You Won’t Believe What Lawmakers In This State Proposed After Their Vaping Ban Was Blocked
After a state Supreme Court judge blocked a previous ban, lawmakers are pushing forward with two new bills.
The New York retail vaping industry has faced a turbulent and uncertain future over the previous couple of months. Despite a state Supreme Court judge granting an injunction against a temporary flavor ban enacted under an executive order, lawmakers in the state have moved forward with a new and even more restrictive ban.
New York legislators gathered with anti-vaping activists in Albany to announce two bills aimed at effectively banning all flavored vapor and tobacco products. This new ban includes menthol, which is exempt from an upcoming federal ban, which lawmakers say targets African-American youth.
Harm-reduction experts and public health scholars have repeatedly spoken out against vaping bans, stating these bans may prevent adult smokers from quitting or continuing to abstain from tobacco. Anti-vaping activists have hailed the ban as an effective measure to help prevent teenage access to vapor products.
Members of the state’s vaping industry have decried the ban, stating a complete ban on all flavored vapor products will force most retailers out of business. Flavored vapor products, for both open and closed-system devices, can often make up between 80-95% of a vape shop’s sales.
Try And Try Again
Only a few short days after state Supreme Court Judge Catherine Cholakis granted an injunction against a temporary flavor ban in the state, New York state lawmakers have announced two new bills that seek to ban all flavored vapor and tobacco products. In her decision, Judge Cholakis ruled that the ban was unconstitutional, stating, “the emergency regulation is an impermissible administrative transgression into territory that is reserved to our Legislature by the State Constitution.”
During a press conference on Monday, Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, D-Manhattan, agreed with the judge that it was the responsibility to implement such a ban, which is why she is sponsoring these bills. “This is about stopping the next generation of kids from becoming addicted to [nicotine products] and everything else that is meant to line the pockets of companies who don’t care about the effects of their insidious campaigns on the health of youth,” she told reporters.
The new ban is set to include menthol flavored offerings, which is exempt from a looming federal ban. Lawmakers and activists in New York have argued that tobacco companies have used menthol flavoring for decades to target African-American communities.
Public health scholars have attempted to warn people about the risks of flavor bans, noting they may deter smokers from quitting and could push former smokers back to smoking. Members of the vaping industry warn this ban may even have serious economic ramifications by forcing retailers to shutter by effectively outlawing their entire inventory as well as the core business model.
Truth About Vaping
While we face a sustained war against vaping brought on by lawmakers, we face a very real fight against the worldwide smoking epidemic responsible for taking millions of lives each year. According to data from the CDC, there are an estimated 38 million smokers in the United States alone, 16 million of whom currently live with some form of smoking-related illness.
One of the greatest assets at our disposal to help win the war on smoking may, in fact, be vaping. A study from the University of Louisville found that vaping was the most effective form of smoking cessation, even more than quitting cold-turkey.
Current data indicates vaping has already helped and continues to help thousands of adult smokers quit each year. Research from University College London found that vaping helped up to 70,000 British smokers quit in 2017 alone.
Vaping is not only remarkably effective in aiding smoking cessation, but there is an extensive body of research establishing vaping as a reduced-harm alternative to tobacco. A study from the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center even found vaping was 93% safer than smoking.
New York’s proposed flavor ban may effectively decimate the local industry by outlawing a majority of a vape shop’s inventory. This new law will effectively force vapers within the state to travel beyond, utilize the black market, or go back to smoking.
The potential ramifications from forcing people toward the black market or cigarettes will be devastating for public health as well. Vaping has been repeatedly proven as one of the most effective ways to get people to quit and remain off of cigarettes.
The state’s vaping industry and community must continue to fight back against the war on vaping. If we want to preserve the industry as it is, it falls on vapers and vaping groups to help convey the value of e-cigarettes.
What are your thoughts on New York’s new flavor ban? What do you believe the impact will be on vapers and the vaping industry in the state? 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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