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Ban E-Cigarettes? Why not?Follow

#1 Aug 25 2013 at 9:47 PM Rating: Decent
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http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/08/25/ban-e-cigarettes-the-anti-smoking-lobby-s-clueless-crusade.html

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H.L. Mencken famously defined puritanism as “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” He might have been describing contemporary anti-smoking activists, that dour band of fuss-budgets constantly on the prowl for new ways to make life slightly less bearable by limiting the choices available to grown adults.

Incredibly, the latest push from tobacco eliminationists doesn’t involve actual smoking, which has already been driven out of polite society more thoroughly than Rev. Jeremiah Wright sermons, early David Allan Coe records, and Three’s Company-era *** jokes combined. But it does lay bare the prohibitionist mindset and its fixation on scrubbing the planet clean of any behavior or attitude the crusader deems unacceptable.

This time, the buttinskys are trying to douse the dreaded e-cigarette, a device that supplies a safe nicotine hit to the user without bothering or endangering anybody else. E-cigarettes use replaceable cartridges in which nicotine or flavors are heated, vaporized, and inhaled (users are called “vapers”). Some e-cigarettes look like conventional cancer sticks and others look more like something from a bad Sylvester Stallone movie set in the near future. Questions of fashion aside, they are not just a safer way for smokers to get the nicotine they crave, they are apparently as safe as milk (well, pasteurized milk, anyway, and assuming you’re not lactose intolerant).

Critics warn that trace amounts of bad stuff can be found in e-cigarettes’ vapor, but that is not necessarily cause for concern, much less prohibition. As a new review of the literature on e-cigarettes from Drexel University’s Igor Burstyn concludes, “Current data do not indicate that exposures to vapors from contaminants in electronic cigarettes warrant a concern. There are no known toxicological synergies among compounds in the aerosol, and mixture of the contaminants does not pose a risk to health. In fact, the inability to show proof of harm was one of the reasons the Food and Drug Administration’s 2010 bid to control e-cigarettes as a “drug-delivery device” failed in court. Burstyn notes further there is even less reason to be concerned with second-hand fumes, which are by definition even less concentrated that what the vaper sucks down. His main concern is that users knowingly choose whether they’re getting nicotine or not.

As Michael Siegel, who teaches at Boston University’s School of Public Health, wrote in a recent New York Times’ debate on e-cigarettes, despite evidence that e-cigarettes reduce overall harm from smoking, “many anti-smoking groups oppose these products because they are blinded by ideology: they find it difficult, if not impossible, to endorse a behavior that looks like smoking, even though it is literally saving people’s lives....What’s not to like?”

Anti-smoking groups find it difficult, if not impossible, to endorse a behavior that looks like smoking, even though it is literally saving people’s lives.

Well, plenty, it turns out. E-cigarettes are the subject of an ever-growing list of bans, prohibitions, and expert opprobrium (just read some of the other participants in that Times’ debate). As always, New York – a town once called “Fun City” that still likes to pretend it’s tougher than the rib-eyes for sale at the few remaining Tad’s Steaks in Times Sqaure – is leading the charge against e-cigarettes. As Gothamist reports, Michael Bloomberg is “quietly working...to enact a sweeping ban on flavored e-cigs.”

The same impulse is afoot in less trendy parts of the country. Illinois has banned e-cigarette sales to teens and Massachusetts is considering legislation that would ban giving away free samples or using the devices anywhere that tobacco is already verboten. Despite the lack of second-hand smoke, school districts around the country have lumped in e-cigarettes with banned tobacco products on campuses, and the Federal Aviation Administration has blocked their use on commercial flights.

In one sense, you’ve got to admire anti-smoking activists and their willingness to constantly look for new fires to put out. Like the March of Dimes, which scrambled for a new cause once polio was effectively eradicated (and found one in the all-encompassing categories of preventing birth defects and premature births), the anti-smoking movement is a victim of its own success. In the wake of increasingly high-handed bans, taxes, and regulations, smoking is everywhere in retreat. In the mid-1960s, over 40 percent of Americans smoked, compared to less than 20 percent these days. Yet it’s no coincidence that the biggest decreases in smoking rates came in the early decades after the U.S. Surgeon General’s 1964 report on smoking told Americans what they already knew: cigarettes were called “coffin nails” and “cancer sticks” for good goddamned reasons.

