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Michael Bloomberg launches $160M initiative to ban flavored e-cigarettes (axios.com)
97 points by hhs 7 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 152 comments

I understand that we don't want our kids vaping or smoking, but banning flavored juices is the wrong way to go about it. All it's going to accomplish is deregulation of the flavored juice market. People will buy unflavored juices and add their own (possibly dangerous)flavoring agents at home.

Also, it is in Big Tobacco's best interest to make vaping as difficult as possible. Think about it, all these cities with vape bans haven't banned cigarettes yet, right? Make it extremely difficult to vape and people will resort to smoking.

On a more philosophical note, are we really OK with the government reaching this far into our personal lives?

The issue isn't really about the juices themselves though, is it? It's more about the advertising allegedly targeting young kids. I think regulating the advertisement of these products is probably the most sane course of action here.

Also, it is in Big Tobacco's best interest to make vaping as difficult as possible

Not true. Big Tobacco owns (partially or outright) most of the big players in the vaping industry. Vuse is owned by Reynolds, Vype is owned by BAT, and Altria has a massive stake in Juul.

It's in Big Tobacco's interest to ensure vaping is easy and viewed as an alternative to cigarettes. It's also in their interest to keep the product in snazzy packaging with candy flavors that appeal to younger consumers.

> with candy flavors that appeal to younger consumers.

Because no adults enjoy candy, or flavors? That's exclusive to "younger consumers" only? The vast majority of people who vape are adults. They also enjoy flavored e-juice. Maybe we should put stuff in alcohol that makes it so disgusting no one wants to drink it as well by that logic. Ban flavored alcohol and mixers... too many kids getting drunk off peach schnapps because it tastes good. Ban Coke in bars so people can't add it to their rum. It doesn't matter if the overwhelming number of people consuming it are (legal) adults...because there are some kids abusing it (which is already illegal).


From this study:

> Current flavored (including menthol) tobacco product use was highest in youth (80%, aged 12-17 years); and young adult tobacco users (73%, aged 18-24 years); and lowest in older adult tobacco users aged ≥65 years (29%). Flavor was a primary reason for using a given tobacco product, particularly among youth. Eighty-one percent of youth and 86% of young adult ever tobacco users reported that their first product was flavored versus 54% of adults aged ≥25 years. In multivariable models, reporting that one's first tobacco product was flavored was associated with a 13% higher prevalence of current tobacco use among youth ever tobacco users and a 32% higher prevalence of current tobacco use among adult ever users.

How is flavor the #1 reason for use? I don't get how they determined that.

I'm betting the question was something akin to "Why do you prefer vaping over smoking traditional cigarettes?" or "Do you prefer flavored smoking products over unflavored?"

While the argument does have some minor merits, I'm personally against removing flavors from smoking products.

Just because some adults enjoy Sour Gummy Worms doesn't mean that the primary market isn't younger consumers. Don't be dense.

> It's also in their interest to keep the product in snazzy packaging with candy flavors that appeal to younger consumers.

It's also no coincidence that the same industry has been smacked down for the same behavior in the past. Eternal vigilance is required to make these companies behave themselves.

Absolutely. Thus, it's worth reading the restrictions the 1998 accord (the aforementioned "smackdown") that the four biggest tobacco companies entered into for lying to the government, and consumers, about whether cigarettes cause cancer.


Maybe the US market turned out very different, but the UK market has be pushing 90%+ coming from independent vape shops, stalls and some discount chains selling e-liquids from non-tobacco connected vape specialists. It's where just about everyone seems to get their switch to vaping when they decide to give up smoking.

The big tobacco owned products like Vype are almost always seen in petrol stations, off-licences and small shops that sell, or formerly sold tobacco and cigarettes in addition to their main business. Prices for liquids are 3-4x the price of the vape shops. You still sometimes see these places selling the silly, tiny e-cigarettes that look identical to a king size smoke, with LED where the tobacco used to burn. You won't ever see these anywhere else. I've seen exactly one person using one of these compared to hundreds using regular vape pens and box mods.

Juul was late to the UK party, and I've yet to notice anyone using one of those, though I have seen one or two garages with a few packs of cartridge refills, but they don't seem common.

GP isn’t wrong and neither are you. The industry is so fragmented that Big Tobacco owning the 5-10% players means they do own the biggest players.

I've had the same experience here in Southern California.

