I've got a new piece at The National Post about irrational hostility to e-cigarettes within the anti-smoking movement. Here is how it starts:
"E-cigarettes have taken us back 50 years," according to the headline over a commentary that National Jewish Health, a medical centre in Denver, recently paid to place on the op-ed page of The New York Times. The essay — co-authored by David Tinkelman and Amy Lukowski, who are in charge of the hospital's "health initiatives," including its tobacco-cessation program — never substantiates that claim, which is typical of e-cigarette critics who see a public-health menace where they should see a way of reducing tobacco-related disease and death.
You might think people concerned about the health effects of smoking would welcome an alternative that involves neither tobacco nor combustion and is therefore much less hazardous. But with some notable exceptions, anti-smoking activists and public-health officials have been mostly hostile to electronic cigarettes, which deliver nicotine in a propylene glycol vapour. This puzzling resistance seems to be driven by emotion rather than science or logic.