If you’ve ever needed any reason to be skeptical of the anti-smoking cartel’s methods, look no further than the World Health Organization’s (WHO) latest crusade to ban e-cigarettes. Their justification? They look too much like actual cigarettes and vaping looks too much like actual smoking.
Professor of Public Health at Boston College, Michael Siegel, is incredulous. (Emphasis in original)
The fact that vaping mimics smoking is precisely the reason why electronic cigarettes are such a promising strategy for smoking cessation…
What does the World Health Organization think that smokers who are using electronic cigarettes are going to do if these products are taken off the market? Quit smoking? Not likely. The truth is that if [e-cigarettes are] taken off the market, most ex-smokers who have quit by using electronic cigarettes are going to return to cigarette smoking….
The use of electronic cigarettes plays no role in normalizing smoking behavior. On the contrary, it helps many smokers get off of cigarettes and thus reduces smoking prevalence.
The WHO’s response is mindless, freedom-killing and may even cross into dangerous territory if an e-cigarette ban translates into higher smoking rates, as suggested by Siegel.
E-cigarettes contain no tobacco and there’s actually no smoking involved. The health risks associated with them are minuscule compared to actual cigarettes, and yet the WHO is unwilling to grant any market share to a useful alternative for smoking cessation.
Over at Reason, Jacob Sullom likens the WHO’s campaign to the U.S. government’s move to ban industrial hemp.
[The DEA] has involved not only opposing domestic cultivation but even trying to ban edible products made from nonpsychoactive hemp seed. Unlike marijuana, industrial hemp contains negligible amounts of THC, and many other countries where marijuana is banned nevertheless have legal hemp industries. For the DEA, it seems, the problem is that hemp looks like marijuana, even though you can’t get high from it.