TL:DR - Flavored Juices make up 80% of the market, ban flavors will leave big players left to own the market.

Opinion: There are many ways we could regulate this better than an outright ban. Banning things will only lead to black market sales. We should go to all brown packaging, ban any outside advertising, actually fine shops who don't comply and by using education and transparency explain to the youth why it is detrimental to their health.

I cannot even remember how many flavored alcohol ads I saw during the NFL games over this past weekend....yet they get a free pass...

I agree we have to do something, but whenever a politician says, "It's for the kids" it tends to be for anything but and they are using that line to pull the heartstrings of parents.

Why isn't Juul being regulated? They are partnered with Altria.

There was recently a merger between Phillip Morris and Altria



>Altria supports a flavor ban, which would benefit a combined Phillip Morris- Altria. The one-note iQOS is a much more appealing option when pitted against tobacco ejuice flavors, which simply are not as popular with adult smokers as the sweeter varieties.

>With no fruit and dessert flavors to compete with, it would boil down to who has the best tobacco flavor. Altria clearly thinks the iQOS would win that contest. The edge is even greater when it comes to novices and smokers who have never tried vaping.

>Where Juul ends up, and if it will be pitted head to head against the iQOS is another market disruption that is nearly impossible to predict.

>We are fast approaching a scenario that resembles regulatory capture. The practiced hands of the tobacco industry are the largest and most influential stakeholders. They are pushing for regulations that destroy the competition and leave their own products untouched.

>How the public would react to this sleight of hand and a restructured vaping industry dominated by Big Tobacco and Juul could end up making this power move a pyrrhic victory.

I find it funny I posted this exact same comment (Minus the TL:DR/opinion on different regulation) earlier which received up-votes on a different thread.


This time, not so much....

Maybe it is because the other thread didn't get as much traction to allow enough people to vote? shrug

Most people who vape here in southern California don't use Juuls, or Blus or whatever, they use box mods with tank atomizers and juices that come in bottles made by smaller privately owned companies.

I don't think the data supports that statement. People who identify with vaping as a part of their lifestyle, perhaps, but the casual smoker?

Pretty unlikely that most people aren't buying the products of the big producers. Otherwise they wouldn't be the big producers.

(And Reynolds is now wholly owned by BAT.)

>Also, it is in Big Tobacco's best interest to make vaping as difficult as possible. Think about it, all these cities with vape bans haven't banned cigarettes yet, right? Make it extremely difficult to vape and people will resort to smoking.

Maybe, but vaping has (had?) the reputation of being "safer" than cigarettes. I doubt there would be a 1:1 of potential vappers to smokers.

Anecdotally, I know people who started vaping without ever having touched cigarettes before.

The English (maybe rest of UK too I dunno) approach is a voluntary code of practice for shops that sell vapes and juices to check that people have been smokers before selling to them.

I think this is the right approach for the UK. I'm not sure it'll work in the US.

How does that work in practice? Honor system? Asking to see a receipt from a cigarette purchase?

It's just an honour system.

That's my point. Banning flavoring probably won't lead to as many using cigarettes.

But it will lead to more using cigarettes. If it’s any more than the 20:1 safety difference then it’s still a net loss.

I'm confident there are significant numbers of people (read: kids) who would have never taken up cigarettes but took up vaping as the cool new way to get cancer.

What cancer causing ingredients are there in vape liquids?

Possibly nicotine.


>Tobacco use is considered the single most important man-made cause of cancer that can be avoided. The evidence that nicotine is involved in cancer development is reviewed and discussed in this paper. Both tobacco smoke and tobacco products for oral use contain a number of carcinogenic substances, such as polycyclic hydrocarbons and tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines (TSNA), which undoubtedly contribute to tobacco related cancer. Recent studies have shown that nicotine can affect several important steps in the development of cancer, and suggest that it may cause aggravation and recurrence of the disease. TSNA may be formed from nicotine in the body. The role of nicotine as the major addictive component of tobacco products may have distracted our attention from toxicological effects on cell growth, angiogenesis, and tumor malignancy. Effects on cancer disease are important aspects in the evaluation of possible long-term effects from sources of nicotine, such as e-cigarettes and products for nicotine replacement therapy, which both have a potential for life-long use.

it is the same reason we have the opioid mess, nice sounding but stupid policy decisions; namely beating on doctors correctly prescribing pain killers to those who needed them to the point they no longer did.

like the current bugaboo over vaping causing deaths the CDC crows about yet statistics show its not legal over the counter products.

sensationalism sells papers and gets votes. exploiting ignorance with something that sounds truthful if not plausible has always been the game. when all else fails, "for the children" is the go to.

