Harm Reduction Campaign

The Best and Worst States To Vape, Ranked

The Consumer Choice Center, a US-based consumer advocacy group, recently released a report looking at vape laws across the US. The group sought to rate different states on their current vape laws. The US Vaping Index, as the report is called, looked at several factors to determine which states were vaping-friendly, and which were not.

The report grouped the states into three different categories. They also assigned a grade to each state. The Index is a useful tool for vapers. It is a convenient way to understand the regulations in their state. It also provides vapers with a way to start campaigns to get anti-vaping laws and regulations overturned.

What The Index Did

The Consumer Choice Center looked at vaping regulations at both the state and federal level. But it compared how each state responded to federal regulations, mostly to see if that state furthered regulations against vaping or lowered them. The Index looked at three main categories to determine their rankings. These include:

  • Flavor bans
  • Taxation
  • Online sales

Based on each state’s performance in any of these categories, they were assigned a score by the Index. If a state performed well in all three categories they received a score of between 21-30 points, which gave that state an “A” grade. The other scoring categories were as follows:

  • 11-20 points = “C” grade
  • 0-10 points = “F” grade

The Index is a comprehensive report as every state, including Washington DC, was examined. The Index did not look at pending legislation, like Michigan’s potential flavor ban. It also did not look at the laws of individual counties within each state. Instead, it focused on laws that were passed (or not passed) by statehouses around the US.

How States Compared to the Federal Government

The federal government does not have the power to impose further taxes than the federal sales tax. The Index looked at which states did impose further taxes on the sale of vaping devices, e-liquids, and other flavored vape products in their states. Whether they did or did not ultimately affected that state’s final score.

The same criteria applied to the federal government’s flavor ban. The Index did not penalize states that had participated in the ban, as it was an edict of the federal government. But the authors of the Index did penalize states that either went further on the flavor ban (by expanding it) or made their flavor bans permanent.

The federal government does not regulate online sales in any state. The rules regulating online sales are strictly the purview of state lawmakers. Again, the researchers looked at which states had either:

  • Total bans on online sales (no points)
  • A few restrictions on online sales (5 points)
  • No restrictions on online sales (10 points)

Best and Worst States to Be a Vaper

The Index ranked all fifty states including Washington DC (but excluding Puerto Rico, and US territories like Guam). The rankings were as follows:

  • 25 states received a grade “A” ranking
  • 20 states received a grade “C” ranking
  • 6 states received a grade “F” ranking

The Grade “A” States

The states that received a grade “A” rating scored highest in all the important categories. The grade “A” states are a diverse group as well ranging from Alaska to Florida. They were also politically diverse. They were equal parts Republican-controlled and Democrat-controlled.

The Grade “A” states did not impose further flavor ban restrictions, like Florida. Nor did they make it difficult for vapers to buy their products. Vaping products were not overly taxed, beyond federal sales tax, and cost much less than in other states that heavily taxed e-cigarettes, even more than tobacco products.

The Grade “C” States

The Grade “C” states were also a mixed bag. They stretched from Washington state (which imposed a tax on vapor products in 2019) all the way to Maine, which has a 43% excise tax on vapor products. Not surprisingly, most of the states with a “C” grade were the same states that imposed new taxes on e-cigarettes last year.

The CDC cited 20 states that did so in 2019. These states either imposed taxes on the sale of e-cigarettes or each millimeter of e-liquid or “consumable material” used by vapers. One Grade “C” state, Utah, even went so far as to outright ban direct-to-consumer online vape sales in 2019. Only licensed vendors are allowed to make wholesale purchases online.

The Grade “F” States

The Grade “F” states, while small in number, also include the most populous state (California), as well as some of the wealthiest (New York and Massachusetts). California has led the way in all three categories – imposing new taxes on e-cigs, restricting online sales, as well as introducing new flavor bans.

New Jersey not only imposed a 30% tax on the sale of vapor products, but it also imposed a restrictive flavor ban that hurt small businesses small businesses. The Index did not look at the impact bans, taxes and restrictions had on businesses. It only focused on the consumer aspect of these laws and restrictions.

Closing Thoughts

The US Vaping Index is part of a larger effort by the Consumer Choice Center to relax or reverse vaping hysteria across the US, as well as around the world. The Center believes in the effectiveness of e-cigarettes as harm-reduction tools. But it also stresses the importance of giving consumers the freedom to access products they deem useful.

While the Index is not an official study and is not peer-reviewed, it is merely a way for vapers to understand the laws in their states. It helps vaping activists target the jurisdictions that are most anti-vaping and organize accordingly to either reverse or eliminate those laws through grass-roots activism.

Originally published here.

