San Francisco and Oakland lawmakers are working on proposals to ban the sale of menthol cigarettes and other tobacco flavored products. This move is meant to protect the health of children.
California—especially the Bay Area—has been a leader in promoting proven methods to reduce death and disease among people who use drugs. Legal needle-exchange program, safe consumption spaces, legal drug distributors, etc.
But the recent proposals regarding the ban on flavored tobacco e-liquids send out a different signal. Tobacco-related diseases kill almost 4000 Californians per month. And electronic cigarettes help reduce tobacco use.
By banning flavored tobacco e-liquids, lawmakers are taking away products that encourage smokers to quit smoking. And smokers who smoke flavored cigarettes would suffer the most from the disappearance of flavored tobacco e-liquids.
Flavored e-liquids are not more dangerous
And why would flavored e-liquids be banned? No scientific study has shown that flavored e-liquids are more harmful than un-flavored ones. Menthol flavors can be more addictive. This is because menthol chemicals will allow nicotine to stay in the blood for a longer period of time. But even with menthol, e-cigarettes are 95% safer than classical tobacco cigarettes. This was proven by a study published by Public Health England. Besides, the main argument to ban flavors is to protect minors. But minors are actually protected. They cannot buy vaping products since it is forbidden to sell e-cigarettes or e-liquids to minors.
Let’s hope that lawmakers will come back to their senses in the weeks to come. They should realize that by banning flavored tobacco e-liquids, they get rid of a large part of a fantastic nicotine cessation tool.