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RESEARCH

Flavor Ban is Wrong Policy to Reduce Hawaiian Youth E-Cigarette Use

March 3, 2020

KEY POINTS:

  • Senate Bill 2228 would ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, as well ban any sale of any tobacco product “other than through retail sales via a direct, in-person exchange.”

  • Senate Bill 2538 would ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including cigars, cigarettes, and vapor products.

  • House Bill 2457 would also ban the sale of flavored tobacco products and require the Department of Education “to establish a safe harbor program” for minors to dispose of e-cigarettes.

  • Senate Bill 2903 would ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products.

  • The most recent data on Hawaiian youth tobacco use is from the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. In 2017, only 3.5 percent of Hawaiian high school students reported using e-cigarettes daily. Further, only 1.2 percent reported smoking combustible cigarettes daily, and only 8.9 percent reported smoking a cigarette on at least one day in the 30 days prior to the survey.

  • In analyses by The Heartland Institute, less than 10 percent of youth are using e-cigarettes daily as indicated in Kentucky, Montana, Oregon, and Vermont.

  • Youth are not using vapor products because of flavors, but rather because of peer pressure and because their friends and/or family members have used these products. In an analysis of five states, only 15.6 percent of high school students cited using e-cigarettes because of flavors.

  • There is no data indicating that menthol cigarettes lead to an increase in youth tobacco use. Analysts at the Reason Foundation examined youth tobacco rates and menthol cigarette sales. The authors of the 2020 report found that states “with more menthol cigarette consumption relative to all cigarettes have lower rates of child smoking.”

  • In 2018, the vapor industry provided over $100 million in economic output in Hawaii, with 451 direct vaping-related jobs that generated over $18 million in wages. Further, Hawaii collected over $9 million in state taxes attributable to vaping.

  • In 2019, Hawaii received an estimated $160.3 million in revenue attributed to tobacco taxes and settlement payments. In the same year, the Aloha state dedicated only $4.5 million on tobacco control programs, including education and prevention. To put it in a greater perspective, in 2018, tobacco companies spent $26.1 million marketing tobacco products in Hawaii.

Colorado Flavor Ban Disregards Tobacco Harm Reduction, Won't Reduce Youth E-Cigarette Use

February 26, 2020

KEY POINTS:

  • The most recent data on Colorado youth e-cigarette use is from the 2017 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey. In 2017, 27 percent of Colorado high school students reported using vapor products on at least one day in the 30 days prior to the survey. There is no data on frequent and/or daily use.

  • In analyses by The Heartland Institute, less than 10 percent of youth are using e-cigarettes daily as indicated in Kentucky, Montana, Oregon, and Vermont.

  • Youth are not using vapor products because of flavors, but rather because of peer pressure and because their friends and/or family members have used these products. The Heartland Institute recently analyzed several statewide youth vaping surveys to understand the role of flavors in youth e-cigarette use. In an analysis of five states, only 15.6 percent of high school students cited using e-cigarettes because of flavors.

  • There is no data indicating that menthol cigarettes lead to an increase in youth tobacco use. Analysts at the Reason Foundation examined youth tobacco rates and menthol cigarette sales. The authors of the 2020 report found that states “with more menthol cigarette consumption relative to all cigarettes have lower rates of child smoking.

  • In 2018, the vaping industry created 2,821 direct vaping-related jobs in the Centennial State, generating $60 million in wages alone. The industry provided more than $412 million in economic activity in 2018, including $25 million in state taxes.

  • In 2019, Colorado received an estimated $286.3 million in tobacco monies generated by taxes and tobacco settlement payments. In the same year, Colorado dedicated $23.6 million, or 8 percent of what was received in tobacco monies, on tobacco control programs, including education and prevention. To put it in greater perspective, in 2018, tobacco companies spent $136 million in marketing tobacco products in Colorado, or five times what the state spent on tobacco control and education programs.

Minnesota Flavor Ban Will Vaporize Harm Reduction, Won't Impact Youth Tobacco and

E-Cigarette Use

February 20, 2020

KEY POINTS:

  • HF 3032 would ban the sale of “any tobacco, tobacco-related device, electronic nicotine delivery device … that imparts a taste or smell, other than the taste or smell of tobacco.

