TT Note: I've been watching this debate with interest. If our government is so very concerned with the safety of these electronic cigarettes, then shouldn't our government also be so very concerned with the safety of traditional cigarettes? Seems just a tad bit confusing, doesn't it?
/24-7 / -- Our leading health groups are marching a parade against newly marketed e-cigarettes. This parade is lead by the backdoor politician, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). This seemingly health conscious senator, who has taken well over $100,000 from the pharmaceutical companies that market smoking cessation products, is trying to ban a product that offers none of the carcinogens of traditional tobacco cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes vaporize a water-based solution that gives the user the sensation of smoking while emitting only a light water vapor. This eliminates the public concern of secondhand smoke as well as cutting out all the carcinogens associated with tobacco and the chemicals used in tobacco cigarette production.
Senator Lautenberg claims the FDA should run extensive testing on these products to "verify" their safety, but many are concerned that stance is contrary to the American principle of "innocent until proven guilty". Many doctors believe that halting this far less harmful smoking alternative would, ironically, save the pharmaceutical companies that market smoking cessation products billions of dollars a year.
A few people have spoken up for e-cigarettes, most notably Chair of the Tobacco Control Group for the American Association of Public Health Physicians, Dr. Joel L. Nitzkin, who has stated his vigorous opposition of Senator Lautenberg's proposals. He and many other reasonable individuals are convinced that it is harmful to public health to ban a product that is by default far less dangerous than its traditional counterpart and put what amounts to a government seal of approval on the more dangerous product. Not only that, but many complain that Senator Lautenberg is not a medical professional.
Who should our lawmakers and the FDA be listening to? Should we listen to a non-medically licensed politician whose motives align themselves with the big pharmaceutical companies he protects or should we listen to the health professionals that are all but screaming for us to actually pay attention to our country's real health issues?
When a government is in the pockets of private companies, we run dangerously close to abandoning our democratic process and a government that will sacrifice the health of its citizens is a government by the money, for the money. Let's tell our politicians that the people are the government and politicians can only ignore their constituents for so long before their game runs out.
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