Huge News! City Votes To Ban Tobacco Sales While Vaping Left Intact
Beverly Hills leaders recently voted to become the first city in the nation to ban tobacco sales.
*Editors note* Since time of writing, the city of Beverly Hills included vaping with their new smoking ban
Smoking is undeniably one of the worst things to ever happen to public health. Despite several decades of robust anti-tobacco campaigning, smoking continues to be the leading cause of preventable death and disease around the globe. E-cigarettes were invented as a way to help people quit their habit, but as the media stokes the fire, many have become increasingly wary. Despite plenty of independent evidence proving their distinct differences, vaping is often equated with smoking in perception as well as regulation. So it’s always fantastic to see any instance of legislators treating vaping and tobacco like the very different things they are.
In fact, an incredible thing happened recently when leaders in Beverly Hills voted to ban the sale of tobacco products across the city while leaving vaping products available. This was massive news for vapers everywhere, as it’s the first case of a municipality drawing a line in the sand between tobacco and vaping. Critics remain skeptical of the move, claiming vaping should be included in the ban to protect teens. Regardless, vaping advocates are still celebrating a huge victory.
It wasn’t long ago that the thought of an outright tobacco ban anywhere in America was laughable. But thanks to a recent unanimous vote by the Beverly Hills City Council, a smoking ban will soon become a reality. Only a few undisclosed exceptions will be allowed throughout the city, with everywhere else unable to carry the products whatsoever. What makes this an even more incredible win for vapers is the fact they didn’t include vaping with tobacco in their ban. It’s becoming increasingly popular to simply regulate tobacco and vaping in the same manner, but this move proves it doesn’t have to be that way. Beverly Hills has a long history of strict tobacco regulations, earning them an A rating from the American Lung Association. But this latest move really sets them apart.
There has been a bit of pushback from two distinct groups, but only the first makes a lot of sense. The tobacco lobby argues this legislation will force the closure of stores around the city who rely on tobacco revenue. They also say the ban won’t deter any tobacco use, as smokers will simply get their products in the next town over. Regardless, these concerns haven’t garnered much sympathy. The second group is none other than the anti-vapers who firmly believe vaping and smoking need to be equated despite any real evidence. Vapers have even pointed out how odd it is for them to be so interested in hitching their wagon to the tobacco lobby. Despite this pushback, Beverly Hills will soon become the first city to ban tobacco sales outright.
Why Support Vaping
At the same time, the evidence supporting the harm reduction and smoking cessation value of vaping is only growing stronger all the time. Going back a few years, we got our first major report from Public Health England that vaping is at least 95% safer than continued smoking. This was a significant discovery at the time, but in the years since we’ve been collecting more and more research which says the same. In fact, a few months back, a team of researchers out of Roswell Park Cancer Institute concluded the harmful substances in e-liquid vapor are about 93% lower than in cigarette smoke. Taking the harm reduction value even further, a report published in the Journal of Aerosol Sciences concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is around 57,000 times lower than demographically similar smokers.
Looking past the harm reduction value provided, and there’s still a ton to love about vaping. For instance, a report conducted by researchers at the University of Louisville tested all the most common smoking cessation tools and methods to determine the most likely to succeed. After collecting all their data, the team concluded that not only is vaping an effective quit aid, it may actually be the single best device we have at our disposal. Despite all these positive findings, many people are more concerned with the impact on teens. Luckily we have evidence that suggests these worries are being overblown. A report by Action on Smoking and Health concluded only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teenagers are using a vape more than once or twice.
This is an incredible development to see. We must get to a place where we can start banning tobacco sales, and this is a huge first step. It’s even more critical that Beverly Hills has decided not to include vaping in this ban. Many other places likely would have done so, but choosing to draw a line in the sand will unquestionably gain momentum for the vaping movement. Improving public perception is still one of the most important things we can do to protect our rights. The more people who understand the differences, the more often we’ll see legislation like this.
Are you surprised somewhere is banning tobacco? Is it a big deal for vaping to be separate? What’s the best way to teach others about vaping? 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.