Reason Roundup

Senate Bill Would Ban Smoking and Vaping for Americans Under Age 21

Plus: Six-week abortion bans are proliferating, extremism as excuse for censorhip, Soylent made a snack bar

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Making teen vaping a federal crime. In a sign of just how truly topsy-turvy 2019 is, the backer of a bill to make it illegal for anyone under age 21 to buy tobacco products is not only a Republican but one hailing from Kentucky, where tobacco has long been a top crop. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said yesterday that his "T21" proposal would cover all tobacco products and e-cigarettes.

"For some time, I've been hearing from the parents who are seeing an unprecedented spike in vaping among their teenage children," he said. "In addition, we all know people who started smoking at a young age and who struggled to quit as adults. Unfortunately it's reaching epidemic levels around the country."

Actually, just the opposite is true about tobacco. In 2016, cigarette smoking among U.S. adults stood at about 15.5 percent, down from 20.9 percent a decade or so earlier and around 42 percent in the 1960s.

Meanwhile, vaping has proven useful to helping people quit more harmful cigarettes. And its popularity among teens may not be ideal, but if it prevents them from taking up actual smoking, that's a net win. Unless, of course, you're a tobacco farmer or politician from a state representing them…

Cigarette companies, which also own vaping products and cannabis lines now, will be just fine without the new recruits; it's people like McConnell's constituents who lose most.

Lest there's any doubt how little "Big Tobacco" cares about a raised cigarette smoking age:

Tobacco giants Altria, British American Tobacco and e-cigarette maker Juul have all thrown their weight behind raising the minimum buying age. Altria CEO Howard Willard and Juul CEO Kevin Burns have both urged legislation in recent op-eds. Altria started running "T21" ads earlier this month in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and other newspapers.

It's not going to affect their bottom lines, and supporting a raised smoking age makes them look good. Win-win.

And some winning to go around for the carceral and regulatory state, too: this invites all sorts of new policing of black market cigarettes, busts of teens vaping, undercover inspections at local shops … It's a boon for authorities, elites, and control of all sort. Just not for entrepreneurs, consumer choice, individual rights, and all those pesky little things.


FREE MINDS

"The strength of the internet for fostering free expression lies in its decentralized nature, which can support a diversity of platforms." Emma Llansó, director of the Center for Democracy & Technology's Free Expression Project, has an op-ed in Wired this week looking at the dangerous trend toward centralized tech regulation "and opaque censorship of the global internet," often done under the guise of stopping terrorist and extremist content. Read the whole thing here.


FREE MARKETS

Soylent made a snack bar. "Soylent's American expansion has, for the most part, been surprisingly conventional," notes The New York Times of the product once touted as an optimal meal replacement drink for enterprising biohackers who couldn't be bothered with solid food.

Once a niche product only available on the web, it now sells at 4,400 Walmarts around the country, where it sits near familiar cold drinks, like milk. (Soylent sells unusually well in Grand Forks, N.D., the company said, offering no theory as to why that might be.) Soylent is now available in ready-to-drink (RTD) form on Amazon, in airports and carwash waiting rooms, and in thousands of other retail locations, supplied by major beverage distributors.


QUICK HITS

  • There's been a "fundamental shift in the landscape of abortion in America," with groups in several states bringing forward and passing near total abortion bans in anticipation of them making it to the Supreme Court. Michael Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life in Columbus, said "Now is our time. This is the best court we've had in my lifetime, in my parents' lifetime."
  • On urban legends:

  • "Believers in the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory approached the long-awaited publication" of Robert Mueller's investigative report with anticipation that it would reveal the secret arrest of Hillary Clinton and crimes committed by her and other prominent Democrats. It did not.

FOLLOW UP

Reason on Mueller report. The Mueller report continues to be the big story today (obviously). You can find a searchable copy of it here and see what Reason folks are saying about it below:

 

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93 responses to “Senate Bill Would Ban Smoking and Vaping for Americans Under Age 21

  1. Making teen vaping a federal crime.

    It’s about time this country got tough and banned being a teen altogether. For the children.

    1. I’m curious how they figure moving the legal age from 18 to 21 is going to change the situation for underage teens.

      1. They’re probably making the same argument that the advocates of raising the drinking age to 21. It’s not about preventing 18 year olds from smoking or vaping as much as it’s about making it harder for 16 to 18 year olds to do so.

      2. I’m curious how they figure they have the constitutional authority to do this.

        Raising the drinking age nationally was not legislated, it was based on withholding federal highway aid from states that did not raise their own drinking ages.

        If Congress cannot legislate drinking ages, by what authority do they raise smoking ages?

        FYTW, right?

  2. AM Links on Good Friday? Reason’s militant atheism credentials = VERIFIED.

    1. I’ve shown up to work twice when it was closed for the holiday not knowing it was Good Friday.

        1. Set a record and go for three!

        2. Mongo just pawn in game of life.

    2. I was under the impression that good Friday was considered a “Catholic” holiday in those parts of the USA where Protestantism, especially the more militantly anti-Papist sects, prevails.

  3. Should see websites like Reddit right now. It is “Orange Man Bad!” levels of crazy in there. Almost as good as my Facebook feed when trump got elected.

