Chicago Bans Vaping in Public; Senators Want It Banned at Award Ceremonies—for the Children

NBCNBCToday, as anticipated, the Chicago City Council approved an ordinance that adds e-cigarettes to the city's Clean Indoor Air Act, meaning that vaping will be prohibited everywhere smoking is. The vote was 45 to 4, a resounding endorsement of a scientifically groundless, emotion-driven policy that is likely to accomplish exactly the opposite of what its backers say they are trying to do (i.e., reduce tobacco-related disease). Mayor Rahm Emanuel implausibly portrayed the vaping ban, which will discourage smokers from switching to a far less dangerous method of consuming nicotine, as a victory against Big Tobacco. NJOY, a leading e-cigarette manufacturer, was closer to the mark:

This vote lacks any scientific basis and reflects a clear misunderstanding on the part of the City Council of the serious unintended consequences to public health that their actions will cause. Make no mistake: This will only benefit Big Tobacco, and is a step backward in the fight against the tobacco epidemic. Today, Big Tobacco has no greater ally than supporters of initiatives like this one. With as many as 43 million smokers remaining in the United States and over 420,000 of them expected to die prematurely in the coming year, it is paramount that we not confuse an increasingly effective solution that gives smokers an alternative to toxic and deadly combustible tobacco cigarettes with the problem of tobacco cigarette smoking. History and science will judge harshly those who abandon science, undermine the public health and prolong the tobacco epidemic.

Unable to muster any evidence that e-cigarette vapor poses a hazard to bystanders, the ban's supporters say they are trying to protect children who might confuse e-cigarettes with the real thing and conclude that smoking must be cool again. In the same vein, four Democratic senators yesterday sent a letter to NBC and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association complaining about celebrities with e-cigarettes at this year's Golden Globe Awards. Sens. Dick Durbin (Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), and Edward Markey (Mass.) worry that vaping, which appeals to people precisely because it is less hazardous and annoying than smoking, will somehow rehabilitate the latter habit:

We are troubled that these images glamorize smoking and serve as celebrity endorsements that could encourage young fans to begin smoking traditional cigarettes...

E-cigarettes marketed to appeal to kids in candy and fruit flavors, like bubblegum and strawberry, are readily available to youth in shopping malls and online. These products risk addicting children to nicotine, which could be a pathway to cigarettes and other tobacco products.

I suppose vaping "could be" a gateway to smoking, in the sense that it is not logically impossible. But there is no evidence anything like that is happening. Furthermore, Durbin et al.'s insistence that "candy and fruit flavors" must be aimed at children is belied by the choices of adult consumers who prefer those flavors. If the senators were paying attention, they would notice all the young women exhaling fruity plumes of vapor, many of whom would otherwise be smoking. In terms of health risks, they are much better off for having made this switch. Why should the interests of actual adults be sacrificed in the name of hypothetical children?

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  • sarcasmic||

    Hooray for the Precautionary Principle!

  • ||

    Animists plus CONTROL freaks: a match made in Hell.

  • ||

    But it's true, Epi! Don't you remember that episode of Magnum P.I. when the Ki'i was taken from that cave, and then that guy fell off a balcony, and the Ferrari wouldn't start, and TC's helicopter almost crashed? The Ki'i did all that, and it's not nearly as powerful as an e-cigarette.

  • ||

    It was even powerful enough to cause a crossover between Magnum and Simon and Simon in that episode! You don't get much more powerful than that!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I am guessing they don't sell candy cigarettes anymore. Those things were disgusting and saw to it that I would never smoke the real thing.

  • Lord Humungus||

    The bubblegum ones were pretty cool - you could blow out through the "paper" and make a little cloud of fine sugar.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    THANKS FOR THE SECOND HAND OBESITY, ASSHOLE.

  • Brandon||

    That was badass. Unfortunately, those weren't nearly as widely available as the chalk-and-earwax ones.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Sugar smoke? Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants.

  • sarcasmic||

    Candy cigarettes are illegal. Clove cigarettes are illegal. Those beedi or bidi things that were popular in the 90s are illegal. Soon menthols will be illegal.

