The introduction to the city council of Chicago, US, of a measure aimed at banning flavored nicotine cartridges used with electronic cigarettes has been condemned by experts at the free-market think tank, The Heartland Institute.
The measure has been put forward by Alderman Ed Burke.
‘Selling e-cigarettes to individuals under the age of 18 is already illegal in Illinois, so the ordinance’s aims are already addressed by existing laws.
‘Prohibiting the sale of flavored vaping products won’t save any lives, but it may stop people currently addicted to cigarettes from switching to less-harmful alternatives or even kicking the nicotine habit.
‘If Burke’s goal is to promote public health, restricting access to flavoring in e-cigarettes advances the ball in the wrong direction.
‘If Burke’s goal is to look like he’s doing something to gain accolades from the puritan anti-e-cig crowd without actually doing anything useful, then this is perfect.’
Meanwhile, Lindsey Stroud, state government relations manager at the institute, said the role of flavors in electronic cigarettes and vaping devices was crucial – and a motivating factor that had enabled thousands of smokers to quit combustible cigarettes, according to 72 percent of the respondents to a 2015 Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives study of 19,000 observations.
‘While attempting to “protect the children,” Alderman Burke ignores the role of tobacco harm reduction (THR) products for adults and is attempting to limit the choices available to help alleviate these individuals from cigarette addiction,’ said Stroud.
‘Rather than placing restrictions on products that have been proven to aid individuals who desire to quit smoking, policy makers should promote the unencumbered use of THR products.’