Let’s face it. We live in a nation where public sentiment has firmly turned against government regulation. Just mention a US regulatory effort and the blank stares turn to virulent daggers. It’s just not cool to support more regulation from a government that most Americans believe is already too intrusive in our personal lives.
Surely the FDA is not exempt. Well… maybe exempt just a little.
Few of us would argue that tobacco products are dangerous to our health. There is not a climate change controversy here. Not even the tobacco companies claim health benefits to smoking. At this point, we all know the risks.
Where does the addiction to tobacco originate? Nicotine. If the habit were not addictive, most of us would consider the health risks manageable. I smoke a cigar once every couple of months. So rarely, in fact, that I still get a buzz from the smoke. I don’t believe this occasional use will have any impact on my health or life expectancy. I’m not worried about addiction or increased usage.
But the new e-cigarettes have me worried and it feels as though there is little doubt of their addictive probabilities. In essence, they are not a cigarette at all. They are simply a drug delivery system and that drug is nicotine.
It needs to be regulated because most people who are addicted to tobacco started out sneaking smokes as kids. We need to try to keep our kids safe to the furthest extent possible and I believe we all agree with the FDA proposal to regulate these new drug delivery systems with Grape Soda flavor and Essence of Watermelon.
Hasn’t the tobacco lobby learned anything? It played the ignorance card for so long now that you would think at least some of its cynicism would have abated. I guess not.
Less regulation has an important place in our economic growth and our personal freedoms, but the market only works when the marketers in that category have ethics. This is just exploitation and we need to regulate it.