The Problem with New York’s Proposed Vape Flavor Ban


Once again government officials are banging on the doors of the vaping industry, this time in New York State. The City of New York, and by extension NY State, recently proposed an all out ban on flavored E-Liquids. We’re not talking just a few candy or dessert flavors either, NY wants to ban every single vape juice that isn’t a Tobacco or Menthol/Mint derivative flavor.

Their reasoning? Kids are vaping! (Cue dramatic music)

Yes, kids vaping is obviously a problem, but so is kids smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. What do you think the odds are of New York, one of the biggest drinking cities in the world, banning flavored alcohol to prevent underage drinking? Exactly zero percent. Once again children are being used as a scapegoat for the financial interests of politicians.

Representatives from New York claim that “Vaping among high school students has skyrocketed 160 percent in four years– from 10.4 percent in 2014 to 27.4 percent in 2018”(NY Post) But let’s take a closer look at those statistics because shady politicians often like to use falsified data connections to justify their policies.

I did a deep dive on the politics behind the particular bill and included everything I could find in this blog. I know this is a long one, but I guarantee you’re going to be very interested in the data I found while working on this piece.  

Let’s Be Real

Firstly, forget about kids for a second and lets remember that vaping is a relatively new technology. As it stands, there was much less awareness about vapor products in 2014 as compared to 2018.

“The number of vapers has been increasing rapidly - from about seven million in 2011 to 35 million in 2016.” (Euromonitor International 2018)

That’s a 500% increase in vapers around the world, now all of the sudden a 160% increase in underage use seems a little bit small compared to the overall usage of vaping products.

So let's try a thought experiment, imagine that alcohol was just discovered in 2010. From 2010 to 2014 alcohol was made into thousands of different flavors and everybody in the world started drinking. Governments would have to regulate alcohol strictly since it's only safe for those who are mature enough to enjoy its effects without going overboard, and it can be damaging to brain tissue that isn’t fully developed. Of course, during the initial discovery of alcohol, underage people would want to enjoy the forbidden products because people tend to desire what they’re not allowed to have, especially in the case of immature young adults.

Do you think, during that transition period, that young adult alcohol use would decrease? No, of course it wouldn’t. The levels of alcohol use would likely match the increasing awareness of this substance. So why is that percentage increase of high school vapers being used as an excuse for NY to scrutinize vape products and E-Liquid flavors?

The Issue With Targeting Flavor

NY also wants to claim that underage users prefer fruit and dessert flavors to tobacco or menthol when it comes to E-Liquid so if they ban these flavors less underage users will vape. But there’s a very good reason why fruit and dessert flavors are more popular among young adults, because most adult vapers also prefer fruit and dessert flavored E-Liquid over Tobacco or Menthol. It’s the biggest case of “no shit sherlock” that I’ve ever seen. Who in their right mind would eat a tobacco flavored cake? Or drink a menthol flavored soda? These aren’t exactly flavors that are known, or used, for their pleasant taste.

What are they going to tell us next, that underage drinkers prefer whipped cream flavored vodka over scotch? I want to know who is getting paid $40,000 a year or more, of our taxpayer money, to come up with these ridiculously obvious data points.

Seeing it in graph format makes the survey results even more obvious.

There’s concrete evidence that adult users who quit cigarettes in favor of vapor products often do so because of the appeal of flavored E-Liquids. Out of a 60,000 person survey, recently conducted by Dr. Konstatinos Farsalinos, about 54,000 users initiated E-Cigarette use because they prefer the flavors compared to tobacco and menthol. Furthermore, around 58,000 people said they began using E-Cigarettes because they’re available in a variety of flavors.

Here’s the kicker, not only did flavoring in E-Liquid have an impact on initiating E-Cigarette usage, but flavors may have more to do with continued abstinence from traditional cigarette smoking than we think. While there is a substantial amount of users who first tried E-Liquids based on a tobacco or menthol flavor, that percentage of users who continued vaping those flavors dramatically decreases over time.

The data is plain to see for anyone who has eyes. Or in the case of the NY government, anyone who isn’t already in the pocket of Big Tobacco and Big Pharma corporate interests. Flavors are a massive part of what makes vaporizers more appealing to smokers than traditional tobacco.

Conclusion and A Call to Action


I don’t think there’s any need for more discussions on the topic of flavor bans. It’s clear to see the only reason for banning flavors is because flavored E-Liquids cut into the sales tax revenue from cigarettes. Politicians may say they’re interested in the health of their constituents, but anyone who votes yes on the NY flavor ban will forever be tainted by the stink of big tobacco. If you want proof, it’s easy to follow the money.

This table shows the amount of times Electronic Cigarettes were mentioned in Lobbying filings. Can you guess what company has spent the most money on lobbying against Vapor Devices? That's right, Reynolds American, the company that produces Newport, Camel, Doral, Eclipse, Kent, Pall Mall and Lucky Strikes, is at the top of the list! They have almost twice as many filings, where Electronic Cigarettes were mentioned, as the next Lobbyist group in the list.

It seems evident that, year after year, our elected officials choose money from lobbying groups over the values of the people who voted them into office. Have we gone too far to return to some semblance of a moral compass? I don’t think so. That's why I’ll personally be making a phone call to the sponsors of this bill.

I’m going to ask them why they think flavored E-Liquids are harmful and if they’ve looked into the data surrounding the rise of vaping and the fall of cigarette smoking and cancer. I’m going to ask them, is the chance of your reelection and continued campaign donations worth the health of millions of American citizens?

I implore whoever is reading this right now, if you care about vaping, if you enjoy flavored E-Liquids, or if you’re just sick and tired of Cigarette based cancer ravaging this country and your loved ones, please call these politicians and let them know it’s not too late to do the right thing.


