5 Reasons Blanket-Banning Flavored Vape Products is a Boneheaded Idea

5 Reasons Blanket-Banning Flavored Vape Products is a Boneheaded Idea

5 Reasons Blanket-Banning Flavored Vape Products is a Boneheaded Idea

I detest vaping. It makes me queasy. And not to insult anyone, but I think it looks like its users are sucking on thumb drives and sharpies. Nevertheless, I am well aware of how popular they’ve become, including all the vape shops that have popped up like mushrooms all over the country. But in recent weeks, five deaths and hundreds of illnesses allegedly linked to vape use have been reported. It’s heartbreaking. And, of course, concerning. In response, and in typical knee-jerk reaction, under the leadership of Donald Trump, the federal government is jumping to ban, for everyone, all non-tobacco-flavored e-cig products:

President Trump said Wednesday that his administration plans to ban vaping products with sweet and fruity flavors amid heightened concerns about electronic cigarettes’ health hazards and surging use by teenagers.”

“The move comes after reports of at least six deaths and more than 450 cases of severe lung illnesses that are believed to be linked to e-cigarette use — although there is no indication flavoring was the cause.”

And here’s why I think that’s a bone-headed idea, Mr. President:

  1. Yes, the vape companies are targeting kids. It’s obvious in the imagery and the flavors they market. And yes, it’s egregious and unethical. But that doesn’t mean we need an even bigger Big Government nanny state. That’s what we have parents and guardians for. If you don’t want your kids vaping, then parent them. Do your research. Let them know that anything they put into their bodies may have a lasting, detrimental effect they may have to deal with for their entire lifetimes. Prohibition won’t work on determined kids. Because…
  2. Can you say “speakeasies?” Remember that time we tried to regulate what people put in to their bodies? And remember when it had the opposite effect? Yeah, this is like that. People will find a way to get fruit-flavored vape liquid, and it won’t necessarily be safe. See crack houses.
  3. There’s no evidence that what’s in the vape liquid is behind what has killed a handful of people in recent days. Did users add things to the liquid that caused their deaths? Is there something that could be removed from the liquids to make them safer? Did those who died have an underlying illness that was triggered by vape use? Until we know the answers to those questions, this FDA ban, that affects not just kids, but everyone, is an overreaction. (And I might add, so is the flame-haired hysteria on social media. People: the FDA will accept applications to certify your favorite mango vape as safe. Is vaping really worth losing your cool over? On the 18th anniversary of 9/11, no less?)
  4. Vapes are a method by which former smokers wean themselves off cigarettes. This is a step backward in that effort and may have further unintended consequences, like vape users relapsing back to cigarettes, which will absolutely kill you. Former smokers are already complaining that that is the case.

  1. Making flavored vapes illegal for everyone is, as I said, an overreaction. It’s called personal freedom. Why not let the states decide policy (many already have, but others have no restrictions), just as we do with cigarettes and alcohol, which would make it illegal to sell them to minors (because, you know, minors never get a hold of anything they shouldn’t have, right? Not that I would know anything about that…but, hey, states would get themselves some more tax revenue…er, fines from those pesky law-breakers).

Look, I despise vaping. I cringe every time I walk past someone who’s exhaling that rancid-smelling stuff. I think it’s nearly as gross as cigarettes, and I have plenty of concerns about the ramifications of anyone, especially kids, putting something into their lungs that may have long-term, detrimental health effects. But bans aren’t the answer. They won’t work anyway, because people always find a way to get whatever it is that they want (oh, hey: you can apply that to gun control laws, too!). What we need are parents and guardians to parent their children. And what we need are answers to the reasons why people have died after using a vape device. Now I’m not so naïve as to not wonder if there’s something the FDA isn’t telling us. I don’t trust that we have all of the information we need on this particular subject. But if we’re gonna start down the road of banning flavored e-cig liquids, then what’s to stop the FDA from banning other things—like, say, GUNS, using the argument that, like e-cigs, they’re dangerous in the wrong hands and, oh, we here at the Altruistic Federal Government must protect the reckless plebes? Oh, look. Right. On. Cue.

(On a side note: Can someone point to where in our U.S. Constitution I can find the right to vaping?)

So if we’re banning one thing and not the other (Hello! Cigarette use kills scores of people via painful, ugly diseases every year. Not to mention the affects alcohol and opioid abuse has on society; have we banned either of those?), then we’re 1) picking and choosing which vices are acceptable and which ones aren’t and 2) opening a big can of worms with regard to controlling what people do in their private lives. Can you say Banned Vape Speakeasies? And you just KNOW the bans won’t stop there. The Dems are just itching to ban cows. And cars. And fun. (By the way: twenty bucks says the Dems address this ban during tonight’s debate—with breathless bravos—and somehow try to connect it to CLIMATE CHANGE!! Those bubble-gum vape clouds are killing Guatemalans, Beto.)

And when you’ve got this guy praising you…

…you know you need to re-think your decision.

“Warning statement on a Juul vaping device” (Image Credit: Wikimedia; creative commons license)


So it comes down to common sense: kids, don’t vape. Whether or not the manufacturers want to admit it, it’s a habit, and habits are addictive, either physically or psychologically, or both. But also: for the love of all that’s holy, don’t expect the government to take care of you. It’s not your daddy. Make your own decisions. The rest of your life may depend on it. And choose wisely. Because the busy-body, Big Brother federal government won’t be there to help you either way.


Feature Image Credit: Mike Mozart via Wikimedia; creative commons license; image cropped

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  • GWB says:

    are targeting kids
    Define “kids”. Because a lot of the candy-flavor vaping is going to young adults.

    it won’t necessarily be safe
    Which is evidently where the problems have actually come from. It’s sort of like racking down on pharmacists when the people ODing on opiates are getting it on the street.

    Why not let the states decide policy …, just as we do with cigarettes and alcohol
    Hah! The federal gov’t interferes in that, too!

    (On a side note: Can someone point to where in our U.S. Constitution I can find the right to vaping?)
    The 10th Amendment. If it ain’t specifically the federal gov’t’s job, it ain’t nobody’s bidness.

    alcohol …; have we banned either of those?
    Uh yes. Of course, it didn’t turn out so well, as you noted above this quote.

    Yes, this is the kind of thing we don’t need. Of course, this is just another straw. Smoking, alcohol, cold medicine, opioids, nutrition, medical ‘insurance’… the list goes on for quite some length.

    This isn’t what freedom is supposed to look like.

    • GWB says:

      like cracking down

    • Jodi Giddings says:

      Well, when lots of middle schoolers are vaping, I’d say that’s “kids.” I gotcha on the 10th amendment. My point is that Ms. Navarro is equating a fundamental right with banning vaping, as if a right enshrined in our constitution can be banned with a pen stroke. And nope. This isn’t freedom. Bad Trump.

  • Scott says:

    Yeah, slippery slope that won’t do squat…

    ” but I think it looks like its users are sucking on thumb drives and sharpies.”.. I believe the correct terminology is “Douche flue”…

  • Nicki says:

    My kid started vaping in college, but when he started reading the reports about lung disease in the news, he quit. It was hard, and he hated it, but he quit. Without government intervention and without new laws. He’s 22, so pretty young, but somehow he was smart enough to act on his own without extra nanny-statism

    Also, there have been several deaths and scores of illnesses ASSOCIATED with this stuff – not attributed TO it, but ASSOCIATED. There are hundreds of thousands of death attributed to smoking. Way to push people back to cigarettes and give a blowjob to the tobacco industry in the process, Mr. President!

    *rolls eyes*

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