This week’s vaping news has been swamped by reactions from around the world to Trump’s threat to ban all e-liquid flavours. So in this vape news special let’s look at what the experts are saying and has the President pulled back from the ban?
Experts React To US E-Cig Flavour Ban Threat
I’m sure you’re all well aware that President Trump has called for a ban of all flavoured e-liquids in America.
If not [have you been asleep lol] then please check out my article: Trump To Ban All E-Cig Flavours for more info.
The dust hasn’t settle in the US on this yet, however high profile US vapers, such as Matt from SMM was interviewed by the Washington Post and Jai Haze featured on Info Wars, have been doing their best to begin a rearguard action to ‘save the vape’.
Trump’s officials say it could be ‘many weeks’ before they work out a plan to clear the shelves of flavoured e-liquids and pods – with some saying tobacco and menthol will still be available.
US Expert Respond To Flavour Ban Threat
It doesn’t take a rocket science to realize if this ban goes ahead, vapers in their droves will return to smoking and the health ramifications are obvious.
Lindsey Stroud, vaping expert and State Government Relations Manager at The Heartland Institute and she’s just written a book: Tobacco Harm Reducation 101: A Guidebook for Policymakers.
She’s calling for the threatened ban to be reversed:
President Trump’s recent proposal to ban flavored electronic cigarettes and vaping devices is an affront to tobacco harm reduction and would lead former smokers back to combustible cigarettes.
This is simply reactionary policy based on early reports.
Rather than imposing bans, the federal government should make access to e-cigarettes easier for adults, and divert tobacco moneys from settlement payments and taxes to education and tobacco control programs.
Unfortunately, this decision will lead to former smokers returning to combustible tobacco products which are far more harmful than e-cigarettes.
UK Experts React To Trump’s Flavour Ban
Now two of the UK’s strongest vape and medical experts have weighed in with their thoughts on Trump’s move.
Linda Bauld is the Professor of Public Health, University of Edinburgh and also the head of Behavioural Research for Cancer Prevention at Cancer Research UK.
She points to the European model around flavours and worries a black market of illicit e-liquids will flourish:
But by removing all these products from the market, the proposed US policy forgets that the flavours are an important part of the appeal to adult smokers trying to quit smoking.
In fact, in surveys in both the UK and the USA, fruit and sweet flavours are far more commonly used by adult ex-smokers as they help separate smoking from vaping and help transition smokers to using a far less harmful product.
In Europe, flavoured e-cigarettes have contributed to recent declines in adult smoking and well-conducted randomised controlled trials show that these products do help people quit. In addition, in the UK, rates of use among youth who have never smoked remain low.
This may be explained by our very different regulatory framework.
It includes limits on nicotine content, child- and tamper-proof packaging, prohibition of certain chemicals and, importantly, a ban on many forms of advertising that are still permitted in the USA.
My concern is that if most e-cigarettes are banned in the USA, adult smokers will return to tobacco and for those who don’t, demand for black market products will rise.
A flourishing illicit market is far more likely to cause health harms than pursuing proportionate regulation of the type we’ve aimed for in Europe.
Wise words indeed.
Still Safe To Vape In the UK and Europe
Dr Lion Shahab, is the Associate Professor in Health Psychology at University College London, and was behind the recent Public Health England video showing the effect of lit tobacco compared to vapour.
He says flavours have absolutely nothing to do with the recent spate of respiratory diseases and 6 deaths from vaping bootlegged cannabis cartridges:
Legal products available in the UK are compliant with EU regulation, using propylene glycol and glycerine as suspension and carrier liquid for nicotine and flavourings to produce the vapour, not oil.
Standard e-liquids have been used safely by millions of people to help them stop smoking for over a decade now, without any of the adverse health effects reported in the US.
Flavours are therefore unlikely to be the cause of ‘vaping lung disease’ and banning them would not have prevented this recent outbreak.
It is, of course, unfortunate that people use bootlegged products to vape illegal drugs; however, this problem is not unique to e-cigarettes and similarly applies to bootlegged alcohol and Class A drugs used for recreational purposes.
Couldn’t have put it better myself.
Vaping Advocacy Groups Step In
The Canadian Vape Association has also weighed in:
Flavoured nicotine vape products have been in use for almost 20 years and, to date, there have been absolutely no lung issues nor deaths associated with nicotine e-liquid vaping.
These facts can’t be ignored, and clearly indicate that flavoured nicotine vaping is not the problem.
The most significant problem at the present time is that the American government is perpetuating a bias against this extremely successful life saving platform and supressing education that would allow consumers to distinguish between nicotine e-liquids and the array of non-regulated products currently available in the black-market.
The lawsuit states:
- (1) demand that FDA publish the actual proposed Pre-Market Tobacco Application rule (“PMTA Rule”) that industry has been waiting on for 3 years
- (2) establish a deadline that allows companies, particularly small businesses, the chance to comply with the still unwritten PMTA Rule.
How this will be affected given the real threat to flavoured vaping is unclear – but as always we’ll keep you up to date on developments!
Is Trump Backtracking On Flavour Ban?
Has Trump left a glimmer of hope for flavours?
The President took to Twitter with this Tweet:
While I like the Vaping alternative to Cigarettes, we need to make sure this alternative is SAFE for ALL! Let’s get counterfeits off the market, and keep young children from Vaping!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 13, 2019
Which certainly suggests to me his knee-jerk ban all the flavours was just that – a grand announcement before gleaning the facts.
Let’s hope so hey!
JUUL Supports USA Flavour Ban!
Vape giant JUUL says it is more than happy to support President Trump’s flavour ban and says flavours have always been “problematic”!
CEO Kevin Burns says he wasn’t at all surprised to see Trump land the bombshell and says JUUL would have no problem with not selling flavours anymore.
When we took flavors off shelves, it was surprising the speed with which they were replaced (by other flavored products made by other companies), usually with higher nicotine strength, all youth-oriented flavors and cheaper, of unknown manufacturing quality.
JUUL supporting the FDA wiping out 97% of its rivals?
Imagine my shock.
Incidentally JUUL continues to roll out its brand across the world and this week launched an online presence in China.
As one door slams shut, another lucrative one opens…
Vape Ban In India Would Be A Financial and Health Disaster
The Indian Government’s plan for an all out vape ban would be a disaster say insiders.
With 100 million smokers in the country, any such ban would have both a financial and health impact.
Lindsay Mark Lewis, Executive Director and Board Member, Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) said:
It is necessary that E-cigarettes are kept in Indian markets, if you see some issues with excessive use then put in regulations like a minimum age of usage.
But banning these products would end up giving a big blow to Indian economy and the public health.
He was joined by Patrick Basham, Director, Democracy Institute, Washington DC who wrote to the country’s Prime Minister adding:
Countries where e-cigarettes or heated tobacco products are allowed have seen dramatic reductions in smoking rates and limited use among youth and nonsmokers.
As to if all this pressure will have any effect – we shall have to see.
Read my article: The Threat To Ban Vaping In India
and finally…Public Health England Says Carry On Vaping!
Good to end on a positive note with this Tweet from Public Health England.
Our advice on e-cigarettes remains unchanged – vaping isn’t completely risk free but is far less harmful than smoking tobacco. There is no situation where it would be better for your health to continue smoking rather than switching completely to vaping https://t.co/UFIQdCY0ry
— Public Health England (@PHE_uk) September 12, 2019
Pity America isn’t listening.
More Vape News on Wednesday!