Legislation would ban the sale of flavored e-liquids despite evidence that flavors are essential in helping smokers quit combustible cigarettes.

Overeager legislators in the Empire State have introduced legislation prohibiting the sale of flavored e-liquids used in electronic cigarettes. Senate Bill 428 would ban the sale of “characterizing flavors,” including, but not limited to, “fruit, chocolate, vanilla, honey, candy, cocoa, dessert, alcoholic beverage, [and] herb or spice flavoring.” The legislation does not include tobacco or menthol flavors.

The legislation has been introduced to curb the use of e-cigarettes among youth, which the author has previously referred to as a “gateway drug” that leads teens to combustible tobacco cigarettes. Like other legislation introduced in California, New Mexico, and New Jersey, it has also been introduced in response to federal public health officials’ false campaigns depicting a youth vaping epidemic.

While surveys indicate youth vaping in 2018 was higher than 2017, much of the data on youth e-cigarette use is inconclusive and relies on faulty information. For example, the “2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey” and the “2018 Monitoring the Future Survey” found an increase in the number of youth who say they vape more than one time per month, but this is a misleading figure because it doesn’t make clear whether a person had, for example, vaped twice and then never vaped again or vaped multiple times per day each day of the month.

Moreover, there is no real data to suggest youths who use e-cigarettes will transition to combustible tobacco cigarettes. A January 2019 study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute “found no evidence that vaping is a gateway to smoking among youth,” according to Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor at the Boston University School of Public Health. Dr. Siegel examined the study, finding that the authors “were unable to report a single youth out of the 12,000 in the same who was a cigarette naïve, regular vaper at baseline who progressed to become a smoker at follow-up.”

Read more at https://www.heartland.org


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