  • Banned flavors include, but are not limited to, “chocolate, cocoa, fruit, honey, menthol, mint, vanilla, wintergreen, or any candy, dessert, alcoholic beverage, herb, or spice.” Under the bill, flavored cigars and cigarettes would be banned as well.

  • The sponsor of the legislation points to a so-called “public health epidemic of injury in addition to addiction,” as the reasoning for the ban, it is imperative that lawmakers understand recent vaping-related lung injuries have been overwhelmingly linked to the use of vapor products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a fact that The Heartland Institute first pointed out in August 2019.

  • As of December 30, 2019, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has reported 141 confirmed or probable cases of vaping-associated lung illnesses, including three deaths.

    • The state’s first death was reported September 6, 2019, with the patient over the age of 65 years-old and had vaped “illicit THC products.

    • MDH reported the additional two deaths on October 16, 2019, noting both patients were over the age of 50 and one had vaped “illegal THC,” and the other was “believed to have vaped unknown products in addition to nicotine.

    • These illegal vaping products are rampant in the Gopher State. In September 2019, Minnesota police seized more than 75,000 illicit THC cartridges, worth an estimated $4 million. The suspect apparently sold the products using Snapchat.

  • According to the 2019 Minnesota Student Survey, in 2019, 83.7 percent of 9th graders and 73.6 percent of 11th graders reported not using a vaping device in the 30 days prior to the survey

  • A ban on menthol cigarettes is unlikely to reduce youth combustible use. Analysts at the Reason Foundation examined youth tobacco rates and menthol cigarette sales. The authors of the 2020 report found that states “with more menthol cigarette consumption relative to all cigarettes have lower rates of child smoking.

  • According to the Vapor Technology Association, in 2018, the industry created 1,152 direct vaping-related jobs in Minnesota, which generated $44 million in wages alone.

    • Moreover, the industry has created hundreds of secondary jobs in the Gopher State, bringing the total economic impact in 2018 to $336,366,200.

    • In the same year, Minnesota received more than $20 million in state taxes attributable to the vaping industry.

  • In 2019, Minnesota received an estimated $703.6 million in tobacco settlement payments and taxes. In the same year, only $17.3 million in state funds, and 2 percent of what was received in tobacco monies, was dedicated to tobacco control. In 2018, in 2018, tobacco companies spent $110 million in marketing tobacco products in Minnesota, or over six times what the state spent on tobacco control programs.

Kentucky Should Not Rely on Vaping Bills

for Funding Woes

February 13, 2020

KEY POINTS:

  • House Bill 69 defines “enhanced vapor products” as vaping devices that contain flavorings and/or have a nicotine content of “four percent” or greater.

    • Enhanced vapor products include reusable and disposable products as well as any type of device including open tank mod-styles and cartridge-based systems.

    • Retailers of enhanced vapor products would be required to maintain annual licenses.

    • Moreover, these products would be sold exclusively in age-restricted stores, and all sales must be in-person, essentially banning all other sales, including online, catalog, and phone sales. 

  • House Bill 32 would apply the tobacco tax to vapor products and increase the excise tax from 15 percent to 27.5 percent of the wholesale price.

    • The legislation also eliminates previous legislation that recognized tobacco harm reduction.

  • According to the 2019 Kentucky High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey, Kentucky does not have an epidemic of youth using e-cigarettes. In 2019, 73.9 percent of Kentucky high school students reported not using a vapor product in the 30 days prior to the survey. Only 8.7 percent reported daily e-cigarette use.

  • The Heartland Institute recently analyzed several statewide youth vaping surveys to understand the role of flavors in youth e-cigarette use. In an analysis of five states, only 15.6 percent of high school students cited using e-cigarettes because of flavors. Overwhelmingly, youth are using vapor products because a friend and/or family member had used them.

  • Rather than taxing tobacco harm reduction products, lawmakers should note their use reduces current costs.

    • ​For example, one analysis estimated Medicaid savings could have amounted to $48 billion in 2012 if e-cigarettes had been adopted in place of combustible cigarettes by all Medicaid recipients who currently consume cigarettes.

    • A 2017 study found Medicaid savings “will be approximately $2.8 billion per 1 percent of enrollees, over the next 25 years if 1 percent of Medicaid recipients switched from combustible cigarettes to e-cigarettes.

  • Kentucky lawmakers should rely on existing tobacco funding for programs that can reduce youth e-cigarette use and help adults quit smoking.

Flavors Are Not Reason Vermont Youth Use

E-Cigarettes

February 10, 2020

KEY POINTS:

  • More than 18,000 Vermont high school students participated in the biannual survey questionnaire known as the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS).

  • According to the results, in 2019, 50 percent of Vermont high school students reported ever using an electronic cigarette or vapor product.

    • 26 percent reported having used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days.

    • Only 8 percent reported using a vapor product every day in the 30 days prior to the survey.

  • 80 percent of Vermont high school students reported using a “JUUL/rechargeable pod” device, while only 8 percent reported using a larger, mod device commonly sold in vape shops

  • 10 percent of current e-cigarette users cited flavors as a primary reason for using e-cigarettes, while 17 percent of Vermont high school students reported using e-cigarettes because their family and/or friends used them

  • 52 percent of Vermont high schoolers under the age of 18 reported using a vapor product that they borrowed and/or was given to them. Only 3 percent of students under age 18 reported buying e-cigarettes online.

  • Flavors are an essential component in tobacco harm reduction.

    •  In 2015, an online survey of more than 27,000 American adult vapers found that 72 percent of respondents “credit[ed] interesting flavors with helping them quit.” 

    • A 2018 survey of nearly 70,000 American adult vapers “found flavors play a vital role in the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping devices.” 83.2 percent and 72.3 percent of survey respondents reported vaping fruit and dessert flavors, respectively, “at least some of the time.”

  • On January 2, 2020, FDA issued final guidance that bans the sales of “flavored, cartridge-based [e-cigarette] products,” beginning February 6, 2020. The ban should help reduce Vermont youth e-cigarette use, as in 2019, 80 percent of current e-cigarette users cited using such products.

  • In 2018, the vaping industry created 159 direct vaping-related jobs, which generated $5.4 million in wages alone, and created a total economic impact in 2018 of more than $34 million, including $7 million in state taxes

  • In 2019, 2019, Vermont received an estimated $99.8 million in tobacco taxes and tobacco settlement payments, yet allocated only $3.8 million, or 3 percent, on funding tobacco control programs.

Oregon Flavor Ban Would Vaporize Tobacco Harm Reduction

February 5, 2020

KEY POINTS:

  • Senate Bills 1559 and 1557 would both ban the sales of vaping products that have “been manufactured to impart a characterizing flavor.

  • Numerous public health organizations, including Public Health England (PHE), Royal College of Physicians, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, American Cancer Society, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—have acknowledged there is a reduced harm associated with e-cigarettes and vaping devices, compared to traditional tobacco products.

  • A 2019 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine noted that e-cigarettes and vaping devices are “twice as effective as nicotine replacement therapy at helping smokers quit.

  • A 2018 survey of nearly 70,000 American adult vapers “found flavors play a vital role in the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping devices.” Further, 83.2 percent and 72.3 percent of survey respondents reported vaping fruit and dessert flavors, respectively, “at least some of the time.”

  • In 2019, only 4.4 percent of Oregon 11th graders reported daily e-cigarette use. Notably, 78.6 percent reported not using a vapor product in the 30 days prior to the survey.

  • The Heartland Institute recently analyzed several statewide youth vaping surveys to understand the role of flavors in youth e-cigarette use. In an analysis of five states, only 15.6 percent of high school students cited using e-cigarettes because of flavors. Overwhelmingly, youth are using vapor products because a friend and/or family member had used them.

  • Lawmakers should also refrain from prohibitionist policies in order to examine the effects of the federal flavor ban. On January 2, 2020, FDA issued final guidance that bans the sales of flavored, cartridge-based [e-cigarette] products,” beginning February 6, 2020. The ban will stay in effect until the manufacturers are issued an approved premarket tobacco product application (PMTA).

  • In 2018, the industry created 963 direct vaping-related jobs in Oregon, which generated $28 million in wages alone.

  • The total economic impact to Oregon was more than $215 million in 2018, including $9 million in state taxes.

  • Oregon dedicates little funding to help smokers quit. In 2019, Oregon received an estimated $338.8 million in tobacco taxes and settlement payments, yet in the same year only dedicated $10 million, or 2 percent, on funding tobacco control programs, including education and prevention.

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©2020 by Tobacco Harm Reduction 101.