The War on E-CIGARETTES – NRO
The War on E-Cigarettes
JEFF STIER & GREGORY CONLEY
The CDC should stop funding harmful campaigns.
Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that from 2005 to 2010, the nation’s smoking rate experienced a measly decline, from 20.9 percent to 19.3 percent. This, despite hundreds of millions of dollars in government anti-smoking campaigns and higher cigarette taxes. The CDC now estimates that the smoking rate will be 17 percent in 2020, far short of the sub–12 percent goal set by the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.
If there’s any chance of reaching the goal, influential anti-tobacco activist groups should quit stubbornly relying on the government to solve the problem, especially when the private sector is coming up with innovative approaches to reduce the risks related to tobacco use.
The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, perhaps the most prominent anti-tobacco group, wrote in a press release that the decline in smoking rates was “nothing to cheer” about and that the news “underscores the need for elected officials at all levels to more aggressively implement proven measures to reduce tobacco use.” Except by their own admission, the only thing proven about the current government approach is that it isn’t working.
In fact, groups like Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids have remained steadfast in their adamant opposition to many commonsense strategies for making tobacco less deadly. The most egregious example is their continued prohibitionist stance towards electronic cigarettes. E-cigarettes, which deliver nicotine to the user in a water-like vapor that does not contain the deadly amalgamation of particles found in tobacco smoke, have caught on over the last half-decade with smokers looking for less risky ways to get nicotine, or even trying to quit entirely. Published surveys suggest that e-cigarettes have helped a significant number of people remain abstinent from traditional cigarettes. Furthermore, despite fear-mongering by activist groups, tests performed on e-cigarette liquid and vapor demonstrate that the product is no more toxic than other nicotine-replacement therapy products such as the nicotine patch, gum, and inhaler.