The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Thursday that flavored vaping products would be banned nationwide. The agency says that producers and distributors in the industry have one month to stop selling flavor pods that are against the current guidelines. However, some vape products will still be available for sale, but only those that taste like traditional tobacco-flavored products, with the option of menthol.
Policymakers insist that this move was necessary to prevent children from becoming addicted to nicotine. Following a number of deaths that were linked to vaping over the past year or two, there has been growing concern that children are attracted to vaping products because of the variety of tasty flavors that are available for these devices.
This new ban is a major blow to the vaping industry, but many activists in the industry are saying that the new measure did not go as far as they expected it to. Open tank systems, which allow for people to refill their pods themselves and add their own flavors will still be legal for sale, which offers somewhat of a loophole for people who are seeking something different than the traditional cigarette flavor.
Vaping advocates insist that vaping is far safer than traditional combustible tobacco, and that many of these deaths and illnesses tied to vaping are actually the result of black market ingredients that aren’t sold through proper distributors. It seems that a ban on these products would only serve to strengthen this black market side of the industry and actually have the unintended consequences of making the products on the market more dangerous.
Smoking is one of the leading causes of illness and death in the world. Carcinogenic, poisonous chemicals and toxic metals can all be found in modern tobacco products. These chemicals are present for many reasons ranging from taste and preservation to being purposely addictive.
There are over 4000 of these chemicals in cigarettes and all of them are actually not even revealed to the public, they are protected under law as “trade secrets”. This means they can be putting anything they want in there without our knowledge.
— CNBC (@CNBC) January 2, 2020
The global cigarette business is valued at over $559.9 billion and the World Health Organization estimates that cigarettes could kill 1 billion people in the 21st century if the current trend continues. Today, smoking causes a long list of adverse health reactions, illnesses, and disease, but because it is such a big business, the corporations that profit from the sale of tobacco spend a lot of time and money keeping its use alive.
Still, despite the dangers, people should have the right to do unhealthy things, if that is what they choose. Furthermore, people will continue to do whatever they want to do even if it is illegal. Prohibition usually just makes things more dangerous, and puts criminals in control of the distribution of whatever is banned. Many people have suggested that these new measures are just a creative way for local municipalities to make money.