Having Solved All the World's Other Problems, Four Democrat Senators Slam NBC Over E-Cigarettes

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and three of his colleagues are very, very concerned that NBC showed actors vaping on e-cigarettes during the Golden Globes award ceremony Sunday night. Roll Call reports that the four Democrats are so concerned that they jointly fired off a strongly-worded letter to the network, admonishing it to stop showing e-cigs.

Durbin, along with Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, sent a letter Tuesday to NBCUniversal and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association expressing concern about the potential that showing the e-cigs at the awards show will “glamorize smoking.”

Blumenthal is the Democrat who lied about serving in Vietnam. Durbin is the Democrat who smeared U.S. military forces, likening them to the Nazis and Pol Pot's brutal killing machine in Cambodia. On the one hand, Senator Stolen Valor. On the other, Senator Smear the Troops.

The senators ask the two groups to take action to prevent similar appearances by e-cigs at future shows.

The letter that the four sent is comically serious. They expended staff time compiling this.

Each year, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recognizes excellence in film and television at the Golden Globe Awards. Throughout the country and the world, people tune in to watch fashionable actors on the red carpet, enjoy the show, and root for their favorite films and actors. Unfortunately, this year, many young viewers saw notable displays of e-cigarette use throughout the awards show, including the opening monologue and repeated shots of celebrities smoking e-cigarettes. In light of studies showing that exposure to on-screen smoking is a major contributor to smoking initiation among youth, we are troubled that these images glamorize smoking and serve as celebrity endorsements that could encourage young fans to begin smoking traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes.

Electronic cigarettes, also called e-cigarettes, are battery-operated devices that simulate traditional tobacco cigarettes. E-cigarettes contain cartridges filled with flavors, chemicals, and the highly addictive substance, nicotine, which are vaporized and inhaled by the user. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), e-cigarette use is growing rapidly. Between 2010 and 2011, the number of U.S. adults who have tried e-cigarettes doubled.  Further, a CDC study released in September 2013 found that in just one year, from 2011 to 2012, the percentage of high school students who have ever used e-cigarettes more than doubled from 4.7 percent to 10 percent.

In spite of the growing popularity of e-cigarettes and limited research on their long-term health effects and risk for increasing use of traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes are currently not required to be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for evaluation or approval. In 2009, FDA conducted a limited analysis of a sample of e-cigarettes. The analysis found significant quality control issues such as the presence of carcinogens and toxic chemicals, variation in the dose of nicotine in each inhalation, and the presence of nicotine in products claiming to be nicotine-free.  The study raises concerns regarding the safety of these products, the levels of nicotine and other potentially harmful chemicals, and the marketing of e-cigarettes to children and teens.

They'll end up championing "liberty" and advocating marijuana legalization while trying to ban e-cigs.

Sunday's Golden Globes soared to its largest audience in 10 years. Perhaps the senators are just trying to get themselves into related Google searches.