In 2018 a unanimous decision among voters resulted in a ban on flavored cigarettes and vapes. While this was done to protect public health, a recent study from the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) claims that it may have had the opposite effect.
The implementation of the ban resulted in a rise in students smoking conventional cigarettes. Abigail Friedman, the author of the study, suggests that any law that puts teen health at risk is bad for public health entirely.
Using data on teenagers under 18 years of age, Friedman points to how the ban puts the younger crowds at risk. Using the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System’s 2011-2019 school district surveys, she found that the smoking rates in San Francisco in the last 30 days before the ban were declining. However, once the ban was fully implemented, the rates diverged and began to rise.
Friedman explains that teenagers choose to pick up vaping over smoking because of the flavors. However, banning these flavors is more than likely to make them revert to combustible tobacco products. Thus, no matter the good intentions behind it, a law that risks the public should be reconsidered.
To further read about the study, check out the link below: