California to ban flavoured e-juice

Fifth state to restrict the supply of e-cigarettes

Flavoured e-juice can no longer be sold in California. But cigars, pipe tobacco and regular cigarettes will remain in stores. Health and justice activists are now reacting to a decision that risks destroying hundreds of e-cigarette companies.

California becomes the fifth state to ban flavoured e-liquid in the US. The decision came despite the protests that poured in over the summer. And it's not just vejpers and e-cigarette users who are reacting. Health scientists and freedom and human rights groups have also joined the debate. 

One of them is the debater Mr Guy Bentley active in Reason Foundation which monitors tax policy and consumer rights in the United States.

"E-cigarettes have been shown, beyond reasonable doubt, to be a less harmful alternative to cigarettes. And a large body of research proves that they are even more effective than nicotine gum and patches for quitting smoking. Many public health experts have warned that banning flavoured e-juice will increase the use of traditional cigarettes" writes Guy Bentley on

Scaring young people away from e-cigarettes

According to politicians and lobby groups In California, banning flavoured e-juice is a sure way to prevent young people from using electronic cigarettes. However, according to Mr Bentley, this analysis is flawed. Especially since several studies show that young people who try e-cigarettes are either already smokers or just curious about what they are.

"It is not different flavours that drive young people. According to both authorities and the CDC, it is curiosity and risk-taking personalities that are the driving force." writes Guy Bentley.

He is not alone in this analysis. A study recently published in neighbouring Canada show the same pattern. Curiosity and peer pressure stood out in the 800 studies analysed to understand why vejp is increasing among young people. 

Smoking increases as flavours disappear

And according to Mr Guy Bentley the ban in California will have a major impact on public health and the economy. In San Francisco, where a similar ban was recently passed, surveys have shown that vejp users are largely returning to smoking again. At the same time, vejp shops, whose major source of income has always been flavoured e-juice, are closing.

"Critics and prohibitionists have completely missed the role that flavours play when smokers switch to e-cigarettes. Even if the aim of a ban is not to increase the number of smokers, that's exactly what happens. And that is inexcusable" writes Guy Bentley.

The decision to ban flavours in California must be signed by the governor before it takes effect. Previously, the states of Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island have limited the flavours that can be present in e-liquid.

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