Not a puff piece

Mr Truman, having experimented with e-cigarettes and found them to be an improvement over the burning-leaf variety, now wonders if maybe these, too, will be taken away in the name of safety:

[B]y god I have found something that works for me. Not just because I don’t smoke anymore, but because it allows me the ability to continue to do the things that drew me to smoking in the first place. I may quit the ecigarettes or I may not. But I have finally found myself not having to obsess over this question. Do you know how amazing that is? A world has been lifted from my shoulders. The monkey that has been on my back for years and years is gone. At worse, replaced by something by all measures benign by comparison. It makes me want to kiss the skies. And it makes me furious at those who see this as some nefarious new threat to the public health.

Right now I am just waiting to find out how bad it’s going to be. Whether the thing that right now costs me twenty-five cents a milliliter will shoot up to seventy-five cents (a very real possibility). Whether the people I get my supply from will be allowed to remain in business. Whether I am going to have to throw everything out and start all over with an FDA-approved device. I’m concerned about the number of people out there who could take the same path as I did to recovery, but as much as anything I just want to keep doing the thing that has put more distance between me and cigarettes than I have had in over ten years. Or whether it will be made more complicated and disrupted with right-now unthinkable consequences. In the name of public health. In the name of my own well-being.

In matters of government, all consequences are unthinkable: lawmakers — and people assuming the role of lawmakers in contravention of the Constitution — insist that their solutions are not only correct, but inevitable. To this day we have people defending Bolshevism; in 2100 we’ll still have people defending ObamaCare. It might be prudent to expect the worst.


  1. McGehee »

    7 March 2014 · 11:23 am

    The anti-tobacco crusade was never about health — smokers’ or anyone else’s.

    So it should surprise no one that a benign substitute will be targeted with the same irrational zeal.

  2. Will Truman »

    8 March 2014 · 12:21 am

    There’s been an interesting divergence between the medical community and the activists. Physicians, starting with my wife (and including many, though certainly not all), think that it’s great and will recommend it to people who have tried and failed to quit other ways. The activists are busy citing the precautionary principle.

    I tend to think of it as physicians having to deal with the fallout of real life burning stuff and smoking it and desperate to see people stop doing such damage to their bodies. Compared to activists who need cautionary tales to be purified.

  3. Roger Green »

    8 March 2014 · 12:33 am

    There have been places in NYS though not statewide – where e-cigs HAVE been banned, because there is the suggestion that it increases tobacco smoking. I must say, being REALLY sensitive to tobacco – I can smell my next door neighbors when their on their porch, even before I open the door.- that e-cigs don’t bother me.

  4. Will Truman »

    8 March 2014 · 12:42 am

    Fun fact: In NYC, Hookah Lounges are legal, Vaping Lounges are not.

    Back home, they had hookah lounges where smoking was prohibited, though the cognitive dissonance was too much I guess because they started allowing cigarette smoking in hookah lounges.

    In Washington State, they went to the trouble of legalizing cigar lounges but do not allow cigarette smoking in them. Air quality and health concerns, I’m sure, and nothing to do with the fact that cigars are a vice of choice for successful people while cigarette smoking is perceived to be for proles.

    Anyway, I’m glad that the vaping doesn’t bother you, Roger. My wife and father-in-law are both very smoke-averse, and neither has the slightest problem and will even come out and talk to me while I’m vaping.

    To be fair, there are some people with allergies, though they’re rare. I would honestly prefer a regime where such activities are allowed at some places that you can avoid but smokers (or vapers) can go to. If nothing else, it gets them off the sidewalk where you have to walk by them!

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