Missouri Vaping Bill Advances To Governor
Bill Addresses Concerns Over Youth Vaping
As the chaos caused by the coronavirus continues to unfold, public health officials and regulators throughout the world are working tirelessly to do their best to contain the contagion. Despite the pressing public health priorities at hand, there are some lawmakers who choose to pursue political posturing instead.
A bill in Missouri that restricts where citizens can vape passed the Missouri House of Representatives on Friday. The bill is set to advance before the desk of Governor Mike Parson’s, who is expected to sign it into law.
The bill would ban using vapor products inside public schools and school buses within the state. It comes about over recent mounting concerns regarding the use of vapor products on school property by teens and adults alike.
Critic of the bill, State Representative Michael Moon, stated that the bloated bill is an egregious violation of the constitution due to its excessive riders and inflated scope. Sponsor of the bill, State Representative David Woods, admitted himself that even he doesn’t know the scope of the amendments that the Missouri Senate added.
Another Vaping Ban
The Missouri House of Representatives passed a bill that would ban the usage of vapor products inside public schools and school buses throughout the state. The bill, passed by a margin of 125-19, is set to advance to the desk of Governor Mike Parson’s, who is expected to sign it into state law.
Sponsor of the bill, State Representative David Woods, stated that it came about as a regulatory necessity following a visit to Versailles High School. “When you have a basketball game or a football game, and you have parents sitting in the stands vaping, that’s setting an example for the students that it’s okay because the school allows it,” Woods told reporters.
In addition to the vaping-focused regulation, the bill also includes a number of amendments added by the Senate. For example, an added amendment prohibits any medical marijuana-infused edible product, packaging, or logo from using designs that feature fruit or cartoon characters.
Representative Mike Moon, a Republican representing Ash Grove, staunchly opposed the bill stating that its new inflated scope created by the Senate was unconstitutional across multiple fronts. Representative Moon pleaded with his colleagues on the Senate floor that they took an oath to uphold the constitution, and that passage of this bill would be an “egregious” violation of that oath. The bill was passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority with a margin of 125-19.
Truth About Vaping
Public health scholars and harm reduction experts have continued to caution against various risks and ramifications of restricting vaping. In an article published in the journal Science, a group of renowned public health experts came together to speak out against blanket bans on vaping, noting there is no evidence that vaping is harmful, and that prohibitive policies may force people back toward tobacco or even the black market.
Despite claims of a so-called teen vaping “epidemic” by both lawmakers and anti-vaping activists alike, research from the NYU School of Global Public Health discovered that most teens don’t vape. The study, published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, found that over 85% of teens do not vape at all and that even the few that do are not habitual users.
Time and time again, study after study has validated the value of vaping as an effective smoking cessation aid and tool. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that vaping was more effective than other nicotine-replacement therapies in helping adults not only quit smoking but continue to remain tobacco-free.
In addition to being a proven and effective smoking cessation aid, vaping has been repeatedly demonstrated to be a reduced harm alternative to tobacco as well. For example, research from Public Health England and the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center found that vaping is 95% and 93% safer than smoking, respectively.
Future Of Vaping
The Missouri vaping bill is the prime example of legislative riders inflating the scope of a bill far beyond its stated intention. Many countries have deemed such measures unconstitutional, and have implemented single-subject rules as a way to combat this.
You need to look no further than the sponsor of the bill himself, not understanding the full scope of the legislation he had proposed and promoted. The American public, not just vapers, must band together to push for state and federal single-subject rules to prevent bloated bills from passing with unknown riders and earmarks attached.
What are your thoughts regarding Missouri’s new anti-vaping legislation? Do you believe the public health priorities of officials in the state may be a bit misguided, particularly considering the circumstances at hand? As always, we would love to know what you think in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive all the latest and greatest vaping news and reviews!
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