Colonel Benjamin Church Hypocrisy Hall of Shame Award
Awarded to: State Senator Kemp Hannon Diamond Rank
Awarded for: Promoting a ban on electronic cigarettes because they, rather than regular tobacco cigarettes, pose "a dangerous threat to the health and safety of New Yorkers."
Other Hall of Shame Members:
CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDSNational Anti-smoking Organization GOLD RANK
Mayor of New York City BLUE RANK
U.S. Senator, New Jersey BRONZE RANK
Today, I am announcing the induction of the 5th member of the Colonel Benjamin Church Hypocrisy Hall of Shame.
Today's award goes to New York State Senator Kemp Hannon, who has proposed legislation (Bill S07635) that would ban electronic cigarettes, while keeping the real ones, because it is the electronic ones - containing no tobacco and producing no smoke - which represent "a dangerous threat to the health and safety of New Yorkers."
According to Senator Hannon's bill: "Due to the complete lack of regulation and evaluation for safety, electronic cigarettes pose a dangerous threat to the health and safety of New Yorkers. Therefore, this bill would place a ban on the sale of such products."
The Rest of the Story
Of course, I take it that according to Senator Hannon, regular cigarettes don't pose a dangerous threat to the health and safety of New Yorkers. Because his legislation, if enacted, would result in thousands of New York ex-smokers who quit by virtue of electronic cigarettes returning to tobacco cigarette smoking.
In what possible way would that have public health benefits? In what possible way would that reduce dangerous threats to the health and safety of New Yorkers?
As the American Council on Science and Health pointed out yesterday: "there is no rational basis for banning e-cigarettes. In fact, any truly rational thought process would result in promoting the e-cigarette as the effective smoking cessation option it is. ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross was dumbfounded by Hannon’s proposal. “I am simply flabbergasted that such a measure, the consequences of which would condemn many thousands of New York ex-smokers back to cigarette addiction and premature death, can be proposed by the Chairman of the Health Committee of our state’s Senate,” he says. “Sen. Hannon should be expected, in that role, to know a little bit about the relative risks of smoking and modified risk products, including, of course, electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS, or e-cigarettes). If he doesn’t know, he should be given a quick course in preventing disease and saving lives. With this measure, the blood of smokers forced to give up e-cigarettes and resume smoking would be on his hands. Hopefully, this boneheaded measure will die a quiet death before a vote and never be heard from again.”"
For his hypocrisy in proclaiming an intention to protect New Yorkers from a dangerous threat to their health and safety while at the same time introducing legislation that would force thousands of New Yorkers to switch from electronic cigarettes to tobacco cigarettes, Senator Hannon is deserving of induction into the Colonel Benjamin Church Hypocrisy Hall of Shame.