It appears that a call for the increase of tobacco prices is currently underway for a campaign against electronic cigarettes. The campaign is funded by the Department of Health of Vermont with dollars from taxpayers.
Our Voices Xposed is the campaign financed by the DoH and organized by numerous high school students. They rallied in front of Vermont State Capitol last Tuesday in order to send a warning message against the dangers of electronic cigarettes. The Montpelier High School students provided legislators with information on the rising numbers of underage e-cigarette users, as well as the inappropriate advertisements of the products.
Riley Vogel, member of OVX, has stated that they are all eager to see what the members of the State House are discussing and what measures they are planning to take with regards to smoking and products related to tobacco.
A spokesman of the Vermont Department of Health has confirmed their sponsorship for the whole campaign. He also added that electronic cigarettes contain numerous harmful toxins that can damage heart and lung health, along with sending nicotine to the brain. This makes them as dangerous as all other tobacco products. However, the Department of Health did support the therapies that replace nicotine like lozenges and patches, even though those have a bizarre history in helping smokers quit the bad habit.
On the other side, American Vaping Association president Gregory Conley was not impressed with the campaign. According to Conley, the Vermont Department of Health is fueling this war on vaping by using children as political props. He also pointed out the fact that Gov. Peter Shumlin is allowing this agency to organize a harmful lobbying campaign, in spite of his previous opposition to rising taxes on vapor products.
More teens are trying out electronic cigarettes, but the risk of becoming addicted to nicotine is not as big as the Department of Health wants to picture it. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has completed a research showing that only 20% of teenagers aged between fifteen and eighteen have used e-cigarettes with nicotine. The others chose to vape the flavorings without the addictive substance. Furthermore, the smoking rate among teens has reached the lowest value in the last twenty years.
Therefore, a call for the increase of tobacco prices does not seem to have any true purpose today other than damaging certain companies and markets. While the health risks posed by electronic cigarettes are unknown, one thing is sure: they are far safer than smoking normal cigarettes.
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