Vapers Begin Stockpiling Amid Bans
Where have we seen this before?
The future of the American retail vaping industry and vaping in general is in serious jeopardy following a wave of bans in what some are referring to as the “vapocalypse”. With a looming federal ban on the sale of all flavored vapor products, as well as several states enacting flavor bans of their own, vapers are scrambling to savor their favorite flavors.
Members of the vaping community have taken to stockpiling their favorite flavors of vape juice as lawmakers throughout the United States have announced bans on the sale of flavored vapor products. Many have noted the resemblance to the hoarding of weapons by gun rights advocates following perceived challenges to the Second Amendment.
Lawmakers defend these bans by claiming that they’re aimed at protecting youth, as the flavors used in vapor products may appeal to children and somehow get them to take up vaping. Members of the vaping community say that these bans negatively impact adult former smokers as these flavors got them to take up vaping and quit smoking cigarettes in the first place, and a lack of safer options may force some back to smoking again.
Many in the vaping community are left uncertain as to what they’re going to do going forward after these bans are enacted and their reserves deplete. Vapers may soon be forced to use risky DIY alternatives and seek out dangerous black market options should these bans remain.
Following announcements of several flavor bans across the United States, many vaping enthusiasts have taken to stocking up on large quantities of their favorite vapor products before they officially take effect. Many in the vaping community have taken to the /r/Vaping subreddit to share their stockpiles with others, as well as voice their concerns about the looming bans and future of the vaping industry at large.
Firearms experts have drawn parallels between vapers stocking up on flavors and guns rights advocates stockpiling firearms following any potential challenge to the second amendment. Unfortunately for the vaping community, there are no constitutional protections for vaping like there are for gun ownership.
Vape Shops throughout the country have seen a boost in sales following these announcements as vapers scramble to stock up before these bans officially go into effect. However, owners note that these short-term profits don’t change their growing concerns for the long-term.
Flavored vapor products make up 90-95% of sales for most small mom-and-pop vape shops, a ban on all flavors essentially obliterates the foundation of the domestic vaping industry. These small businesses are unable to adapt to such a hostile regulatory landscape, regulations enacted through subverting the democratic process by executive order.
Looking into the peer-reviewed research on this topic and the proposed regulations make even less sense. A report by Dr. John Buckell of Yale University found that vaping flavors are one of the most important things to the efficacy of vaping as a smoking cessation tool. In fact, his team concluded if a strict flavor ban was passed, it would actually provide a distinct advantage to Big Tobacco.
While lawmakers would have you believe these bans are necessary due to the increasing number of non-smoking teens using vapes, the truth is less scary. A report of over 60,000 teens concluded less that 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever vaping more than once or twice, let alone becoming full blown smokers.
Meanwhile, we have a growing pile of evidence which strongly suggests vaping is much safer than continued smoking. Back in 2015 we got a report from Public Health England which concluded e-cigarettes are about 95% safer than cigarettes. More recently, researchers from Roswell Park Cancer Institute found the toxicants in vapor are about 93% lower than in cigarette smoke.
Even more impressively, the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper has been shown to be about 57,000 times lower than cigarette smokers according to a report from the Journal of Aerosol Sciences. The report concluded particulates in vapor are much smaller and less stable, meaning they don’t collect as much and contain fewer harmful substances.
Flavor bans negatively impact public health by restricting adult former smokers access to a safer alternative to aid in smoking cessation. On top of this, these flavor bans may very well signal the end of the domestic vaping industry as we know it by banning the foundation of retail sales.
Without safer alternatives that help mimic the experience they’re addicted to, former smokers may relapse, which poses a major future public health concern. Without being able to sell flavored vapor products, small mom-and-pop vape shops will be forced to close as these products make up the vast majority of these sales.
Members of the vaping community must remain vigilant and engaged, both online and off, to help shift the discourse surrounding vaping. Sharing stories online and in your personal life about how vaping has positively impacted your life and health is one of the single greatest ways to help sway public perception.
Have you used vaping to quit smoking? What are your feelings on the impending “vapocalypse?” We’d love to know what you think in the comments below. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive all the latest vaping news!
(Image Credit – Pixabay – https://pixabay.com/images/id-431943/)