Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced her desire to push through a flavour ban at the beginning of the month. It isn’t going to be plain sailing for Whitmer, as we wrote earlier this week [link]. Michigan was swiftly followed by New York [link].
Yesterday, Republican Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced his intention to force a four-month ban on all vaping kit: “The purpose of this public health emergency is to temporarily pause all sales of vaping products so that we can work with our medical experts to identify what is making people sick and how to better regulate these products to protect the health of our residents.”
American Vaping Association’s Gregory Conley called Baker’s announcement “absolutely absurd” and added: “We agree with the FDA — if you don’t want to die or end up in the hospital, stop vaping illicit marijuana oils.”
Later that day, The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to ban all flavoured eliquids in the county. Supervisor Janice Hahn said: “For decades, we were making incredible progress in decreasing tobacco use among young people. But flavoured e-cigarettes have reversed that trend. Now nearly 1 in 10 high schoolers report using e-cigarettes. By taking action now and banning the sale of flavoured products that mask the smell and taste of tobacco, we may be able to save this next generation from the same terrible health effects of nicotine addiction that generations before them suffered from.”
Hot on the heels of India effectively banning vaping, Israel also took action yesterday, banning JUUL Labs from importing or selling their pods because they contained nic content greater than 20mg/ml. JUUL called the ban “misguided” and expressed its disappointment. Given that JUUL have supported America’s push to abolish most eliquid flavours, few will feel sympathy for the company that has just replaced its CEO with an ex-Altria employee.
Many are looking to a recent statement by Hava Health as a possible reason that legislators are so keen to act on vaping. The company is currently applying for FDA approval for its Hale “vaporizer” to be sold as a “smoking cessation product”.
Techcrunch quotes one of the company’s founders, Josh Israel, saying: “We’re not another vape device or another e-cigarette. Our mission is to actually help people quit their addiction to nicotine.” [link]
“Not another vape device”, yet bearing a striking similarity to JUUL’s device and coming in “kid friendly” coloured packaging (if politicians are to be believed and there is such a thing).
How dubious is this product? One of the company’s investors is listed [link] as Village Global Management [link], a venture capital organisation that lists staunch anti-vaping campaigner billionaire Michael Bloomberg as one of those “backing Village with their time, energy, and money”.
Something stinks here - and it isn’t cotton candy scented vape.