The cities of Brandon and Flowood are hoping to start the trend in Rankin county of banning e-cigarettes and vaping for minors. They’re too late.

Minors are already prohibited from buying such products meaning the new ordinances will have little effect on the legality of vaping in Rankin county.

According to a story from WLBT, this began as a discussion among municipalities in Rankin county, along with the Sheriff’s Department. Other cities are expected that follow suit.

Elected officials across the country are beside themselves in the push to outlaw vaping.

Unfortunately, America has a terrible record of accomplishment when it comes to government prohibitions. After all, the prohibition on teens purchasing e-cigarettes or vaping products is so ineffective, we don’t even realize it’s already the law.

Sales of e-cigarettes have been prohibited to those under 18 since 2016, so minors are already turning to the black-market. That should be our first clue that bans don’t work. Because the black market is the problem, as it usually is.

So far, the overwhelming evidence is the deaths and illnesses related to vaping were the result of black-market substances, such as vitamin E. We don’t exactly know all of the details but these are not the products adults are legally purchasing today. 

Indeed, prohibitions only tend to illicit more dangerous options.

During alcohol prohibition, individuals made their own liquor that was often much more dangerous than what you could legally buy prior to prohibition. Today, many people roll their own cigarettes in locales that have absurdly high taxes. Again, these are often more dangerous as you can get more nicotine by leaving out a filter. 

And when it comes to vaping, teens can turn to YouTube for do-it-yourself videos on raising nicotine levels. This won’t change because of a new ordinance. Just like it didn’t change because of a federal law.

While well intentioned, all this ordinance and other bans will do is increase lawlessness.