>On a more philosophical note, are we really OK with the government reaching this far into our personal lives?

It's not reaching into your personal life. It's reaching into businesses to stop them from selling damaging and highly addictive products. Banning tobacco would be optimal but not feasible since too many people are already addicted.

So are you in favor of banning fast food and alcohol as well?

None of these, including smoking, are possible to ban due to the addictive qualities. But indeed there should be initiatives to wean people off them and reduce the damage they do.

I'm not sure I agree that advertising is the most sane course of action here - if you take tobacco as a reference then the intervention that causes the highest decrease in usage is tax (and higher price coincidentally usually leads to lower usage rates especially in younger people because they're more price sensitive). So if banning is too far to go, then a middle ground might be to have a very high tax on the product in order to 1) decrease usage and 2) put money into a fund in case all these users end up getting a new form of cancer in 20 years that we didn't see coming and that we (society/the state) have to collectively pay for

From one perspective I would be in favor of this as long the tax on cigarettes is higher than the tax on vaping products. That way both appear unattractive, but cigarettes more so.

From another perspective I wouldn't be in favor of higher taxes on vaping products because it would be yet another tax affecting primarily lower income people.

So, while I don't think it's a bad idea, I think I would need to do some more research on the ramifications before supporting it.

Why do you say it would primarily affect lower income people? You mean because the cigarette smoker user base skews low income? I guess it affects them in the sense that some pay more, but many others quit something that is harmful which "helps" them (but of course net negative if you value personal will higher than the health cost and believe that people who smoke are entirely rational)

But agreed, in light of the current evidence that vaping seems to be better than cigarettes the tax should be lower, ideally pushing people who smoke to switch to vapes as an alternative

> Why do you say it would primarily affect lower income people?

For the reason you stated here. It's more a conflict in personal philosophy I guess.

Fair enough, lots of people do consider tobacco and "sin" taxes to be regressive. The counter I said is just a reframing of it, I honestly have mixed feelings about it too

I just switched to unflavoured base + nicotine shot. It's tastes fine and costs about 80% less. I can buy 1 litre(!) of base for $15, a premix of flavour 60ml costs the same!

Yeah, I make my own juice as well, though I do flavor mine, usually with fruit or mint flavors.

A 60ml bottle of commercial juice easily costs $15-20.

I buy my nic, PG, and VG from Liquid Barn and my flavors from a variety of sources (though mostly through Nicotine River). My materials cost for 60ml of homemade juice is only around $1.53 per bottle (not including the bottle itself, which you can recycle from commercial juice, or you can buy some, which only costs like $1/bottle). That's one hell of a cost savings!

That's made up of approx $0.33 of nicotine base, $0.09 of PG, $0.33 of VG, and $0.78 of flavoring. I buy PG/VG in 1000ml bottles and flavors I use a lot of in 2oz bottles, so I'm saving a bit by buying in bulk, but it still should only cost around $35 for the ingredients to get started in DIY ejuice - the cost of around 2 bottles of commercial juice. Grab yourself 500ml each of PG/VG, 125ml of nic base, and a handful of flavors and you have enough materials for at least 10 60ml bottles of ejuice (and you'll probably have PG, nic, and flavor leftover, the VG is by far the most used ingredient).

Yep, I've made my own juice before as well. For me, I buy the pre-made juices most of the time because of the general convenience.

I find going down the store the inconvenience, hence the step up to 1 litre quantities. Lasts months.

Also since moving to Germany regulations force u to mix the flavour yourself, so the labour for flavour is greater.


All people are the people who view themselves as having the most reasonable point of view.

>On a more philosophical note, are we really OK with the government reaching this far into our personal lives?

If I had a nickle for every time someone with high income said "there ought to be a law" I'd have a very high income.

From my understanding, many of the flavored juices contain Vitamin E, which we're just now finding out is potentially deadly when inhaled (hence the recent deaths). It's a largely unregulated industry already when it comes to safety of peripheral ingredients. Wouldn't it be very costly to start scrutinizing each manufacturer's ingredients? Do you know what you're really getting if you decide to buy some vaping products?

