SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

September 16, 2013

Our view: Nanny government identifies a new target

(Continued)

Banning sales to minors makes sense and should become law. We ban the sale of ordinary cigarettes to minors because we do not want them to become addicted to nicotine and suffer the deleterious health effects caused by a lifetime of smoking. We ban sales to minors and not to adults because minors, society believes, are incapable of making informed, rational decisions and behave impulsively.

E-cigarettes do not change this rationale at all. Their sale to minors should be prohibited.

But the legislation would also extend the ban on smoking ordinary cigarettes in public places to electronic cigarettes. There is no rational basis for this legislation.

Smoking is prohibited in enclosed public spaces because there is convincing evidence that secondhand smoke poses a health risk even to nonsmokers. But there is no such evidence that the vapor exhaled by those who smoke e-cigarettes poses any health risks whatsoever. Banning smokers of electronic cigarettes reflects nothing more than an irrational fear of and animus toward those with personal preferences that differ from our own.

While no sensible person would claim electronic cigarettes are a health device, some smokers use them to wean themselves off nicotine altogether. Some 1 in 5 smokers now report using e-cigarettes.

Unless hard evidence can prove these devices pose some threat to nonsmokers, we ought to leave adult e-cigarette smokers alone.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion

AP Video
Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate
Helium