We can’t help but feel some sympathy for retailers who have enjoyed profits from the sales of vaping products. It’s tough on a business when the government pulls the rug out from under it.
But it had to be done. It would have been better had the brakes been put on vaping and vaping products a couple of years ago or more. Some say that vaping is better than smoking cigarettes or inhaling THC products, but it’s an unregulated arena. Nothing good has come of it; a lot of sickness has.
Robert Collett, director of the county tobacco control program, spoke matter-of-factly to the board of health Monday night.
Vaping, he said, has set back efforts to reduce smoking among Cape residents. Over the past 25 years, the group has cut smoking from 35 percent of people to 6 percent. Youths are vulnerable. The Centers for Disease Control reports that 10 percent of 11- and 12-year-olds have tried vaping and it takes only about two weeks of use to become addicted to nicotine, Mr. Collett said. That is very concerning.
It is apparently difficult to prevent the purchase of vaping products by underage buyers. In Falmouth alone, 16 retailers failed compliance checks.
Governor Baker declared a health emergency two weeks ago, banning the sale of vaping products because of the outbreak of lung disease nationwide.
Given the interest among youths and the addictive nature of vaping nicotine, it should not have required an epidemic to spur the governor into action.
A prohibition on the sale of vaping products is not a good idea in the long run. It will only lead to a burgeoning black market. But there is little regulatory oversight, and it’s time to gain control of the situation.