Will The Vape Ban Increase Smoking & Smuggling
The Governor of Michigan has banned flavored vaping products in Michigan with a stroke of a pen. The question now is will that ban lead to more young people and adults going back to smoking cigarettes. Also will people who smuggle cigarettes today start smuggling the flavored vaping products into Michigan.
I went to someone right here in Michigan who happens to work at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and who has been reporting on cross-border smuggling for many years. His name is Michael LaFaive, he is the Senior Director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michael has been studying cross-border smuggling of cigarettes since the early 1990s and he has co-authored studies that measure the degree to which combustible cigarettes are smuggled around the nation.
Because of his experience in cross-border smuggling of cigarettes he certainly can apply that experience to this vaping issue. He said in an article that cross-border smuggling is important to the vaping debate for two reasons. He wrote:
First, a ban on flavored vaping products would likely cause a consumer shift back to more dangerous cigarettes (particularly menthol flavored ones), a portion of which will be smuggled.
Second, cigarette smugglers would start smuggling vaping products into the state.
Did you know that 20% of all cigarettes smoked in Michigan in 2017 were smuggled in from another state. Just imagine how big smuggling of flavored vape products will become. If 20% of all all cigarettes smoked in Michigan were smuggled into Michigan where cigarettes are sold legally, can you image how much flavored vape products will be smuggled into our state where the flavored vape products are banned.
Michael stated in his article:
Smuggling of vaping products would likely become a new profit source for today’s large-scale cigarette smugglers. They’ve already established networks in the state; adding supplies of small, flavored vaping cartridges or liquids to their supply chain would be all too easy
Whether vaping help smokers transition form smoking cigarettes to stopping completely, people can debate. One thing that could help people stop smoking completely are cessation programs that could be paid by the state.
Did you know that each year Michigan wastes $75 million in money it receives from its Master Settlement Agreement with tobacco companies, they do not spend it on cessation programs. Did you know that we barely spend any of those funds on any programs to help smokers quite.
According to The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a Washington, D.C. based anti-smoking organization informs us states only spend about 2.4% of the tobacco settlement money they receive in Master Settlement Agreement dollars on tobacco prevention and cessation.
Where does Michigan rank in spending of the Tobacco settlement funds on actual programs to help people stop smoking?
Michigan ranks a pathetic 45th. Only 5 states spend less then Michigan.
Was the States case against the tobacco companies for the smokers or the state coffers; you decide.
By the way Michael LaFaive will be on my show, The Live with Renk Thursday at 11:06 to discuss this issue.