San Francisco Bans E-Liquid Flavors
San Francisco has voted by 68% to ban flavored tobacco and e-liquids.
This is both shocking and worrying news.
The success of vaping can be put down to the vast array of devices and the myriad of flavors on offer. That we can customize a vape for our own individual needs, that we can swap out and enjoy flavors plays a vital role in keeping us away from smoking.
Yet these very facts have fallen on deaf ears in San Francisco. Instead, the message was one of flavors being the very reason teens vape and smoke.
“I was going to vote no on this, because I hate the nanny-state. But when I saw how much money tobacco companies were spending, I thought, "they're really afraid of this, it must be a big business." Then I read about teens becoming nicotine addicts due to flavored vape juice. Well, I hate vaping more than the nanny-state, so I changed my vote. Go suck on a lemon, nicotine companies!”
The above statement is a simple, “I hate vaping, I believe what I read in the paper/online, so you can’t have your flavors.” And why would someone that doesn’t vape believe anything different?
According to the media, those against the ban ploughed in over $11 million to prevent the bill from being passed and were seen as ‘The Tobacco Industry’. Those in favor spent a mere $2.3 million and used phrases such as: ‘flavored tobacco is used to target children as future customers’.
And straight out of the FDA handbook, again from the San Francisco Examiner;
“These products come in flavors like gummy bear, cotton candy and banana smash that clearly appeal to kids, and they’re often colorfully packaged to look just like candy and other kid-friendly products”
Being rational and explaining the facts regarding the above didn’t cut it. It is very hard to fight emotion with facts. The tactic of using ‘the children’ works every time. As does poor science. Indeed, in the article by KQED.org, regarding this vote, the most quoted scientist was Glantz, a man who has been discredited by many in his own field, including Clive Bates. We, the vaping industry can tell you till we are blue in the face that vaping is less harmful than tobacco, and that this claim is backed up by science. We can tell that you vaping is not a gateway to smoking for teens, and we can back that up with science, but will you listen if you feel otherwise? If you fear otherwise? San Francisco has proved that you won’t.
What of the consequences of this flavor ban?
San Francisco is the first city in the USA to pass this bill, and it is due to become law later this year, but, has this been thought through and rationalized, or is this simply a crusade?
However, it wasn’t just Big Tobacco that opposed the strict ban on flavored products. Some residents of the city pointed to the ways an all-out ban can be dangerous.
“It’s disappointing that a majority of voters in San Francisco came to the conclusion that the best way to address an issue of concern, such as underage tobacco use, is a return to the policy of prohibition,” said Carlos Solórzano, CEO of the Hispanic Chambers of Commerce of San Francisco, according to Politico.
Ban flavors for adults, because some children are getting their hands on them. Where then is the ban on tobacco cigarettes, because kids smoke? This is the logic that is being applied to vaping, a product that is less harmful than tobacco, but it’s not being applied to tobacco.
But back to the questions that this shocking result now raises.
Carl Phillips, epidemiology and economics consultant/researcher and tobacco harm reduction (THR) advocate, has tweeted:
Here is the Twitter thread that runs with the tweet. In the thread he raises some very pertinent questions about the ramifications of this ban.
Such as, what happens next?
Where will people go to get their flavored tobacco goods?
Will this not make it easier for the illicit market to flourish, and what will happen to the vapers that can no longer vape’, will they return to smoking?
Will any of these questions be asked and investigated?
Will records be kept as to what happens next; on the smoking statistics, the teen statistics, or is this simply the start of a domino effect?
The New York Times have written, “The measure, known as Proposition E, is said to be the most restrictive in the country, and health groups predicted it could serve as a model for other communities.”
We very much hope it won’t.
This ban came into place because of the ignorance of the general public. If they don’t vape, why should they care? And why wouldn’t they listen to the anti-tobacco propaganda? It all looks legit, on the surface. But we know better. If we are to halt the possible domino effect of this ban and have cities up and down the nation enacting it – then we all have to act. We ALL have to start educating our friends, family and strangers to the benefits of vaping, and to the benefits of flavors.
Sign up and Join CASAA. Go on, do it NOW.
Do your bit and play your part.
Don’t be the silent bystander that does nothing.
We need CASAA now, more than ever. All e-liquid is flavored. All of it.