The country has not come to grips with the reality of vaping. After years combatting the use of tobacco, organizations including the federal government’s Food and Drug Administration continue to wrestle with an approach.
The dilemma appears to be this: How can vaping that does not produce smoke and contain harmful tar be a viable alternative for smokers while at the same time e-cigarettes do not result in millions of youths becoming addicted to nicotine?
A balance should be found as e-cigarettes are here to stay. But reactionary policies continue to surface.
Leave it to San Francisco to come up with a policy that defies logic.
Writing for InsideSources.com, Janson Q. Prieb of the American Consumer Institute reports that San Francisco’s board of supervisors voted recently to ban e-cigarettes, claiming the product is too dangerous for the city’s underaged. Of course, this would still leave traditional cigarettes legal.
This is being done despite empirical evidence that shows e-cigarettes often help people break their addiction to cigarettes. A 2018 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that “the 1-year abstinence rate was 18.0% in the e-cigarette group, as compared with 9.9% in the nicotine-replacement group.”
For people looking for ways to end their addiction to cigarettes, e-cigarettes can be the solution.
Prieb writes, “Unfortunately, many still believe e-cigarettes are equally dangerous, mainly due to misinformation. If San Francisco is really concerned about the health of its citizens, it should welcome — not ban — e-cigarettes.
San Francisco should also be concerned about the harm it will bring to consumers’ wallets, Prieb notes. A 2017 study in the Journal for Nurse Practitioners reported that people who switch to e-cigarettes can save between $1,325 to $2,120 per year. That’s only counting the direct costs consumers pay.
But there is the issue of use of e-cigarettes by young people. The FDA revealed last year that vaping had increased nearly 80% among high schoolers and 50% among middle schoolers since the year prior, jumping to 3.6 million students total. Experts worry that e-cigarettes could put kids' developing brains at risk, get them hooked on nicotine early in life and be a gateway to smoking and other drugs.
While the FDA has embarked on education campaigns to make young people aware of the risks of vaping, those seeking to ban e-cigarettes are taking the wrong approach.
As Prieb concludes: “With their rise in popularity, politicians shouldn’t ban e-cigarettes out of misplaced fear. For a town that is this considered to be forward-thinking, San Francisco’s total ban on e-cigarettes would be a step in the wrong direction.”