With tobacco smoking routinely banned in most public areas in the United States and the evils of tobacco being preached from every public forum you’d think that cessation devices and healthy alternatives would be expected to be encouraged and promoted—especially by the lawmakers and policy gurus. Why is it then that the federal government in the US has gone out of its way to block, harass and disparage electronic cigarettes and the practice of vaping?
E-cigs deliver doses of nicotine in a non toxic vapor which approximates tobacco smoking without the attendant carcinogens. They produce no toxic second hand smoke and have a proven track record of being an effective means for hard core smokers to quit, with a good many two packs-a-day smokers never going back once they’ve tried vaping. E-cigs, by any other measure would seem to be the ideal flagship product for the US Government to endorse and recommend. And yet, the pundits in D.C. have routinely tried to ban, outlaw and regulate the availability and use of electronic cigarettes. From having them banned as a drug delivery device to prohibiting their use on airplanes—their efforts have been unstinting.
The folks with the most to lose should tobacco be outlawed completely and a safe and accessible alternative be put in its place would seem to be Big Tobacco itself. Conventional cigarettes have been delivering the demon drug nicotine for a few centuries now, and while tobacco smoking has fallen out of favor, there has been no effort to have paper cigarettes outlawed as a “drug delivery device”—even though nicotine isn’t on the Drug Enforcement Agency’s list of controlled substances; and yet, e-cigs have faced just that designation battle. Tobacco products have resulted in the deaths of millions— both smokers and those afflicted by cancers, emphysema and other illnesses by second hand smoke, and yet for all the public place smoking bans and Surgeon General’s warnings—cigarettes are one of the least regulated products in the nation.
It should come as no surprise that for all the rhetoric, Big Tobacco is a strong lobbying presence in the nation’s capital. The parent company to Philip Morris USA spent almost $14 million dollars last year alone in lobbying efforts aimed at the federal government. And you can bet that the continued harassment that e-cigs face is a result of a good bit of D.C. palm greasing.
Instead of trying to block and outlaw an increasingly popular and effective smoking cessation device, the United States Government should be ratifying the US signing of the global tobacco treaty and approving the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act – H.R.1256 , which seeks to subject tobacco to the same regulation as almost all other products in the marketplace.
Maybe it’s time to demand a little accountability from our legislators when it comes to who is accepting Big Tobacco money and find out just how far those we send to enact laws to protect us, are doing just the opposite!