You vape, bro?
Vaping has become a wildly popular hobby. It also has become a widely used way to quit smoking cigarettes and wean their addiction to nicotine.
This week, San Francisco city supervisors approved a measure that would ban the sale of flavored nicotine liquid, which is most commonly used for electronic cigarettes.
They claim the ban, which will also extend to flavored tobacco products, would make the idea of smoking less enticing for younger and first time smokers. In their eyes, you cannot disguise nicotine, no matter what flavor you make it.
Historically tobacco companies have used calculated marketing to target youths, so San Francisco wants to be the first city in the US to take a stand against them.
One of the supervisors who sponsored the bill calls flavored products a “starter product for future smokers.” If the ban is approved by the board, it will take effect next April. Businesses will still be able to sell tobacco flavored products, but will take a hit by not being able to carry the flavored ones that their customers prefer. If they do not comply, their tobacco sales permits could be suspended.
SF not alone
San Francisco isn’t the only city to pass laws that make it harder to buy flavored liquid and tobacco products.
In fact, the state of California has continually made a point to reduce access to tobacco.
This year, a state tax increased the price of a pack of cigarettes by $2. The legal age to buy tobacco products was also raised from 18 to 21.
Not everyone agrees with the city’s argument. Gregory Conley, the President of the American Vaping Association, believes e-cigarettes help many people quit smoking.
He has experienced this first hand.
Conley claims that flavored products allow smokers to disconnect from the taste of tobacco. He cites reports published from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that estimated the number of high school and middle school e-cigarette smokers decreased since last year. For the same age group, overall use of tobacco products decreased by almost one million users.
can’t stop, won’t stop
San Francisco city supervisors hope that the ban will send a message that nicotine, with all its addictive attributes, cannot be hidden in various flavors.
However even with a ban, consumers can buy the flavored products online and in neighboring cities.