteria and misinformation are forcing an entire industry into panic mode, with a group of unregulated and unrelated products at the helm of its potential demise. Thankfully economic and public health experts are beginning to step forward and speak out in defense of vaping and the benefits it can provide society.
Correcting The Record
Public health experts have been stepping forward to defend vaping against an onslaught of misinformation and the hastily-enacted regulations associated with it. These experts note that not only are black market products responsible for these outbreaks but bans are only going to force users to the unregulated black market and potentially place far more lives at risk.
Public health experts have also noted that if users don’t opt to switch to unregulated and potentially dangerous alternatives after these bans take effect, former smokers may simply take up the deadly habit again. Economic experts also note the dramatic impact flavor and total bans on vaping will have to the $6 billion-a-year domestic industry, as flavored vapor products make up nearly 95% of vapor product sales.
Several industry organizations and retailers have taken legal action against their respective states in an attempt to delay or overturn the bans. These lawsuits question the constitutionality of the bans themselves and note the irreparable harm they will have on their small businesses, effectively forcing these mom-and-pop shops to close en masse.
A big question experts are trying to understand is the connection between flavored nicotine vapor products and the bootleg cannabis cartridges responsible for these outbreaks. More importantly, they want to know how banning well regulated, and tested products will protect users from an already unregulated market. As history has shown, prohibition has little to no effect on usage and often leads to a more significant negative social and economic impact than any perceived positive result.
Facts About Vaping
Evidence shows that flavor bans may cause adult smokers to relapse, as noted in a report by Yale University. Researchers found that flavored vapor products are far more appealing to adult smokers over other smoking cessation options, and restricting access may drive people to take up smoking again.
Banning vaping at the height of the worldwide smoking epidemic may be seriously detrimental to public health at large, as evidence shows vaping may be one of the most robust tools we have to fight it. A report from the University of Louisville found vaping to be the most effective smoking cessation option available today, beating out all other options, including going cold-turkey and prescription medication.
Alongside a body of work noting vaping’s efficacy in smoking cessation, there is also evidence emerging indicating the reduced harm vaping poses in comparison to smoking. Groundbreaking research published by Public Health England concluded that e-cigarettes are 95% safer than cigarettes. In an unrelated study, researchers from Roswell Park Cancer Institute found that vapor is about 93% safer than cigarette smoke.
In addition, a report published by the Journal of Aerosol Sciences found vapers have a 57,000 times lower risk of developing cancer in their lifetimes than cigarette smokers. The report noted that particulate matter in vapor is less stable and far smaller than that found in cigarette smoke.
These vaping bans may have unforeseen economic and public health ramifications that we may not fully understand the scope of for many years to come. Ultimately, ending the federal prohibition of cannabis and allowing safe, regulated access to both nicotine and cannabis vapor products would have tremendous benefit but isn’t likely to occur for years to come.
In an extremely short period, we’ve seen vaping regulation move from basic restrictions on vaping in public spaces to the complete prohibition of all vapor products in some places. Lawmakers have repeatedly proven that they will take a mile when given an inch. If they can ban vaping based on outright lies, there’s nothing stopping them from targeting other industries.
Members of the vaping industry and community must remain vigilant and vocal in the fight to defend their right to vape. Sharing positive stories of how vaping has impacted your life and peaceful group organization are fantastic starting points in helping shift the warped narrative surrounding vaping.
Has vaping impacted your life personally? Do you have any concerns about the future of vaping? Please let us know what you think in the comments below, and be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive all the latest vaping news!
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