In early January, President Donald Trump’s administration announced a ban on nearly all flavored vaping products.
The only types allowed will be menthol and regular tobacco. Flavored fluid sold in adult-only vape shops is exempt.
Some state lawmakers in Illinois want to go further. There are five different proposals floating in Springfield to restrict vaping products. That has some vaping advocates pushing back.
Alex Clark, with the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association, says state lawmakers are going too far.
“It’s probably a really good example of state legislators going way beyond what the current FDA regulations are,” he said. "The state laws also go beyond the intent of the Tobacco Control Act."
Clark said those bills vary from a ban on flavors to bans on vaping in public spaces and financial restrictions.
He said the flavored vaping product market developed based on demand from adults. As early as 2008 or 2009, adults started adding flavors to their e-cigarettes to improve the experience. It was only later that manufacturers started producing single-use flavored pods, which are now banned from the market.
He said some people misunderstand vaping products.
“I think it’s important to push back on the narrative here. Flavors are the product,” he said. “Tobacco activists certainly have, rather successfully, made the argument that flavors are solely intended to entice young people to use these products. This is absolutely incorrect.”
He said that adults who have access to flavors they enjoy are more likely to quit using tobacco altogether. He also pointed out that many people also believe regular vaping products cause lung injuries, when in fact the FDA discovered that nearly all of the vaping-related lung illnesses and death were caused by an additive used in black market THC cartridges, not nicotine-based products.