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Opinion I’m an adult, and I love e-cigarette flavors

E-cigarette pods for sale in Biddeford, Maine, on Sept. 3. (Robert F. Bukaty/AP)

Regarding Sept. 10 editorial “The vaping haze”:

The extensive coverage of the recent illnesses and deaths attributed to vaping and Michigan’s new ban on flavored vape products isn’t just causing a panic among regulators and health officials; it’s also causing a panic among former smokers. As a 10-year user who hasn’t touched or desired a cigarette since three days after discovering e-cigarettes, I can assure you that the word “panic” is accurate, as no smoking-cessation device or drug ever came close to having the same effectiveness. The well-intentioned Michigan ban leaves tobacco-flavored vape products available, yet the thought of tasting tobacco again turns my stomach.

While the phenomenon of youth vaping is worrying and must be confronted with strict regulation, the current focus on flavors is misplaced. Do we lose a taste for chocolate, fruit or sweets after reaching adulthood? Of course not. I’m 51, and my favorite vape flavor is cotton candy. The editorial singled out bubble gum as an example of a flavor used to “induce young people,” but have the editors forgotten that there’s bubble-gum-flavored vodka, bubble-gum gin and bubble-gum tequila on the market? If these can be legally regulated, marketed and distributed to adults without “inducing young people” any more or less than unflavored versions, then why can’t flavored vape products be treated and regulated the exact same way?

Lenny Rudow, Edgewater

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