The Consumer Choice Center (CCC) has published an index ranking each U.S. state on the consumer-friendliness of its vapor regulations.
Rankings are assigned based on a legislative actions, including restrictions, taxation, and online sales prohibitions.
According to the index, California is the “worst state for vaping.” New York, California, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are also among the least consumer-friendly states. Virginia, Colorado, Texas and Maryland each received “A” scores.
“The worst states … are far behind all the other states because of flavor bans, exorbitant taxation on vaping products, and restrictions on online sales,” said David Clement, North American affairs manager and deputy director at the CCC. “Our research indicates these states go above and beyond to deter adult smokers from switching to vaping, which could vastly improve and prolong their lives.”
“What lawmakers should note is that a number of states are providing a positive framework of regulation for vaping that boosts consumer choice while contributing to public health by encouraging smoking cessation,” said Yaël Ossowski, who is also North American affairs manager and deputy director at the CCC.
“Excessive flavor bans, taxes, and prohibitions on online commerce grow the black-market sector and harm consumers who want less harmful alternatives to smoking. If states want to innovate in 2020 and provide adult smokers with an alternative that is less harmful, they should look to reform their state laws to better accommodate this new technology that is helping millions.”
The report shows that 25 states allow flavored vaping products with no additional taxes and no shipping restrictions. Twenty states have previous flavor bans, some taxes and a few shipping restrictions. There are five states that have partial flavor bans, high taxes and shipping restrictions.
The center stated that the focus is on state regulation of vaping, “as it plays a big part in their availability to adult consumers who want to switch away from combustible tobacco.”
The weighted scoring system analyzes additional flavor restrictions, taxes and the ability to sell vaping products online. Regulations are assessed on stringency in addition to Food and Drug Administration regulations.
States that received between 0 and 10 points received an “F” grade, between 11 and 20 points is “C” and states with points between 21 and 30 received an “A” grade.