Why does the government have to ruin all fun things? Recently, I wrote THIS piece on the government trying to regulate your sex life. But now the government has turned its heavy hand to vaping, the electronic cigarettes that deliver nicotine through vapors.
If a new delivery-room procedure reduced deaths of mothers during labor by 95%, CNN and “60 Minutes” would do special hour-long tributes and the new technique would quickly become mandatory.
If a new safety gadget inside automobiles were demonstrated to reduced fatalities by 95%, it would be talked up as a miracle of the age and be installed in every car.
And yet, years ago along came a device that reduces harm from smoking by 95%. The reaction has been silence at times, outright suppression at others. There have been plenty of lies to accompany this bizarre smear campaign.
If smokers switched to e-cigarettes, it would “prevent almost all of the harm from smoking,”Britain’s Royal College of Physicians stated this week, highlighting growing evidence in favor of e-cigarette use, or vaping. The RCP says it is “unlikely” that vaping is even 5% as dangerous as smoking — and may be substantially safer than that.
Instead of pretending vaping is nearly as dangerous as smoking, the RCP said, we should do the opposite: Tell the truth. If regulation “makes e-cigarettes less easily accessible, less palatable or acceptable, more expensive, less consumer friendly or pharmacologically less effective, or inhibits innovation and development of new and improved products, then it causes harm by perpetuating smoking.”
The Royal College of Physicians has a distinguished history when it comes to reporting on smoking: In 1962, two years before the US surgeon general officially linked smoking to disease for the first time, the RCP issued a much more robust warning.
In fact, many people who vape are getting way from regular cigarettes. So, how does our government respond? Smith continues:
… US authorities are taking extreme, hysterical and often ludicrous steps to stamp out vaping, massively overstating the harm it does, speculating wildly on unproven potential risks from trace amounts of chemicals involved and banning vaping indoors, outdoors and even in outdoor public spaces such as parks.
In 2014, the FDA published a proposed rule that would have effectively banned vaping, though a congressional amendment passed last week could reverse that. The Mayo Clinic and the Centers for Disease Control are among the outfits that have falsely claimed vaping is as dangerous as cigarettes.
In the International Journal of Drug policy, professors Lynn Kozlowski of SUNY Buffalo and David Sweanor of the University of Ottawa slammed the “information quarantine” about the relative safety of e-cigarettes, which they blamed on “emotionally charged moral reactions.” The blackout is working: a Reuters survey last year found that only 35% of the public understood that e-cigarettes are safer than smoking.
So what gives? Smith believes he knows the answer and compares it to the controversy surrounding fracking. Even though abundant evidence shows fracking is less risky than other ways to get fossil fuels, liberals foam at the mouth even at the mention of the word. Is it because they just dislike the idea of frackers… and smokers? Smith writes:
Progressives hate tobacco companies and they hate tobacco smokers. By extension, progressives resent and despise life-improving technology if it appears to reward their avowed enemies.
While it makes sense that regular cigarette manufacturers would want to dissuade smokers from switching from their product to another, why is the government so divorced from reality?
Ed Driscoll agrees with Smith’s assertion:
Even as it effectively decriminalized marijuana, California launched “a progressive jihad against ‘vaping,’ the use of so-called e-cigarettes that deliver nicotine in the form of vapor. . . . If that seems inconsistent to you, you are thinking about it the wrong way: For all of its scientific pretensions and empirical posturing, progressivism is not about evidence, and at its heart it is not even about public policy at all: It is about aesthetics. The goal of progressivism is not to make the world rational; it’s to make the world Portland.”
Smith concludes by saying:
The finding that vaping is probably at least 95% safer than smoking marks a stunning, landmark moment in the history of public health. Nicotine addiction has traditionally been the single greatest preventable cause of death in the United States. And yet now nicotine has effectively been 19/20ths disarmed. We should celebrate this news. It should be shouted across the land.
But I like how Driscoll responded to the question posed in the headline of this piece. Why is the government declaring war on vaping?
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