From the Wanderer:

Nicolas John, Northeast regional manager of the R Street Institute, asked the board to reconsider banning flavored electronic nicotine products and cautioned against banning mint, menthol, peppermint, and wintergreen flavors, particularly because they are popular with adults, especially those who have switched from traditional combustible cigarettes to the seemingly safer e-cigarette.

John advocated for tobacco harm reduction, emphasizing the role that e-cigs and ‘vaping’ have in reducing cigarette-related diseases.

Banning flavored electronic nicotine discourages smokers from seeking the safer alternative, said John.

“While well-intentioned, this legislation will adversely affect public health by limiting access to safer alternatives to combustible cigarettes to the very people that this bill aims to protect,” said John.

John urged the board to consider Public Health New England’s conclusion that e-cigs are “no less than 95 percent safer than combustible cigarettes.”

“I applaud the efforts of the Marion Board of Health to reduce prevalence of smoking and associated diseased,” said John. “However, it is important that the potential of e-cigarettes to mitigate risks associated with combustible cigarettes be recognized if we wish to encourage a healthful populace.”

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