Let me tell you something about “e-cigs,” or electronic cigarettes: they are the worst. Not worse than cancer… though that’s just a theory since I’ve had an e-cig but I haven’t had cancer. If cancer is anything like smoking an e-cig, I certainly don’t want to have cancer.
E-cigs are being advertised in national campaigns by Stephen Dorff and the incomparable Jenny McCarthy as a substitute for smoking regular cancer cigarettes, but they only serve that function if you are the kind of person who thinks that getting a vaccine can turn you into Stephen Dorff.
Tobacco was the first cash crop that made moving to North America a lucrative venture. E-cigs deliver nicotine liquid and turn it into water-vapor in an assortment of flavors that make you look like a giant douche. I wish scientists spent more time curing cancer so I could smoke a freaking cigarette instead of making plastic tubes that light up blue on the end so your friends can punch you in the face in the dark.
Left to their own devices, e-cigs would eventually be as cool as non-alcoholic beer. They’d just be another apparatus that signaled this to the world: “I’ve made horrible choices in my youth, but now I’m trying to change.”
But now the government wants to get involved and regulate the products. So children aren’t tempted to smoke them. Yes, because if there’s one thing that doesn’t tempt children, it’s making something forbidden…
The WSJ Law Blog reports that state attorneys general and the FDA are very worried about unregulated e-cig ads:
In a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, attorneys general from New York, California, Ohio and 37 other states asked the federal agency “to take all possible measures” to meet its stated Oct. 31 deadline for proposing regulations.
The attorneys general expressed concern that e-cigarettes are marketed on prime-time TV, “making it easier for those advertisements to reach children.” It noted some manufacturers pitch e-cigarettes with the help of cartoon characters such as monkeys, years after makers of traditional cigarettes were banned from using cartoons in advertising.
They said e-cigarette flavors such as gummy bear and bubble gum appeal to youth.
Are we really still, as a country, at a point where we think monkeys and bubble gum influence the purchases of, say, 15 year olds? Like, I’d get it if there were an epidemic of 8-year-olds smoking e-cigs. Then you’d blame the gummy bears (and the awful, awful parents). But didn’t we see teenagers smoke flavorless “real” cigarettes just a generation ago? I swear, this country and its regulators have the memory of a goldfish.
The FDA is worried that e-cigs can be a gateway to real smoking, and I guess I agree if for no other reason than the fact that e-cigs are so freaking sad that they grant you no street cred and the McLovins of the world will have to up their game. But in general, the “gateway” drug argument is the dumbest nanny state argument on record. Everything is a gateway drug… any experience can make you want a new and different experience. You know what the ultimate “gateway drug” is? Happiness. The fleeting moment where not everything sucks is the high people will chase for all their lives. Some people will try to recapture that high with money or sex or God. Others will try to chemically induce the feeling. Choose your own poison and roll the dice however you like, but gravity always wins.
Uhh… so what were we talking about? E-cigs? Yeah, I don’t think those are really going to be a problem. And even if they are, industrialized societies have shown that banning drugs doesn’t work. Banning guns does. But drugs are a matter of personal choice.
States Urge FDA to Regulate E-Cigarettes [WSJ Law Blog]