Informational campaigns about the terrible health consequences of smoking, along with restrictions on advertising and other broad-based cultural trends that valorized being in shape and not stinking like an ashtray went a long way to creating a smoke-free society. People actually respond to logic, argument, and persuasion. Who knew?

But as the percentage of Americans who smoke has stayed relatively stuck in the high teens and low twenties, the anti-smoking movement has turned to increasingly paternalistic, dictatorial, and infantilizing measures to achieve its goals. From statewide bans on smoking in more and more places to the censoring of marketing terms such as light and mild that have ushered in an age of childishly color-coded cigarette packs to plans for scrubbing smoking in movies and TV shows, there’s no logical stopping point for treating us all as moral defectives incapable of making our own choices.

Indeed, taking a page from the Stalin-era Soviet Union, prohibitionists even managed to erase omnipresent cigarettes dangling from the lips of artist Jackson Pollock and bluesman Robert Johnson in iconic images used for postage stamps (would that activists had been half as successful at curbing public urination, Pollock’s other signature move).

And now, the prohibitionists are taking on e-cigarettes because... because... because... smoking tobacco is bad for you. And they don’t think you should decide how to live your life.

Which reminds me of a different Mencken quote about those who would control our choices: “The only guarantee of the Bill of Rights which continues to have any force and effect is the one prohibiting quartering troops on citizens in time of peace.” These days, even that may be up for grabs. But there’s no question that in a nanny state, all of us- even those of us who don't smoke tobacco or puff on e-cigarettes- are all treated like children incapable of making our own choices.


Helps smokers quit. . .bad.
Hurts NO ONE ELSE. . .still bad.
No proof of any danger to public. . .still bad.

Nanny statists don't give one wit about safety and this undeniably proves it. It's all about control and making sure adults can't make their own choices. Here we are talking about banning and taxing the crap out of something that is saving literally thousands of lives and for why? Because it looks like smoking?

The monumental idiocy behind this is inexplicable.

-NW
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#2 Aug 26 2013 at 1:22 AM Rating: Decent
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I support a ban on drinking Root Beer in public and of course while driving.

Edited, Aug 26th 2013 9:22am by Almalieque
#3 Aug 26 2013 at 5:53 AM Rating: Good
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It's stupid. Perhaps they should be regulated - not sold to kids, that kind of thing. There is little proof of any harm to the user except it sustains a tobacco addiction. No proof of any harm to those exposed to second-hand 'vapor'.

I wonder if tobacco companies are involved in this??

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#4 Aug 26 2013 at 7:18 AM Rating: Excellent
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Reads like an article written by someone that needs to seriously take a smoke break.
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#5 Aug 26 2013 at 9:50 AM Rating: Excellent
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I was going to make some vague allusion to laws regulating various indecent behaviors or something. It seemed a little week, but I figured why not, maybe it'll spur a little discussion. However after Miley Cyrus' little jiggle session that's all over the internet today that argument doesn't even feel like it has a broken leg to stand on anymore.
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#6 Aug 26 2013 at 10:47 AM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
However after Miley Cyrus' little jiggle session that's all over the internet today


Should I have watched the VMAs last night, or what?
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#7 Aug 26 2013 at 10:52 AM Rating: Excellent
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TirithRR wrote:
someproteinguy wrote:
However after Miley Cyrus' little jiggle session that's all over the internet today


