Let's ban those e-cigarettes... even though they're no more dangerous than coffee

As we discussed earlier this summer, New York City has stuck with their habit of making sure they regulate every aspect of your life by pushing through a ban on the indoor use of e-cigarettes. Never ones to be outdone, various Empire State counties quickly began working on their own, similar bans, including Broome and Rockland. While it’s taking a bit more time to herd the cats properly, there is still an ongoing effort to expand the ban across the entire state. Many of you in other blue states are seeing the same trend taking shape.

So that should save us all, I assume. After all, you wouldn’t want a bunch of ex-smokers going around vaping, would you? It’s just too dangerous. Except for the fact that one of the first long term studies on the effects of vaping was just published in Great Britain and they’ve concluded that the nicotine in the e-cigs is roughly as dangerous as being addicted to coffee. (Daily Caller)

Nicotine is no more dangerous to health than coffee, but 90 percent of the public still consider it harmful, according to a report from the U.K.’s Royal Society for Public Health.

The study heaps praise on e-cigarettes with the chief executive of the RSPH, Shirley Cramer commenting “getting people on to nicotine rather than using tobacco would make a big difference to the public’s health.”…

“Clearly there are issues in terms of having smokers addicted to nicotine but this would move us on from having a serious and costly public health issue from smoking-related disease to instead address the issue of addiction to a substance which in and of itself is not too dissimilar to caffeine addiction,” said Cramer.

While the health consequences of long-term e-cigarette use are still unknown, evidence to date suggests there are few if any health consequences. E-cigarettes do not contain many of the chemicals in regular cigarettes associated with lung cancer and emphysema.

As I’ve probably mentioned in the past, I’m not entirely unsympathetic to the concerns of some of these opponents. Nicotine is extremely addictive and if someone takes up the practice – particularly if they weren’t a smoker before – they could easily become addicted. And for all I know, that might lead some percentage of them to take up actual smoking when they might not have previously done so.

But these concerns seem, at least to me, to be outweighed by the benefits. The responsibility for keeping kids from doing stupid things is still primarily the job of the parents, first, last and always. Taking up vaping because it “looks cool” falls into the “stupid” category. But for those of any age who are already smoking and are hooked on it, switching over to vaping represents a huge potential leap forward in public health concerns. As previously suspected, once you take out all the tar, secondary gasses and other chemicals which come out of burning tobacco leaves, the detrimental health effects plummet. Given how outspoken liberals are about the “herd cost” of smoking through medical care, citing that as a reason to want to stamp out smoking, you’d think that they would be some of vaping’s biggest cheerleaders.

Sadly, no. I seriously doubt that this study will sink into the collective liberal consciousness and deter them in their efforts to ban anything they don’t like. I’d love to be wrong on that prediction, but I doubt it.