Neighboring States See Boom In Vape Sales Following Massachusetts Ban
Prohibition policies appear to do very little to stop adult vapers getting their supplies
The vaping industry has seen a turbulent couple of months as states and counties enact various forms of prohibition against vaping. While local vaping industries have been struggling to navigate the new and hostile regulatory landscape, these bans have actually served as a boon for neighboring localities.
Following a temporary ban on all vapor products being replaced by a strict ban on flavored vapor products in Massachusetts, neighboring states have begun to see an increase in vape sales as residents continue to seek out their vapor products however they can. This move by vapers lends credence to the argument posed by reform advocates that prohibition does not prevent use. Determined individuals will get their product by any means necessary.
Members of the vaping community have expressed frustration with the amount of effort law-abiding citizens merely looking for a reduced-harm alternative to smoking have to go through to get safe, regulated products. Lawmakers have repeatedly defended these bans as vital to public health, but have failed to show any data to back up these claims or the efficacy of these bans.
While it is good that these vapers are continuing to access regulated products despite the additional effort and expense, this does signal the beginning of a worrying trend for the community. If states continue to place bans on vapor products and further restrict access, law-abiding citizens may be forced to turn to unregulated products on the black market.
Increase In Sales
Following the implementation of the nation’s strictest ban on flavored vapor and tobacco products in Massachusetts, neighboring states such as New Hampshire and Connecticut have seen a massive increase in sales as residents flock to stock up on safe, regulated vapor products. While serving as a boon to vape industries in those respective states, it does show a sign of troubled times for the already maligned local industry in Massachusetts.
Many retailers in Massachusetts have been forced to close in response to the initial temporary three-month ban on all vapor products, supplanted with the nation’s strictest ban on flavored vapor products to date. It is essential to consider that flavored vapor products can often make up 85-95% of vape store sales.
Anti-vaping activists believe bans on flavored vapor products are needed to keep teens away from vaping by taking away flavors that entice them. Members of the vaping community argue that banning flavored cigarettes did nothing to quell teen smoking rates. They see clear evidence these polices hurt adult smokers looking for safe options to help them quit smoking.
Truth About Vaping
Despite the influx of heavy regulations and negative attention in the press, vaping has been repeatedly shown to be a reduced-harm alternative to tobacco. One key study to back this is a landmark report from Public Health England, which concluded vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking.
In addition, researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute concluded the toxicants in vapor are around 93% lower than in cigarette smoke. Also, a study published in the Journal of Aerosol Sciences concluded vapers have a 57,000 times lower risk of developing cancer than smokers.
Not only does vaping pose a reduced risk of harm compared to smoking, but it may be the greatest tool we have to aid in smoking cessation. A report from the University of Louisville concluded that vaping is the single most effective form of smoking cessation currently available.
Anti-vaping activists propagate myths of a teenage vaping “epidemic” as justification for these heavy-handed regulations, yet data shows that these concerns are overblown. A report compiled by Action on Smoking and Health featuring over 60,000 teenage participants concluded that as little as 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens who try vaping actually end up doing it habitually.
Flavor bans such as the one in Massachusetts negatively impact the economic output of the local vaping industry by limiting sales of their highest selling products. Furthermore, they negatively impact public health by restricting adult smokers’ access to proven and effective smoking cessation aids and reduced harm alternatives to tobacco.
These law-abiding taxpayers shouldn’t be inconvenienced to travel multiple hours and be forced to traffic contraband back into their home-state simply because they want to quit smoking. There is no logical explanation as to why innocent people are being punished simply for wanting to make better decisions in their life.
Members of the vaping community must remain vigilant in fighting back against the war on vaping. Sustained civic engagement and civil discourse have offered and continue to offer the greatest hope in swaying public and legislative opinion about vaping back in a positive direction.
Do you believe adult smokers should have to travel across state lines to have access to a safe and proven smoking cessation device? We’d 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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