Flavor Bans, Illnesses & Media Confusion: What Do We Know & How To Make Sense Of It

Jun 07 , 2020

Alexis Riggle-Green

Flavor Bans, Illnesses & Media Confusion: What Do We Know & How To Make Sense Of It

Tons of confusing, scary headlines have been bombarding us recently in the news: VAPE RELATED ILLNESS! 5 DEAD FROM MYSTERIOUS LUNG DISEASE! TRUMP TO BAN E-JUICE FLAVORS IN MIDST OF VAPING ILLNESS OUTBREAK! 

And much more eye-catching, fear-raising articles for the masses to consume and share via social media and the internet. But in the mix of all this information, it seems that we fail to understand the facts presented to us. Maybe it’s the mainstream media’s goal to confuse or push their agenda on us — like that’s never happened in the history of the United States. Even so, there is information to be learned, if only we wanted to seek it.

In this article, I will seek truth for us by raising several questions and answering them to help everyone understand the convoluted information out there on flavor bans; reports about the health risks of the vape-related lung disease; and the role of media, government, and Big Tobacco in this story. 


What Are the Facts on Flavor Bans?

On September 27th, 2019, USNews.com by Kaiser Health News and CNN.com reported the following details on states and cities that are currently enacting flavor bans or considering it:


  • New York state has passed a statewide flavor ban on e-liquid.
  • Michigan has enacted a statewide flavor ban on e-liquid.
  • Rhode Island has enacted a statewide flavor ban on e-liquid.
  • Massachusetts has prohibited the sale of all vaping supplies and e-juice for four months.
  • Washington state has enacted a statewide flavor ban on e-liquid for 120 days.
  • Utah has enacted a statewide flavor ban on e-liquid except for adult only tobacco retailers
  • California has rejected a statewide flavor ban on e-liquid – BUT more than 50 California jurisdictions have enacted or are considering enacting flavor bans on e-liquid. The cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles have already enacted citywide flavor bans on e-liquid.


According to Mike Feuer, the City Attorney of Los Angeles: “Enacting a citywide ban on the sale of all flavored tobacco products is the best way to safeguard our youth and protect the general public from significant health risks.” Mr. Feuer is referring to the increase in teen vaping, and the notion that flavors are “tempting” children into vaping, thereby exposing them to these “significant health risks.”

But what are these “significant health risks” that many like Mr. Feuer believe are associated with vaping? And why, oh why, are only FLAVORS being attacked for these health risks? It is asinine to ban only certain flavors! For example, menthol and cigarette flavors are both okay, so go figure, but if a particular product is a health risk, why not ban the whole product then? 

The answer is an easy one! No (known) significant health risks – associated with vaping exist, and no reputable study has reported the dangers of vaping. However, Big Tobacco has funded short-term studies recently to help create the ban on vaping because they want money to return to their pockets through the fear-mongering tactics. Thus, more medical research and science-based studies must be conducted for decades before sufficient evidence can determine any significant health risks. Vaping has only been mainstream since around 2003, beginning in China and expanding across the world, so

It’s just recently that the U.S. has started investigating claims about the risks of vaping and the effects of long-term vaping. In my opinion, the most reputable unbiased report done on e-cigarettes was “Nicotine Without Smoke,” a report by the Tobacco Advisory Group of the Royal College of Physicians done in April of 2016.