Americans for Tax Reform today submitted testimony in opposition to New Mexico House Bill 205 which bans the use of flavors in life-saving reduced risk tobacco alternatives such as e-cigarettes.

ATR Director of Consumer Issues, Tim Andrews, wrote: “This bill would have a disastrous impact on public health throughout the State, and lead to a clear increase in tobacco-related deaths in New Mexico.”

Andrews noted the growing body of research showing vapor products are an effective harm reduction tool for adults looking to quit smoking:

“Extrapolating from a large-scale analysis by the US’s leading cancer researchers and coordinated by Georgetown University Medical Centre, vapor products would save over 52,000 lives if a majority of New Mexico smokers made the switch to vaping. This bill places lives in jeopardy by reducing access to these life-saving products.”

HB 205 would also seek to ban the use of flavors such as menthol in traditional cigarettes. Andrews noted that bans on menthol cigarettes “would also come with significant negative consequences for the state, with no evidence whatsoever that they have any effect in reducing smoking rates. Real world evidence from Massachusetts proves that such bans are counterproductive in that while they have no impact on smoking rates, they come at significant cost to the economy, harm the most vulnerable in society, and provide a boon for criminal syndicates and black market smugglers”.

The full testimony can be downloaded here.