We all want to stay abreast of what is going on in the e cigarette community, and as a result we all share information and insight on vapor bans in our communities. Truthfully speaking, there are even more bans and rules to come. What we haven’t yet discussed is if these bans will even work. Sure, governments can limit where and when we can buy and use our vapor devices, but do these new laws really change anything? Those who oppose vapor say they do so for community health reasons. They put together huge lists of rules, for the “common good,” and then they go on about their business. Are these changes actually making an effect?
In terms of age limitations we are seeing some positive change. Forty-one states currently have applied age limits to the purchase and use of vapor devices. As most vendors were already enforcing age restrictions; this really did not “change” very much. It is however an example of regulations working in the right direction. As the popularity of vapor increases we will almost certainly see more articles about increases in teens who have tried vapor, but that will simply be a natural by-product of growth. The most cited study concerning teens and vaping still uses data that compares vaping rates among teens in 2013 to rates from 2011, when most teens hadn’t even heard of e cigarettes. As for the future, the numbers will still likely lag far behind the number of teens who smoke. As vapor is an adult indulgence, vapor bans that limit availability to children are a good thing, and they are working.
But what about the adults? The actual e cigarette users. A group that grows in number by the day. Are limitations on when and where we can vape actually swaying users away from vapor? Recent numbers from the U.K. show that tobacco use is down, and while they do not record figures for vapor yet, they state that vapers in the U.K. are “almost entirely current or ex-smokers.” So adults in the United Kingdom, where vapor bans have been in place for some time now, are smoking less while vaping more. All in spite of bans and limitations. Here in the U.S. we are just starting to get feedback as to how these bans are affecting vaping. A vape shop proprietor in Tempe, Arizona is reporting that not only are sales up, he is about to open a second location. Tempe put limitations on indoor use of vapor in August, yet the vapor community did not miss a step. New York City banned indoor use and limited distribution points this past summer. They are considering banning flavors as of this writing. Yet no one from their City Council or public health groups is celebrating a decline in vaping. Why not? It’s simple, adults still want to vape, and they are doing so regardless of how they are required to obtain their vapor products, or where they are allowed to use them. The movement is here, it is real and it is not in going anywhere.
With bans being written into law left and right we are not seeing much actual change. It makes any logical person wonder why the bans are not being better thought out. Or why they are being introduced at all. Extra taxes are being applied at local levels, vapers are being sent outside with smokers, and more, yet the community still embraces vaping. More smokers join our ranks in spite of extra limitations. This fact is a testament to the power of our community, and to the benefits of electronic cigarettes themselves. Vapers will continue to vape, even if there are more rules. We would love to hear your feedback on how vapor bans have had an effect, or lack thereof, in your community. The more we communicate, the stronger the vapor community becomes.