Study: Vaping Looks Like a Gateway Out of—Not Into—Smoking

In the United States, federal agencies and private organizations have pushed the narrative that the use of e-cigarettes threatens to get more people “hooked” on combustible products, leading to laws that have reduced the availability of non-smoke alternatives.

A new study from the United Kingdom, a country that recognizes and promotes vaping as a harm reduction intervention to smoking, found that most adult vapers buck the behavioral trajectory alleged across the Atlantic.

In 2020, more than half (58 percent) of UK adult vapers are ex-smokers—a proportion that’s been trending upwards since 2014. Meanwhile the proportion of adult vapers who are also current smokers has been on the decline—this year hitting 38 percent, compared with 65 percent six years ago, according to a YouGov survey commissioned by Action on Smoking and Health, a US-based organization aiming to end global harms of tobacco. Only 2 percent of the vapers were never-smokers.

Overall, 60 percent of the adult vapers identified their health as their “number one reason for taking up e-cigarettes.” That parallels findings that the top three specific reasons for vaping are to help with quitting cigarettes (30 percent), prevent relapse to smoking (20 percent) and reduce the number of cigarettes smoked (11 percent).

For Michael Landl, director of the Vapers’ World Alliance, the YouGov results suggest that “vaping is a gateway away from smoking.” After all, “e-cigarettes target tobacco consumers,” said Maria Chaplia, European affairs associate at the Consumer Choice Center, something she noted that “[m]ost anti-vaping arguments fail to take into account.”

“Just like sugar substitutes help people to reduce their sugar intake, e-cigarettes help people to quit smoking,” Chaplia continued. “We don’t blame sugar substitutes for increased sugar consumption, yet doing so for e-cigarettes seems to be acceptable.”

To be clear, vaping does not work for everyone as a so-called gateway out of smoking. Almost half of smokers have tried but no longer use e-cigarettes. Most commonly, 22 percent of them said it “did not feel like smoking a cigarette.” Two other reasons were that they didn’t quell cravings (16 percent) and that they had just wanted to try it (12 percent).

But when 8 million people, worldwide, die of smoking-related causes each year, any widespread exit route is hugely significant.

Originally published here.

Vaping is a Gateway OUT of Smoking, Study Finds

E-cigarettes help adults quit smoking and are not a gateway to tobaccco for non-smokers, according to a study published earlier today.

The report, from the World Vapers’ Alliance and the Consumer Choice Centre, also found that youth smoking rates are at an all-time low.

The findings are at odds with the frequently used argument that e-cigarettes encourage non-smoking teens to take up the habit. 

World Vapers’ Alliance director, Michael Landl, said:

“The most common arguments against vaping – painting vaping as a gateway to smoking – fail the test of reality and science.

“Vaping helps adult smokers to quit and youth use of e-cigarettes is rare, particularly by non-smokers.”

The researchers looked at smoking rates in the UK, where public health authorities support vaping as a smoking cessation method.

Here, the smoking rate is at a record low with the vast majority of vapers being ex-smokers and dual users.

Image source: Consumer Choice Centre

Report co-author Maria Chaplia said that most anti-vaping arguments ignored the fact that e-cigarettes were targeted at adult smokers.

Chaplia noted that e-cigarettes were comparable to sugar substitutes that help people reduce sugar intake.

She said:

“We don’t blame sugar substitutes for increased sugar consumption, yet doing so for e-cigarettes seems to be acceptable.” 

The main findings of the report include:

  • That nicotine is not the issue, the toxins in cigarettes are and that almost all the harm from smoking comes from the thousands of other chemicals in tobacco smoke.
  • E-cigarettes help adults to quit smoking and are twice as effective as nicotine replacement therapies
  • Vaping does not lead to smoking among teenagers as their smoking rate is at an all time low.
  • Youth use of e-cigarettes is rare.
  • Banning flavours won’t solve the problem: restrictions and bans on flavours will significantly limit the usefulness of vaping as a cessation tool.

Landl concluded:

“Policymakers cannot ignore the facts any longer.

“The scaremongering about vaping needs to stop and it should be endorsed as an effective tool to help smokers move to a safer alternative by public health agencies.”

Originally published here.

Le sigarette elettroniche sono una porta di uscita dal fumo

Un nuovo paper del Consumer Choice Center affronta il tema dell’effetto gateway ed esorta la politica a promuovere l’e-cigarette.

Si intitola “Vaping and the gateway myth” (lo svapo e il mito dell’effetto gateway) il nuovo Policy paper appena pubblicato dal Consumer choice center, l’organizzazione americana (ma con sede anche in Europa) ormai sempre più attiva nella difesa della sigaretta elettronica. A firmare il documento sono Maria Chaplia, European affairs associate del Ccc, e Michael Landl, direttore della rete di associazioni di consumatori World Vapers’Alliance, fondata lo scorso maggio proprio grazie a un contributo iniziale dell’organizzazione. Scopo del paper è quello di fornire una base di argomenti che dimostri come la sigaretta elettronica sia uno strumento per abbandonare il fumo e non per arrivarci.