    Land of the free.

  • Mint Berry Crunch||

    Candy cigarettes were not as disgusting as black licorice.

    But yeah, those and Big League Chew: two phony "tobacco" products I tried as a kid, that somehow failed to convince my adult self to use the real version.

  • ||

    Huh. I never knew that "Black Licorice" was a retronym.

  • Killaz||

    Alexander the Great supplied his troops with rations of liquorice root whilst marching, because of its thirst-quenching qualities.

    What the new story about how he was poisoned? Hmmm.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises that black liquorice contains the compound glycyrrhizin, which is the sweetening compound derived from liquorice root. Glycyrrhizin can cause potassium levels in the body to fall. When that happens, some people experience abnormal heart rhythms, as well as high blood pressure, edema (swelling), lethargy, and congestive heart failure.[14]

    Perhaps the poisoning wasn't premeditated murder. Quincy is on it.

  • Zeb||

    Other colors of licorice are not licorice.

  • Killaz||

    The Wikipedia article is misinformed. Not all red licorice is non-licorice flavored.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I thought licorice was a flavor.

  • Killaz||

    Exactly. They don't mention that red licorice also comes in licorice flavor, or at least it did back when I had a thing for it, while listing strawberry, mango and other flavors. I didn't even think Twizzlers called their non-licorice flavored red product licorice, but I could be wrong about that, but not about red licorice coming in licorice. I bought a ton of that shit.

  • Loki||

    two phony "tobacco" products I tried as a kid, that somehow failed to convince my adult self to use the real version.

    That can't be! Between that and Joe Camel, surely you're smoking several packs a day and chewing snuff at an ungodly rate!

    As a kid, the hyperventilating over a cartoon camel somehow being all it would take to turn us into chain smokers was quite possibly the most insulting, patronizing crap I'd ever seen (until Nanny Bloomberg's soda ban came along). I suspect that's a big part of what drove me to hate condescending paternalistic assholes.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I can't tell what's worse anymore: when agents of the government brutalize people because they don't give a shit about our well-being, or when they stupidly abrogate our rights because they do care.

  • Ted S.||

    or when they stupidly abrogate our rights because they do care.

    What makes you think "public health" types care about us? That's just a fig leaf they use to get their rocks off controlling us.

  • sarcasmic||

    Damn squirrels. Try this again.

    It's not or, it's and. The rule-makers care, and the enforcers don't give a shit.

  • ||

    They don't care, Hugh. You're just a pawn in their sociopathic little game, to be moved and CONTROLLED for their amusement and jollies. You could get hit by a bus full of e-cigarettes tomorrow and they couldn't give less of a shit.

  • Loki||

    You could get hit by a bus full of e-cigarettes tomorrow and they couldn't give less of a shit.

    Not true. Someone being a hit by a bus full of e-cigs would be just the proof they're looking for that e-cigs kill and should be banned. They'd care a lot about using your death for political gain.

    Anyone pointing out it was the bus that did the killing, would, of course, be in the pocket of Big e-cig and someone who clearly hates public transportation. Why else would they be trying to shift the blame from the EVUL E-CIGZ to the noble bus?

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Wait, wait, wait.

    I thought you got knocked up if you got hit by a bus, not killed.

    However, if you got hit by a bus of e-cigs, would your kid be born addicted to nicotine?

  • Invisible Finger||

    You could get hit by a bus full of e-cigarettes tomorrow and they couldn't give less of a shit.

    No, they would tout it as another e-cigarette-related death.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    It's pretty fucking amazing tat those who claim to be proponents of public health do the very most to undermine the public's health.

    Fuck every city that bans ecigs. I see no reason to ever go to those shit holes again.

  • R C Dean||

    I can only conclude that the country is being overrun by idiots.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I can only conclude that the country is being overrun by idiots.

    Being overrun?

  • Entropy Void||

    I cannot and will not disagree.

  • ||

    Dear Chicago City Council,

    I might have smoked less tobacco and used an alternative, harmless product instead, since that might have made my life better by allowing me to enjoy bars again. But I'll be sticking with staying at home and smoking now, thanks to you!

