Opinion: Ian Firth: Boulder restrictions on vape products misguided

The interesting thing about city council meetings is that no one is under oath.

It’s not a court of law, it’s just a meeting, so anyone can say anything they please, true or false. Heartstrings are tugged on, and scripts are read as groups attempt to achieve their goal, regardless of how wrong that goal may be.

Earlier this month, I watched in awe as Boulder residents, employees and paid advocates stood in front of the City Council and lied, for 2 minutes each. Their goal? Keep people smoking, and make money.

An speaker from Advocates for Clean Teens stated: “For every one adult that tries to quit smoking with vaping, 80 youths are getting addicted.” This is not mathematically possible. Over 10 million Americans have quit smoking or are trying with vapor products. There simply aren’t 800 million addicted youth in a country with a population of 330 million.

The vice principal of Boulder High stated he has seen “triple the number of violations with vaping products compared to alcohol and marijuana.” Are kids really bringing that much weed and alcohol to class where this measurement is even worth mentioning?

A dentist had a 20-year-old with 16 new cavities but didn’t state when that person had last been in for a checkup. He stated that the flavorings, and the propylene glycol in e-liquid, cause bacteria to adhere to enamel, even though propylene glycol is an antimicrobial used in oral pharmaceuticals, toothpaste and mouthwash. It is also effective at killing staphylococcus aureus, staphylococcus epidermidis, streptococcus pyogenes A, streptococcus mitis, and E. coli. The dentist then stepped well outside his medical field to claim that nicotine is carcinogenic. It simply is not.

Another speaker then took the podium and started to discuss a “deadly trend,” where her boys have suffered “tar” on their teeth. Vapor products do not combust, and the byproduct tar simply doesn’t exist with vapor products. They also suffered from mycoplasma pneumonia, coughing up blood, and a host of other problems associated with a bacteria-based illness, not vapor products.

I listened to the gamut of “save the children” dialog, which is repeated across social media and news organizations without a shred of fact checking. “Adults don’t like flavors” (even tobacco is a flavor), “flavors are more harmful to children,” “youth don’t think they are vaping nicotine” (it says it right on the package, and they brag on social media about the buzz they get), “I’m a good parent” (but didn’t notice my child spending $100 a week on vapor products), “38 million people is a small minority who shouldn’t be helped to quit smoking,” “there aren’t any rules and regulations” (except there are at the city, state and federal levels). It went on and on, with only one real doctor in attendance (who disapproves of the ordinance).

At the end of the night, many of these false claims and statements came up again as Council considered the various amendments to a proposed ordinance and discussed what they would do with all the tax money. These statements were being used to decide policy that affects businesses, adults and youth, without being fact checked.

Council is leaning toward banning all flavored vapor products, while exempting traditional tobacco products. Think about that for a moment.

A simple technology, that has decreased the number of smokers in America by 10 million in just seven years may be banned in Boulder. For comparison, tobacco control organizations, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control, the government, special interest groups, quit lines, cessation products, and everyone else, took 50 years to accomplish the same thing…..

…..read more at Daily Camera

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