Il lavoro cita numerosi studi condotti in questi anni sulla materia, cercando di mettere alcuni punti fermi. Il primo riguarda la nicotina. “La nicotina non è il problema, lo sono le sostanze tossiche nelle sigarette”, esemplificano gli autori, sottolineando come la nicotina venga usata anche nelle terapie sostitutive convenzionali e non aumenti il rischio di malattie gravi (come infarto o ictus) o la mortalità. Ma, sottolineano gli autori, “l’e-cigarette è due volte più efficace dei prodotti sostitutivi a base di nicotina per smettere di fumare”, come dimostrato da studi scientifici e recentemente confermato dalla revisione Cochrane. “Il vaping aiuta i fumatori adulti a smettere – si afferma nel paper – ad ogni aumento di un punto percentuale nell’uso della sigaretta elettronica corrisponde un aumento dello 0,6% delle cessazioni del fumo”.
Per quanto riguarda il presunto effetto gateway per i minori, gli autori riportano una serie di studi scientifici che non sono riusciti a dimostrarla. Anzi, la teoria che i minori inizierebbero a fumare grazie all’uso della sigaretta elettronica, si rivela una suggestione che non regge il vaglio della prova. Secondo gli autori, che citano anche le rilevazioni di Action on smoking per il Regno Unito, “l’uso della sigaretta elettronica fra i minori è raro e per la maggior parte gli utilizzatori sono fumatori o ex fumatori”.

Il terzo aspetto affrontato nel rapporto riguarda gli aromi nei liquidi per sigarette elettroniche. Alcuni Paesi li vietano o vogliono farlo, sostenendo che potrebbero attirare i non fumatori e introdurli, alla fine, al tabacco fumato. “Una tesi – dicono Chaplia e Landl – che non è in linea con l’esperienza dei consumatori”. Il Consumer choice center ha già affrontato approfonditamente l’argomento in un precedente documento, sostenendo che l’eliminazione degli aromi spingerebbe i vaper a tornare al fumo o a rivolgersi al mercato illegale, con tutti i pericoli che questo comporta. Numerose indagini indicano che oltre due terzi dei consumatori utilizzano liquidi con gusti diversi dal tabacco, proprio per discostarsi dal sapore della sigaretta. “Gli aromi – scrivono gli autori – sono una parte fondamentale per smettere di fumare con la sigaretta elettronica: i vaper che usano gli aromi hanno più del doppio delle probabilità di smettere rispetto a quelli che usano liquidi al gusto di tabacco”.
Il documento si conclude con un appello ai legislatori, affinché abbraccino la strategia della riduzione del danno e promuovano la sigaretta elettronica come “uno strumento efficace per passare da una alternativa più sicura per il consumo di nicotina e poi per smettere del tutto, se lo desiderano”. Per farlo, concludono Chaplia e Landl, è necessario “garantire agli adulti l’accesso ai prodotti del vaping, assicurare la disponibilità e la varietà e permettere la pubblicità delle sigarette elettroniche sulla stampa, la televisione e la radio. Il fine è quello di informare i fumatori del potenziale di riduzione del danno del vaping, ridurre il commercio illegale e impedire che i minori si rivolgano al mercato nero e inino così a svapare”.

Originally published here.

Mengapa Vape Berperasa Itu Penting?

Mengapa Vape Berperasa Itu Penting?

