~Authored by Randi Sprintis
On Tuesday, June 5th voters in San Francisco forcefully voted in favor for Proposition E, which bans the sale of any flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes. While we hardly ever see a moment in time when our two political parties can agree, both Republican and Democratic voters somehow decided to make this issue their great moment of bipartisanship. Of course, it’s rather fitting that this giant facepalm of an issue is presented to the public upon a mound of misinformation. Before this spreads any further, let’s try to clear some things up.
Psychology of a Flavor Ban
So here we are again at a crossroads. We see a potential problem and instead of finding solutions, like setting regulations on marketing, or possibly just waiting to see if it even does indeed become a problem, we turn to prohibition. Historically, we’ve placed restrictions on products or services that we collectively deemed unhealthy. That makes sense. We need to come together to fight to keep chemicals out of our bottled water or plastic straws from suffocating a manatee, but sometimes a regulation can make absolutely no sense, and unfortunately, this is one of them.
So here you have a group of people, smokers and vapers, that will be directly affected by the ban, who also agree with the intentions of Prop E. Everyone starts on the same page with the foundation of this issue. How can we keep the youth safe from the potential problem? Without exploring a plethora of other avenues that could lead to solutions, San Francisco decided to jump on a ban.
Maybe we could ask marketers to tone it down when it comes to placing cartoon characters on the packaging. But to just ban the product altogether? That seems a bit harsh. Basically, this ban is a reflection of society’s incapability to trust one another to do the right thing.
Fighting the Ban
While vapers and smokers are often at odds about a number of elements that contribute to both industries, this was one battle that was fought in collaboration. Unfortunately, when mammoth tobacco companies, like RJ Reynolds, put up millions to fight against legislation like this, voters start to clump the vaping industry and “Big Tobacco” into the same category. This doesn’t exactly work in the favor of those of vape orethical distributors of vaping products .
V apers are still desperately trying to separate themselves from the traditional smoker, and now that goal is more important than ever. In order to prevent more cities, like Chicago or New York, from being faced with the same ban, we must pump as much accurate information out there as possible so voters understand that the vaping community is not the enemy and shouldn’t be held to the same regulatory standards as Big Tobacco. Visit websites like Adults Like Flavors or NOT Blowing Smoke to see how you can help spread the truth.
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