Terrible news from the US on a vaping ban (again)
Once again I find myself writing about something I would rather I didn't have to. It's come to light today that the United States government are pushing forward with plans for an outright ban on flavoured e-liquids. The ramifications of this, if it goes ahead, will be far wide and devastating for both the vaping industry and every smoker and ex-smoker in the US.
Today (11th September) the journalist John Roberts tweeted that President Trump announced that the aim is to ban all non-tobacco flavoured e-cigarettes from the market in the US, in a move aimed to dissuade young people from taking up vaping.
While Secretary Alex Azar announces that they will be finalising policies that will 'clear flavoured e-cigarettes from the market', and finishes with claiming they will not stand 'idly by' while youth use of e-cigarettes continue to rise.
You don't need me to tell you what effect this will have on smoking adults who haven't yet switched to vaping or the effect it will have on ex-smokers who now vape and find 'blueberry muffin' the only flavour that keeps them happy and away from their cigarettes. It will be devastating. Is the plan to make e-cigarettes taste horrible so people don't use them? Would they rather people smoke instead?
As I talked about in my last blog, the US already has a problem with teens buying dangerous black-market liquids to vape and this ban could make matters considerably worse. The ban won't work, it will just create a whole new black-market and encourage underground illegal trading in flavoured e-liquid. How long do you think it will take before those kids start hearing “I know a bloke down my street that makes cherry flavoured, he'll put whatever you want in it” It's so short-sighted, it's staggering.
It will also be the death nail for many businesses I would imagine. E-liquid companies that have spent years and considerable amounts of money on clean sterile labs and creating exciting flavour ranges that contribute to saving hundreds of thousands smokers lives. Smaller shops will close, turning small business owners into the unemployed. There are of course many of our friends in the US that will fight against this, but how successful they will be is anyone's guess right now. I fear the worst, vaping has been under attack in the US for a while now and from where I'm standing it looks like it's getting worse not better. Despite all the medical evidence, despite the fact that youth smoking rates have fallen dramatically and at their lowest for decades, despite billions of lives saved, lengthened and improved by e-cigarettes, they only seem to be able to focus on the negatives.
I'm having trouble articulating what I want to say right now, I'm angry and it's such a frustrating situation. While the noises coming from the UK government and medical bodies here are all largely very positive, we are not immune from what happens in other countries. Who knows what might happen in the future if powerful lobbyists and businesses start pushing a different agenda.
It's heartbreaking to think that moves are being made that will undoubtedly contribute to unnecessary loss of life.
I'm literally lost for words.
Simon - My Vape Box