Rokok elektronik, atau yang dikenal dengan nama vape, saat ini sudah menjadi bagian keseharian dari jutaan penduduk dunia, khususnya mereka yang tinggal di wilayah urban. Memang harus diakui, vape memiliki beberapa kelebihan yang tidak ada pada rokok tembakau konvensional yang dibakar. Karena meningkatnya konsumsi vape di seluruh dunia, para produsen dan perusahaan berlomba-lomba mendirikan toko dan menawarkan produk-produk terbaik yang dapat menarik konsumen. Salah satu kelebihan dari rokok elektronik yang tidak disediakan oleh rokok konvensional yang dibakar adalah, ada beragam rasa yang ditawarkan dalam produk-produk vape. Produk-produk vape yang berbahan dasar cairan memberi kesempatan kepada berbagai produsen dan perusahaan untuk berkreasi dan membuat berbagai rasa untuk menarik hati konsumen, seperti buah-buahan strawberry, jeruk, dan sebagainya.Namun, tidak semua pihak menanggapi fenomena penggunaan vape yang semakin meningkat ini dengan positif, khususnya terkait dengan rokok elektronik yang mengandung perasa. Beberapa pemerintahan merespon fenomena tersebut dengan melarang seluruh penjualan produk-produk yang menggandung rasa tertentu.Alasan yang kerap dikemukakan untuk menjustifikasi kebijakan tersebut adalah rokok elektronik yang mengandung perasa dapat semakin menarik anak-anak dan remaja untuk mengkonsumsi produk tersebut. Hal inilah yang ingin dihindari oleh berbagai pemerintahan di dunia melalui kebijakan pelarangan produk-produk vape yang mengandung perasa.Alasan lain yang juga digunakan sebagai pembenaran atas kebijakan tersebut adalah munculnya beberapa kasus penyakit pernafasan yang dianggap oleh aparat penegak hukum disebabkan oleh penggunaan vape. Di Amerika Serikat beberapa bulan lalu misalnya, terjadi beberapa kasus orang-orang yang dilarikan ke rumah sakit karena menderita penyakit pernafasan yang disebabkan oleh penggunaan produk-produk rokok elektronik (CNN, 19/09/2019).Merespon kejadian tersebut, pada bulan Februari 2020 lalu, Presiden Amerika Serikat, Donald Trump, mengeluarkan kebijakan yang melarang penjualan produk-produk rokok elektronik yang mengandung perasa, dan hanya mengizinkan produk-produk rokok elektornik dengan rasa netral atau menthol (NBC News, 06/02/2020). Lantas, apakah kebijakan pelarangan ini merupakan sesuatu yang tepat?*****Untuk menjawab pertanyaan di atas, kita harus melihat terlebih dahulu akar penyebab dari munculnya kebijakan pelarangan produk-produk rokok elektronik yang menggunakan perasa tersebut. Sehubungan dengan beberapa kasus penyakit pernafasan yang muncul di Amerika Serikat sebagai akibat dari penggunaan rokok elektronik, hal ini merupakan penjelasan yang kurang tepat sesuai dengan fakta di lapangan.Memang benar bahwa, kasus-kasus penyakit pernafasan yang muncul tersebut disebabkan oleh para pengguna vape. Namun, yang sangat penting untuk dicantumkan adalah, hal tersebut disebabkan oleh penggunaan vape ilegal yang berbahaya, dan bukan vape legal. Pada bulan September tahun 2019 lalu, aparat keamanan Amerika Serikat menangkap 2 orang bersaudara yang menjalankan bisnis vape ilegal tersebut (Fox News, 15/09/2019).Melarang produk legal, apapun produknya, untuk mencegah dampak berbahaya yang disebabkan oleh produk serupa yang ilegal adalah kebijakan yang sangat tidak tepat dan justru sangat berbahaya bagi konsumen. Bila pemerintah melarang produk-produk vape legal yang menggunakan perasa, hal tersebut justru akan berpotensi besar semakin menyuburkan pasar vape ilegal yang menggunakan perasa, yang justru dapat sangat membahayakan bagi kesehatan para konsumen.Terkait dengan kekhawatiran produk-produk vape yang menggunakan perasa akan berpotensi menarik hati anak-anak dan remaja, memang benar konsumsi nikotin oleh anak-anak di bawah usia adalah hal yang harus kita cegah. Produk-produk vape atau rokok elektronik memang bukan sesuatu yang untuk dikonsumsi oleh anak-anak.Namun, bukan berarti lantas hal ini bisa menjustifikasi pelarangan seluruh produk-produk vape yang mengandung perasa. Kebijakan ini jsutru akan semakin membatasi opsi yang bisa dimiliki oleh pengguna vape dewasa.Adanya produk-produk vape yang mengandung perasa merupakan salah satu faktor yang sangat penting yang membuat banyak perokok mengalihkan kebiasaan mereka dari menggunakan rokok konvensinal yang dibakar ke rokok elektronik. Berdasarkan penelitian yang dilakukan oleh lembaga Consumer Choice Center (CCC), akan semakin banyak para pengguna vape atau rokok elektronik yang akan berpindah ke mengkonsumsi rokok konvensional apabila pemerintah mengeluarkan aturan yang melarang produk-produk rokok elektronik yang menggunakan perasa (Consumer Choice Center, 2020).Berdasarkan penelitian yang dilakukan di beberapa negara, secara total pelarangan vape yang menggunakan perasa oleh pemerintah akan membuat mereke kembali menggunakan rokok konvensional. Di Amerika Serikat misalnya, jumlah pengguna vape yang akan beralih ke rokok konvensional apabia aturan tersebut diberlakukan ada 7.700.000 pengguna. Sementara itu, di Belanda ada 260.000 orang, diJerman 1.309.000 orang, di Kanada 955.000 orang, dan di Prancis akan ada 1.600.000 pengguna vape yang akan beralih ke rokok konvensional apabila vape yang menggunakan perasa dilarang (Consumer Choice Center, 2020).Hal ini tentu merupakan sesuatu yang sangat berbahaya bagi kesehatan piblik, dan harus dapat kita cegah. Rokok konvensioal yang dibakar telah terbukti secara penuh oleh penelitian medis dapat menyebabkan berbagai penyakit kronis bagi orang-orang yang menggunakannya, seperti berbagai jenis kanker dan serangan jantung.Sebaliknya, vape atau rokok konvensional sudah terbukti jauh lebih aman dan tidak lebih berbahaya bila dibandingkan dengan rokok konvensional yang dibakar. Berdasarkan laporan dari lembaga kesehatan publik Britania Raya, Public Health England rokok elektronik atau vape 95% jauh lebih aman bila dibandingkan dengan rokok konvensional yang dibakar (Public Health England, 2015).Penyebab utama mengapa rokok konvensional adalah sesuatu yang sangat berbahaya dan dapat menimbulkan berbagai penyakit bagi konsumennya adalah karena berbagai zat-zat kimia yang terkandung di dalam rokok tersebut. Berdasarkan laporan dari American Lung Association, di dalam rokok konvensional terdapat lebih dari 7.000 zat kimia, di mana 69 dari zat-zat tersebut merupakan zat yang dapat menyebabkan kanker (American Lung Association, 2019). Hal ini jauh berbeda dengan rokok elektornik atau vape. Bahan utama yang terkandung di dalam cairan vape adalah propylene glycol (PG) dan vegetable glycerin (VG) yang banyak digunakan sebagai bahan perasa makanan, dan sudah dinyatakan aman oleh berbagai lembaga regulator di berbagai negara, salah satunya adalah lembaga pengawas obat dan makanan Amerika Serikat, Foods and Drugs Administration (U.S. Food and Drugs Administration, 2019).Sementara itu, terkait dengan kekhawatiran penggunaan vape oleh anak-anak di bawah usia bila rokok elektronik yang menggunakan perasa dilaran, maka solusi atas hal tersebut tentu bukan melarang produk vape berperasa sepenuhnya. Hal tersebut justru akan semakin mengurangi insentif para perokok dewasa yang mengguankan rokok konvensional untuk berhenti merokok dan beralih ke produk lain yang lebih aman.Solusi yang tepat untuk mencegah penggunaan dan konsumsi rokok elektronik oleh anak-anak adalah melarang toko-toko menjual produk-produk tersebut ke anak di bawah usia. Bila ada toko atau penjual yang melanggar aturan tersebut, maka akan dikenakan sanksi yang tegas.Sebagai penutup, sudah terbukti bahwa salah satu faktor yang menyebabkan banyaknya para perokok yang berhenti merokok dan beralih ke produk yang terbukti lebih aman. Jangan sampai kita membuat kebijakan yang semakin menyulitkan mereka dalam melakukan hal tersebut.

