A detailed report focused on the regulatory environment for vaping was recently released and ranks 52 cities in the country on a grading system, separating those locations that are more welcoming of vaping from those that aren’t.
The report was created by the R Street Institute, a Washington D.C.-based think tank conducting free market research.
According to the data, Virginia Beach, Virginia was the largest city to receive an A+ rating, with three Arizona cities, Phoenix,Tucson and Mesa also earning A grades.
At the bottom of the list were cities like Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Seattle, and eight cities in California, all of which earned F grades, indicating that the current political climates there negatively impact vapers with the passage of bans and excise taxes, according to California Watchdog, a non-profit organization dedicated to transparency and fiscal responsibility.
Minneapolis faired the worst by far, with the study’s authors writing, “Conditions are so bad that the city is home to a tax paradigm that actually favors cigarettes over vapor.”
The analysis they offer cites research that makes the case for the benefits that vaping has on public health, and how the good it does is being undermined by legislation that subjects vapor product users to the same punitive taxes and restrictions hurled at cigarette smokers.
“If the goal of tobacco policy is to reduce public harm, then alternative products that move smokers away from cigarettes should receive favorable treatment under the law,” write Cameron Smith and Dan Semelsberger, the study’s authors.