Following the voteBill is now heading to the office of DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, who has already indicated she is in favor of the ban and will likely sign it as law.
“Substance bans just make the use and acquisition of that substance more dangerous and risky.”
Meanwhile, tobacco harm reduction (THR) entities have long opposed such measures. A day before the vote, June 28, a group of civil rights, civil liberties and free market organizations including the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP), Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP)) and the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) – issued a letter warning against the foreseeable results of such a policy.
“Tobacco companies have been guilty of marketing and predatory practices in communities of color,” Queen Adesuyi, policy officer at the DPA’s office of national affairs in DC, told Filter. “However, banning flavored tobacco products will not make those products go away or the desire to make them go away. Substance bans simply make the use and acquisition of that substance more dangerous and risky. “
Flavor bans bring teens back to tobacco
Data from Massachusetts and the city of San Francisco where such bans have been put in place support these claims. A recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics, found that after San Francisco’s flavor ban, teens in city high schools were more likely to start smoking than teens in U.S. school districts where no flavor bans were imposed. Whereas before the ban, smoking rates in San Francisco were similar to those in many cities across the country.
“To understand this conceptually, think about the preferences of young people between tobacco products,” said study author Abigail Friedman, assistant professor in the department of health policy and management at the Yale School of Public. Health, in a statement. “Among the young people who vape, some probably prefer ENDS to combustible products because of the flavors.”
“For these people as well as potential vapers with similar preferences, banning flavors may remove their primary motivation to choose vaping over smoking,” she continued. “So some of them will respond to a flavor ban by choosing to use combustible products instead of ENDS.”
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