This week, New Times reported on the electronic cigarette business, which is currently booming but faces a crossroads this April, when the Food and Drug Administration is set to release proposals on how it will regulate the industry. A Wells Fargo analyst who studies the tobacco industry told us that sales of e-cigarettes could surpass sales of traditional cigarettes in the next few years. The coming FDA rules could largely influence how the market is divided among online retailers, small brick-and-mortar shops, and/or Big Tobacco. So far, there are few studies on the effects of inhaling e-cigarette vapor. The FDA is moving cautiously in case it proves dangerous, and some cities and states have moved to ban the sales of e-cigs entirely. But some doctors and health policy experts have said that e-cigarettes show tremendous promise as a "harm reduction" measure -- meaning that while while it's best to smoke nothing, e-cigs could probably help divert people from conventional ciggies, which definitely cause cancer, emphysema, and death.This is an issue that plays to the same sentiments as e.g. lowering the drinking age, getting rid of seatbelt laws, etc., but in some ways it is even better, because it's pretty transparently the Democrats a) trying to preserve tax revenues from cigarette sales and b) doing a favor for Big Tobacco, even though they know that that favor will cost lives. Photo credit - shopelectroniccigarette.com
Thursday, February 7, 2013
A potential winning issue for the GOP on the Nanny-State front?
FDA coming after electronic cigarettes come April by Thomas L. Knapp A couple of years ago, the FDA tried to outlaw electronic cigarettes under its authority to regulate medical equipment and "drug delivery systems." A court overruled them, and said if they were going to regulate e-cigs, they would have to do so under their authority to regulate "tobacco products." Effective in April, they intend to do just that. Some Democratic bastions have already started treating electronic cigarettes -- which produce no smoke, "second hand" or otherwise! -- as "smoking" for purposes of public smoking bans. From BrowardPalmBeach.com, "Ex-Smokers Organize to Keep Electronic Cigarettes on the Market, Easily Accessible":