Regulations that potentially impact millions of current and former adult smokers are implemented by lawmakers who demonstrate they don’t know the first thing about vaping.
During the 2020 Democratic Presidential Debates, candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders were asked a simple question about vaping. In response, the men aiming to lead the United States revealed they knew little to nothing about the industry they’re attempting to regulate.
Candidate Joe Biden proclaimed that he would eliminate the industry entirely if his administration deemed vaping nicotine to be harmful. This goes back on remarks made the previous day stating that serious scientific data on the long-term effects of vaping would need to be considered before any legislative action should be taken.
When asked a question about vaping in his home state, Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders appeared confused. The candidate initially responded about the state’s dropout rate before pivoting to the topic at hand, where he stated: “when you have products that are not good for your health, I think you’ve got to tell that industry that they cannot produce a product which is making our kids sick.”
The current electoral field is filled with candidates who appear not to understand why people have been getting sick, displaying ignorance of the nuances of the matter. This continues a long-standing trend among regulators who appear to lack even a basic understanding of the industries they’re charged with regulating.
Alongside Biden and Sanders, candidate Andrew Yang appeared to lack a basic understanding of lung illnesses caused by illicit THC cartridges and not by vaping. In fact, no other candidate is demonstrating an evident understanding of the subject. Elizabeth Warren is currently the only Democratic presidential candidate with even a vague policy addressing vaping correctly.
The aforementioned displays of confusion regarding the topic of vaping and industry surrounding it continue a long-standing trend throughout the United States of reactionary regulation driven by emotional response rather than a fact-based approach. The implications for restrictive regulation of the vaping industry, however, may prove to be deadly.
Public health scholars and harm-reduction experts have long cautioned and championed against regulations restricting vaping based on emotional hysteria rather than objective fact. Prohibition against vaping limits options for adult smokers looking to quit, where those looking to quit, may no longer consider vaping a viable option. It may also potentially turn those who had stopped smoking back to combustible cigarettes.
While the federal government’s latest ban only impacts closed-system, pod-based devices such as Juul or Vuse, the implications for current and former adult smokers who currently use these products have yet to be determined. While still a popular option among enthusiasts, open-system devices don’t offer the same convenience or ease of use that closed-system devices can offer. This is especially true for beginners, who tend to find these devices useful when switching over from combustible cigarettes.
Truth About Nicotine Vaping
Public health scholars have long cautioned against flavor bans, for potentially deterring current smokers from quitting, as well as potentially turning former smokers back to cigarettes. A study from Yale University found that flavor bans result in more people going back to combustible cigarettes by limiting opportunities for e-cigarettes.
Current research demonstrates vaping’s remarkable efficacy as a smoking cessation device. One study from the University of Louisville found that vaping was the most effective form of smoking cessation, even more than quitting cold-turkey.
In addition, vaping has been shown to be significantly less harmful than smoking. Landmark research from Public Health England found that vaping is 95% safer than smoking, a figure the agency has repeatedly stood behind.
Furthermore, evidence shows there is little to no risk of harm to long-term vapers. According to the National Academy of Sciences, not only is vaping less harmful than smoking, but there are currently no known long-term health effects associated with usage.
Vaping holds life-saving potential in helping adults quit smoking, which is responsible for millions of deaths throughout the world annually. Prohibition of these beneficial products only harms public health at large by restricting options for those looking to quit.
Regulators should be adequately informed of the industries they’re tasked with regulating, as the public health and economic ramifications of doing so haphazardly can be dangerous for the thousands who work in the industry and millions who have been freed from smoking thanks to vaping. Regulations born out of ignorance and emotional whim only end up hurting the very people lawmakers claim they’re trying to protect.
New legislation regarding vaping should be objective, fact-based, and regulated independently of smoking. A lack of basic understanding of these vital products and devices by the people tasked to monitor them only serves to the detriment of their constituency and public health at large.
Are you concerned that lawmakers appear to have a limited understanding of vaping? Should politicians be adequately informed about industries they’re tasked with regulating? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive all the latest vaping news!
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