Pittsfield in Massachusetts is half the size of Dover and less than a third the size of Blackburn. All told, as cities go, it’s small. But it’s a city none the less, and one that is ranked as 20th in the “Most Secure Place To Live” in the United States. It’s the 24th “Greenest City”, in the top 10 among places for single people to retire to and the 61st best place to start a small business.
Well, unless that small business happens to be a vape shop. The politicians in the town feel (and “feel” is probably the best word to use as there’s no facts) that flavours in eliquids are only there to rope in teenage users. "It's about protecting the next generation," said James Wilusz, the director of Public Health. Is it, James? Is it really?
The city of accolades has a smoking problem, its rates have remained persistently higher than the state average as measured per head of population – and what better way can there be to reduce the number of smokers than by making a healthier alternative less appealing? Well, there are probably a whole host of better-informed measures they could be looking at but look at all the time they’ve saved by latching onto this proposition.
What idiots. Why didn’t they look at the sterling work being done in Oregon? Ah, Oregon, the state described as containing dense evergreen, mixed, and deciduous forests. This may be the case but they were bang on with the use of the term “dense”.
Vapers in the northwest state face a wallet-crippling 50% tax on all electronic cigarette products. Bill 4062 proposes that the best way to encourage almost half a million resident smokers to opt out of buying cigarettes is to make the healthier vaping alternative eye-wateringly expensive.
Unsurprisingly, vapers and vape business are strongly opposed to this lunacy but legislators are doing it with the best of intentions...they are doing it to help protect the children. It’s because teenagers have less money and are therefore more sensitive to prices, apparently. It’s to save them from the non-existent gateway effect, apparently. It’s absolutely, totally nothing to do with the fact that they are unable to find anywhere else to raise taxes in order to provide the state with a financial safety blanket. No, it’s almost definitely not to do with greedy politicians prioritising wealth over health.
It makes you wonder how some of these people sleep at night.