The share of Maine high school students using e-cigarettes has nearly doubled in the past two years, according to state data released Friday, prompting Gov. Janet Mills to announce a new anti-vaping campaign set to launch early next year.
“Doubled in two years” would be a more impressive stat if e-cigs had been around for more than 15 years or notable for more than seven. It’ll serve its purpose, though, by making the “new anti-vaping campaign” sound more necessary.
And what does Mills mean by “campaign,” anyway?
The state’s education and prevention campaign will target young people through social media, YouTube, TV, radio and other platforms to warn them about the risks of vaping. The outreach will be funded from the sales of e-cigarette products.
It means “inflate the price of the thing to fund ads against it.”
But wait, there’s more!
Mills said she also wants to eliminate a provision in state law that still allows some individuals under the age of 21 to purchase tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. A law that set 21 as the minimum age to buy tobacco products took effect in July 2018, but the provision grandfathered in anyone who had turned 18 as of July 1, 2018.
The governor said she plans to introduce legislation in the Legislature’s upcoming session that would set the minimum purchase age at 21 for everyone.
Oh, a bill. That’ll fix everything. The state legislature has a shortage of those lined up for next year, so it’ll probably get passed even more quickly than usual, and there’s plenty of time to undo the grandfathering provision before it expires naturally in July 2021, so this will have a huge impact on the huge problem of 20-year-old high school students consuming nicotine in newfangled ways.
(The preceding paragraph contained some sarcasm.)