  • ||

    Geez, Nikki, way to make the city council feel bad.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    They don't give a shit.

  • ||

    I know. My complaints to them have already resulted in nothing but getting re-added the mailing list for "statist news I am proud of that will piss you off, because I don't read my hate mail!"

  • ||

    But I'll be sticking with staying at home and smoking now, thanks to you!

    Nikki we want to hate on this ban and yet here you are telling us about one of its benefits.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I know you're a city girl, but it's time to GTFO of Chicago.

  • dinkster||

    So the ecig ban stops your liquor consumption at the bar? Imagine all the 'almost raped' scenarios the noble council just liberated you from. Your liver will also thank you.

  • Sudden||

    The vote was 45 to 4, a resounding endorsement of a scientifically groundless, emotion-driven policy that is likely to accomplish exactly the opposite of what its backers say they are trying to do (i.e., reduce tobacco-related disease).

    Feature, not a bug. I'm willing to bet the city of Chicago makes a healthy sum of vice taxes on the sale of cigarettes. All the "public health" crap is really just a justification to annex more income for the city coffers. This is an effort to prevent people from finding an alternative where the govt doesn't profit 10x as much as the maker of the product itself.

  • Billy Boogers||

    ^^^THIS!!!^^^

    It would be funny if it wasn't so ridiculously sad and predictable.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Feature, not a bug. I'm willing to bet the city of Chicago makes a healthy sum of vice taxes on the sale of cigarettes. All the "public health" crap is really just a justification to annex more income for the city coffers. This is an effort to prevent people from finding an alternative where the govt doesn't profit 10x as much as the maker of the product itself.

    And in the same breath as they rail against ecigs being a boost for Big Tobacco™ too. They just don't want the competition. They'd rather steal tax revenue from smokers while claiming that the taxes are part of a plan to curb people from smoking than see those same smokers voluntarily give their money to ecig manufacturers that actaully accomplish what our betters say the want.

    And they can go fuck themselves. My tolerance for being told what to do by assholes in a suit is waning. At what point does one simply start ignoring all of the petty little edicts they set upon us?

  • Killaz||

    Catchy tune.

    Die. Die. Die in a fire.

    Dick. Dick. Dick Durbin.

    Die. Die. Die in a fire.

    Dick. Dick. Dick Durbin.

  • Entropy Void||

    Truly dancable.
    I'd give it a 10.

  • Trials and Trippelations||

    *Waits for the increasingly shrill PB to tell us SoCons nannying and reductions of freedom are worse than progressive interference because the name of the SoCons' god isn't spelled G-O-V-E-R-N-M-E-N-T*

  • ||

    Can't blame the 'thimk of the children crowd' for getting the vapours...

  • Brett L||

    In re: the alt-text

    I don't know who those women are, but I volunteer to be menaced in the place of youths.

  • PD Scott||

    I believe that's Reese Witherspoon on the left and possibly Julia-Louise Dreyfus on the right (saw a Daily Mail blurb about how she and Leo DeCaprio had been e-cigging up the Golden Globes).

  • Entropy Void||

    Both or either are welcome to menace me at will.

  • Andrew S.||

    Dammit Reason, can you just tell us when government passes a sensible bill, instead of the other way around?*

    * I realize this would reduce your posting to once every other year, if that. So maybe it's not a good idea.

  • Sudden||

    That may be true, but the benefit would be that the comment threads would approach infinity

  • Killaz||

    For Fear of An Anarcho-Capialist Planet:

    http://nypost.com/2014/01/14/k.....st-coinye/

    “Defendants also boldly asserted that ‘Anarcho-capitalism is coming, it can’t be stopped,” says the suit, referring comments made by someone identifying themselves as “Coinyewest” in Jan. 7 article by the tech-blog Ars Technica. “Whether it has a symbol that looks like a dollar, a dog, or a cartoon picture of a rapper, it’s all the same thing.’”

  • Killaz||

    Insert the 't' yourself, bum.

