States Continue To Regulate Vaping In This Misguided Way

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Yet another state is choosing to officially equate vaping and smoking, with an added e-liquid tax coming.

Few things have a more significant impact on the future of the vaping industry as the vaping regulations around the world. The more places which agree that vaping serves a legitimate value to smokers looking to quit, the easier it will become to protect our vaping rights moving forward. At the same time, these laws are constantly shifting, as new legislators with different agendas come into power. The end result is a complicated situation which, at least in America, has lead to a troubling trend for the vaping community. In fact, yet another state is set to equate vaping and smoking by designating e-cigarettes as nothing more than an alternative form of tobacco, such as cigars or chewing tobacco.

New Mexican legislators successfully pushed the law change through. Now in just a few weeks, vaping will be banned across the state anywhere smoking isn’t permitted. In addition to the ban, there will also be a significant e-liquid tax. The vaping community criticized the move as misguided and ultimately doing more harm than good. Regardless, anti-vapers are excited with yet another victory in the fight to make vaping into nothing but an alternative form of tobacco.

Law Change

Earlier this year, New Mexico House Bill 256 passed, which among other things, officially added e-cigarettes to the state’s Dee Johnson Clean Indoor Air Act. First enacted in 2007, the ban prohibits using tobacco products in virtually any public space that isn’t a specialty tobacco shop. House Bill 6, which was also approved earlier this year, is a broader change in the state’s tax code which places a 12.5% tax on all e-liquids sold there. Despite being unrelated moves, vapers in New Mexico will soon be hit with both in just over a month. Starting on the 14th of June, vaping will officially be banned under the Clean Indoor Act, with the e-liquid tax starting in mid-July.

The vaping community hasn’t taken the news very well, with several respected voices in the industry voicing their concern. Many of their concerns involve the logic behind punishing vapers for attempting to quit smoking. Why are we forcing vapers, the overwhelming majority of which are former smokers, into small spaces with people actively smoking cigarettes? Some have even compared this with forcing alcoholics to go into a bar for a drink of water. Regardless, both of these changes will become law in a few short months, which has many worried about the unintended consequences of vapers reverting.

Why Support E-Cigarettes

Based on the way legislators treat vaping, you’d think we have no evidence supporting their harm reduction and smoking cessation value. But the truth is we actually have a large pile of evidence supporting the importance of vaping. A team of researchers from the University of Louisville wanted to determine the most successful smoking cessation tool or method at our disposal. They tested everything from cold turkey, through prescription drugs, and determined that not only is vaping a valuable smoking cessation tool, but it’s actually more likely to work than anything else. Another common fear around vaping is the impact they have on teens, especially non-smoking teens. Well, according to a report of over 60,000 students by Action on Smoking and Health, only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever picking up a vaporizer more than a few times.

The case for vaping only gets a whole lot stronger when you take a look at the overall harm reduction value provided by e-cigarettes. A report back in 2015 by Public Health England concluded vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking, which made massive waves at the time. These days we get this sort of finding all the time. Even just a few months back a team of researchers at Roswell Park Institute concluded the toxicants in vapor are 93% lower than in cigarette smoke. However, the most clear-cut piece of evidence we have proving the harm reduction value of vaping is the report from the Journal of Aerosol Sciences which concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is around 57,000 times lower than a demographically similar smoker.

Implications

It’s a real shame to see yet another state go this misguided route to vaping regulation. Vaping regulations could be the best or worst thing to happen to the industry, depending on how things go down. The more we allow legislators to equate vaping and smoking, the harder it will be to convince the general public that vaping is an invaluable tool and should be utilized to its full potential. It’s vital that we fight for our vaping rights now, or we could look back in a couple of years and not recognize what we see. If we want to protect vaping as we know it, we have to teach those around us about everything vaping has to offer.

Are you surprised another state is regulating vaping in this manner? What do you think is the most important thing to remember about vaping? How should we teach others about the benefits of e-cigarettes? 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.

Jimmy, lover, blogger, vaper and ex-smoker. I’ve been blogging about and supporting Vaping since 2009. They changed my life and I think history will show them as one of the most significant public health invention of the 21st century.

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