This Won’t Stand! California Vaping Ban Advances Out Of Committee
Complete Flavor Ban May Soon Cast Shade On Vapers In The Golden State
Anti-vaping activists have remained on a sustained crusade to advocate for the complete prohibition of vapor products. Failing that, these no-vape evangelists will settle on any prohibitive policy they can manage to get passed.
In California, a bill that would ban all flavored nicotine products advanced out of the Senate Health Committee on Friday. The committee voted in favor of the bill at a margin of 8-1. It’s now set to go before the Senate Appropriations Committee for further review.
The proposal would prohibit retail sales of any flavored nicotine products, including smoked and smokeless tobacco products, as well as vapor products. Additionally, the bill would prohibit the sale of “flavor enhancers,” effectively banning DIY vape juice within the state as well.
In addition to the proposed flavor ban, vapers in the state may soon be facing additional tax increases on vapor products. As a part of his proposed budget, Governor Gavin Newsom advocated for a nicotine tax at a rate of $2/40 milligrams, effectively making California one of the highest taxed states in the nation for vapers.
In California, the Senate Health Committee passed SB 793 at a margin of 8-1, with the bill now set to advance before the Senate Appropriations Committee. It would ban any form of flavored nicotine product from being sold at retailers within the state, including smoked and smokeless tobacco, as well as premixed and DIY vape juices.
Alongside sponsor Senator Jerry Hill, an additional 40 lawmakers have signed on as co-authors, and the bill has garnered the support of Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis. The proposal has been endorsed by a variety of organizations, including The American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network California, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
“Flavored tobacco products have created an unprecedented surge in youth nicotine consumption, undoing decades of declines in youth tobacco use, and luring our kids onto the path of nicotine addiction. SB 793 will remove this death bait from store shelves,” Hill said in a statement.
In addition to the new prohibitive policy targeting vaping, there is also a proposed nicotine tax included as a part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2021 budget. The ban would place an effective tax on nicotine products at a rate of $2 per every 40 milligrams, in addition to the state’s nearly 60% wholesale tax on all vapor products.
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. The group notes that there is no evidence vaping is harmful, and prohibitive policies will only force people back toward tobacco or even black market alternatives.
Study after study has emerged, highlighting vaping as an effective smoking cessation aid and tool. Research 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.
Vaping has also been repeatedly demonstrated to be a reduced harm alternative to tobacco in addition to one of the most effective cessation aids available. As an example, research from Public Health England and the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center each found that vaping is 95% and 93% safer than smoking, respectively.
Alongside being an effective smoking cessation aid and reduced harm alternative to tobacco, the current scientific consensus surrounding vaping indicates there is little-to-no risk associated with long-term use. Research published by the National Academy of Sciences found that vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking, and there are no known long-term health effects from prolonged usage.
Vape shops have already been struggling to adapt to a hostile regulatory environment as misinformation perpetuated by the press pummeled their public perception. In addition to these regulatory and informational challenges, these independently-owned small-businesses are being completely devastated by lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders created by the coronavirus.
These small mom-and-pop shops need the support of their legislators now more than ever, and not additional barriers created by virtue-signaling lawmakers attempting to attach their name to some pop piece of legislation as the election rapidly approaches. The future of the vaping industry is looking dark for those in the Golden state unless dramatic lobbying efforts are made to combat this legislation as well as the proposed tax.
What are your thoughts regarding California’s proposed flavor ban? How do you think this will impact vapers and vape shops within the Golden State? 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!
(Image Credit – Pixabay – https://pixabay.com/images/id-1598473/)