The recent deaths come from vaping THC, not nicotine [1]. Vaping THC is a mostly unregulated industry because cannabis is illegal at the federal level. Most reports call it "vaping related deaths" which is misleading because it's not the substance most people are vaping, the cause of the deaths is mostly unregulated THC vapes.

[1] https://www.nbcnews.com/health/vaping/indiana-reports-its-fi...

The legality of THC has little to do with the fact that ingredients of many household products across the board are not scrutinized to the level of safety that would have prevented this kind of outbreak from happening in the first place. Can you provide any details on what federal agency & team is inspecting nicotine cartridge production lines or imports in the US?

I'd argue the legality does matter, since people have been vaping nicotine for years without a huge rash of deaths being associated with it, while THC vape carts have started killing people very recently and in increasing numbers. Something about THC carts is more deadly than nicotine carts. Whether anyone is inspecting nicotine carts or not, people aren't dying from nicotine carts and tons more people use nicotine carts than THC carts.

Something about THC carts is killing people, while nicotine carts are not. In most of the states where people are dying, THC carts are a black-market item while nicotine carts are available legally. If legal nicotine carts are killing people, the business can be shut down and people held responsible. If black-market THC carts are killing people, the responsible party is not a legal entity that can be easily shut down.

Government inspections or not, anything you buy on the black market is inherently more risky than something sold legally through a legal entity.

This whole argument is built on the premise of the items being black market products, yet I still have trouble understanding what that exactly means here. What is defined as black market? Where is the line drawn, if there is a line?

Marijuana was 100% illegal for nearly a century, it's more legal now, yet the deaths are recent. I am very certain that there is some level of consumer bias toward buying supposed "underground lab" vaping products, having a higher amount of trust in them because marijuana is "legal" now. See where this might get confusing?

This is part of the black market for THC carts in the Midwest: https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/wisconsin/2019/09/...

> From my understanding, many of the flavored juices contain Vitamin E

That is incorrect; specifically the "many" part. Vitamin E Acetate was found is black market(illegal) THC cartridges in the midwest. Vitmain E acetate is used in THC oils to increase potency. Legitimate THC oil producers in legal states do not use Vitmain E Acetate in their oils.

Nicotine juices are a completely different industry.There would be no reason for Nicotine juice producers to use Vitamin E acetate.

I understand why you would be misinformed though, because the articles on the subject have been very reactionary and exaggerated in order to stir up media frenzy and drive views and clicks.

>I understand why you would be misinformed though, because the articles on the subject have been very reactionary and exaggerated in order to stir up media frenzy and drive views and clicks.

It would have been great if we could have had this conversation without going there. One could easily say the same about some of your claims regarding the Vitamin E only being found in black market samples, and only in the midwest. Also, what is defined as a "legitimate" producer? Do you think every company out there that has a product in a supermarket follows every single law and regulation on the books?

Weren't those only regarding THC cartridges?

"Only" THC cartridges? There are more smokers of marijuana than those of nicotine in some demographics.

You shouldn't conflate nicotine vapes and THC vapes, they're completely different.

Adults hate candy, ice cream, fruit, etc. Those are for children. I only vape liver and spinach flavored juice because I'm an adult and I hate sweet things.

So when is Bloomberg going to divest from fossil fuels? Need to consider the harm that does to our future's children.

Don’t forget onions. As an adult I also don’t like things that are enjoyable.

He’s a moral crusader

When can people finally stop to interfere in other peoples lives? If Bloomberg doesn’t want to vape flavors: fine, but give me the liberty to do so... Seriously, if I look back at my youth, I wonder how we all survived -.-

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

>if I look back at my youth, I wonder how we all survived

Many people didn't, which is why so many regulations exist now.

If you simply ban anything that’s even remotely risky, then yes, it will save some lives. Is it worth it? Do you want to live in a world where we are all walking around inside padded plastic bubbles?

Some time between my childhood and today, society collectively lost its mind and decided that the only acceptable way to manage risk is to relentlessly drive it towards zero through the force of law. We are going to end up with a boring, sterile and ultra-safe world.

The slope is never as slippery as people imagine it to be. Why does every safety regulation always have to end in "kids in plastic bubbles" in the minds of alarmists? And why was the best time to grow up always exactly the time when the "back in my day" people were growing up? No matter when I grew up everything was always perfect when I was a kid, right?

