Government Should Stand Down on Vaping Bans

(AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Vaping bans are dumb policy and politics. The American people just want to be left alone, and they don’t need government looking over their shoulder when they want to smoke a cigarette or a vaping product. Unelected Washington, D.C., bureaucrats need to stop expanding bans on vaping.

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The practice of government officials banning the safe practice of adult vaping will lead to further anger and mistrust of the federal government. Both parties in Washington are hitting all-time lows in popularity. It is time for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other government agencies to declare a cease-fire on the unpopular war against vaping to allow adult Americans to be free again.

The government’s war on e-cigarettes, more commonly referred to as vaping, is an example of big government getting in the way of adults making adult decisions. Some adults like to drink alcohol when they are out to eat a meal or at a concert, yet the government does not limit an adult’s consumption of beer or wine when out for a night on the town. Excessive eating is a big health crisis, yet no government bureaucrat dares limit how much food an American can order when they sit down at a steak house or all-you-can-eat buffet. Vaping should be no different, and freedom for people to engage in vaping a flavored product should be protected from government oppression.

Some opponents of fun have resorted to disinformation to demonize vaping to provide the government with a pretext to ban the practice. The Washington Free Beacon published a piece on June 20, 2023, that argued, “the FDA announced just a few weeks ago, on May 31, that it was in the midst of a ‘retailer inspection blitz’ to crack down on the sale of outlawed disposable e-cigarettes such as the Elfbar.” The truth of the matter is that this imported product is not “outlawed” at all.

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The FDA has ordered a halt to the import of this product because of concerns about the product’s alignment with federal vaping regulations. The impact of the order is that these products have been detained with the understanding that the manufacturer has the opportunity to prove their products’ legal status. If that can be done, the products will be released and shipped to sellers.

It is not illegal for a citizen to possess an Elfbar vape, but these vapes are subject to inspection and impoundment pursuant to an FDA order. “Outlawed” is too strong a word when describing the status of these vaping products. The Free Beacon piece is pushing an argument that benefits the FDA-approved vaping products that have proven less popular with adults who choose to vape.

Politicians who support bans on vaping are putting their political future in doubt. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is pushing for a ban on Elfbar vape cigarettes and has made the case that “if left unchecked, this highly-addictive and health-damaging Elf Bar that is targeting teens and kids could become the next Juul but even worse, because of its shoddy manufacturing and its commonly mislabeled nicotine levels.” In my opinion, Juul should not have been subject to a ban. Furthermore, the FDA has approved vaping products produced by Phillip Morris, R.J Reynolds, and a few other well-known companies. It is obvious why the senator is picking on one popular vaping company while not calling for a blanket ban on all vaping products.

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Additionally, if the senator is so worried about children’s health, then why is he such a strong supporter of legalizing marijuana? The senator is pushing the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act that would end federal cannabis prohibition by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Marijuana products are legal in many states with flavorings that the FDA has sanctioned when applied to vaping. Cotton candy-flavored cannabis products are sold in some states, while the FDA is stopping adults from purchasing these same flavored e-cigarettes. Hypocrisy is on display in the D.C. Swamp.

Vaping has proven to get adults off cigarettes. Any attempt to restrict access to vaping products will result in negative health outcomes for Americans as a whole. Add in that adults like them and get angry when unelected government employees ban vaping products, and you have a bad policy that is also bad politics.

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