Tastes like addiction: Ban the sale of sweet-flavored e-cigarettes, designed to turn kids into lifetime smokers
Legislation wafting around the City Council would prohibit the sale of fruity, saccharine e-cigarette flavors. It’s got merit.
For adults already hooked on regular old cigarettes, e-cigs may be a healthier nicotine delivery system than inhaling burning tobacco leaves and tar and all the other wonderful things in those packs of 20. But to say that they’re better than cancer sticks is no endorsement.
Scary signs of serious health problems are cropping up in early research. Meantime, we already know nicotine harms developing teenage brains and can damage blood vessels.
The key is to stop kids from getting hooked, a job at which we’re failing right now. A jaw-popping 27.4% of high-school kids in New York are smoking e-cigarettes. Sweet flavors are the electromagnet. So, ban them.
An asterisk: research suggests, to prevent one negative side effect, as long as the attempts to ban the sale of menthol-flavored traditional cigarettes stall, the Council should let smokers get ahold of mentholated vape fluid. It’s better than the analog alternative.
But when menthol cigarettes are properly banned, nix the menthol e-cigs too.