A win for vaping this week in Arkansas. More specifically, a win for freedom of choice. The proposed Arkansas vaping law would have expanded the indoor smoking ban to include electronic cigarette devices. That means bars and restaurants would be forced to prohibit vaping in their places of business. The law failed. The most vocal opponent of the law was State Senator Scott Flippo.
Scott Flippo stood up and said this is not going to happen. No more nanny state. The war on ecigs is going too far. Owners and patrons including adult e-cigarette consumers are going to be free to make those choices for themselves. Flippo said business owners should be allowed to make decisions about their own business including e-cigarette use. “At a certain point on the path that we’re going, pretty soon Mountain Dew, Taco Bell …. when is that theoretically going to be next?” Flippo asked. The Senator indicated that the choices made by business owners and adult vapers is not a matter for government control.
Tell Business Owners They Have To Ban Vaping? Scott Flippo Said Not Today.
Perhaps the most satisfying aspect of the rejection was that it was a defeat of stale, old anti-vaping talking points. The narrative that e-cigs emit dangerous toxins. The Arkansas Department of Health Director Nate Smith said that new information is “emerging” that e-cig liquid contains toxic substances. The mounting evidence is going in the opposite direction. Just two weeks ago a University of Victoria e-cig study found evidence to the opposite. Smith also alluded to the potential of vapers actually consuming illegal substances with a vaporizer that would go undetected. As though we are automatically suspect. The overwhelming majority of vapers vape flavored e-liquid and nicotine. Period. We are not suspects.
We could compare studies and false perceptions all day. What this boils down to is a freedom of choice issue. No one should be forced to be around vaping if they don’t want to and they can avoid premises where vaping is occurring. Likewise business owners have the right to serve vapers. And vapers have the right to patronize businesses where they can enjoy a social outing without being treated as a pariah or lumped in with a smokers. Because we vapers are not smokers.