I filled out my ballot to vote in San Francisco’s City elections today. Proposition E, “Prohibiting Tobacco Retailed from Selling Flavored Tobacco Products,” had an interesting rebuttal:
Prohibitions just don’t work.
Is that really true? I mean, sure, they don’t 100% work, but I’ve got to assume they’re somewhat effective. I’ve gone hungry because I didn’t feel like getting off my couch. You’re telling me, nobody will be deterred from having to find and go through a flavored tobacco dealer?
Which, by the way, is that really going to become a thing? People going to street dealers to add some fruit or wintergreen action to their tobacco? ’cause that’s funny and I wouldn’t mind seeing it happen.
The argument in favor is flavored tobacco products target kids. For that reason, I do think it makes sense to ban them entirely even though people under 21 already can’t buy them. If they are fully illegal, they probably won’t disappear completely, but they won’t be as visible, whether it’s from other people using them or advertising. If kids see it less, they’ll want it less, and that’s good enough.