Democrats, FDA Going After Electronic Cigarettes

Ronald Reagan once said “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” Democrats aren’t even waiting to see if e-cigs keep moving before they run straight to regulation

(National Review) There are a lot of rumors out there about e-cigarettes. They are white sticks, they emit what looks like smoke, and people hold them like their papery peers. Faced with these visible similarities, many lawmakers are out to shun e-cigarettes from polite society, much as traditional cigarettes have been banned from parks, restaurants, public spaces, and sometimes even peoples’ homes.

In the process, government health nannies are accomplishing the perverse goal of squashing what may be the most successful smoking-reduction product of the last 15 years.

The regulatory push, predominantly led by those who claim to base their political views on science, has little science to support it. More importantly, many studies show that e-cigarettes help smokers quit, while the water vapor they exhale has been shown, at least in one study, to contain ten times less nicotine that tobacco smoke.

Are e-cigs better for you than tobacco? At this time, we would have to say yes. It’s simply water vapor with flavor and some nicotine. Obviously, nicotine is not that good for you. And there’s always a chance that a long term study will find that they are very bad for you. Yet, as of today, they seem to be much better, and people find that quitting cigarettes is much easier than with patches and gum. Personally, I am down to 5-8 a day, when I was a pack to pack and a half a day smoker. I was the first one at work to give them a whirl (workplace went tobacco free February 2013). Many have follow along. One is down to 2-4 a day. Another is down from 2 packs a day to limiting himself to no more than 10. A few have quit altogether.

Of course, since e-cig use has taken off and become what seems to be a success during this terrible Obamaeconomy, liberal busy-body nanny-staters have to jump in

Yet Minnesota state representative Phyllis Kahn of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party has proposed a law that would restrict the usage of e-cigarettes throughout the state in the same way that cigarettes are restricted. Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill also want to treat e-cigarettes the same was as cigarettes by banning e-cigarettes in the Capitol, legislative office buildings, and within 25 feet of the entrances of any of those buildings. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville recently banned e-cigarettes from all campus buildings. The list goes on and on.

The FDA has been threatening to get involved, even though there are no real studies. Craig Weiss, CEO of the e-cigarette company NJOY, notes

“Our view is that we support reasonable, balanced regulation,” Weiss says. “I support ingredient disclosure, good manufacturing practices, age restrictions, and what I would call ‘reasonable regulation on advertising,’ meaning, for example, no using cartoon characters or advertising on Cartoon Network on Saturday mornings.”

I think we can all agree on that. Right now much of what is going on is self-regulation. The place I get my vapor liquid from refuses to sell to minors. When I was there the other day the owner told some kids who walked in to walk right out.

So far, studies have found that electronic cigarettes can actually help smokers quit or reduce the amount they smoke. One study published in the American Journal of Health and Behavior looked only at smokers aged 18 to 65 who were not interested in quitting smoking. By using e-cigarettes, 89 percent of the participants reduced the number of cigarettes they smoked a day by an average of 39 percent. Sixteen percent of subject reduced their cigarette consumption to zero by the end of the study.

And in comes Government to mess things up with lots and lots of restrictions.

“Here you have an incredible situation where private enterprise took on something that seemed like an intractable problem and developed a product with enormous potential,” Weiss says. “But if you make it just as inconvenient for smokers to use an alternative to their cigarette as it is to use their cigarette, they are just going to keep smoking their cigarettes, and that is not in the best interest of public health.”

Instead of making things more difficult, Government should get out of the way.

Left unsaid in the article is that when Government starts regulating, they can also cause the price to rise artificially.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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