Guess Which State Is Banning Vaping Now
Yet Another States Seeks Restrictive Regulations
Vaping has faced unwarranted scrutiny by lawmakers and the media following a series of lung injuries initially misattributed to nicotine vapor products, which were ultimately found to be caused by fillers added to illicit cannabis vapor products. Despite facing perhaps one of the greatest public health crises in modern history, these groups continue to systematically attack vaping.
The Florida legislature recently passed a sweeping and comprehensive ban on most flavored products. The bill has passed the Senate and the House and is now set to go before the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.
SB 810 would ban the sale of all flavored vapor products, for both open and closed system devices. However, the bill would allow exemptions for menthol and tobacco-flavored vapor offerings.
Sponsors and supporters of the bill have stated its intended goal is to reduce occurrences of teenage vaping in the state. The Florida vaping industry has rapidly mobilized to combat the bill, having industry leaders and vapers throughout contact their Senators, Representatives, and even the Governor himself.
The Florida Legislature recently passed SB 810, which would ban the sale of all flavored vapor products. The bill applies to both open and closed-system devices, with exemptions for menthol and tobacco flavored products.
The bill is set to go before Governor Ron DeSantis’ desk to be signed into law. While previously expressing some concerns about passing vaping-related legislation that goes beyond the scope of what the federal government has already done, he is expected to sign the bill in its current form.
Organizations such as CASAA and the Florida Smoke-Free Association have rapidly mobilized their bases to speak out against the ban. These groups state the bill is not only a potential death blow for the local industry, but for millions of current and former smokers that may use vaping as a viable cessation method.
Supporters of the bill have expressed concerns over teenage use and access to vapor products, particularly flavored offerings. “I was horrified when they said things like, oh I’ve never smoked a cigarette they’re too strong I just get my nicotine from a vaping pen, Oh vaping is really cool because you can have the experience of eating cotton candy without the calories,” said St. Petersburg Democratic Representative Jennifer Webb.
Lawmakers continue to propose prohibitive policies to combat the idea of teenage vaping, yet research shows that a majority of teens don’t actually vape. The study, published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research and carried out by the NYU School of Global Public Health, found that over 85% of teens do not vape at all, and the few that do are not habitual users.
Public health scholars and harm reduction experts have continued to caution against blanket bans targeting vaping. In an article published in the journal Science, these groups came together to speak out against such prohibitive policies, noting that there is no evidence vaping is harmful and that such policies may force smokers back toward tobacco or even black market alternatives.
These groups note the remarkable efficacy vaping provides as a smoking cessation aid. One example of this is research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which found that vaping was more effective than any other nicotine-replacement therapy in helping adults not only quit smoking but remain tobacco-free.
Not only do they stand behind vaping’s effectiveness in aiding smoking cessation, but they note the reduced harm that vaping poses compared to smoking as well. Studies from Public Health England and the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center each found that vaping is actually 95% and 93% safer than smoking, respectively.
Despite facing one of the greatest public health crises in history, lawmakers continue to treat vaping not only like a problem, but any sort of priority in these trying times. Our healthcare system is overwhelmed, our economy is collapsing, yet somehow the most important thing to these lawmakers is making sure teens don’t Juul.
As the state’s industry and community have already demonstrated, rapid mobilization and vocal opposition are key in combating such reactive and restrictive regulations. Directly reaching out to lawmakers about the impact this bill will have on their health and the economy is a great way to shift support on the measure, and also doesn’t create the unnecessary risk of public assembly.
What are your thoughts regarding Florida’s flavor ban? How do you think the bill will impact the state’s vaping industry and community moving forward? We would 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!
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