President Trump is calling for a ban on flavored e-cigarettes, citing the health impacts on youth. Companies that sell them have been accused of marketing them to children.
The president said the proposed ban comes after hundreds of illnesses and several deaths that have been connected to vaping. Health officials are finding that these people are using e-cigarettes that contain THC or other thickening products that are unregulated by the FDA. While the manufacture and sale of these products are regulated and the vast majority of them do contain nicotine, the underground products have been a cause for concern.
The proposal is an outright ban on flavored e-cigarettes from the FDA, while still allowing tobacco flavored vapes. One shop manager says the customers that vape prefers the flavored kind. Nearly 90 percent of them do. He says if that kind is banned, people will still want to vape.
“Just like with other products, when you can’t get them at the store people will end up doing DIY,” said Noah Scheuerman, “Just a few years ago, stores were making their own e-juice right at the counter and selling it to you. Who knows what they were using. There was no regulation.”
Scheuerman says if this ban goes into effect it will not only hurt his store but put many of the emerging local vape stores out of business. This follows New York State raising the age of purchase to 21. That law takes effect in November.
Some hospitals, businesses, and schools have decided to go completely smoke-free on their campuses, both tobacco and vaping. St. John Fisher announced today that on January 1, they will be doing just that.
Dr. Christine Birnie of the Wegmas School of Pharmacy at St. John Fisher says this will not be a punitive step, rather an educational opportunity.
“We want people to understand that there are really negative effects of smoking, vaping, tobacco chewing, any of that. This can be just as harmful as smoking and other tobacco products.” she says.
Back at the Dewey Avenue Smoke Shop, Scheuerman says certain regulations are fine, but a total ban on state and/or federal levels can have unforeseen health consequences. “Outright banning it is going to put it back into the black market basically,” he says.
The New York State Vapor Association agrees. In a statement, they said, “We’re very disappointed that President Trump and NY Governor Cuomo have fallen for and perpetuated ‘fake news.’ Evidence shows black market THC tainted with thick oil is causing the lung crisis in the US. Nicotine e-liquid has been on the market for 12 years with no issues except health improvement for smokers. With a stroke of a pen, pushed by Bloomberg millions, Big Pharma and Big Tobacco interests, millions of smokers will go back to smoking, try to do it themselves, or buy illegally which is exactly why this problem happened. All bad news for public health.”