The Stupidity of Flavor Bans
The Stupidity of Flavor Bans
Recently, the California senate passed a bill that was touted as a tobacco flavor ban. Only it’s not an outright flavor ban because, at the last minute, pressure from tobacco lobbyists caused the bill to be amended. Now it exempts flavored cigars, menthol cigarettes, and hookah tobacco from the ban. Even though this bill was originally about banning flavor in tobacco…. They didn’t ban any flavored tobacco did they? They only banned flavored E-Liquid! It’s clear to see, these elected representatives folded like tissue paper under pressure from big tobacco bribes.
From Senate Bill 38 amended
“This bill would prohibit a tobacco retailer from selling, offering for sale, or possessing with the intent to sell or offer for sale, a flavored tobacco product, as defined. The bill would exclude from its provisions a product that has a patent issued prior to January 1, 2000, and is not a menthol flavored product, and tobacco products designed for a nonelectronic hookah.”
You can thank Sen. Bradford, Steven [D], Sen. Hill, Jerry A. [D], Sen. Portantino, Anthony J. [D], Asm. Wieckowski, Bob [D], for passing the amended portion in red. The only companies that might have patents dating back to 2000 are cigarette companies so it's plain to see why that amendment was put in. I know Reynolds American will be thanking them each with sizeable campaign contributions for helping to keep the tobacco industry protected from the threat of independent vaping companies.
Can you guess what reasons these officials had for pushing the ban through? It’s because 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 California, literally wine country USA, banning flavored alcohol to prevent underage drinking? Probably somewhere in the area of zero percent.
Once again children are being used as a scapegoat for the financial interests of politicians. It’s a shame that most people are still bind to this tactic, considering its been used time and time again for everything from banning Rock music to justifying Prohibition and the war on drugs.
The Issue With Targeting Flavor
California wants to use the fact that underage users prefer fruit and dessert flavors, over tobacco or menthol, when it comes to E-Liquid. They think if they ban these flavors then less underage users will vape. But there’s a very good reason why fruit and dessert flavors are more popular among underage users, because most adults who vape 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 good taste.
What are they going to tell us next, that underage drinkers prefer whipped cream flavored vodka over scotch?
Seeing it in graph format makes the data even more obvious.
Not to mention, there’s concrete evidence that adult users who quit cigarettes in favor of vapor products often do so because of the appeal flavored E-Liquids provide. 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 flavor options to choose from.
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 small percentage 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 California government, anyone who isn’t already in the pocket of Big Tobacco corporate interests. Flavors are a massive part of what makes vaporizers more appealing than traditional tobacco and they’re integral to the fight against cigarettes.
Follow The Money
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 flavor bans will forever be tainted by the stink of big tobacco and profiteering greed. 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 last year. 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 down this path of greed 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’ll ask them why, when we could have been the generation that killed cigarettes, did they listen to money over voters? I’m going to ask them, is your reelection and continued campaign donations worth more than the health of millions of American citizens?
I think we all know the answer to that last question, nobody who seeks power over others does it solely for the benefit of other people.
Below I have included a link to the bill in question http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200SB38
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 cancer causing Cigarettes 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.