Short Answer: yes
Long Answer: f*ck yes
Okay no, but seriously, we need to have an actual one-sided (unless y’all leave comments!) conversation about this. Governments, especially in the states, are actively protecting Big Tobacco companies by overhauling their legislations about vapes and vaping. Why are they doing this? I’m about to sound like a communist, anti-government a$$hole but bear with me.
The Proposed Prohibition of Flavoured Juices
Currently there are a multitude of governments, including the Canadian government and the State of California, that are looking to ban the sales of flavoured juices, excluding menthol, mint, and tobacco flavours. While those flavours can be great and incredibly helpful for some, this is a serious indent on the flavours currently available to people coming from smoking, who rely on the flavour of their choice or they might turn back to smoking cigarettes. The claim that other flavours are too appealing to youth is frankly bull poopy, and there are absolutely measures to be taken to keep youth from getting their hands on vapes and flavoured juices — ones that don’t have to take working product away from real adults actually quitting smoking.
The proposed bill in California ensures that no flavoured juices will be sold at gas stations or convenience stores, and the only time flavoured juices will be available for sale is at specialty vape shops and online using age-verification technology. This, in my humble opinion, is the way to go — almost. There should be a ban on the sale of any and all vapes and vaping products, including juices of any flavour, anywhere that isn’t a specialty vape shop. This will greatly reduce the ease of teens getting these products.
What California’s proposed bill is doing right is suggesting people between the ages of 18-21 (it’s the ‘States, guys) are fined up to $100 for having and using these products, and the sellers are also fined for having sold them to minors. What the proposal has entirely wrong, and what is actively protecting Big Tobacco, is punishing anyone below 18 owning or using vapes by giving them community service, among other things.
Let’s back up; yes, the government is actively trying to punish minors for having these products, and not punishing the companies marketing and providing these products to minors. Their main (yet ignored) target: JUUL Labs.
JUUL Labs has been found to be donating to, and lobbying the State government, which is probably a main reason why they aren’t touched in any of these proposed fines. JUUL actively markets towards youth, whether they deny it or not. In fact, a lot of people claim they have been targeting youth and teens since the very beginning, under the guise that they are merely helping people quit smoking.
Some may not know, but JUUL Labs is backed by a major tobacco chain, and fed money from them. They have denounced their anti-smoking agenda, and are taking money from the literal enemy. Sick beats, JUUL, what’s next?
Nobody should ever be punishing kids for having access to a new fad. Yes, vapes and vape products should be taken from them, and strong regulations about exactly where and who is allowed to sell vape products should be put in place to ensure kids don’t have access to them. The major vape companies actively marketing to literal children, and taking money from the tobacco industry should be punished for making these items so easily accessible. You know who also needs a reality check? The plethora of clickbait news articles who tend to be fond on spreading misinformation to young ones. They’re kids, not idiots. They have the capability to read, research, and understand the harm coming to them via vaping such high levels of nicotine at such a young age, and by not providing them with the entire story and only using scare and fear tactics in an attempt to frighten parents and deter kids pushes them to want to do it more. Give them all of the facts, from both the good and bad ends, and let them come to the conclusions themselves when they are of age.
Can you tell I’m not particularly fond of JUUL?
Leave me a comment and we can actually talk about it!
Do you think governments are doing the right thing by imposing restrictions? Could they be doing a better (or worse) job?