Point: Massachusetts vaping ban may not be so bad

Governor Baker’s latest initiative may save our generation

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(Flickr/ All Creative Commons/ Vaping360)

By Brendan Lally, Collegian Columnist

In the wake of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s infamous four-month ban on all vaping product sales, students across campus will have to get crafty to try and get around the law, if they want to get their fix. Though for others, it might be time drop vaping all together. It’s only been a week, and people are just getting used to the new rules. It could be a long four months for many people, but will this ban actually prove to be a good thing for the youth of Massachusetts?

Everyone has heard the stories of people around the country contracting vaping related respiratory issues, resulting in death for some. Much of the fear is due to the lack of evidence surrounding vaping’s health impacts. Many believe it is a healthier alternative to cigarettes, but there is no concrete proof of this that has been discovered. This is the governor’s main reason for creating the temporary ban. He wants to take this time to consult with medical experts on how to identify what is making people sick. This is a wise move.

Vaping seems to be our generation’s version of cigarettes, as it’s completely normalized and accepted among most of our age group. For the generations before us, many older people have already died or felt serious health ramifications from smoking cigarettes. Who’s to say the same thing won’t happen to us as time goes on? It would be a shame to lose some buddies down the line just because they vaped too much when they were younger. I’m sure many cigarette smokers wish they were not addicted and honestly, it’s not their fault. It obviously was just the norm back in the day, the same way vaping assumes that role now. Personally, I know so many people who have tossed their Juuls in ponds, fires and even off rooftops, trying to quit cold turkey. They always end up just tossing forty bucks on the counter at a local convenience store to buy a new one. The point is people are actually hooked on this stuff. I know it, you know it and thankfully, Governor Baker knows it.

With the best hospitals and medical minds located in Massachusetts, this is the perfect opportunity to actually get to the bottom of the side effects of vaping. The only issue is, they better actually give the people an answer. I don’t believe Baker created this ban simply to see how the population would react. After all, those who physically need the nicotine will find a way to get their fix, whether its crossing state lines, ordering off-brand pods on the Internet or simply smoking cigarettes. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

A common gripe with Baker’s vaping ban is that many cigarette smokers who switched to the Juul or other vaping products, now may have no choice but to resort back to their old habits. As much as this may hurt people who’ve made great progress, the youth are the bigger victims. If we cater our laws to older generations, then the youth will end up just like them in 30 years. If the issue can be stopped while people are young, maybe we won’t have drastic health issues like the generations before us. This four-month ban will surely limit the prevalence of vaping products in schools across the state, and hopefully will result in younger kids realizing it’s not even worth it. At the very least, the ban provides a crossroads for people who might be on the cusp of quitting.

It will take much more energy than before to get our hands on vaping products, so hopefully those who don’t desperately need it might end up shaking the habit. At the end of the day, it was fun while it lasted. I’m sure vaping products will be back after this temporary ban is over, but for now there will certainly be a decline in usage. As long as our state government can give us the proof they seek, by the end of the four months, this entire ban will be a success.

Brendan Lally is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected]