Trouble Across The Pond: U.S. E-Cigarette Regulations

We’re several years into the vape revolution now, and studies are confirming what we’ve been saying all along; smokers are having greater success than ever before in reducing their smoke intake and managing their nicotine addictions with the use of electronic cigarettes. The UK in particular has adapted very well to this new technology, with vape enthusiasm at an all time high on this side of the Atlantic.

Sadly, our neighbours across the pond still appear unsure about the benefits of vaping. San Francisco has voted overwhelmingly to keep in place a law forbidding the sale of flavoured e-liquid, leading to a charge against the vape industry that legislators in both New York and Chicago are seeking to replicate. It’s not surprising to see San Francisco, located in America’s health-state of California, opposing any kind of nicotine consumption method. But New York and Chicago come as a bit of a shock; it’s hard to say whether this proposed legislation is based in a “think of the children” political rhetoric or if perhaps America’s powerful tobacco industry lobbyists have made some phone calls.

Chicago’s proposed ban in particular is a peculiar one; the ban would very specifically target e-liquid, leaving menthol cigarettes and flavoured cigars unaffected. The usual arguments, of not wanting to tempt the impressionable and vulnerable youth with sweet and fruity flavours, fall somewhat flat when considering that no one is proposing a ban on flavoured alcoholic beverages. It will be interesting to see, in the event of a ban being successfully put in place, how a city like Chicago reacts.

Chicago became a hotbed of speakeasies and backroom bars during the Prohibition era, when the sale of alcoholic beverages was banned via the Eighteenth Amendment in 1920. Chicago already has unnecessary taxation on nicotine e-liquid, leading to most vape stores primarily stocking short fills so as to avoid having to pay an extortionate $0.80 tax on all liquid nicotine products, plus an additional $0.55 tax per fluid millilitre of consumable liquid. Maybe soon we will too begin to hear stories of the Feds raiding bathtub e-juice stills and smashing barrels of Vanilla Custard e-liquid in the streets.

But it’s not all doom and gloom for our fellow American vapers; Nevada, Oklahoma, Nebraska and several other states currently have no electronic cigarette or e-liquid restrictions, and we can only hope that other states follow their example. Once the health benefits begin to become apparent and people start to realise that the unrestricted vapers of Virginia and other states with minimal regulation are benefiting from their easy approach to smoking alternatives, we should hopefully begin to see a shift in concern.

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