Vape and tobacco flavors under attack, this time from NJ (Opinion)
This time it's a New Jersey congressman, one who hasn't accomplished a whole lot during his 27 years on Capitol Hill. He wants the federal government to step in and ban all flavors of tobacco and vaping products.
As we've discussed for years, vaping has provided an incredible tobacco alternative, which is, according to some medical studies, 95% safer than cigarettes, and flavors make it that much more enjoyable for some folks. We already know that smoking cigarettes leads to a plethora of health problems reportedly killing more than 480,000 Americans each year. I've talked to experts on the show before to highlight the positive nature of vaping and the fact that a handful of deaths related to 'vaping' were really related to homemade, illicit products with THC.
The reality is bans are counter-productive when it comes to trying to prevent kids from breaking the law. Even now, around 1 in 4 high school kids vape compared to about the same number of high schoolers who smoked in 2000. Today, the CDC reports that many of the teen vapers are using flavored products so naturally ban the favors! Of course correlation is NOT causation and there is no evidence to suggest that the kids only broke the law because of a certain flavor.
As you know, I smoked cigarettes for years through college and into the Marine Corps. It wasn't grape-flavored tobacco that got me, pretty sure that and bubblegum flavor didn't exist then. The point is that bans drive up costs and push people to purchase illegal products, which are the main cause for vaping related illnesses. Perhaps instead of bans we should be educating parents and helping kids toughen up to resist bullies and pushers.
Are we at all surprised the kids under 18 further their natural rebellion to smoke or vape? And how exactly does a flavor ban stop kids from doing the next thing bad for them? It doesn't. But I can tell you that what a flavor ban will most definitely do is drive small businesses out of business, causing working class people to lose their jobs. It will also definitely drive adults back to harmful tobacco products as the vapes become limited and less appealing and the kids without structure, strong parents and discipline in school will continue to break the rules.
We had a great guest on the show Monday, Leah Vukmir, who is the VP of state relations for the National Taxpayers Union. She explained the real cost to business when bans like this are proposed and put into effect.
Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Bill Spadea.
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