How can Juul be banned when cigarettes aren't?

The move is especially interesting for myriad reasons. I’ll just mention two or three, and please share more below if you like.

The first is the totality and specificity of the ban. When we ban products that pose a risk to human health, we usually ban the category of products, not just one brand. And typically, in the U.S., our approach to drugs that we deem especially dangerous is to heavily regulate their use. It’s rare to see anything banned entirely, swept from the shelves as though it were contaminated lettuce. We haven’t even managed to ban old-school combustible cigarettes, which have been implicated as a leading cause of disease death for decades. With a prescription, Americans can buy opioids, tranquilizers, amphetamines; without a prescription they can buy alcohol, which accounts for some 2.4 million deaths globally each year.

Tobacco accounts for some 8.7 million.

This isn’t just another moment of whataboutism. With stakes so high, a product that replaced tobacco use could theoretically be unsafe and yet also reduce the overall harm of tobacco. I’m not saying that’s the case; only that this isn’t a safety calculus that our regulatory system is designed to weigh.