early last week, Kentucky is back at it again with Senate bill 218 which roughly does the same thing, but specifically only targets eLiquid vaping related products. Guised as a bill that intends to create a self help and reporting hotline, where students can call in and get help for their vaping or tobacco habits, and also report on anyone who is vaping so the state can take immediate action and investigate.
Initially stated the bill aims to: "Create a new section of KRS Chapter 156 to require the Department of Education to establish an anonymous reporting mechanism for students to report concerns about vaping and other substances in schools; establish policies for the prompt investigation of reports to the anonymous reporting mechanism; encourage local school boards to provide awareness programs to teachers, students, and staff about vaping"
Hey great, more government expenditure that establishes a nanny state where parents couldn't possibly be expected to talk to their own children about their substance consumption habits. You should be familiar with these programs which have only ever cost the tax payer more money, and have never provided any proven results, which have an excellent track record for being a waste of both time and money.
This bill goes the extra step further though, being recently amended to include; "Raise the age to purchase alternative nicotine products and vapor products to 21 years." which is all well and good but it specifically excludes conventional combustion tobacco products, you know, those burning stick things called cigarettes.
Really there is two ways to look at this; either the government is acting in a regressive manner, blindly fighting against technology and effective smoking cessation. Or they are acting hyper-progressively, offering a clear path for teenagers to get addicted to cigarettes until they reach the age of 21, then they can buy vape products in order to quit smoking.
I guess the latter makes good business sense for the state, they get to keep their money from tobacco and double dip at the health of their young constituents when they can finally purchase eLiquids and vaporizers. I'm sure they'll add a nice tax to that when the time comes too.
I feel like this whole thing is best summarized in a tweet by Brittani Cushman; "In #Kentucky, there is an effort to amend the #tobacco21 bill to limit the age restriction to #vapor #ecigs only, allowing 18-year-olds to purchase traditional #cigarettes but not products recognized by just about everyone as significantly safer. THE. WORLD. IS. UPSIDE. DOWN." Right on Brittani, right on.