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NEW POLL UNDERSCORES IMPORTANCE OF FLAVORS TO ADULT VAPOR CONSUMERS IN 17 BATTLEGROUND STATES
Results Demonstrate Universal Opposition to Banning Flavors with Strong Support for Alternative Solutions such as Raising Purchase Age to 21 and Requiring Verification
Washington, D.C., October 28, 2019 — The Vapor Technology Association (VTA) today announced the results of a new poll underscoring the importance of flavors to more than 4,600 adult vapor consumers across 17 battleground states.
Tony Abboud, Executive Director of the Vapor Technology Association said: “The results of this new poll confirm what we have known for quite some time: adult vapor consumers are so passionate about protecting their ability to have flavored vapor products that they will activate and make their voices heard at the polls. These same adult consumers recognize that underage use is a serious issue and strongly support alternative policies, such as raising the minimum age to 21 and requiring age verification for every sale. As VTA has said from the start, we stand ready to work with regulators and lawmakers on the many real solutions most recently outlined in VTA’s comprehensive plan ‘21 & DONE!’ that should be implemented to achieve the twin goals of restricting youth vaping, which is already illegal, and preserving flavored alternatives for adults desperately trying to quit smoking.”
Key findings of the poll include:
- Adult vapor consumers in battleground states universally and fervently oppose flavor bans. Virtually all adult vapor consumers oppose banning flavors in nicotine vapor products, with 99% opposed. The intensity of opposition among adult vapor consumers is universal, with 97% of survey respondents saying they “strongly” oppose such bans.
- Adult vapor consumers strongly support alternative solutions to address underage use. Three-quarters of vapor consumers support banning the sale of nicotine vapor products to anyone under the age of 21 and requiring government issued identification for every sale. The majority “strongly” supports the increased age requirement. Importantly, nine in ten (92% to 0%) believe raising the legal age and requiring government issued identification would be more effective in curtailing the illegal use of nicotine vapor products by minors than banning flavors.
- The possibility of a ban on flavored nicotine products turns adult vapor consumers into single-issue voters. Four in five vapor consumers are likely to decide their vote based solely on a candidate’s position on nicotine vapor products and issues. Nearly all of these vapor consumers are likely to vote in the 2020 general elections (96%). Notably, among the 4% who are less likely to vote, the majority would be likely to come out to vote if lawmakers banned the sale and use nicotine vapor products.
Ten to thirteen million American adults rely on flavored e-cigarettes to quit or reduce smoking. A flavor ban would drive these men and women to again start smoking, which takes the lives of nearly 1,300 Americans every day, or turn to a new and larger black market. Additionally, under a flavor ban, the licensed, FDA-registered, and FDA-regulated American vapor product distribution chain that is reliant on selling a wide variety of non-tobacco and non-menthol flavors would collapse, resulting in the closure of nearly 14,000 small businesses and the loss of upwards of 166,000 jobs. Notably, more than 76,000 of the jobs at risk are in the 17 battleground states covered by the poll.
Fortunately, there exist many alternatives to a flavor ban that would much more effectively limit youth access and appeal without threatening public health and the economy. Over a month ago, VTA announced “21 & DONE!,” a comprehensive plan to address underage use, including: raising the minimum age to purchase nicotine products to 21; banning all self-service displays; implementing 21 serious marketing restrictions, including bans on all television advertising and bans on product names with references likely to appeal to minors such as candy, cartoons, and video games; a strong “three strikes and you’re out” enforcement regime; and increased taxes to fund education and enforcement, among other key policies.
The online poll, conducted by McLaughlin & Associates from October 17-22, 2019, surveyed 4,669 adult vapor consumers in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
The Vapor Technology Association is the U.S. industry trade association whose 1,000+ members are dedicated to innovating and selling high quality vapor products that provide adult consumers with a better alternative to traditional combustible cigarettes. VTA represents the industry-leading manufacturers of vapor devices, e-liquids, flavorings, and components, as well as the largest wholesalers, distributors, importers, and e-commerce retailers, in addition to hundreds of hardworking American mom and pop brick-and-mortar retail store owners throughout the United States.