Originally published here.

A dónde ir (y a dónde no) si eres un viajero vapeador en Estados Unidos

Que estados de EE.UU. visitar o evitar si eres viajero vapeador
Foto: Adobe Stock

¿Sabes cuáles son los estados más amigables con el vapeo en Estados Unidos y cuáles debes evitar si eres un vapeador haciendo turismo en la tierra del tío Sam? El Consumer Choice Center (Centro de Elección del Consumidor) publicó un índice que mide qué tan amistosas son las regulaciones de cada estado con los consumidores de vaporizadores de nicotina.

La metodología

El Consumer Choice Center, que representa a consumidores de más de 100 países del mundo, creó un índice donde califica qué tan favorables son las regulaciones de cada estado de Estados Unidos con los vapeadores. Para clasificarlos crearon un sistema de puntuación con ponderación única que analiza restricciones de sabores diferentes al tabaco, impuestos y posibilidad de vender productos de vapeo por internet. Las regulaciones se evaluaron en función de cuán estrictas son. Cabe anotar que el índice tiene en cuenta las regulaciones adicionales a las promulgadas por la FDA.

Los estados que recibieron entre 0 y 10 puntos obtuvieron la calificación “F”, que es la menos amistosa con el vapeo. Entre 11 y 20 puntos fueron calificados “C”, que es el intermedio. Los Estados que obtuvieron entre 21 y 30 puntos recibieron la calificación “A”, que indica que sus regulaciones son las más favorables para los usuarios de vaporizadores de nicotina. 

Estados amigables

Si eres vapeador y estás buscando un destino para visitar en Estados Unidos, el índice identifica 24 estados con una regulación amistosa con el vapeo. Estos son: 

North Dakota
South Carolina
South Dakota

Estos estados tienen plena disponibilidad de sabores, no cobran impuestos adicionales y permiten la venta de productos por medios digitales con controles para imposibilitar la compra por parte de menores de edad.

