California Moves to Ban Flavored Vapes
Strict Vape Laws Introduced in California
The California Senate Health committee passed SB 793 today by a vote of 8 to 1. This restrictive piece of legislation would ban all flavored ejuice and tobacco products. The California bill is particularly punishing as it also bans “flavor enhancers”, thus punishing hobbyists who mix their own ejuice flavors.
A study conducted by Dr. Farsalino that surveyed 69,000 adult vapers found that a majority of adult vapers prefer flavored vape juice. California is moving to deny adult vapers the flavor profiles that they prefer.
The next step is the appropriations committee. Running parallel to the senate bill, the California State Assembly is expected to act on a similar bill shortly. If the bills pass in both chambers, as they are expected to at this time, the final version will be submitted to the Governor Newsome for his signature.
California Vapers: Click here to tell your Senator you oppose the flavor ban.
California Vape Tax
On top of the flavor ban, California as proposed a $2-per-40ml nicotine tax. Punishing popular nic salts, this tax would essentially double the price of a 25mg/ml strength nic salt ejuice bottle, adding $18.75 in taxes on a 30ml bottle. Regular ejuice with its lower nicotine strength would fare slightly better, a 120ml bottle of 3mg/ml ejuice is dinged with a $9.00 tax. But a 4 pack of Juul pods is hit with $8.25 in additional taxes.
Combined with a 59.27 percent wholesale tax in California that is passed onto the consumer, a strict ecig ban in San Francisco that punish marginalized groups, the proposed state wide flavor ban and onerous new taxes, lawmakers have pulled the rug out from under the economic case for switching to vaping. The probable result is vapers funneled back onto combustible cigarettes, as nicotine replacement therapy was shown to be demonstrably less effective than vaping for smoking cessation in a NEJM study.
Strict ECig Laws Punish Marginalized Groups
Newsome’s tax proposal also includes an additional $7 million to combat black market nicotine vaping. Nicotine vaping appears to be the only legal adult behavior where the levers of government are still being used to enforce total abstinence and prohibition is the end game.
Even with the CDC determining that vitamin E acetate was behind vaping lung disease, major anti-vaping studies being retracted and the CDC’s determination that flavors are not the primary reason that teens vape, the well-funded campaign to ban vape flavors continues to grind its way forward.
An outsider observer might wonder why nicotine vaping is such a target when alcohol is a scourge which kills 4,300 minors annually and sends 130,000 to the emergency room according to the CDC.
There are a multiple factors involved but the most important is that strict ecig laws punish marginalized groups. Where the wealthy largely ceased smoking a couple decades ago, they continue to imbibe as much or more than any other socioeconomic group.
Ex-smokers who vape from diverse backgrounds will endure the added cost and be denied the flavors that the majority of adult vapers prefer. But the LGBT community smokes and vapes at a higher rate than any other census identified group and will endure the most significant impact. An interesting turn of events considering that ostensibly liberal blue states have been at the forefront of vape ban efforts.
State Flavor Bans
For a complete run-down on existing state vaping restrictions, check out our resource page: State Ban Laws