COMMENTARY: Banning e-cig flavors will drive people back to smoking

BY NOW, we are all aware that the use of flavored e-cigarettes and vaping products is running rampant in this country. A recent survey of one particular age group of electronic cigarette users (vapers) revealed that 85 percent prefer flavored e-cigarettes, including 74 percent who use fruit flavors and 66 percent who use dessert or pastry flavors.

Nearly half (49 percent) of these vapers regularly used candy, chocolate or other sweet-flavored e-liquids.

If you think we’re talking about teenagers, think again. The study in question was a survey of adult vapers in the United States; specifically, adult ex-smokers who had quit successfully using e-cigarettes and who are currently relying upon these products to keep them from returning to cigarette smoking.

While there were nearly 16,000 of these former smokers in the study, national estimates suggest that there are at least 2.5 million adult vapers who rely upon e-cigarettes to keep themselves off highly addictive and deadly tobacco-burning cigarettes. And most of these former smokers are reliant upon flavored e-liquids, because the whole point of vaping is to get away from the taste of, and dependence on tobacco.

It is true, of course, that a worrisome proportion of youths are vaping, and most of them—like their adult counterparts—enjoy flavored, as opposed to tobacco-tasting, e-liquids.

But even more worrisome is that regulators in Massachusetts, California, New York and Washington, D.C., in an effort to address the problem of youth vaping, are prepared to throw the nation’s 2.5 million former smokers who rely upon e-cigarettes under the bus by severely restricting the sale of e-cigarettes.

This is the definition of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Read more at https://www.fredericksburg.com

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