In one of the most irresponsible and ill-advised recommendations I have heard from a physician in a few days, an Oregon physician has called for a complete ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes in Multnomah County.
The County Board is currently considering an ordinance that would ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors, but to this physician, that is not enough. He would like to see a ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes to anyone.
"We are responsible citizens who want to see an addictive product with no
known benefits and a host of potentially dangerous hazards kept off the
market until we see proof that it won't hurt children."
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Curiously, nowhere in his commentary does this physician call for a similar ban on tobacco cigarettes, despite the fact that we have documentation of a host of dangerous hazards that smoking causes, including severe effects on children.
Why the special treatment for cigarettes, which kill hundreds of thousands of people each year in the U.S., over e-cigarettes, which so far have killed an estimated zero people in the U.S.?
The author suggests that the only purpose of e-cigarettes is to make money by generating new nicotine addicts and relieving withdrawal symptoms in existing addicts. But if that's the case, then why is he not calling for nicotine patches to be taken off the market, since their purpose is to make money for pharmaceutical companies by relieving withdrawal symptoms in existing addicts?
The author fails to realize, or to acknowledge, that electronic cigarettes have an amazing public health benefit: they help smokers quit. In addition, they help many smokers cut down on the amount they smoke and they reduce the level of addiction to smoking and nicotine.
Nor does the author provide any evidence that e-cigarettes create new nicotine addicts. There is currently no evidence that this is the case.
In a bizarre twist, the anti-smoking movement appears to be totally pre-occupied with demonizing electronic cigarettes and to have lost its focus on the actual product that is killing hundreds of thousands of Americans each year: the damn real ones.