Estados cuasi amigables 

Hay 20 estados que cuentan con regulaciones parcialmente favorables para los vaporizadores. Estos, clasificados en la categoría “C”, son: 

New Hampshire
New Mexico
North Carolina
West Virginia

La puntuación de estos estados generalmente disminuyó por la aplicación de impuestos que hacen más caro optar por el vapeo. Estos pueden ir desde los 0,5 dólares por mililitro en Delaware y Lousiana hasta impuestos del 95% –iguales a los de los letales cigarros de combustión–, como en el caso de D.C. y Minnesota. Sin embargo, estos estados no tienen restricciones para la compra de líquidos de vapeo de sabores diferentes a tabaco y permiten adquirir productos por internet.

A dónde no ir

Para quienes vapeamos, saber que podemos adquirir productos de vapeo sin participar en una cruzada o en un “asalto a mano armada” a nuestras finanzas es importante. No importa si estamos de vacaciones o en un viaje de negocios. En ese sentido y si está en nuestras manos, podríamos evitar 6 estados. Estos son los clasificados con “F”, muy probablemente por “fail”, pues definitivamente les fallan a las personas que buscan una forma al menos 95% menos nociva que el tabaco combustible para dejar de fumar.

Así las cosas, los estados no recomendados son: 

New Jersey
New York
Rhode Island 

Con excepción de Illinois, estos estados restringen los sabores. Así, encontrar un líquido con un delicioso sabor a cheesecake de fresa sería legalmente imposible. Además cobran impuestos sustanciales a los productos de vapeo, a pesar de que son la forma de “terminar con el tabaquismo dentro de nuestro tiempo de vida”. Finalmente, algunos de estos estados aún cuentan con regulaciones que no permiten adquirir los productos en línea. 

Déjanos saber en los comentarios si el acceso a productos de vapeo es importante durante tus viajes. 

Originally published here.

Massachusetts Tops List of Worst States for Vaping Regs

The Consumer Choice Center (CCC), a consumer and lifestyle freedom advocacy organization, has declared Massachusetts one of the worst U.S. states for vaping regulation.

California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island are the other five states considered hostile environments for the product category, according to the center’s recently published United States vaping index.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, announced a multifaceted campaign against vaping products amid a rash of lung injuries associated with the behavior.

As a result, the Baker administration has backed the implementation of invasive flavor bans and heavy taxation on flavored vaping products. The center’s rankings on Massachusetts’ cases speaks for itself — with a 75 percent sales tax on wholesale products.

“Massachusetts is far behind all the other states because of its flavor ban and its exorbitant taxation on vaping products,” said David Clement, North American affairs manager for CCC. “Our research indicates Massachusetts’ policies deter adult smokers from turning to vaping, which could vastly improve and prolong their lives.”

Nearby New Hampshire is believed to be more welcoming to vaping and the industry, while still having a moderate score on the CCC’s vaping index. Unlike Massachusetts, the state government in New Hampshire has only levied an 8 percent excise tax on wholesale products.

The tax is still higher compared to states with lower tax rates and none at all.

In addition, the vaping industry in New Hampshire is extensively more active than other states that have similar ratings to that of Massachusetts. Alex Norcia, a contributor to Filter, reported in July that vape shops in New York state are setting up on Native American reservations to circumvent the Cuomo administration’s aggressive vaping regulations.

The freedom to use a vaping product exists heavily in states where there is already a more relaxed approach to recreational drug regulations.

A study by Dr. Abigail Friedman, an assistant professor at the Yale School of Public Health, found that states with liberalized marijuana industries saw the least reported cases of the noncommunicable e-cigarette and vaping associated lung injury (EVALI) that was widely reported throughout 2019.

“If e-cigarette or marijuana use per se drove this outbreak, areas with more engagement in those behaviors should show a higher EVALI prevalence,” Friedman said in her study. “This study finds the opposite result. Alongside geographic clusters of high EVALI prevalence states, these findings are more consistent with locally available e-liquids or additives driving the EVALI outbreak than a widely used, nationally-available product.”

Friedman found that five states with some of the earliest legalization of recreational marijuana all had less than one EVALI diagnosis per 100,000 residents in the 12 to 64 age group.

These states include Alaska, California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. Since most of the EVALI cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention focus on adulterated and illicit marijuana vaping products, the epidemiological analysis in

Friedman’s study shows further evidence that bans on nicotine vaping products are implemented on the backs of EVALI injury outrage.

The Consumer Choice Center’s vaping index reports that Alaska, Colorado and Oregon are three of the most friendly states for vaping.

California is one of the worst; Washington has a better rating than most states.

These collective findings are well-founded when considering the impact of state-level regulation on the vaping industry and, therefore, the accessibility of vaping products.

Originally published here.

States Ranked on Vapor Regulations

The Consumer Choice Center (CCC) has published an index ranking each U.S. state on the consumer-friendliness of its vapor regulations.

