Lawmakers In This State Just Significantly Reduced Accessibility Of Vaping
Vermont legislators recently decided to ban all online sales of vaping products, regardless of age.
Rampant fears over vaping are nothing new. In fact, being a vaper is usually fraught with misinformation and plenty of having to explain yourself to those around you. Despite a growing pile of independent research which indicates vaping is a massively useful harm reduction and smoking cessation tool, the majority of people are still skeptical. This has led to continued debate over the impact of vaping on our long term health, as well as on impressionable teens. Concern over what acceptance of e-cigarettes is doing to the younger generation is likely the most common argument for keeping vaping heavily restricted, despite a relative lack of backing evidence. Regardless, yet another state is set to place a misguided regulation on the vaping industry, as Vermont just decided to ban all online vaping sales.
As you could imagine, this news has drawn many different reactions from the vaping and public health communities. Those against vaping see it as an important win in the fight against the teenage vaping “epidemic.” At the same time, vaping advocates are blasting legislators for moving so quickly, seemingly without looking at the evidence. According to reports, the bill will have no trouble being signed into law once it reaches the governor’s desk. It’ll dramatically change how easy it is for vapers to get their favorite supplies, something experts warn, will make them much more likely to revert to smoking.
The Latest Ban
The Vermont State Senate sent a clear message to the vaping industry, one that should have vapers there shaking in their boots. They voted recently over whether or not to ban online vaping sales across the state, and the measure passed by a unanimous 30-0 margin. It’s extremely rare for anything to have this level of support in any level of the government. The move was aimed at significantly reducing teenage vaping, something the lawmakers see as a rapidly increasing problem. They referenced alarming data, which we weren’t allowed to see, to make a case that even law-abiding adults shouldn’t be able to get vape supplies over the internet. The new controversial rule is set to take effect as soon as July of this year.
This development will likely mean huge changes for the vapers of Vermont. While lawmakers suggest any adult vapers can simply go to their local vape shop, this is not always an option for everyone. Whether it’s a considerable distance from the closest shop, lack of transportation, medical issues, or even simple lack of ease, there are plenty of reasons why someone might no longer be willing or able to vape after such a shift. The result will be unknown numbers of vapers who end up back on cigarettes due to lack of easy access to their preferred supplies.
Why Support Vaping?
These legislators should take a brief look at the peer-reviewed evidence we have supporting vaping if they genuinely believe it’s such a danger to the youth. The most common concern about vaping, that it’s somehow leading to a new generation of smokers, has been disproven. A report of over 60,000 students conducted by Action on Smoking and Health concluded as few as 0.1% of non-smoking teens are ever picking up a vape more than once or twice. This means only less than that could possibly be ending up smokers because of vaporizers. We have reason to believe vaping is a massively effective smoking cessation tool, so it shouldn’t come at too much of a shock. A report by researchers at the University of Louisville tested all the most common smoking cessation methods and tools before determining it was actually vaping which is the most likely to succeed.
Things only get more apparent when you look at the harm reduction value offered by vaporizers. We’ve known since at least 2015 that vaping is around 95% safer than smoking thanks to a comprehensive report by Public Health England. We’ve only continued to get similar results, with a team of researchers recently concluding the toxicants in vapor are 93% lower than in cigarette smoke. However, nothing is quite as clear as the report from the Journal of Aerosol Sciences which concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of a smoker is about 57,000 times higher than a vaper with a similar background.
It’s true that things could be a lot worse with this latest law in Vermont. But that doesn’t mean we should be happy with the change. Vaping is much more than a simple alternative way to get nicotine. It’s proven itself to be an incredibly useful device for getting and keeping people off cigarettes. With smoking still killing more people every year than any other preventable cause, we have to keep working toward broader acceptance. The best way we can do that is by simply using the evidence and teaching the smokers and non-smokers in our lives everything making a switch to vaping could mean.
Do you think this latest ban is a big deal for vapers? Should we be worried about similar bans in other states? What’s the best way to support the value of 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.