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Brunswick, Maine – [Concluded] Stop a Flavor Ban!

current status


Public Hearing

Full Council

Signed by
Town Manager

04/19/2022 – In a unanimous vote, the council prohibited the sale of tobacco and vapor products in flavors other than “tobacco” flavor.

04/18/22 – Next regular meeting of the Town Council is April 18. Final consideration of the ordinance is expected at this meeting.

04/04/22 – PUBLIC HEARING, Monday, April 4, 2022, 6:30 PM

02/22/22 – PUBLIC HEARING: Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, 6:30 PM

The City of Brunswick is moving forward with an ordinance to ban the sale of flavored vapor products. This is on the heels of Portland and Bangor adopting their own flavor bans under pressure from anti-smoking activists who are not only ignoring the benefits of switching to smoke-free products, but racing to build support for state legislation that will take safer nicotine products away from all Maine cities and towns.

This ordinance is likely to be scheduled for consideration (possible vote) a the next regular council meeting on
Tuesday, April 19 2022
6:30 PM
In person or via ZOOM

(See the April 4 agenda, below, for instructions on attending and speaking at the hearing. Once published, we will update the linked agenda)

You can take action NOW by sending a message to your member of the city council urging them to oppose the flavor ban! Brunswick residents are also encouraged to submit written testimony and/or sign up to speak at the hearing. Prepare your remarks with a three-minute time limit in mind.

  • Urge committee members to oppose the flavor ban ordinance, which would restrict your ability to use low-risk alternatives to smoking and send people back to smoking or to buy their vapor products from informal sources.
  • Briefly, share your story about switching to vaping and what role that flavors play in helping you live smoke free.
  • Note any health changes you’ve experienced.
  • Briefly, discuss what losing access to a local supply of vapor products will mean for you (Will you shop out-of-state, in neighboring cities, or online? Will you make your own e-liquid at home or purchase products on an underground market?).
  • Be brief, Be kind, and Say Thank You 🙂

For those new to vaping or just generally unfamiliar with federal regulations, the premarket tobacco application (or PMTA) deadline was September 9, 2020. This application is required to keep or bring new tobacco/nicotine products on the market. It is estimated that 95% to 98% of vapor manufacturers will not be able to afford this process and will not be capable of filing on time.

But 98% is not 100% (as the antis are fond of saying).

The FDA has already approved some new tobacco products that are being sold in flavors other than tobacco (specifically mint, menthol, and wintergreen). In the weeks prior to the September deadline, the FDA accepted for review several applications for bottled e-liquid in flavors ranging from tobacco to cereal to fruit. Despite the rhetoric from certain members of congress and the incessant pro-drug war drum beat of tobacco prohibitionists, FDA is still capable of authorizing flavored smoke-free nicotine products for market. Moreover, FDA may even allow manufactures of these products to market them as safer than cigarettes, if they apply for and receive a modified risk order.

Brunswick’s flavor ban would undermine any decision by FDA to allow low-risk flavored tobacco products on the market after having met the “appropriate for the protection of public health” standard. Even without involving the FDA, flavor bans are being enacted without thorough consideration of the negative consequences. Sales data from Massachusetts and New York suggest that many people who were vaping prior to the flavor bans simply returned to smoking.

While a flavor ban may amount to an inconvenience for teens experimenting with substance use, it is actively harming parents and other adults who are trying to quit smoking.

Agenda - 04/04/22

Did you see CASAA's alert about a statewide flavor ban in Maine?

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