The number of “vape-related” lung disease cases has now reached approximately a 1000, and despite reports linking the cases to the consumption of illicit products, vaping devices still seem to be receiving the main share of the blame.

Earlier this year, San Francisco’s supervisors approved a total e-cig ban in a unanimous preliminary vote, making the city the first to pass such a measure in the US. “We spent the 90s battling big tobacco, and now we see its new form in e-cigarettes,” said supervisor Shamann Walton. “This is about thinking about the next generation of users and thinking about protecting the overall health and sending a message to the rest of the state and the country: follow our lead,” added supervisor Ahsha Safaí.

L.A.’s proposed measure was introduced last week at the City Council meeting, and would ban the devices until they are approved by the FDA. “The reports of illness and death caused by unregulated vaping devices is a public health crisis,” reads the motion introduced by Councilman Paul Koretz. “Los Angeles is not content to wait and do nothing as the numbers of illnesses and even deaths associated with unregulated vaping devices increases daily.”

Bans work, but not in the way we would want them to

“The NNA has argued against this huge downside to arbitrary – and often lazy – vaping bans consistently in the past few years to anyone who will listen. We gave evidence to MPs to that effect as well as urging public health groups supportive of reduced risk products to consider the negative connotations that such bans can have on the public’s understanding and to do more to counteract it.”

Meanwhile, public health experts and entities alike, have long been pointing out that vaping bans are detrimental to public health, as they send the wrong message to the public, making it more unlikely for smokers to switch to the safer alternatives. And a newly released study has confirmed this once again.

The study titled, “Inclusion of electronic nicotine delivery systems in indoor smoke-free air policies and associated vaping behavior,” was carried out by researchers at the Indiana University School of Public Health in the US.

The research highlighted the effect of vaping bans. “Adults living in the states with an aerosol-free policy were less likely to use ENDS compared with those living in the states without an aerosol-free policy, controlling for individual- and state-level covariates (adjusted odds ratio = 0.79, 95% confidence interval = 0.64, 0.97). Stratified analyses showed that the association varied by age group; the statewide aerosol-free policies was associated with lower odds of ENDS use only in adults aged 25-59 but not young adults (aged 18-24).”

E-cig bans send the wrong message

In the UK, the New Nicotine Alliance (NNA) has long pointed out that the use of safer nicotine products can benefit public health. In a recent article on its website, the organization referred to the local smoking ban implemented in 2007, pointing out how as a result of it smokers are now aware of harming those around them, but also believe that their habit is detrimental to their health. Therefore added the NNA, when similar bans are imposed on safer alternatives, it sends the wrong message to the public.

“The NNA has argued against this huge downside to arbitrary – and often lazy – vaping bans consistently in the past few years to anyone who will listen. We gave evidence to MPs to that effect as well as urging public health groups supportive of reduced risk products to consider the negative connotations that such bans can have on the public’s understanding and to do more to counteract it.”

Read Further: Los Angeles Times

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