It should go without saying that children dying from preventable causes is not a very good thing to have happen.

What? There hasn't been significant child mortality in developed countries since the second world war (when there was a spike due to the depression and war). In the 19th century, child mortality wasn't because of lack of regulation, it's because modern medical science was in its infancy.


Your own source contradicts what you're saying... looking at US child mortality rates on your own link shows 4% child mortality rate in 1949 down to 0.7% by 2016. That's a pretty damn significant reduction.

But beyond child mortality, here's another example that regulation does impact: traffic deaths [1]. Government regulations surrounding car safety, seatbelt use, airbags, etc have had a massive impact. Looking at the data from 1970 (a time when older HNers would say "when I was young") to today, there were 4.74 deaths per 100 million miles traveled, compared to 1.16 today. And even as the US has added 120 million new Americans to the population since then and vehicle miles traveled has basically tripled, not only have we reduced deaths per mile traveled, we've reduced deaths period, without worrying about normalizing the data to population or VMT.

I hear quite a bit "when I was young we didn't have seatbelts or airbags and we rode on the back dashboard and didn't have child seats and we survived just fine" except a lot of people didn't. A lot of people died, and that's why regulations were created and that's why fewer people are dying now.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_vehicle_fatality_rate_in...

Bloomberg just loves to use his money to try to enforce his beliefs on other people.

It's a pattern with him and others like him. Bloomberg has been spending obscene amounts of money trying to restrict civil rights such as the right to keep and bear arms for a long, long time.

Somehow I bet he still has armed guards, though.


The mere fact that Bloomberg is wealthy proves that he knows best and we should bend to his will. After all, someday when you sell your startup to SoftBank, don’t you want to use your money to improve society and get your way?

This is satire, right?

There isn't even a coherent belief here. This is a $160M emotional reaction.

I am waiting for Cambridge Analytica 2.0 that purely targets and triggers billionaires.

"Let's Take Away Everything Fun!" - Michael Bloomberg 2020

People who smoke cigarettes and otherwise have an unhealthy lifestyle overburden the health system and take away government spending that can be spent elsewhere. Why should I pay more because you drinks coke, diabetic and smoke yourself towards lung cancer?

> People who smoke cigarettes and otherwise have an unhealthy lifestyle overburden the health system and take away government spending that can be spent elsewhere. Why should I pay more because you drinks coke, diabetic and smoke yourself towards lung cancer?

Do you have a source? I know it sounds intuitively correct, but I remember reading the opposite. Basically it goes like this: end of life/senior care is a very large percentage of medical spending. Unhealthy people don't live as long and die faster once their health deteriorates. So they actually cost less to the healthcare system than healthy people.

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5316444/

Smokers pay a fair bit in tax as well.

Depends on what jurisdiction you're talking about and what you consider a fair bit. Many countries aren't in compliance with the FCTC rules on 70% specific tax for tobacco

I don't have a good source for you on the counterargument you posited but I've been researching tobacco taxation for the last 3 months and I can tell you almost all literature I've read that's referenced that says that the burden of disease from smoking is more expensive.

Anecdotal counter evidence: All of my grand parents and their siblings smoked and drank alcohol and not one of them died of young age or a smoking releated disease.

But I get your point. I pay a heavy tax on cigs though. I just hope the government puts that into a fund for cigarette relate health care issues instead of financing some wars in the middle east. Ah no, they don’t. They just exploit the addiction.

I believe a bulk of that tax on the federal level goes to funding health insurance for children: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cigarette_taxes_in_the_United_...

State level taxes of course depend on the state.

> Why should I pay more because you drinks coke, diabetic and smoke yourself towards lung cancer?

Why should I pay taxes for schools and roads and services I don't use?

We all pay taxes for schools so there will be engineers to build the airplanes, cars, dishwashers, etc., that we do use. Likewise, we pay for roads so that trucks carrying our dinners can get to the store.

Guess I should've added a </rhetorical>

I have heard statement very close to that made by people who were entirely serious. Glad to hear you were not.

Because you would need to change the rate for those who don't exercise, drive or ride in cars, drink coffee, play impact sports, eat junk food, have unprotected sex, is in the army, plays video games,, lives on the coast, works in a mine, etc

I 100% agree with you as long as we ban all advertising in TV news and online news.

