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Portland, Maine – Stop a Flavor Ban!
01/19/22 – First Reading, City Council Meeting, 5:00PM[11/09/21] – Public Safety Committeed voted 3 – 0 to move the ordinance to the Full Council. A vote is expected in late December or early January.
11/09/21 – Introduction expected, Public Safety Committee.
10/12/21 – Public Safety Committee directs staff to draft an ordinance banning sales of flavored tobacco and vapor products.
The Portland City Council is moving forward with a proposal to ban the sale of all flavored vapor and tobacco products (Order 138-21/22).
The Second Reading of this ordinane and PUBLIC HEARING is scheduled for
Monday, February 7, 2022
(remote attendance – see agenda below for instructions)
Residents are encouraged to continue contacting council members and urge them to oppose this flavor ban.
Prior to an upcoming vote, please see the agenda linked below for details on attending meetings via ZOOM. Use the points below to help write your comments and messages to council members.
- Urge your council member to reject the flavor ban ordinance, 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 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 approving 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 a modified risk order.
Portland’s flavor ban would undermine any decision by the FDA to allow low-risk, flavored nicotine 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 and a published study on San Francisco suggest that many people who were vaping prior to the flavor bans simply returned to smoking. While a flavor ban may be an inconvenience for teens trying to get their hands on nicotine, it is actively harming adults and parents who are trying to quit smoking.