Bill de Blasio’s new rules on e-cigarettes show once again that ‘public health’ activists put politics first.
Since the electronic cigarette arrived around 2010, the rate of smoking in America has plummeted. Yet progressive do-gooders are now throwing tobacco a lifeline. Last month New York Mayor Bill de Blasio signed new restrictions on e-cigarettes. A limited number of vendors will need licenses to sell them, and vaping will be banned from many apartment common areas. This will only push smokers away from the most promising method for kicking their deadly habit.
In Britain, public-health authorities have encouraged smokers to switch to safer alternatives. E-cigarettes, which deliver nicotine as a vapor, are about 95% less harmful than smoking, according to a 2015 review by England’s health agency. The Royal College of Physicians, Britain’s pre-eminent medical authority, has warned that it would be “irrational and immoral” to discourage smokers from switching.
But the U.S. is doing just that. The Food and Drug Administration has misclassified e-cigarettes as a “tobacco product,” drawn up regulations that could eventually outlaw most products now on the market, and barred e-cig companies from mentioning any health advantages over smoking.