A million forces tell you what to do, very very few of them are telling you to do good things.

Yeah exactly - stop blowing flavoured vapour in my face!

Like it or not your decisions have an impact on other people’s lives and vice versa. Public health is important, we know the general public will not look out for their best interests on aggregate (see smoking or the opioid epidemic). As individuals we’re not equipped to defend against profit seeking products that are bad for our health, hence we need action from our elected representatives.

> As individuals we’re not equipped to defend against profit seeking products that are bad for our health, hence we need action from our elected representatives.

Just say no?

Man, where is this attitude when opiates are in the news!

We could ask ol' Nancy, unfortunately I hear Sid killed her.

And how did the DARE program work out?

And how did banning marijuana work out?

> And how did the DARE program work out?

As I recall, the research found it was highly effective at improving subjects (vs. non-subjects) images of law enforcement, but had no discernable effect on subjects (compared to non-subjects) when looking at drug use, drug abuse, or drug-related crime.

You don’t have as much free will as you think you do on these matters.

> You don’t have as much free will as you think you do on these matters.

So your answer is having Nanny Government ban it?

Can't worry about free will if you don't have it, I suppose.

Let's see how well banning red meat and cars would go over.

Vapes are an easy target right now. Heart disease and auto accidents are some of the greatest threats to the average American, but you'll never hear a politician going after those.

Cars are an integral part of our culture and economy and are regulated in every conceivable way.

E-cigs are a relatively new vice. Hardly comparable.

Not to mention the things we take for granted in cars today that are there due to regulations - bumpers, seatbelts, airbags, minimum safety standards, etc.

Right because regulations created all these things, not manufacturers like Mercedes and Volvo trying to offer better cars to their customers.

Those are requirements, not bans.

Cars and red meat aren’t really comparable as they have a long history in society. But Cars are probably the most regulated thing you interact with day to day. You need a license, insurance and have to follow precise rules to operate them safely. Red meat also has restrictions from government bodies.

In the free market those rules wouldn’t exist and people would be upset about taking their rights away when you regulate them.

Nicotine doesn't have a long history here? Cigarettes, cigars, pipes, dip, snuff, chew, hookah, all different methods, some with histories hundreds of years old. Vaping is just the modern equivalent.

I can sort of get it, we could've been the first generation of majority non-smokers, but instead companies got kids to start vaping clouds of bubblegum, and of course kids didnt have a chance of avoiding that crap and now we have an entire subculture of vaping.

There'll be a lot of pushback, but I really do think this is the right direction.

Where is the parent's responsibility in this? As a childless adult, why do I lose out because they want a nanny state? I love my candy flavored vape juice and I, as an adult, accept whatever issues come with it. The same with alcohol, smoking cigarettes, etc.

So, from my perspective, everyone except a few high level corporate people would be better off if we never got people addicted to smoking tobacco.

Obviously we can't change the past, but we came very very close to doing the next best thing: make it culturally unacceptable to smoke.

We lose out on all that all over again, except replace tobacco with candy vape juice. I guess again the genie's out of the bottle and it's too late for another few generations, but it's such a shame to me.

Addressing the point of parent's responsibility: there's no chance parenting beat an subculture of cool, let's not pretend that's possible.

>So, from my perspective, everyone except a few high level corporate people would be better off if we never got people addicted to smoking tobacco.

The tobacco trade was hugely influential to the development of the early US colonies. If there was no demand for tobacco, the early colonist would've most likely starved as the soil was not particularly suited for food crops, but they could at least trade tobacco for food.

Teens aren't exactly keen on following their parents' advice and recommendations. They're under the influence of their social circle and whatever is perceived as 'cool'.

And like you said there's plenty of adults that are incapable of resting something which literally kills then, makes them impotent, makes them sick, etc... They even proudly proclaim that it's their right to smoke, what a sad spectacle.

You know, kids seem to like alcoholic drinks with sweet flavors as well. Should we get rid of those? How about food that tastes great but is bad for you? Obesity is a massive problem in this country.

My grocery store keeps single bottles of Seagrams Escapes (the brightly colored, fruity flavored wine coolers) in a big bin right by the register like its just another soda. I've never had one but I'm sure kids would think they taste great and don't taste even a little like alcohol.

RIP Four Loko

I miss it too. Pretty ridiculous that they banned 4loko but I can still pound rum/cokes or vodka/redbulls at the bar all day long.