  • Posted on by Derick C Robbins

    Because the whole reason people vape is to quit smoking and in order to do that there has to be nicotine replacement, these ban nicotine comments seem really unintelligent. Nothing needs banned there just needs to be more effort placed on parenting and educating parents that kids shouldnt be vaping but if the choice is tobacco cigs or vaping, i’d much rather a kid be vaping and not killing themselves with combustible tobacco smoke

  • Posted on by Gonzo

    I agree wholeheartedly with your commentary. Thank you for raising awareness. Having grown up in NYC, and having left years ago, I can tell you money talks. Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, Lawyers, will always drive policy. I used vaping to quit smoking, and love desert flavors.
    Lastly, I am a big proponent of terms limits. Every Politician should only get two terms, one in office and one in prison!!

  • Posted on by Mary T

    I forgot to mention on my example of the smoker that $10,080/yr spent on cigs times 50 years – the amt of years they smoked for = $504,000. That translates into milllions if not billions of $ lost by big tobacco when you take into account other ppl just like that.

  • Posted on by Mary Terrana

    I agree w/ Brad B’s comment. Why not ban nicotine instead of the flavors. If NYS actually really gave a damn about ‘kids vaping’ then they’d do what UK did and not allow nic to be in the juices. UK sell nic shots and 0 nic flavored juice. You have to add your own nic to the juice if you want nic in your juice. Anyone proposing a flavor ban could simply instead just ban nic in the juice. This would solve the problem of ‘kids vaping’ as i believe they wouldn’t want to vape a 0nic juice. 0nic juice is straight flavor. I vape 0nic b/c flavor is all i want. It actuallly helps me diet wise b/c instead of eating junk food and gaining weight, i can vape it and just have the taste on my tongue which is enough for me and not gain weight. But in the narrative the other side is running scapegoating ‘kids vaping’, i believe once you remove the nic from the juice, they’ll no longer do it. That’s like underage drinking stopping b/c you removed the alcohol. Who’s gonna sit around and drink something flavored w/ vodka or whiskey but there’s no alcohol in it? Nobody. And the same could be said of nic. If cigarettes contained no nic, do you think ppl would still smoke them? No, b/c they want nic, same w/ kids wanting alcohol. Kids also abuse prescription drugs/pills. What if big pharma instead released a ‘kids version’ and it was a placebo (something that looked like the drugs/pills they abuse but absolutely had no effects that they desired) – obviously kids wouldn’t do it. So why then can’t they just ban and remove nic? I don’t understand why they can’t do this simple solution that’s right in front of them. If they banned nic from Ecigs, i don’t think they’d have to ban nic from real cig’s. If Ecigs is the ‘problem’ then i’d think you’d remove the problem from the ecig – and that being nicotine, NOT flavors. If USA followed what the UK is doing, selling 0nic juice only and nic shots, and this was only sold in vape shops, not gas stations, then you can bet that no one underage would be accessing it. In most states, you have to be 21 in order to purchase Ecigs.

    The whole ‘kids vaping’ narrative isn’t the problem. Big pharma and big tobacco lost $$$$ when adults sought life saving opportunities by switching from smoking to vaping. Vape shops saw smokers who had smoked their whole lives, or smokers that had smoked for 30years, 50 years, etc make the switch to vaping. Do the math – if you’re a smoker of 50 years and let’s say you smoke at least 3 packs a day and each pack costs $10 (back in the day i know they were maybe $4-5 but these days they’re out of sight what you’re paying to slowly kill yourself with), that;s at least $30 a day for your smoking. Now multiply by 7, that’s $210/wk. now add up $210 four times – that’s $840/mo. That’s a lot of $. Now multiply that figure times 12, that’s $10,080 a year! And that’s just in the case of 1 person smoking. Imagine now the $ lost of millions of ppl like this. It equals – big pharma/big tobacco are LOSING LOTS OF $$$ and ‘something’ has to be done about this so that they don’t lose $$. It’s all about $$. They’re hoping by banning flavors that everybody who uses ecigs will go back to smoking so that they can continue to make $. Obviously going back to smoking would be detrimental health wise but do you think big pharma gives a crap about that? No, of course not. It benefits them b/c eventually you will get sick with emphysema or cancer and be treated for it and then you’ll be dumping $ into their pocket too. Who’s gonna turn down $ – they’re not. If doctors truly cared, they would be in full support of vaping as it does save lives and IS the healthy alternative, but to do that takes $ out of their pocket and they’re not gonna do that. SO instead they come up with scapegoat narratives such as ‘kids vaping’. They were talking flavor bans before ever using this scapegoat. Remember – they were gonna tax eliquid – some states have.. why tax it if you just want to get rid of it period? Is it to recover some $ lost by big tobacco before you kill the industry? Now we got the false scapegoat narratives being pushed across such as ‘kids vaping’ to try and kill the industry and ban flavors… where were you guys when kids were abusing script drugs and chasing it w/ alcohol or eating tide pods? Bottom line, nobody gives a damn about your health least of all kids. It’s the classic image of ‘let’s use kids’ to push our agenda and just blame it on ‘kids vaping’ to win this fight and ban flavors and kill the vaping industry so that the ppl who endorse us and give us $ regain it back. I have to believe that the ppl (politicians) forcing this narrative are losing $ by the companies like big pharma/tob that endorse them. We all know politicians, god forbid can’t lose $$.

  • Posted on by BradB

    Why does no one mention that Nicotine does not have to be added to vape juice. Why doesn’t New York ban nicotine instead of flavorings? Who cares if kids vape if there is no nicotine?

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing
You have successfully subscribed!
This email has been registered