  • Ska||

    I thought you were being Latin ironic.

  • Killaz||

    Nah, just arguing with the trolls in my head. They put all of them but Mary to shame.

  • Killaz||

    Funny thing, I wish I were around earlier for the Kristol story, but my friend professor emeritus Dr. David Myers found his co-religionist to be an embarrassment. We were discussing something WK said back in the 90s, and David quipped, 'that's what I like about you Cubans. You got a grudge, you'll do your own dirty work.'

    I get mistaken for being Cuban, a lot, even by those who know me.

  • ||

    Do you often tell people they have 'splaining to do?

  • Killaz||

    Back then I was heavily into chess, and I had studied the hell out of J. R. Capablanca, and could reproduce his games ad lib. Myers was in the same club as Bobby Fischer when he grew up in New York, and we shared a bond in the game. I think he made his assumption based on Capablanca being Cuban, plus my anti-communism.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    He should have known better, though. Real Cubans only play dominoes.

  • dinkster||

    You mean bones! Dominoes is for white people.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Ha, the gay fish thing won't die. Kind of like the Santorum definition won't die.

  • Killaz||

    Some things in the world are exactly as they should be. South Park retribution on celebrity egos is one of them.

  • Loki||

    "Shut the fuck up, Hobbit trivia bitch!"

  • dinkster||

    When will celebs learn, it is better to make honey than to keep pissing on the beehive.

  • LarryA||

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel implausibly portrayed the vaping ban, which will discourage smokers from switching to a far less dangerous method of consuming nicotine, as a victory against Big Tobacco.

    Stupid of the decade nominee.

  • Capt. Rimmer||

    resounding endorsement of a scientifically groundless, emotion-driven policy that is likely to accomplish exactly the opposite of what its backers say they are trying to do (i.e., reduce tobacco-related disease)

    Sounds like the law fails the rational basis test.

  • pan fried wylie||

    are readily available to youth in shopping malls and online.

    If "readily available" means I need to prove my age with a government card. And last time I checked, you need to be 18 to get a credit card, the same legal age for purchasing nicotine products.

  • dinkster||

    I had to explain inductive reasoning twice to the 'prove it' clowns.

  • JW||

    Chicago: Once again proving that you should never attribute to incompetence, by what can be more easily explained by malice.

  • Entropy Void||

    In the same vein, four Democratic senators yesterday sent a letter to NBC and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association complaining about celebrities with e-cigarettes at this year's Golden Globe Awards. Sens. Dick Durbin (Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), and Edward Markey (Mass.) worry that vaping, which appeals to people precisely because it is less hazardous and annoying than smoking, will somehow rehabilitate the latter habit:

    We are troubled that these images glamorize smoking and serve as celebrity endorsements that could encourage young fans to begin smoking traditional cigarettes...

    A long time ago in a land far, far away, I was employed by a Republican Congressman from Florida whose DC office happened to be right next to then Rep. Markey's. Occasionally, I would be required to attend functions which included visiting my Congressman's office at the Capitol. Always, The worst part of my visit was getting anywhere near Rep. Markey's office which smelled like Benton % Hedges unwiped asshole. I was a smoker at the time and it bothered even me. I am now in the midst of transitioning to blu ecigarettes. I have no idea if he has quit in the interim, but his current actions only increase my seething ire towards lying, hypocritical DemoProgs.

  • RishJoMo||

    Rack Man Jojo is not going to liek that.

    www.AnonGlobal.tk

  • RSwartzwalder||

    Please visit and sign this petition to rid us of this new scourge of electronic cigarettes. I don't know about you, but I don't want to breathe or have my children breathe their second hand smoke or vapor or whatever the hell they are calling it. "https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/ban -importation -manufacture -sale -and -usage -electronic -cigarettes/ncY4PVXG"

  • ibcbet||

    when agents of the government brutalize people because they don't give a shit about our well-being, or when they stupidly abrogate our rights because they do care.

  • ||

    This report would have prevented this ban and shows how ignorant the politicians are when it comes to vaping.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00HVPQGV4/reasonmagazineA/

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