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Brian Baker: Vapor cigarettes on the line

Posted: February 27, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 27, 2014 2:00 a.m.

Well, the Health Gestapo are at it again. According to a Feb. 25 Los Angeles Times story, “A Los Angeles City Council panel on Monday endorsed an array of restrictions on e-cigarettes that would prohibit the vapor-emitting devices from being used in most workplaces and a number of public spaces.

“The proposed ordinance, now heading to the full City Council, would treat e-cigarettes like conventional cigarettes, outlawing their use in parks, on city beaches, in restaurant outdoor dining areas and at city-sponsored farmers markets.”

“Lawmakers acted after Jonathan Fielding, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, said e-cigarettes threaten to make smoking socially acceptable after years of advocacy to discourage the habit.

“Young people who get hooked on the nicotine in e-cigarettes may then turn to tobacco use, he said.

“Monday’s vote came as a larger debate plays out over e-cigarettes and whether they are a gateway to tobacco. ...”

This was utterly predictable, and clearly illustrates the mendacity of the elitist nabobs who want to control every aspect of how people live their own lives.

Regular cigarettes, the kind with tobacco in them, have been demonized for the last couple of decades, and their use severely restricted based on now-discredited pseudo-science that attributed all kinds of evils to the chimera of “second-hand smoke.”

Of course, the natural result of that was the free market development of an alternative product that has none of the supposedly deleterious ingredients of real cigarettes, the electronic cigarette — or “e-cig” — which merely vaporizes a harmless liquid that may (or may not, depending on the user’s preference) contain nicotine.

Some e-cigs are merely flavored, containing no nicotine at all.

If one keeps in mind that the original rationalization for attacking regular cigarettes was their alleged negative effect on “bystanders,” what possible justification can there be for banning a product that has no such effect?

Well, read the quoted material: there’s a danger that they may make some form of smoking “socially acceptable” oh, horror! — and that they may be a “gateway” to regular cigarettes.

Are these the same type of people who have scoffed and ridiculed the idea that marijuana might be a “gateway” to stronger drugs? Why, yes they are!

And they can make these claims without a shred of irony or self-awareness of their own hypocrisy.

And the real bottom line? “Social acceptability.” How awful. A lifestyle choice these elitist control freaks don’t approve of. We simply can’t have that!

E-cigs are a product that is completely harmless to “bystanders” — they don’t even have an aroma, unless one buys a scented/flavored type — as well as to the user, as far as has been determined, yet the very idea that someone might be able to emit from their mouths something that merely looks like smoke is enough to send the

Health Gestapo into a hissy fit.

What’s next? Are they also planning on banning asthma inhalers? If not, why not? There’s no difference that I can see.

These control freaks must lose sleep at night worrying that someone somewhere is enjoying themselves doing something free of government regulation.

Brian Baker is a Saugus resident.



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