Florida Proposes Flavored E-Cig Ban

October 23, 2019 News & Announcements ecig, florida law, vaping

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A Florida Ban on Flavored E-Cigarettes

Florida representative Jackie Toledo of District 60 has proposed a sweeping regulation of e-cigarette and liquids for them. This is in response to an outbreak of medical incidents supposedly related to vaping. At this point, thousands have suffered lung related illnesses according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), with 26 death across the United States (one of those taking place in Florida). Jackie Toledo’s proposed bill would ban the sale of flavored e-liquid and raise the age to 21 to purchase.

While the raising the age to 21 provision has widespread and bipartisan support, there is much criticism to be had to the idea of entirely banning flavored e-liquids. First of all, the financial impact to small, local vape shops would put them out of business by the financial impact done to these vendors. A proposed Food and Drug Administration regulation to ban flavored e-liquids raises the concerns of a local store owner, who says switching to electronic cigarettes helped him stop traditional cigarettes. The store owner even explains how customers have encountered him in the grocery store, stating the products have made it easier for them to breath. 

Unfortunately, this small business owner fears  he will lose his store if the Trump administration passes this ban on flavored e-cigarette juice. 

Problems with Outlawing Flavored E-Cigs

This above portion of the article illustrates the problem with trying to legislate problems away with broad, sweeping regulations is the fact that rather than helping the people most hurt by vaping induced illness, what the regulation would do is instead is damage the business and livelihoods of small business owners. The state of Florida would be effectively screwing over businessmen who in all likelihood have done nothing wrong (as evidence has seemed to indicate that the vast majority of vaping related illnesses and deaths have been linked to illicit THC vape pods not to regular e-cigarette use) and remove their ability to do business. In the end, the big winner, if the e-cigarette industry takes a massive hit in profitability, is Big Tobacco.  The largest big tobacco companies actually own the largest vaping companies. For example, Altria (the owner of Marlboro) is the majority shareholder in Juul and Reynolds American whom produces Vuse, could take the financial hit while damaging smaller local shops, potentially putting smaller competitors out of business

Another problem is the risk of unintended consequences of banning vaping. A concern is that if flavored vaping is banned, then as a result, people will start to smoke flavored menthols, smokeless tobacco, flavored cigars, and pipes. Right now, the evidence is that smoking is worse than vaping, and so we may risk pushing young people to start using worse recreational drugs than vaping.

Banning flavored e-liquids is, at best, unfair to small businesses and give perverse incentives to Big Tobacco, not helping anyone.