It has been several months since states have enacted their own versions of flavor bans. Major cities such as San Francisco and Chicago have very strict flavor bans, while states such as Massachusetts have also banned flavors. However, more and more states are considering flavor bans in 2021. Have the previous flavor bans worked as intended?
The Short Answer: No
Evaluating Massachusetts’ flavor ban, we already know that there is less access to alternative nicotine products and loss of jobs provided by small businesses. Massachusetts has given up lots of tax revenue as well to neighboring states such as New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
While the geographical area is small enough to allow vapers to just cross state lines and buy vaping products and return home the same day, vapers in larger states such as California, where a flavor ban has been passed down to voters in the 2022 ballot. They may not have that option unless they live close to the border of another state that has not banned flavors. Major population centers such as San Francisco and Los Angeles are relatively far away from other state borders.
The nonpartisan Tax Foundation’s Ulrik Boesen said, “From June 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020, 230,797,000 stamps were sold in the region. For the same period in 2019, that number was 225,897,000...Massachusetts sales plummeted, but not because people quit smoking—only because those sales went elsewhere.”
Bans Could Have Unintended Consequences
In many other industries, bans or proposed bans have met lots of backlash. Throughout history, bans have been proposed on various types of firearms, violent video games, and movies and music with objectionable content. The various bans and proposed bans on flavors have not stopped people from purchasing vape products.
From an economic standpoint, state governments may miss out on much-needed tax revenue and keeping flavors legal may work in their best interest. It is estimated that Massachusetts may lose as much as $120 million in fiscal year 2021. Therefore, states should re-evaluate flavor bans from an economic standpoint much like states used the taxes on cannabis for education and other issues that benefit society.
That’s all for this edition of State of Vape. If you have any questions or concerns, you can always contact your eJuices.co account manager or sales representative. We’re looking forward to speaking with you and helping your business succeed.