Vape Paper x Vapouround


This ain’t veto-ver yet

In a bittersweet victory for harm reduction, officials overturned Denver’s controversial vape flavour ban…only to call for statewide regulations instead. 

“The campaign against vaping is an egregious example of drug-war fear-mongering…prohibition, as we should know by now, creates many harms.”

In a tornado of regulatory changes, last minute vetoes and political opposition, vape brands in Denver have dodged the chopping block…for now.

After months of fierce debate and lobbying, policymakers passed a devastating flavour ban, which would see lifesaving vaping products outlawed city-wide.

However, the bill – which also extended to flavoured cigars and tobacco – was revoked just three days later.

In a moment of triumph for the vape industry, Denver’s Mayor, Michael Hancock, blocked the measure, protecting both small businesses and thousands who rely on flavoured e-liquids to quit.

Desperate to push the bill through, anti-vaping policymakers tried to overturn Hancock’s decision…but they failed once again.

Supporters of the ban claimed flavoured e-liquids were fuelling the alleged ‘youth epidemic’, accusing the Mayor of ‘succumbing to tobacco industry pressure’ and missing a ‘tremendous public health opportunity’.

However, critics said that attacking e-cigarettes and flavours because of ‘stoked up’ concerns about youth use could have disastrous consequences, calling vaping a ‘breakthrough in smoking cessation’.

Kevin Garcia, a tobacco harm reduction fellow for Filter Mag, wrote: “Vaping products are significantly more effective as cessation tools than traditional nicotine replacement therapies.

“And sadly, Denver’s ban is likely to encourage an illicit market, increase criminalisation and deter people from quitting the cigarettes that cost so many lives.”

He added: “The campaign against vaping is an egregious example of drug-war fear-mongering…prohibition, as we should know by now, creates many harms.”

Critics also highlighted that a blanket ban spelt doom for small businesses, who could take a serious financial hit, or even close, under the draconian restrictions.

Art Way of the Drug Policy Alliance said: “Out of all the places where these bans have passed, there are no provisions that do anything for the users.

“It’s all about how we can punish the sellers…and in this case, the sellers that you’re punishing are the mom-and-pop tobacco harm reductionists.”

Experts are now warning that, while vapers won the battle to protect flavours, there’s no time to celebrate.

In the same letter overruling the city-wide ban, Hancock encouraged the idea of regional or statewide measures instead, which could outlaw vape flavours across Colorado.

He said that, while he wants to tackle youth nicotine use, the proposed ban would ‘fall short’, adding that his veto wasn’t meant to stop the conversation, but to ‘broaden it’ instead.

Michelle Minton, a lifestyle economist and pro-vaping advocate, said: “If you’re in Denver, it’s time to get busy speaking with and educating your representatives in government before this proposal comes back…

“…the veto just bought you about two years of time, at best.”

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