I live in New York, a city that talks the talk of liberalism and freedom, except when it comes to smoking, big gulp drinks, trans fats and other things deemed not good for us by our elected officials. When smoking cigarettes was banned in restaurants and bars I, along with many smokers thought that it was a good idea. Smoking in enclosed spaces is neither healthy or sanitary. However, the city went as far to ban smoking in outdoor public parks as well as on city sidewalks! That’s a bit crazy. I get it, smoking is unhealthy and the plan is to make it inconvenient so smokers will quit. The city also taxes cigarettes big-time, which makes a pack now around $11-$12 each.
Let’s consider that the tobacco lobbyists are some of the most powerful who influence government leaders. Politicians can’t argue that smoking is good for people so they make a stand telling people they should quit, put warnings on labels, all the while knowing that it won’t make much of a difference. But they can tell their constituents that they care and they are doing something. Well, if you want to do something, you can ban the sale of cigarettes as a drug, but that’s not going to happen, is it?
So, taking the lead that maybe, just maybe, lawmakers are playing footsie with big tobacco, now comes the e-cigarette.
The e-cigarette comes in a variety of strengths and produces a vapor, believed to be harmless and is certainly one of the most formidable competitors to big tobacco in the last many decades. Who likes competition? Who likes a smoke-free product that may help cutting down on smoking and lung cancer? Certainly not big tobacco. And what about cities like New York who maybe got a bit of pressure from the lobbyists to rally against the e-cigarette. New York has decided to add e-cigarettes to the smoking ban. What would have been an alternative to cigarettes gets snuffed out with a few signatures!
And much of the stories and arguments that abound are that e-cigarettes are new and studies are inconclusive about their risks and benefits. Let’s make this simple – the benefit? Even if a smoker doesn’t quit smoking by using an e-cig, what benefits do traditional cigarettes give a smoker? And as for the risks, we already know for a fact that traditional cigarettes cause cancer, rotting teeth, wrinkled skin and death in many cases. Let’s go worst case scenario and e-cigs cause the same maladies. No, instead, the FDA and local cities are “protecting” us by allowing us to buy killer tobacco cigarettes but banning and speculating on the possible dangers of e-cigs.
What do you think? Share your comments with us.