Government attempts to ban vaping everywhere smoking is prohibited have risen rapidly over the last year. More than a dozen states debated the issue last year, and 8 states now have some type of vaping ban on the books. In addition, cities large and small have considered vaping bans. Many bans are now law. Some cities have even tried to ban vaping inside of vape shops. Extreme versions of vaping bans exist in places like Los Angeles, Boston, and Chicago where vaping is banned everywhere that smoking is banned. Some bans include indoor and outdoor locations such as parks, beaches, bars, and restaurant patios. More sensible approaches can be seen at the state level in Vermont and at the city level in Baltimore where vaping restrictions are limited to places like schools, childcare facilities, playgrounds, and government and healthcare facilities. These laws allow vaping inside vape shops, and restaurant and bar owners decide if their customers can vape inside. Vapor is not cigarette smoke. It shouldn’t always be treated the same. Reasonable restrictions on vaping in schools and other places designated for children are appropriate, but complete public place vaping bans are too extreme. Vaping should be allowed in outdoor public places, like beaches and parks. Business owners know best how to address the preferences of their customers. They should be the ones deciding if vaping is allowed in the restaurants, stores, bars or businesses they own.
Adult smokers and vapers should have choices in the e-vapor products they use, including flavored products. Laws that severely restrict or ban flavors in vapor products interfere with adult consumer choice and are straight-up unfair. We agree that kids should not buy or use any e-vapor products, including flavored products. Selling e-vapor products of any variety to kids is already illegal in most states. Vaper Rights hopes it will soon be illegal in all states. Any regulation of flavored products should occur at the federal level by the FDA. Congress empowered the FDA to restrict flavors if it determines that such action would be appropriate for the protection of the public health based on science and evidence. The FDA is funding research and science to understand more about flavored e-vapor products. Far reaching flavor bans are not the solution. At the state and local levels, I personally believe the focus should remain on preventing underage access to e-vapor products, ensuring responsible marketing and responsible sales of e-vapor products. I oppose comprehensive flavor bans because They limit adult choice. They unfairly prevent adults from buying products they prefer. Flavor options exist for a variety of age restricted consumer products, they should be allowed for e-vapor products as well.
I believe kids should not buy or use e-vapor products. I applaud the 48 states that have age restrictions in place for e-vapor products and hope these restrictions will soon exist in all 50 states. I support the effort to keep e-vapor products out of kids’ hands. I believe all e-vapor product sales should be restricted to adults. It should be illegal for adults to buy or give e-vapor products to kids. At retail, e-vapor sales should be clerk-assisted unless entry to the store is restricted to adults. Reasonable regulations can protect kids while also protecting the right of adult vapers to buy legal products. I hope this article was helpful. Now that you know your rights, be safe, take care & Vape On!
Eric Michael Bowersox
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