The fight to keep flavors continues. On Friday, March 1st a meeting was held at the Norwalk Public Library to discuss the future of flavored E-liquid in Los Angeles County. As most are aware, there is a heated debate going on within the electronic Cigarette industry on whether or not sweet flavors are the reason for the rise in teenage use of e-cigarette products. The main accuser, the FDA. Since late 2018, the FDA has been applying the pressure on the Vape Industry as a whole to eliminate teen use or face the consequences. That consequence is the elimination of flavors. This does not just affect the Vaping industry, but it is also a bleak future that love flavors as well.
Many e-cig users will tell you that flavors were an integral part in the journey to quit cigarettes, and there was no shortage of those individuals who were ready to voice their opinion at the Flavor meeting in Norwalk. We spoke to one of those individuals, Lionel, after the meeting to learn more about his journey to being smoke-free. When asked if they flavors helped him quit “Hell yeah, my flavor was Captain crunch cereal… it was something I really enjoyed, other than a cigarette if I had to choose anything it was that” Even though we only were able to speak to one person from the flavor meeting, his story echo’s a great number of others that chose to vape as the alternative to combustible tobacco cigarettes.
One consequence that many people, including the FDA, do not consider is the livelihood of the individuals within the Vape industry. The Vape industry nationwide employees thousands of employees, who will be directly affected if a flavor ban passes. “Literally overnight, I could lose my jobs, you know I work at a vape shop… I can’t sell, I’m out of a job. That’s my livelihood right there, and they’re trying to take it away.” Lionel explains. There is no question that there will be a domino effect felt in homes nationwide. If manufacturers are forced to stop producing flavors, then sales will go down exponentially, then means that layoffs will happen. Vape shops will have a sharp decline in products to sell, and layoffs will happen at the shop level as well. Soon, shops will close. Entire businesses will disappear overnight, and thousands will be out of work looking for jobs. There is so much to consider before deciding on a complete flavor ban.
But what is the real issue? Are flavors the true issue? Or is it the way that the product has been marketed in the past? Many within the industry will point to marketing to the reason why the product has an appeal. Risqué Photoshoots and videos could be pointed out as being responsible for glamorizing the lifestyle of those who vape. Many criticize this marketing strategy as straying off message from the intended use of electronic cigarettes, to help smokers quit. Distasteful marketing aside, vape is proving time and again that it is an effective tool helping those who are seeking an alternative to cigarettes, quit.
This is just one of many meetings that are going on nationwide fighting the proposed flavor ban that the FDA is insisting on. It falls on those who vape to show the public and the FDA why flavors matter to those who are on their quest to being smoke-free. Comment your thoughts on this Flavor Ban!