Should I have watched the VMAs last night, or what?
I'm still going with a 'no' on that. Unless you like watching another yet former Disney star go through their bad boy/girl stage.
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#8 Aug 26 2013 at 11:03 AM Rating: Excellent
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God, that recent song of hers is horrible. It's auto-tuned to the point of sounding like a friggin' insect whine. We watch VH1's countdown on Sunday mornings because my little one likes the music and we like him being occupied with a break from toddler TV. So I see plenty of songs I don't especially care for but that song just grates.
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#9 Aug 26 2013 at 11:29 AM Rating: Good
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If it weren't for the internet today, I'd still be only tangentially aware of the fact that Miley Cyrus still exists.
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#10 Aug 26 2013 at 11:31 AM Rating: Excellent
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If not for the internet, I'd have ZERO idea that you exist, so I guess Miley won that round.
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#11 Aug 26 2013 at 11:33 AM Rating: Good
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Smiley: crymore
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#12 Aug 26 2013 at 11:45 AM Rating: Excellent
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If not for the internet MMOs would be awful.
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#13 Aug 26 2013 at 11:48 AM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
God, that recent song of hers is horrible.
I admit, I kind of just assumed all her songs were horrible.
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#14 Aug 26 2013 at 11:55 AM Rating: Excellent
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lolgaxe wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
God, that recent song of hers is horrible.
I admit, I kind of just assumed all her songs were horrible.
Which is really a bummer, since that stripper act of hers needs quite a bit of work still.


Edited, Aug 26th 2013 10:59am by someproteinguy
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#15 Aug 26 2013 at 12:02 PM Rating: Decent
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Elinda wrote:
It's stupid. Perhaps they should be regulated - not sold to kids, that kind of thing. There is little proof of any harm to the user except it sustains a tobacco addiction. No proof of any harm to those exposed to second-hand 'vapor'.

I wonder if tobacco companies are involved in this??




Doubtful. Big Tobacco's pull amongst politicians has all but evaporated. That ship sailed over 20 years ago.

It's the same statists that brought you large-sized soda bans in NYC and a tobacco tax hike in MN.

-NW
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#16 Aug 26 2013 at 1:44 PM Rating: Good
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NaughtyWord wrote:
It's the same statists that brought you large-sized soda bans in NYC
That's what happens when an Independent gets into any kind of office.
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#17 Aug 26 2013 at 1:53 PM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
lolgaxe wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
God, that recent song of hers is horrible.
I admit, I kind of just assumed all her songs were horrible.
Which is really a bummer, since that stripper act of hers needs quite a bit of work still.
She can practice stripping without having to sing.
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Aethien you take more terrible pictures than a Japanese tourist.
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#18 Aug 26 2013 at 1:58 PM Rating: Excellent
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
someproteinguy wrote:
lolgaxe wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
God, that recent song of hers is horrible.
I admit, I kind of just assumed all her songs were horrible.
Which is really a bummer, since that stripper act of hers needs quite a bit of work still.
She can practice stripping without having to sing.
Sage advice. Practice that alone more, that way when she tries to combine the two again it doesn't get so awkward.
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#19 Aug 26 2013 at 2:02 PM Rating: Decent
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lolgaxe wrote:
NaughtyWord wrote:
It's the same statists that brought you large-sized soda bans in NYC
That's what happens when an Independent gets into any kind of office.



I don't do political parties. I think they are just another system that exists to enrich and empower a select few on the backs of the many.


Statists exist in both major political parties and among independents as well.


-NW
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#20 Aug 26 2013 at 2:23 PM Rating: Good
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NaughtyWord wrote:
I don't do political parties. I think they are just another system that exists to enrich and empower a select few on the backs of the many.


Statists exist in both major political parties and among independents as well.


-NW
Have a beer and chill out a bit, all that raging is bad for you.
Screenshot



Edited, Aug 26th 2013 10:23pm by Aethien
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YOU'RE AN ELITIST @#%^ AETHIEN, NO WONDER YOU HAVE NO FRIENDS AND PEOPLE HATE YOU.
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Aethien you take more terrible pictures than a Japanese tourist.
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One day, Maz, you'll learn not to click on anything Aeth links.
#21 Aug 26 2013 at 4:49 PM Rating: Decent
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NaughtyWord wrote:
Elinda wrote:
It's stupid. Perhaps they should be regulated - not sold to kids, that kind of thing. There is little proof of any harm to the user except it sustains a tobacco addiction. No proof of any harm to those exposed to second-hand 'vapor'.

I wonder if tobacco companies are involved in this??




Doubtful. Big Tobacco's pull amongst politicians has all but evaporated. That ship sailed over 20 years ago.

