Update: 03/04/14: LA County just voted to treat ecigs like tobacco. This is crazy, especially since people are running all around LA doing drugs.
Prohibition is back and the control freaks, busybodys, Puritans, gawkers, and dour interferers are poised to tax ecigs out of existence. Ecigs are the cigarette substitutes that emit no harmful vapors and which present no known risk to health.
E-cigarettes have proven effective in helping smokers reduce their cigarette use or quit altogether. Several studies back this up. One such study from The American Association of Public Health Physicians has concluded e-cigarettes could “save the lives of 4 million of the 8 million current adult American smokers.”
Cigarettes have nicotine in them which has compelled legislators to declare the need to tax them immediately and disproportionately. Rhode Island wants an 80% tax and Washington State wants a 95% tax – a hearing will take place on that next week.
Minnesota first taxed e-cigarettes in 2010 by changing state tax law to define tobacco products as any product derived from tobacco and intended for human use, which includes e-cigarettes. In 2013 the state increased the tax on e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products to 95 percent on the distributors.
Ecigs are very popular, and this year, the business is looking to garner $1.7 billion in business. The politicians are salivating over their new-found treasure chest of revenue. Almost every state is considering these taxes.
Without evidence to back up their claims, the opponents say that ruthless cigarette companies are taking advantage and using them to sell another form of their cigarettes without penalty.
The FDA tried to step in to regulate them in 2010 saying they were a “drug-delivery device” but it failed in court.
Drexel University’s Igor Burstyn concludes, “Current data does not indicate that exposures to vapors from contaminants in electronic cigarettes warrant a concern. There are no known toxicological synergies among compounds in the aerosol, and mixture of the contaminants does not pose a risk to health.”
Michael Siegel, who teaches at Boston University’s School of Public Health, wrote in the New York Times’ debate on e-cigarettes, that despite the fact that evidence shows e-cigarettes reduce overall harm from smoking, “many anti-smoking groups oppose these products because they are blinded by ideology: they find it difficult, if not impossible, to endorse a behavior that looks like smoking, even though it is literally saving people’s lives….What’s not to like?”
Last year, Nanny Bloomberg moved to ban flavored ecigs with his usual Stasi-style approach to what we eat, drink and inhale.
Schools ban them, teens can’t use them in many states, and the Federal Aviation Administration has blocked their use on commercial flights.
All for no good reason and without any basis in fact.
The decrease in smokers from 40% to 20% since 1965 occurred not because of government bans or taxes. The decrease came because of informational campaigns and advertising which made people more aware. Just think, they didn’t need to be forced, they needed information.
The cigarette-Putins are even going so far as to insist old movies be scrubbed of scenes that include smoking. An upcoming movie about Edward R. Murrow, who was a fierce chain-smoker, will show scenes with cigarettes in an ashtray but not with him smoking. If one truly wants to depict the life of Edward R. Murrow, the man who was never seen without a cigarette, one needs to show him smoking.
The government, by regulating and taxing ecigs out of existence, is eliminating a product that could save 4 to 8 million smokers.
There is something you can do, even if you are not a smoker or an ecig user, you can contact your local representative and tell them not to tax this potentially life-saving device. Millions of smokers depend on them for their lives – literally.
Please sign the petition on the White House.gov website.