As cases of vaping-related lung injury climb, public health officials are scrambling for solutions to stem the epidemic. At the middle of the debate: to ban vaping or not.
Massachusetts became the primary state to enact a law banning flavored tobacco and vaping products, including menthol cigarettes. The ban on flavored vaping products is effective immediately, while the ban on menthol cigarettes goes into effect June 1, 2020.
The American Medical Association involved a ban on all e-cigarette and vaping products from the market. “We have little or no evidence about the short- and long-term health consequences of e-cigarettes and vaping products,” said AMA President Patrice A. Harris, MD, during a statement.
More and more states try to enact some sort of ban on e-cigarettes — but are meeting resistance. Courts have blocked many of the bans already, while others are being challenged in court.
Public health officials, including tobacco control experts, say the bans may backfire, driving people that vape as an alternate to traditional cigarettes back to smoking.
Michael Siegel, MD, a professor of community health sciences at Boston University School of Public Health, says an estimated 2.5 million former cigarette smokers use e-cigarettes.
“We take these 2 million people and basically say, ‘Congratulations on this great accomplishment [of smoking cessation.]’ Now we are getting to deduct the merchandise that’s helping you quit,” he says.