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Why Banning Flavors Won’t Stop Teen Vaping

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I started smoking when I was about 16. I smoked then and smoke now for one basic reason: I enjoy nicotine. Like hundreds of millions of human beings during the last half-millennia (longer among Native Americans), I really love the effect nicotine has on me. Judge me, don’t judge me, whatever, I don’t care. This is also why today’s teens vape at alarming rates. It’s about nicotine, not flavors.

The Trump administration’s decision to ban flavored vape products is very unlikely to reduce teen vaping rates. The big reason for this is that if kids want to taste bubble gum, they can buy, you know, bubble gum. No 15-year-old decides to take up vaping because the flavor is so awesome. This is an absurd notion.

The issue of vaping boils down to one essential conflict. The vaping industry touts itself as a life-saving alternative for adult smokers. And it probably is. There is near scientific consensus that vaping is less harmful than smoking traditional cigarettes because the combustion of lighting a smoke on fire creates most of the harmful chemicals.

But the flip side is that this less harmful alternative has absolutely changed the game........

© The Federalist