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Inhaling Second Hand Profits

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

A tobacco user is not a good thing to be in this day and age. Tobacco users are not an acceptable group in 21st Century America. Not so much for what they do themselves, but what they do to others. No one likes second hand smoke, and most smokers wish they didn’t savor firsthand smoke. In fact I have yet to meet a smoker yet who gets up every morning and says “Thank you Lord for this addiction to a substance that will probably kill me in some slow, horrible manner!”

If you’ve ever battled the Demon Nicotine, than you have probably done a slow burn when someone blithely tells you how they just decided to quit smoking one day, set down the pack and never picked up another. Or you have quietly shook your head in frustration when someone suggests you try gum, candy, toothpicks, deep breathing or the power of positive thinking. 

So one would have thought that when someone came up with e-cigarettes, the Centers for Disease Control would have popped the cork on sparkling grape juice over the news that millions of people had suddenly found a way to kick the habit while still indulging themselves in the same mannerisms, affectations and even infusion of nicotine that they had previously enjoyed via the evil cancer sticks.

But no, the CDC was not happy about it one bit.

I’ve been trying for a two weeks now to come up with the reason for the CDC’s objection to e-smokes. After all, e-cigs contain no carcinogens, no chemicals, no fire, and emit water vapor as opposed to smoke. So, no firsthand smoke, no second hand smoke, and best of all, smokers are doing exactly what the CDC has been hoping for all these years: giving up tobacco. I am told that the CDC objects to trace amounts of nicotine apparently present in the vapor, and at least a friend groused to me the other day of potential danger that e-cigarettes will glamorize smoking and convince young people to pick up actual the actual habit.

But since it would probably take a battalion of e-smokers exhaling in unison in a confined space to put any significant amount of nicotine into the air; and given the fact that the sale of e-cigarettes are forbidden to minors, neither of those two arguments seemed legitimate.

But after writing about the decision to ban asthma inhalers last week, it hit me.

The Federal Government has its collective shorts in a wad not over the idea of e-cigarettes per se. It is however chapped because they aren’t provided by the Federal Government. Mark my words, the day that e-cigarettes are found to increase greenhouse gasses and shortly thereafter become available by prescription only and at a greatly inflated price then any and all objections will come to an end.  The government objects to e-cigarettes not because it is a solution, but because it is a solution that was developed within the confines of the free market. And incidentally, there are several brands of e-cigarettes out there, and all of them are competing for the ersatz ex-smoker’s business.  Hmm. A creative situation to a problem that stimulates competition and solves a problem that has plagued mankind for centuries. Capitalism seems to be working, and Capitalism is a bad thing to this administration. Worse than smoking, apparently.

So until the time arrives when you need a note from your doctor and a loan from your bank to quit smoking, by all means, e-smoke if you got ‘em. After all, it would seem that secondhand smoke is not nearly as bad for you as second hand capitalism.


John Ransom | Create Your Badge

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