It's the same statists that brought you large-sized soda bans in NYC and a tobacco tax hike in MN.

-NW


I wouldn't even necessarily use the label "statists". Busybodies, is more like it. Once a cause gets going, it becomes institutionalized and has to keep finding things to fight against. And often what happens is that along the way the original reasons for fighting against something gets lost and it just becomes about fighting against something. In this case, the presumed reasons for fighting against smoking was because of the harmful health effects, both to the person smoking and to those around him/her. But those objectives tend to get translated into a general "against smoking" position, often with an emotional reaction. So it's not surprising at all that the idea of someone "smoking" in a way that is not harmful would still be opposed. It's ceased to be about the harm, and is about the perceived action itself.


I'm sure if you were to ask most people who support banning e-cigarettes, they'd argue something about how children might see people smoking an e-cig and think it looks cool, and then start smoking tobacco products as a result. Which makes the whole "let's ban these from minors" approach problematic at best. Seems to me that would be counterproductive since it's pretty easy to bum a smoke off someone, but far less likely someone's going to let you borrow their e-cig. So if some minor wants to "smoke", you've left him with no choice but tobacco cigarettes. So great job I guess!?
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#22 Aug 26 2013 at 4:57 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
I'm sure if you were to ask most people who support banning e-cigarettes, they'd argue something about how children might see people smoking an e-cig and think it looks cool, and then start smoking tobacco products as a result. Which makes the whole "let's ban these from minors" approach problematic at best. Seems to me that would be counterproductive since it's pretty easy to bum a smoke off someone, but far less likely someone's going to let you borrow their e-cig. So if some minor wants to "smoke", you've left him with no choice but tobacco cigarettes. So great job I guess!?


Pretty sure on NPR this morning I listened to a story about trying to ban cigarillos and flavored cigars, because they appealed to kids (small + flavors = childish). Apparently flavored cigarettes are already banned? News to me, thought I guess I don't see Clove and Orange cigarettes in the stores.

Sometimes South Park is relevant.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUEjnoWpdao

Edited, Aug 26th 2013 6:58pm by TirithRR
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#23 Aug 26 2013 at 5:25 PM Rating: Good
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TirithRR wrote:
gbaji wrote:
I'm sure if you were to ask most people who support banning e-cigarettes, they'd argue something about how children might see people smoking an e-cig and think it looks cool, and then start smoking tobacco products as a result. Which makes the whole "let's ban these from minors" approach problematic at best. Seems to me that would be counterproductive since it's pretty easy to bum a smoke off someone, but far less likely someone's going to let you borrow their e-cig. So if some minor wants to "smoke", you've left him with no choice but tobacco cigarettes. So great job I guess!?


Pretty sure on NPR this morning I listened to a story about trying to ban cigarillos and flavored cigars, because they appealed to kids (small + flavors = childish). Apparently flavored cigarettes are already banned? News to me, thought I guess I don't see Clove and Orange cigarettes in the stores.

Sometimes South Park is relevant.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUEjnoWpdao

Edited, Aug 26th 2013 6:58pm by TirithRR


That happened maybe 6 or 7 years ago? At least in NJ it did; dunno if that was a federal ban, or if a federal ban came later. But big tobacco really brought that one on themselves, because they weren't even in eyesight of the line anymore. Flashy packaging, traditional candy flavors, candy-esque packaging.

I'm sure clove wasn't an offender. Green apple, "very cherry," etc. were the ones drawing fire from the FDA. But the ban only covered cigarettes, not cigarillos, cigars, or other forms of tobacco.
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#24 Aug 26 2013 at 5:52 PM Rating: Decent
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Elinda wrote:
It's stupid. Perhaps they should be regulated - not sold to kids, that kind of thing.



Here in Canuckistan, they do. When they first started coming out when I worked at a gas station, it stated right on the boxes that they weren't to be sold to minors.
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#26 Sep 12 2013 at 9:32 AM Rating: Good
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Duluth, MN has just added the same restrictions to e-cigs as regular cigs. They're not the same product, I think it's short-sighted to simply tack on the same set of regulations.

Edit - Oops - the Story.



Edited, Sep 12th 2013 5:33pm by Elinda
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