• October 27, 2020

New Vaping Index Grades States Based on Regulations

California is the “worst state for vaping.” A new index ranks New York, California, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island as the top states having the least consumer-friendly regulatory approach to vaping. The states of Virginia, Colorado, Texas and Maryland each received “A” scores.

The findings come from a report by the Consumer Choice Center, which ranks each state “based on its consumer-friendly regulatory approach to vaping products.”

David Clement and Yaël Ossowski, North American Affairs manager and deputy director of the Consumer Choice Center, the study’s authors, wrote in a press release that recent legislative actions on flavored vaping products including restrictions, taxation, and online sales prohibitions were key to each state’s score (graded A, C, or F).

“The worst states … are far behind all the other states because of flavor bans, exorbitant taxation on vaping products, and restrictions on online sales,” said Clement, North American Affairs Manager at the Consumer Choice Center. “Our research indicates these states go above and beyond to deter adult smokers from switching to vaping, which could vastly improve and prolong their lives.”

Credit: Consumer Choice Center

“What lawmakers should note is that a number of states are providing a positive framework of regulation for vaping that boosts consumer choice while contributing to public health by encouraging smoking cessation,” said Ossowski. “Excessive flavor bans, taxes, and prohibitions on online commerce grow the black market sector and harm consumers who want less harmful alternatives to smoking. If states want to innovate in 2020 and provide adult smokers with an alternative that is less harmful, they should look to reform their state laws to better accommodate this new technology that is helping millions.”

The report states that 25 states allow flavored vaping products with no additional taxes and no shipping restrictions. Twenty states have previous flavor bans, some taxes and a few shipping restrictions. There are five states that have partial flavor bans, high taxes and shipping restrictions.

The center stated that the focus is on state regulation of vaping, “as it plays a big part in their availability to adult consumers who want to switch away from combustible tobacco.”

The weighted scoring system analyzes additional flavor restrictions, taxes and the ability to sell vaping products online. Regulations are assessed on stringency in addition to Food and Drug Administration regulations.

States that received between 0 and 10 points received an “F” grade, between 11 and 20 points is “C” and states with points between 21 and 30 received an “A” grade.