Smoking bans are not about improving health - they are about control

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When states and cities started banning smoking in public places, any push back by citizens didn’t receive much attention. Smoking isn’t good for one’s health, and certainly doesn’t help anyone nearby. So, with people having fewer places to legally enjoy tobacco, there was at least a little more interest in quitting - the smoking cessation industry got a little boost. Now, insurance companies are not only hitting people with higher rates for life insurance if they use tobacco products, but also for health insurance. Sadly, many of the smoking cessation products out there don’t tend to work very well for a lot of people, though.

The latest tool for dropping tobacco is “vaping” - using e-cigarettes. While there are ones that are marketed for a single use, there are those that people can fill for themselves. This method of walking away from smoking tobacco is actually working for quite a few people, but it seems that government wants to put a stop to the use of e-cigarettes as well.

The claims are that they are just switching addictions, and might hook teens anyway. However, that isn’t necessarily the case, as R-Street is pointing out in a primer on the topic.

On the practical level, if a person bothers to look into the e-cigarette industry, they quickly figure out that if you’re dealing with ones that require that users fill them with fluid, there are quite a few flavors out there. Also, it is possible to reduce the level of nicotine, and it’s possible to get fluid without it. Given that there are quite a few flavors that cater to people with a sweet tooth, it’s not out of the question that vaping could end up aiding people in dealing with another generally unhealthy addiction - eating too many sugary treats.

The cool factor involved with vaping doesn’t necessarily involve nicotine at all. While it’s true that teens might be drawn to get these devices, with the non-nicotine options that just deliver flavored vapor to users, it’s not a dangerous addiction as long as they avoid the nicotine liquids. Bans that are being entertained by lawmakers aren’t about public health. They are about controlling the public - motives are most likely related to a hatred of the tobacco industry, but also loyalty to big pharmaceutical companies that didn’t get on board for this trend. Early indications are that vaping is eclipsing other forms of smoking cessation. That’s no reason for lawmakers to be trying to stop people from doing something that helps them get away from, or avoid an unhealthy habit altogether.


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