Vaping Ban Update: What You Need to Know Now
As a “reefer madness” style panic over vaping grips the country, the VV team has created this page to provide updates on the Vape Ban of 2019. On this page we will keep news about the ban current so you can keep on top of the law.
Vape Ban: Week of October 14 – October 20, 2019
As of October 17, there were vaping related fatalities in every US state except Alaska–1,479 total.
On Wednesday, CDC official Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat corrected the idea that the “vaping crisis” is linked to legal, state-run cannabis shops. She instead emphasized the fact that most illnesses appear to be linked to black market products.
Also on Wednesday, Florida’s Attorney General announced an investigation of more than 20 e-cigarette companies. Meanwhile, an Oregon court has temporarily blocked the state’s ban on flavors. Cannabis producers in Ohio are hoping to get ahead of this issue by pledging to list ingredients.
Tuesday some vape shops in Michigan are celebrating as a judge has temporarily blocked the state’s vape ban. The court found that there is evidence that if vaping is banned, people in Michigan will go back to smoking–go figure.
In an unexpected display of logic, regulators in Colorado are expected to ban only certain vape additives this week. Those additives, which can be used as thinning agents and may be harmful, include Vitamin E Acetate, Polyethylene glycol (PG), and Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT oil).
The hearing on the proposed Colorado ban happens Tuesday, October 15. The discussion over MCT oil is likely to be lively, as this is in many CBD and THC products.
Vape Ban: Week of October 7 – October 13, 2019
As of Tuesday, October 8, Montana joins the list of states with bans of flavored vapes. Montana’s ban is reportedly temporary as are some others.
On Tuesday New York City also filed a federal lawsuit against 22 online e-cigarette companies. The city’s argument is that these companies targeted young people with sweet flavors and created a public nuisance.
Also, a Los Angeles city councilman has proposed a vape ban throughout the city.
On the other hand, it still seems likely that the Senate will consider some form of cannabis banking legislation.
Also on Monday, FLOTUS Melania Trump called for an end to marketing of e-cigarette products to youth. (This is already illegal, to be clear.)
The Heartland Institute published research and commentary indicating that a flavor ban does not actually address the recent illnesses, is unlikely to impact youth vaping, and will decimate small vaping businesses.
Meanwhile, on Monday Massachusetts reported its first death linked to vaping. In Minnesota, two medical patients have acquired the illness, but it is not clear whether vaping is the only cause of the problem.
A study by a lab in Colorado claims that what connects all of these illnesses is cheap metals in welds. We are watching to see if this is replicated anywhere else.
Finally, on Monday the State of Washington clarified that its flavor ban extends only to flavors like “mango” or “cream,” but not tobacco or cannabis related flavors like terpenes. Your Pink Panties are safe for now.
Vape Ban: Weekend of October 4 – 6, 2019
Well, let’s hope it’s a quiet one. For now, though:
Oregon’s governor has indeed banned flavored e-cigarettes. This comes despite an acknowledgement that most trouble seems to be caused by black market cannabis products.
Vape Ban: Week of September 30 – October 4, 2019
As of October 1, Ohio has joined the fray, with Governor Mike DeWine calling for a statewide vaping ban on all flavored e-cigarettes. The ban would not cover tobacco flavored products.
Meanwhile, officials in North Carolina are blaming an outbreak in “lipoid pneumonia” on vaping, although other experts have said that the current crisis is both distinct from classical lipoid pneumonia and not linked to regular e-cigarettes.
October 3 was a busy day.
New Mexico took a more measured approach to the possible vaping injury issue on Thursday. In NM, vaping products will now have warning labels on them, at least until the issue is resolved. Florida is considering another more cautious fix: raising the vaping age to 21.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds called the vaping issue “alarming” on October 3. Although there is not yet a vape ban in Iowa…wait for it. Legislation is coming in Georgia in 2020, we also learned on the 3rd.
On Thursday the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) began a formal investigation into the vaping industry’s advertising practices. This includes Juul, but also many other companies. Also that day, UK tobacco company Imperial Brands CEO Alison Cooper stepped down amidst the “backlash.”
The state of Arkansas has also joined several California cases against Juul. The cases are being consolidated in the courts. We can probably expect to see other cases and other states get involved in this over time.
Speaking of the courts, a New York court Thursday blocked the state’s vape ban from going into effect with less than one day to spare. However, state health officials seem confident that the vape ban will move forward after the scheduled hearing on October 18.
Meanwhile, protestors in Massachusetts took to the streets Thursday to protest their state’s ban. This morning, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy added his voice to the panic, calling for a ban on e-cigarette flavors.
Vape Ban: Weekend of September 27-29, 2019
The State of Washington has now joined Michigan, Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts in a flavored vape ban.
Georgia and Florida have seen their first deaths attributed to the “vaping illness.” Alabama also has a new case. This brings the total number of deaths to 12.
A state judge in New York has denied a request to delay the imposition of a statewide vaping ban on flavored e-cigarettes. Although the ban itself is only for 90 days and is supposedly in place for emergency regulations, it may be extended. New York has also added menthol to its ban.
However, black market THC vape products have been found across Nassau County, New York, highlighting the futility of the vape ban. (No surprise, given that at least one black market company that officials have connected to the illness is verified on Instagram. As lawmakers focus on what we the consumers are doing, they seem to be overlooking these kinds of things.)
This week a survey undercut the hype behind the ban: youth safety. Although youth vaping rates are up, youth smoking rates are down. Given that smoking is a proven killer, this seems to imply that teens are safer than before.
Finally, as health officials at the CDC continue to say vaping THC is unsafe, officials elsewhere have a different message. State level officials in places like Pennsylvania reassure consumers that products are safe, as does the scientific and health community outside the US.
Vape Ban: Week ending September 20, 2019
Now, here are the most recent vape ban developments.
On Friday, September 20, four US Senators sent a letter to the US FDA demanding that all cartridge- and pod-based e-cigarettes be banned from the market. The products would stay off the market until companies could prove they were safe.
The bipartisan group includes Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR).
(Meanwhile in the House, a federal safe harbor banking bill for legal cannabis businesses will be put to a vote this week. Apparently vape ban 2019 is not controlling everything yet.)
Also on September 20, Walmart announced that it will stop selling vape products. The retailer will no longer stock the products at Walmart or Sam’s Club after current inventory runs out.
Monday, September 23, officials in Kansas announced a second vaping illness death. We are watching the state for vape ban developments.
Of course, few alarmists are missing a chance to warn the public. The version we saw on Monday was this: a medical expert cautioning that people who vape are more susceptible to the flu because they have “blunted” their immune systems.
As of Tuesday, September 24, Massachusetts enacted the strictest statewide vape ban yet. For the next four months, ALL vape products will be banned in Massachusetts.
Also, a Washington state man is suing six cannabis firms, claiming their products gave him the vaping illness. It was only a matter of time; here come the lawsuits.
On Wednesday, September 25, New York and Connecticut governors met to consider legalization in both states. The meeting and movement was prompted by a recognition that the current outbreak has at least as much to do with regulation as with vaping.
The FDA told Congress that e-cigarettes “are not safe” today as well–although they have been on the market for 10 years. The commissioner also confirmed that their policy on vapes will be coming in the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, Rhode Island joined Michigan and Massachusetts in a statewide vaping ban. The vape ban does not apply to cannabis or unflavored tobacco products and is allegedly aimed to prevent youth vaping.
As the (not so) great vape scare continues, experts watch the CBD scene for impact. Specifically, they are concerned that new attention to what’s in CBD products—which is probably a good thing—may bring a maelstrom of regulations, many of them harmful.