The CVA is referring to a recent report released by tobacco company Altria. “Over the last several months, we’ve observed an increase in the number of age 50 and older smokers in the cigarette category,” said Altria CEO Billy Gifford. “We believe these smokers had previously switched to e-vapor products, but recently returned to cigarettes due to negative publicity and regulatory and legislative developments in the e-vapor category.”
Banning e-cigarettes whilst allowing the sales of their combustible counterparts is nonsensical.
In line with arguments by harm reduction experts, the CVA’s executive director, Darryl Tempest, said that banning e-cigarettes whilst allowing the sales of their combustible counterparts is nonsensical. “The data is clear, vapour products are twice as effective as the next leading tobacco cessation product and have been proven time and again through verified studies to be at least 95% less harmful than traditional cigarettes,” he said.
“Allowing the sale of cigarettes, which are known to be the leading cause of death in North America, while banning the sale the most successful harm reduction products is both immoral and hypocritical.”
Sf’s e-cig flavour ban led to increased smoking rates
Backing up these arguments, another recent study looking into the effect of San Francisco’s infamous flavour ban on local tobacco consumption rates, found that as predicted, the ban just led to an increase in smoking rates.
Titled, “The Impact of a Comprehensive Tobacco Flavour Ban in San Francisco Among Young Adults,” the study analysed a sample of 247 San Francisco residents were surveyed about their e-cigarette and tobacco use, before and after the flavour ban. Sadly, the compiled data found that while the ban did lead to a decline in e-cigarettes and cigars sales, it sadly also caused a spike in smoking rates.
“These findings suggest that comprehensive local flavor bans, by themselves, cannot sharply reduce the availability or use of flavored tobacco products among residents. Nevertheless, local bans can still significantly reduce overall e-cigarette use and cigar smoking but may increase cigarette smoking,” concluded the researchers.
Harsh taxes on safer alternatives are counterproductive to public health
Along with flavour bans, the CVA has recently pointed out that even excessive taxes on safer alternatives are driving vapers back to smoking. To add insult to injury, despite the data indicating that e-cigarettes are significantly safer than their combustible counterparts, in some cases their tax rates are higher than those of the latter.
“Taxing the products that cause illness at a lower rate than the solution is completely counter intuitive and counterproductive. It is nonsensical that vapour products are being taxed at a higher rate than cigarettes after being proven 95% less harmful by the Royal College of Physicians, a result that has been replicated through annual studies in each of the past six years,” points out the CVA.
“There is a plethora of research available which shows conclusively that taxation on vaping products serves only to increase use of tobacco products, North America’s leading cause of death,” added the CVA, referring to such a study from Minnesota.
Data from Minnesota
The Minnesota study found that increased taxes on vaping products not only led to increased tobacco use, but also to a decrease in smoking cessation rates. “‘The impact of E-cig taxes on smoking rates: Evidence from Minnesota,’ found that taxing vaping products lead to an 8.1% increase in tobacco use and a smoking cessation decrease of 1.4%. It also concluded that if vapour products had not been taxed, an additional 32,400 adults would have quit smoking.”