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New Mexico – Stop a Dangerous Flavor Ban!
02/22/21 – HHHC: Reported by committee with DO PASS recommendation with amendment(s) (Amndt removes penalties for possession or purchase of a flavored product.)
02/20/21 – Hearing, 3:00 PM, ZOOM, H. Health and Human Services Cmte.
01/28/21 – Referred to House Health and Human Services Committee (HHHC)
In spite of the growing opposition to failed drug war policies that disproportionately target people of color and low-income communities, Representative Liz Thompson’s HB 205 would ban the possession, use, and sale of flavored tobacco and nicotine products for ANYONE.* Yes, you’re reading that correctly: a New Mexico Democrat is actually proposing to expand the failed war on drugs to include nicotine sold in flavors other than tobacco.
(* An amendment to HB 205 removed the language about possession and use. The amendment is linked below)
- Urge your lawmakers to reject HB 205, which would restrict your ability to use low-risk alternatives to smoking.
- 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 opponents 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.
A flavor ban in New Mexico undermines 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. A similar outcome is being observed in San Francisco, the first major US city to pass a flavor ban targeting vapers.
While a flavor ban may amount to an inconvenience for teens who are experimenting with substance use, it is actively harming their parents who are trying to quit smoking and set a positive example for their children.
Take Action Now!
1. HB 205 - Flavor Ban
2. HB 167 - Massive Tax Hike