Monday, June 06, 2011

Australia Seizes Electronic Cigarettes, While Allowing Real Ones to Pass Through to Consumers

In a display of the reverse logic that seems to pervade the tobacco control movement these days, Australia has seized and destroyed 70 packages of relatively harmless electronic cigarettes, while allowing millions of deadly, real ones to continue through to consumers.

According to an article in the Morning Bulletin, these dangerous products that were seized have the following scary properties: "[they] emit a harmless water vapour to give the feel of smoking but don’t contain the bad odour, carbon monoxide, tar and ash of a normal cigarette."

The Rest of the Story

Yesterday, I demonstrated the reverse logic of health officials in Linn County (Iowa), who are considering banning dissolvable tobacco products to "protect youth." Yet the truth is that youths don't use dissolvable tobacco products and the ordinance exempts the very products that the youths of Linn County do use.

Today is another demonstration of the reverse logic prevalent today in tobacco control. Health officials in Australia have banned a relatively safe product that delivers nicotine without thousands of toxins and carcinogens, yet they are allowing the real cigarettes - which deliver more than 60 known carcinogens - to remain unchecked.

Check out this logic:

Number of deaths from cigarettes each year in Australia: More than 15,000
Number of deaths from electronic cigarettes each year in Australia: 0

Status of cigarettes: Legal
Status of electronic cigarettes: Illegal

This logic makes no sense. If anything, what it does is help to protect entrenched tobacco industry sales. The tobacco industry could ask for no greater help than to shield itself from the threat of losing business due to electronic cigarettes.

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