Incidentally, one of the deaths that precipitated the ban wasn't even a case of alcohol poisoning; it was suicide. The guy shot himself in his head and the family blamed the beverage. He was 20 years old; below the legal limit.. but not a child. As far as I know most of the fatalities were college students, not children.

Oh, Four Loko... Honestly, a similar-tasting drink could probably be made by mixing Arizona, Red Bull, and Vodka/Gin together.

The ban still seems silly and reactionary. I think part of the reason various states' AGs got up in arms about Four Loko was the brand image of it being a "low-class, college drink". If there was an upscale-looking Irish Coffee alcoholic drink in a glass bottle like a Starbucks coffee hit the shelves in stores, would that also get banned if college students happen to like coffee and alcohol?

According to HL Mencken

“Puritanism is the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”

It seems that Puritanism is still alive and well in America.

It's difficult to get rid of something when your country was partially founded by it.

That's hilarious.

"But what about the children?" never ends well. I'm a damn adult and I vape because the alternative is worse. I'm certainly not going to vape unflavored e-liquids, so people like me will be forced to buy the flavors separately. Vaping has seriously been a life saver for me. I and my surroundings no longer stink, my lung function is back to normal, and my oral health has improved. When will society learn that prohibition is never the solution? The solution to this is, like all societal problems, is to improve access to education, wealth and social circles. People that are educated, don't worry about bills, and have large social circles generally don't abuse drugs.

This is the same guy that thinks an adult cannot make their own decision on the size of soda to drink: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2013/03/11/th...

There was a really solid thread on Vaping generally that also had some relevant insights the other day here https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20915520

There is a strong argument for vaping as a harm reduction tool, I wonder if that holds up (or is made stronger) if there are no flavors

Surely it's the nicotine that people are addicted to, not the flavor. That's just my assumption though, I've never gotten myself addicted to any of that shit; one taste of a cigarette was all I needed to know.

part of why people have such success switching to vapes is that most people actually find vaping to be a more enjoyable experience than smoking (after a transition period). your clothes don't stink, you can breathe noticeably better, etc. imo, the pleasant flavors are a major part of this. I've bummed a couple cigarettes since I switched to vaping and I can't even finish one anymore; they taste gross now.

The other, much bigger part, is addiction. Otherwise, why aren't nicotine-free vape mixes front and center? Manufacturers are pushing higher and higher amounts of nicotine to keep people hooked after the fonzie factor wears off.

> Manufacturers are pushing higher and higher amounts of nicotine to keep people hooked after the fonzie factor wears off.

true, but misleading. the devices designed for very high nicotine concentrations are also producing much less vapor. very few people are using nic salts in their 200W mods.

Online retailers have been moving towards lower percentages for years. I started with a massive 30% (around 4 years ago) when I switched and I'm down to 1.5% because I believe there are some good benefits, similar to caffeine.

That's great to hear, honestly. Brands like Juul have (had?) very high concentrations.

I believe the % concentrations are apples and oranges when comparing a PG/VG based juice to nicotine salts. I thought the same when I saw how high the nic was, but I believe the actual % of nicotine absorbed is about the same for lower % PG/VG and seemingly high % nic salts


not arguing with your main point. at the end of the day, people are certainly not addicted to cotton candy vape flavor. as you say, they are addicted to the nicotine. it would be great if everyone could just quit nicotine all at the same time, but that's not a realistic solution. so for the people who can't quit, what is the best harm reduction strategy that they will actually tolerate? it's certainly not patches, and I doubt it will be flavorless vapes.

But you said you hate the flavor of cigarettes now, which is not the same as hating flavorless vapes. I would expect you and most others to prefer flavorless vapes to cigarettes, and therefore, to continue vaping after a flavor ban, instead of switching to cigarettes. Am I off the mark there?

I think you're right, however, I still have concerns about the long term unknown effects. Maybe not for vapes specifically, but lets take IQOS which is Philip Morris' heat to burn product which many people says tastes better, doesn't stink, etc. If people switch over to that and it has 9/10ths of the negative effects of smoking but also attracts new people to the market it could easily be a net loss for society.

