New Mexico’s Health Warning Labels Show Common Sense Approach to Vaping Crisis
When it comes America’s “vaping crisis,” not every state is turning to the nuclear option, according to The Durango Herald.
New Mexico – who has so far seen 15 cases of alleged vaping illness – has as much justification to ban e-cigarettes the way New York, Michigan and Massachusetts did to varying degrees. But they have not, and it is commendable.
Fear has an interesting effect, as it prompts the public to happily follow extreme measures without critically examining them first. Vapers are obviously the most vocal critics, but everyone should look at New Mexico’s approach and see that, while not as cutthroat, it will eventually be the best long-term solution.
When we examine the decision in terms of consistency, New Mexico’s strategy is in line with the way Federal Law treats tobacco. The Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act requires tobacco manufacturers to place health warnings on their packages.
The knee-jerk reaction in other states may restrict the presence of e-cigarette products on the open market, but it fails to educate the public or make them rethink their health choices.
Frankly, it is difficult to determine whether New Mexico’s passive approach will be effective. However, at least it will not create a black market, nor does it reek of the hypocrisy displayed by states who ban nicotine vapes but happily continue selling tobacco.
Unlike other states, who ignored the CDC’s emphasis on THC vapes and went after nicotine devices instead, New Mexico’s warning labels focus on the former.
All of the recent findings around vaping have to do with ingredients in black market cannabis devices, with health officials first zeroing in on a cutting agent called vitamin E acetate. However, more recent tests put hydrogen cyanide – the by-product of a banned fungicide when heated – on the list of suspects.
Either way, nicotine vapes were never under the microscope, yet they received the most blame and restriction.
New Mexico’s law is simple:
“The labeling order requires all medical marijuana producers and manufacturers to label their vaping products containing THC with this statement: ‘WARNING: Vaping cannabis-derived products containing THC has been associated with cases of severe lung injury, leading to difficulty breathing, hospitalization and even death.’”
However, New Mexico’s Secretary of State Katherine Kunkel is not letting nicotine vapes off the hook completely. But rather than making a definitive claim of vaping being dangerous, she conveys what researchers have been saying for years:
“Vaping lung-related injuries is uncharted territory in public health, and it is important that residents know the health risks if they make the choice to continue using any vaping products.”
We cannot dismiss the possibility that all vaping is harmful, but the data simply does not exist to justify extreme measures, such as full-blown bans.
WeedAdvisor’s Support for Education Over Action
Different situations require different responses. But when it comes to the vaping crisis, we feel that the public is better off being well-informed rather than well-controlled.
Given the impact that this situation has on the cannabis industry and its non-cannabis counterpart, we will continue to follow the situation as it unfolds. In doing so, our aim is to provide accurate information to help consumers understand the benefits and drawbacks of vaping.