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The Vape and the Mark Benson
The last few weeks have seen state authorities attempting to ban electronic cigarettes indoors, ban the sale on ecigs on the Internet, restrict use in outside locations and, unsurprisingly, introduce taxes. So, what gives the authorities the right to tell me what I can and can’t do? They have sold me tobacco cigarettes for the last century, alcohol has been legalised for many years yet for some reason electronic cigarettes are the devil incarnate?
Do as I say, not as I do
Many politicians should look at the above phrase and think about what they are doing – dictating to the public, acting on matters they have no authority over and basically telling us, the public, what to do. How do politicians around the world seem to know better than medical professionals who have yet to deem electronic cigarette anywhere near as harmful as their tobacco counterpart?
Trial after trial suggest electronic cigarettes are but a fraction as harmful as their tobacco counterpart (with some experts suggesting that they are 90% less harmful) so why are they trying to ban them? Has any individual with an unbiased opinion of electronic cigarette/tobacco products complained about ecigs? Have we seen a raft of health issues arising across the worldwide health profession? The simple answer is, no!
Blurring the lines
We all know that vaping products contain nicotine, seen by many as the most addictive product known to man, while others suggest it is as addictive as caffeine. Even if we set aside the additional elements present in tobacco cigarettes there is no consensus opinion about the addictive nature of nicotine! However, politicians were more than happy to legalise tobacco products many years while health issues were addressed in the background. Then they have the nerve to take additional taxes from tobacco cigarette smokers while in public trying to demonise them.
The same could be said of the electronic cigarette sector, which has been demonised by politicians around the world. It is perhaps ironic that these authorities are looking to jump the gun on the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) which itself cannot agree upon a regulatory structure going forward.
Why has the FDA been so slow to react?
There are two trains of thought as to why the FDA has yet to put forward a formal structure for the future of the electronic cigarette industry. One idea suggests that they are finding it difficult to justify the rumoured draconian measures they would like to put in place while others believe they are happy to create an information vacuum and let others take the tough decisions. When we say “others” we basically mean governments and local authorities around the world which, despite not having the relevant expertise, always seem to know best!
The harder politicians try to withdraw electronic cigarettes from the marketplace the more people show an interest. Indeed we are now at the stage where blatant lies and untruths about the industry are being ignored by the wider public who are more interested in first-hand experience. At some point the politicians will throw in the towel and then, mark my words, they will look to tax the industry to the hilt!