Rankings are assigned based on a legislative actions, including restrictions, taxation, and online sales prohibitions.

According to the index, California is the “worst state for vaping.” New York, California, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are also among the least consumer-friendly states. Virginia, Colorado, Texas and Maryland each received “A” scores.

“The worst states … are far behind all the other states because of flavor bans, exorbitant taxation on vaping products, and restrictions on online sales,” said David Clement, North American affairs manager and deputy director at the CCC. “Our research indicates these states go above and beyond to deter adult smokers from switching to vaping, which could vastly improve and prolong their lives.”

“What lawmakers should note is that a number of states are providing a positive framework of regulation for vaping that boosts consumer choice while contributing to public health by encouraging smoking cessation,” said Yaël Ossowski, who is also North American affairs manager and deputy director at the CCC.

“Excessive flavor bans, taxes, and prohibitions on online commerce grow the black-market sector and harm consumers who want less harmful alternatives to smoking. If states want to innovate in 2020 and provide adult smokers with an alternative that is less harmful, they should look to reform their state laws to better accommodate this new technology that is helping millions.”

The report shows that 25 states allow flavored vaping products with no additional taxes and no shipping restrictions. Twenty states have previous flavor bans, some taxes and a few shipping restrictions. There are five states that have partial flavor bans, high taxes and shipping restrictions.

The center stated that the focus is on state regulation of vaping, “as it plays a big part in their availability to adult consumers who want to switch away from combustible tobacco.”

The weighted scoring system analyzes additional flavor restrictions, taxes and the ability to sell vaping products online. Regulations are assessed on stringency in addition to Food and Drug Administration regulations.

States that received between 0 and 10 points received an “F” grade, between 11 and 20 points is “C” and states with points between 21 and 30 received an “A” grade.

Originally published here.

Quanto sono importanti gli aromi delle sigarette elettroniche?


Cosa succederebbe se i liquidi per le sigarette elettroniche con gusti differenti dal tabacco venissero proibiti? A rispondere a questa domanda pensa un rapporto denominato “Why vape flavors matter”, cioè “Perché gli aromi del vaping sono importanti”, che è stato da poco pubblicato dal Ccc, il Consumer Choice Center. Ebbene, secondo questo report proibire gli aromi all’interno dei liquidi per le sigarette elettroniche potrebbe innescare delle conseguenze negative a livello sociale. In particolare, due potrebbero essere gli effetti più probabili: da un lato i vapers potrebbero ricominciare a usare le sigarette tradizionali; dall’altro lato potrebbero affidarsi al mercato nero, il che sarebbe deleterio sia dal punto di vista legale che sul piano della salute.

Dove comprare gli aromi per le e-cig

Chi è alla ricerca di un aroma sigarette elettroniche oggi può fare affidamento sul catalogo di Vape in Italy, che mette a disposizione un ampio assortimento di gusti e una straordinaria varietà di marchi per andare incontro a ogni tipo di richiesta. Nelle schede tecniche, per altro, sono riportati i suggerimenti dei produttori, che permettono di godersi al massimo tutto il piacere del vaping. Gli aromi possono essere con o senza nicotina. Va ricordato, inoltre, che gli aromi delle sigarette elettroniche sono del tutto innocui per la salute: in effetti sono gli stessi che vengono adoperati in ambito alimentare, ma semplicemente sono più diluiti.

Il ruolo del vaping

Come mette in evidenza il report del Consumer Choice Center, il vaping merita di essere considerato una risorsa molto efficace a disposizione di chi ha intenzione di smettere di fumare, e in questo scenario un ruolo di primo piano è proprio quello svolto dagli aromi. Gli autori della ricerca hanno preso in esame le conseguenze di un eventuale divieto applicato ai liquidi: un tema molto attuale, soprattutto negli Stati Uniti.

La situazione negli Usa

Diversi Stati americani, infatti, hanno imposto dei divieti a proposito dei gusti nei liquidi: una decisione che è stata adottata sulla scia di ciò che è successo lo scorso anno, con un notevole incremento dei casi di patologie polmonari che è stato attribuito all’uso di cartucce con Thc illegali. Il governo Usa, con l’obiettivo di evitare la diffusione del vaping tra i più giovani, ha proibito per tutti i sistemi a cartuccia i liquidi che abbiano aromi diversi dal mentolo, dalla menta e dal tabacco. Ma la questione non è importante solo al di là dell’Oceano Atlantico: anche alle nostre latitudini ci sono Paesi che stanno puntando sulla strada proibizionista, se è vero che sia la Danimarca che i Paesi Bassi hanno reso nota l’intenzione di ridurre gli aromi all’interno dei liquidi per le sigarette elettroniche.

