The Week in Vaping: Issue 11

Hello and welcome to the latest issue of The Week in Vaping. In this issue we’ll be discussing a new study courtesy of Cornell University, who have been investigating the effects of raising the legal vaping age over in the US. We’ve also got updates on Welsh Labour’s proposed vaping ban, where there has been yet another shock twist in the tale. Read on to find out more.

Welsh Labour’s proposed e-cigarette ban fails at the final hurdle.

No, you haven’t misread that, Mark Drakeford’s proposed ban on vaping in public places in Wales has FAILED. Last week it looked all set to go ahead, with Plaid Cymru giving their AMs a free vote on the issue, Labour needing one extra vote to pass the bill, and one Plaid Cymru AM announcing his intentions to vote for it.

This meant that despite opposition from the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Conservatives the bill was certain to go through. So where did it all go wrong?

The short answer is: Labour got cocky. At the last-minute Plaid Cymru changed their stance on the issue and announced they would be voting against the bill, suggesting they would only vote for it if all sections on e-cigarettes were removed. This change of heart came after Public Services Minister Leighton Andrews described a previous deal with the party as a “cheap date”.

It was only following these comments that Plaid made the decision to vote against the bill, with one AM stating that Labour needed a “lesson” and a spokeswoman for the party saying Mr Andrews’ comments “chose to belittle cooperation and put his own governments legislation in jeopardy.

Mark Drakeford, the driving force behind the bill bemoaned the “waste of five years of careful preparation” that went into the bill and claimed there would be “widespread anger” regarding its failure.

Considering the opposition to the bill in the first place, it remains to be seen just how widespread this “anger” is. For now, our vaping friends in Wales can breathe a sigh of relief.

Cornell University study shows raising vaping age increases teen smoking

I’m sure you’ve noticed recently that the legal vaping age has become quite the discussion point across the pond in America, as lawmakers argue that raising the vaping age will reduce teen smoking as the vaping gateway is no longer as big a concern.

Cornell University, one of America’s leading institutions, has gone ahead and researched this theory, studying the rate of teen smoking in states which increased vaping age restrictions between 2007 and 2013.

Their research showed that following the increase in vaping age restrictions in these states the rates of teen smoking increased by 11.7% on average. That’s a huge number of teens back into the deadly arms of smoking and doing the exact opposite of what legislators and anti-smoking groups campaigning for this hope to achieve.

This isn’t just a one-off either, this study backs up previous research released last year which showed similar results: higher vaping age=more teens smoking.

Despite this, legislators across the country are still pushing to raise the legal vaping age to 21 to keep it in line with smoking.

In response to this, the lead author of the study Dr Michael F. Pesko stated:

“We should regulate tobacco products according to their risks, and e-cigarette evidence suggests they’re less risky products. While there’s some risk, it would be a mistake to regulate them the same way we regulate cigarettes.”

I get the feeling he won’t be listened to unfortunately…

Other News

  • Scotland’s flagging high street has been given a boost by the rise in vape shops, with a report by PwC showing a 75% increase in the stores in 2015.
  • The vaping drama continues in Malaysia as officials begin raiding vape stores.
  • West Virginia is looking to place a tax of 7.5 cents per ml on e-liquid as they look to provide a boost to their struggling finances.
  • Vape stores are battling proposed regulations in San Diego which would treat electronic cigarettes exactly the same as cigarettes.

That's all for this week's issue of The Week in Vaping. Have any thoughts on what we've discussed today? Let us know in the comments.