I'm not a huge fan of banning things in general, I think it'd be more interesting to either tax vapes heavily so people really have to take the cost of externalities into account when they're being used or make them available by prescription.

this is the kind of thing that's hard to understand if you haven't experienced it yourself.

vaping delivers nicotine differently than smoking. iirc, the acidity of tobacco smoke allows the nicotine to be absorbed much more quickly. cigarettes also contain other (more dangerous) psychoactive compounds not found in vape liquid. from the chemical delivery perspective, the cigarette is preferable to the vape. the vape is fighting an uphill battle against the cigarette; it's winning now because it has fewer (noticeable/known) health effects and tastes better. if you start removing the flavor advantage, people switch back to cigarettes on the margin.

Sounds like a great way to start an unregulated flavored vape black market

I would like to see more laws making the use by kids illegal. Around here at least you don’t see kids walking around with bottles of alcohol because the police would stop and dump it out. Then question where they got it. I think the same should be done with vaping, aggressive targeting of kids caught vaping with punishments reaching to their parents possibly. If I let my kid go to school drunk repeatedly(or ever really) I would expect to have child services here. Why should we allow vaping any differently? Now I hear about 12 year olds vaping. That has to end.

Has anyone proposed making e-cigarette devices prescription only? Seems like if the manufacturers are really saying "we only want addicted smokers to use our device" that requiring a prescription from a doctor to oversee you through some addiction recovery program would make sense as far as regulating its use goes.

Manufacturers were marketing their devices as smoking-cessation devices until they realized there was a huge recreational market potentional.

These devices should have required doctor consultation but instead we have manufacturers selling bubblegum and candy flavored vape cartridges to totally legal adults of age (wink-wink nudge-nudge).

Not sure why you're being downvoted, if as many vape co's say that they're tools for cessation then they should be okay with this too, but of course it's a much bigger market if it's available to everyone

Perhaps if your doctor is Dr. House.

Bloomberg likes the spotlight. Is this a way to keep the light on for the white house bid?

He's announced he's not running though.

I think polling national was lower than expected. Now we see him attach his name to the latest issue. Maybe he is hoping for a vp invite.

Oh great, so instead of buying flavors from stores people will buy them on the street and make them at home using dubious online tutorials.

I don't know why you've been downvoted. This is the standard outcome from prohibition - the same argument applies to the war on drugs, and people trying to ban abortions. It's better to have a legalized and regulated marketplace than an illegal one

People have been making their own vape liquids at home for at least the last five years, probably closer to the last decade.

It isn't difficult, a guide to making vape liquid is basically a lesson in measuring liquid volume and a handful of links to flavoring merchants. I don't see how that could be dubious...

making your own vape liquid necessitates handling nicotine in dangerously high concentrations (ie, a lethal dose just from spilling it on your arm). I think it's fine for informed enthusiasts to do this at their own risk, but it would be extremely irresponsible to push the median vaper towards blending their own.

The vast majority of people will be fine. It's the most idiotic one percent of people this endangers but even fools still deserve to be able to safely buy their e-liquid.

Yes, because that's what happens in high schools all over the country - the scourge of bathtub gin is real

What's this have to do with high schools? Booze and vaporizers are both illegal for minors and minors get their hands on both anyway. The proposed law is an outright ban on flavored liquids even for adults.

Sure, but I still don't think that banning candy flavors is going to result in a mass of people brewing their own, a la prohibition. People didn't make their own flavored cigarettes, when those were banned.

The most popular flavored cigarette, menthol, wasn't banned. Cigarettes in flavors other than menthol never had the type of popularity vapes do now. Making e-juice is already a hobby/cottage industry and banning it won't make it go away.

Bloomberg can ban ecig juice if we can ban him from eating fried chicken and Cheez—its:

“The New York Times reports that even as the mayor implements one city-wide dietary restriction after another, he continues to indulge. He loves burnt bacon and peanut butter sandwiches, hot dogs, fried chicken, and Cheez-its. He puts so much salt on his bagels “that it’s like a pretzel,” and so much salt on popcorn “that it burns others’ lips.”

Why am I not surprised?

I'm pretty sure Bloomberg won't end up in the hospital unable to pay for his own heart surgery that the taxpayers will then have to cover. The average smoker who gets cancer? Not so sure, and I don't really want to pay for them

Finally joining the ranks of Gates + Musk in using his fat stacks to better society

I'd like to ban being such a goddamn busybody. I don't have $160 mils to throw around though, should I start a GoFundMe?

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