Thursday, November 05, 2015

Why you should care if "vaping" goes up in smoke

Cigarette smokers are the redheaded stepchild of American life.

Technology and market-based freedoms have combined to create a powerful alternative to cigarettes just in time, for both a smoking-averse society and those hoping to avoid the stigma and negative health effects of smoking. Government taxers and regulators here have set their sights on this new technology, electronic cigarettes, just as evidence of its efficacy should be grabbing our attention instead.

Big Tobacco's propagandists have launched a full scale attack on electronic cigarettes and their attacks have been effective. Deep-pocketed monopolists blasting upstart competitors and using government to do it is nothing new, but that is exactly what is happening with e-cigs and all of us, whether we own Big Tobacco or not, will pay the price if they succeed. Throwing away a powerful smoking cessation tool to protect Big Tobacco hurts people who want to quit smoking and those who pay the social costs of tobacco-related illness as well as anyone who might ever enjoy a new technology which upsets the established order. Seeing this game played out again at the expense of a new technology and those who benefit from it to maintain the status quo can't be countenanced by anyone who values the way technology and freedom make life better for everyone.