California’s Vaping Flavor Ban Could Be Lethal
The campaign for Proposition 31, a ballot initiative that Californians approved by a wide margin last week, urged voters to “protect kids from candy-flavored tobacco.” That slogan packed an impressive amount of dishonesty into five words.
The initiative’s main target was nicotine vaping products, which do not contain tobacco and were already legally restricted to adults. Proposition 31 decrees that adults may not buy such products in flavors other than tobacco, thereby undermining the most promising harm-reducing alternative to cigarettes.
Proposition 31 was a referendum on S.B. 793, a 2020 law that restricts “characterizing flavors” in “tobacco products.” California counterintuitively defines “tobacco product” to include “an electronic device that delivers nicotine,” whether or not the nicotine is derived from tobacco.
Under S.B. 793, “the taste or aroma of tobacco” is the only “characterizing flavor” that can legally be added to vaping products. That rule, which aims to discourage underage consumption by making such products less appealing to teenagers, will simultaneously discourage smokers from switching to a far less hazardous source of nicotine.
“Big Tobacco has been targeting our kids, trying to hook our kids on tobacco products, killing literally a generation,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom averred after signing S.B. 793. The bill’s author, state Sen. Jerry Hill (D‒San Mateo), declared that the industry “wants to keep killing people with its candy-, fruit-, mint- and menthol-flavored poison.”
Contrary to those warnings, there is no evidence that nicotine vaping products are “killing” anyone. In fact, they are much less dangerous than cigarettes, which expose smokers to myriad toxic and carcinogenic combustion products.
According to a 2018 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, “Laboratory tests of e-cigarette ingredients, in vitro toxicological tests, and short-term human studies suggest that e-cigarettes are likely to be far less harmful than comb
Article from Reason.com