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Maine – Stop a Flavor Ban (LD 1215)
07.26.23 – Carried over, in the same posture, to any special or regular session of the 131st Legislature, pursuant to Joint Order SP 847.
06.23.23 – (H) On motion of Representative MEYER of Eliot, TABLED pending ACCEPTANCE of Any Report. Later today assigned. Unfinished Business
06.21.23 – (S) Under suspension of the Rules, READ A SECOND TIME and PASSED TO BE ENGROSSED AS AMENDED by Committee Amendment “A” (S-397)
05.18.23 – (S) Hearing, 1:00 PM, Cross Building, Room 209
04.25.23 – Public Hearing
03.30.23 – Carried over to a subsequent special or regular session of the 131st Legislature.
03.21.23 – (S) Introduced and referred to Committee on Health and Human Services
LD 1215 which would ban tobacco and nicotine products in any flavor (even “cooling”) other than tobacco. This bill was amended in the Senate to inculde an effective date of January 1, 2025.
As of July 26, 2023, LD 1215 is “tabled” and expected to be taken up with priority when the legislature returns in 2024.
CASAA is still asking Maine advocates to be vigilant and communicate with lawmakers urging them to reject this bill. Banning flavors in ALL tobacco and nicotine products risks sending people to illicit markets and making it more difficult for people to switch to smoke-free alternatives like vaping and nicotine pouches.
- Urge your lawmakers to oppose the flavor ban bill (LD 1215) 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.
- LD 1215 would ban flavored vapor products even if they are authorized for sale by the FDA as less harmful than smoking and appropriate for the protection of public health.
- 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 are effectively priced out of the authorization process.
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.
Maine’s flavor ban would undermine any decision by the FDA allowing 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.