Cosa potrebbe succedere

Che cosa potrebbe accadere, dunque, nel caso in cui questa misura prendesse sempre più piede? In base al report menzionato in precedenza, una situazione del genere finirebbe per ridurre in misura consistente la reale utilità delle e-cig come mezzo di contenimento del danno, così che tante persone sarebbero indotte a ritornare a usare il tabacco combustibile per fumare. Come è facile capire, tutto questo rappresenterebbe un danno importante per la salute pubblica.

L’importanza degli aromi

Gli autori del rapporto hanno analizzato le ricerche condotte sul tema per comprendere quanto siano importanti gli aromi sul piano della cessazione. Ciò avviene dal momento che i fumatori desiderano un gusto gradevole, diverso da quello delle sigarette classiche. Varie ricerche scientifiche hanno messo in evidenza che gli adulti che usano le e-cig con gusti non tabaccosi smettono di fumare con più probabilità rispetto agli altri. Ecco perché gli autori del report sono convinti che se si vietassero gli aromi nei liquidi il numero di fumatori aumenterebbe: si avrebbero ben 15 milioni di fumatori in più tra l’Italia, la Polonia, la Danimarca, la Germania, i Paesi Bassi, la Spagna, la Francia, gli Stati Uniti e il Canada, vale a dire i Paesi che lo studio ha analizzato.

Originally published here.

Consumer advocacy group critical of California vaping regulations

FAIRFIELD — California is the “worst state for vaping.”

Typically, such a statement is followed by findings that show vaping use is high in the state, such as the report that more than 20% of high school students – more than 3 million – said they vaped in 2018, a rate twice as high as in 2017.

But the finding that California is the worst state for vaping this time comes from a report by the Consumer Choice Center, which ranks each state “based on its consumer-friendly regulatory approach to vaping products.”

“California is far behind all the other states because of its local flavor bans and its exorbitant taxation on vaping products,” David Clement, North American Affairs manager at the Consumer Choice Center, said in a statement released with the report Tuesday. He was co-author of the study. “Our research indicates California’s policies deter adult smokers from turning to vaping, which could vastly improve and prolong their lives.”

Korey Temple, 31, of Fairfield, smokes cigarettes, but has tried vaping, too. Temple agrees that the state’s regulations and taxes on smoking products are unfair.

“California spends all this money to get people to stop smoking, and when the numbers drop, the revenues drop, so they raise taxes, again,” Temple said.

“I think the state should just make tobacco illegal if they want people to stop, but they would have to find something else to tax to make up for the lost (revenues)” she said. “It’s just about money.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom in August signed into law a bill than bans flavored tobacco, with an exemption for hookah. Proponents argue the flavored products are just an attempt to get more people hooked on nicotine.

Health officials also disagree that vaping is less harmful than cigarettes, and point to some research that shows that people who vape are more likely to start smoking.

Solano County has a no-smoking policy for its buildings and its parks. It also offers a cessation program.

“Government surveys show the sleek devices – and multitude of copycat products – are far more popular among high school students than adults. While the legal age to buy e-cigarettes is 18 in most states – and 21 in California – the products are widely available online and not all sellers require proof of age. And vaping kits now come in the form of pens, flash drives, key fobs, even watches – making them both stylish and easy to disguise,” California Healthline stated.

California joined New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island with “F” grades, while Virginia, Colorado, Texas and Maryland each received “A” grades” for more consumer-friendly vaping regulations.

“What lawmakers should note is that a number of states are providing a positive framework of regulation for vaping that boosts consumer choice while contributing to public health by encouraging smoking cessation,” Yael Ossowski, North American Affairs manager and deputy director of the Consumer Choice Center, said in the statement.

“Excessive flavor bans, taxes, and prohibitions on online commerce grow the black market sector and harm consumers who want less harmful alternatives to smoking,” Ossowski said. “If states want to innovate in 2020 and provide adult smokers with an alternative that is less harmful, they should look to reform their state laws to better accommodate this new technology that is helping millions.”

The report states that 25 states allow flavored vaping products with no additional taxes and no shipping restrictions. Twenty states have previous flavor bans, some taxes and a few shipping restrictions. There are five states that have partial flavor bans, high taxes and shipping restrictions.

The center stated that the focus is on state regulation of vaping, “as it plays a big part in their availability to adult consumers who want to switch away from combustible tobacco.”

The weighted scoring system analyzes additional flavor restrictions, taxes and the ability to sell vaping products online. Regulations are assessed on stringency in addition to Food and Drug Administration regulations.

States that received between 0 and 10 points received an “F” grade, between 11 and 20 points is “C” and states with points between 21 and 30 received an “A” grade.

Look at the U.S. Vaping Index 2020 

To look at the vaping index, go to https://consumerchoicecenter.org/united-states-vaping-index/

Originally published here.

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