A year ago, before vaping suddenly exploded into the huge industry it has now become, I would have thought it totally conceivable that various local (or national) governments would ban e-liquid flavors altogether, restrict the sale of vaping devices to a point where vaping becomes so difficult to do that most people give up on it, and so on. The sudden upsurge of vaping in the past year, though, has made it difficult to imagine that vaping will go away any time soon, and lawmakers have picked up on this development; talk of taking any extreme measures to curb vaping has mostly died down, and measures against vaping have mostly been focused on limiting its public visibility and accessibility to underage people. I imagine in the future lawmakers might try to develop ways to ensure that vaping can bring in some amount of vaping revenue, but surprisingly this hasn’t happened much yet.
Well, even though it feels like the worst case scenario has been averted, various municipalities across the US still insist on defying common sense. Recently, Sonoma City in California, for instance, banned all sales of flavored e-liquids. Soon, the list of places where hilarious overreaction is about to result in a law that literally no one will respect might see Minneapolis added to it.
The Minneapolis City Council recently began deliberating new regulations to restrict the availability of flavored cigars and cigarillos (commonly mistaken for some sick Courvoisier by 5 year olds confused by the Cognac flavor label; the children then proceed to nicotine poison themselves). Under these proposed regulations, nearly all of the city’s 355 tobacco retailers would be forced to stop selling any tobacco products flavored like anything other than menthol or tobacco; further, the ordinance would also set a minimum price of $2.60 for an individual cigar, ensuring really poor people can’t smoke. Among other proposed provisions, there has also been talk of banning flavored e-liquids as well, which is just as silly as the other provisions, and therefore just as likely to pass. However, even in the worst case scenario (for Minnesotans, I guess), specialty stores will still be allowed to carry flavored tobacco and, presumably, flavored e-liquid.
More importantly, because I find the topic of Minneapolis trying to ban the sale of flavored e-liquid kind of boring, how extremely weird is it to always read stuff like this in these articles: “[The] cigars appeal to kids,” she said, “because they come in candy flavor — chocolate, vanilla, strawberry — and they smell like candy. It is too tempting.” Too tempting for what? Your 14 year old will end up buying Strawberry Banana Swisher Sweets not because he wants the tobacco (or the tobacco leaf), but because he’s a child and couldn’t control himself at the sight of something he was convinced was a sweet? Wouldn’t he just buy a pack of Starburst? I find it absolutely shocking that any person in her right mind could ever think in that way.