News & Politics

Nanny State Goes Overboard with E-Cig Alarmism

This morning, the surgeon general released a report about electronic cigarettes, the latest industry fallen victim to hyper-regulation by our nanny-state government.

Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy’s report emphasizes the increase of e-cig use among high school students revealing that “use of e-cigarettes among high school students increased by 900% from 2011 to 2015, according to the report.”

Putting aside for a moment the fact that e-cigs are a relative new phenomena and so naturally as their availability increased so too would their use, Murthy’s report contradicts analysis released last year that show e-cigs sales have stalled.

Here’s a story dated November 2015:

Growing dissatisfaction among customers, inventory backlogs, new state laws and rising safety concerns are expected to cut the rate of e-cigarette growth in half next year to 57% from its compound annual growth rate of 114% over the past five years, according to the research firm Euromonitor International. Because of the rapid sales declines, Euromonitor research analyst Eric Penicka said he is preparing to “pull back that forecast” even further.

Writes CNN:

Specifically, among middle and high school students, use of e-cigarettes has more than tripled since 2011, the report indicates. Meanwhile, after a period of relative stability from 2011 to 2013, vaping among young adults between 18 and 24 years old more than doubled from 2013 to 2014.

So the government report shows something very different from what independent research shows. Perhaps it’s just high school students who are picking up the vaping habit.

Murthy went on to say: “Compared with older adults, the brain of youth and young adults is more vulnerable to the negative consequences of nicotine exposure. As Surgeon General and as a new father, I am urging all parents to take a stand against e-cigarette use by our nation’s young people.” Murthy also announced the creation of a new website, paid for by the taxpayers obviously, to provide information and resources to parents with children who vape or might vape.

Nicotine delivery systems have been available for years. Although the media likes to talk about e-cigs as if they were tobacco, they are not. E-cigs deliver nicotine to the user just as nicorette (gum, lozenges) and nicoderm (patch) do. Those products are available over-the-counter and carry the same restrictions regarding sales to minors as e-cigs.  If nicotine has suddenly become so dangerous to teenagers, why are these other pharmaceutical products still on the market? And where exactly are these “middle and high school students” getting e-cigs from? The black market? Or are laws being disregarded? If the laws are being disregarded, that’s a legal issue, not a vaping issue.

Another convenient point from the report is the claim that e-cigs do not help people quit smoking. Reuters reports:

The report states that there is no evidence to support claims e-cigarettes help people quit smoking.

“More studies are needed to elucidate the nature of any true causal relationship between e-cigarette and combustible tobacco product use,” it said.

I believe that to be a lie, just a straight-up lie. It seems like the relationship between quitting smoking and vaping is a real important one, especially if the government wants to start regulating businesses out of existence and making it harder to vape to quit smoking. Why didn’t the CDC fully study this relationship? Because it’s more effective to gin up public support against e-cigs by claiming that children’s health is in danger. We’ve seen this before; it’s the worn-out “it’s for the children” narrative.  What use is a study that shows vaping helps people quit smoking if you’re working for a government bureaucracy that wants to bleed the taxpayers for revenue and regulate their personal choices?

“What the Surgeon General does not acknowledge with this announcement are the millions of adult Americans who rely on vapor products to switch away from smoking deadly cigarettes,” said Tony Abboud, national legislative director of the Vapor Technology Association, an industry group, in a statement. “While there is no credible evidence that vapor products are a ‘gateway’ to combustible cigarettes, there is scientific evidence that they provide these adult smokers with a safer alternative.”

Make no mistake, the government has a vested interest in keeping people ON cigarettes and OFF of e-cigs. Electronic cigarettes compete with other nicotine delivery systems manufactured by businesses under the Big Pharma umbrella. Take a gander at how much money the pharma industry spends in politics.  It’s no surprise the government is trying to crush Big Pharma competition.

The other reason the government has an interest in keeping people on tobacco is because of the massive tax revenue generated from cigarettes. E-cigs have not yet been taxed to the extent tobacco has and if people quit smoking in favor of vaping all that delicious taxpayer cash goes away.  In order to punish users with higher taxes and regulations at the state and local level, the voting public must believe that e-cigs are dangerous especially for the children. 

So naturally it would follow that “the Surgeon General called for federal, state and local action immediately, such as including e-cigarettes in smoking bans as well as significant increases in taxes and the price of e-cigarette products. “

Thankfully, we have a new administration taking control of Washington, D.C. I am optimistic and hopeful these out-of-control regulatory agencies will be collared.