    1. If you hold the report close to your ear you can hear Hillary lose the election all over again

      1. I’m waiting for the audiobook version read by James Woods.

  4. Did McConnell not get enough in donations from tobacco companies this year?

    1. I find it ironic that there is going to be a pot expo at our Ca state fair grounds tomorrow, but if you tried to have an expo for tobacco you would probably be lynched and gun expo’s have now been outlawed even though they are a legal product. At least kids might start give up pot for cigs again since it is more forbidden than pot.

      1. Museum of Tolerance: Get out of here, you filthy smoker!

  5. The strength of the internet for fostering free expression lies in its decentralized nature…

    Everyone should use my DNS servers.

  6. …the product once touted as an optimal meal replacement drink for enterprising biohackers who couldn’t be bothered with solid food.

    Or solid poops.

    1. As someone that tried Soylent, vomit is the most likely exit.

      1. I liked it enough. The bottled original flavor tastes like cheerio milk. A neutrally pleasant food.

  7. Soylent made a snack bar.

    Umm… spoiler alert, don’t eat the green ones.

    1. but they’re touted as being environmentally friendly!


  8. The Federal Communications Commission is voting on whether to ban China Mobile from operating in the U.S.

    We only want Americans spied on by other Americans via Korean hardware.

  9. Ocasio-Cortez says she will sign Trump impeachment resolution

    “Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said Thursday that she would sign on to a resolution calling for an investigation into whether President Trump should be impeached, citing special counsel Robert Mueller’s report in her decision-making.”

    The alliance between democratic socialists and Koch / Reason libertarians isn’t limited to our support for immigration.

    #LibertariansForAOC
    #Impeach

    1. It’s her duty to sign it.

  10. Take a look at the largest concentration of immigrants in each state.

    I don’t think there’s anyone left in El Salvador. They’re all in the DMV.

  11. Look at all those Fuuuuuucking Whiiiiiiite Maaaaaales! smoking the Devil’s Weed.

  12. Paglia has not and does not hold bigoted views, or opinions that put students ‘in danger’ – she merely holds views that challenge their worldview.

    Jesus. She might as well be firing at them blind with a gun.

    1. Rand/Paglia 2024!

      1. Nah. She’s conventionally leftist on most subjects.

  13. •Someone is shopping around video footage of Robert Kraft’s visit to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa

    Worst Brazzers video ever.

    1. “Granddad’s a Cheater”

      1. “Rich Man Rub and Tug”

        1. “Asian Chicks Love Old Dicks”

        2. “Lich Man Lub and Tug”

    2. Them: Would you like to see the tape of Bob Craft’s “rub and tug.”
      Me: No. In fact, I would hate to.

  14. HBO is airing a NXIVM documentary.

    Unlike everything else the network does, the sex here will actually be relevant to the story.

  15. Someone is shopping around video footage of Robert Kraft’s visit to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa…

    The peek part of the sneak and peek warrants are ongoing concerns.

  16. Take a look at the largest concentration of immigrants in each state.

    Excluding Mexico? Just like the president wants!

  17. If the petitioners get what they want, and Camille Paglia is sacked or silenced, it would be an affront to women’s rights, gay rights and, more importantly, to the idea of a free society.

    She WAS silenced:

    “I had a concern that she would be able to speak, and her fans were allowed onto our campus, into our main classroom building, where there will be trans individuals and sexual-assault survivors,” said Joseph McAndrew, a UArts student who organized the protest. “We’re giving a space for her following to come into our safe space that we pay to be in.”

    About 30 minutes into the lecture, McAndrew said, a building fire alarm went off, prompting an evacuation and moving the protest outside, where demonstrators chanted, “Trans lives matter! We believe survivors!”

    “I’m not going to be swept aside by an email from the president,” McAndrew said. “It’s almost like a social-justice duty.”

    Paul Healy, a UArts spokesperson, said the alarm was determined to have been intentionally pulled and an investigation into the incident is ongoing. The evacuation effectively ended Paglia’s lecture.
    https://www.philly.com/news/camille-paglia-u-arts-professor-philadelphia-protest-petition-transgender-survivors-sexual-assault-david-yager-20190415.html

    1. Pipe down, you.

    2. Paglia is horrible. She actually believes that regret is not rape.

  18. “Soylent made a snack bar.”

    Great, more soy for the beltway libs to chew on. Feminists love weak men

    1. Except they actually don’t.

  19. Also Camille is the best. Been spittin hot truths for decades. If more feminists were like her the word wouldn’t leave a bad taste in my mouth

    1. Fourth wave feminism is second wave feminism’s retarded granddaughter.

      1. They’re literally reversing the work that Camille put in. Such a shame

  20. Seen on twatter:

    Rand Paul proposes immunity for Assange in exchange for testimony which could include information on the hacking of the Democratic emails. #SethRich

    Get your popcorn ready…

    1. the dems won’t let that happen

    2. He’s the key to the whole entire thing, and everyone in the democratic party complex knows it. Especially their douchebag media lackeys like Weigel and Citizen Crustard.

      1. Soon to be found dead as a result of suicide while shackled in the back of a police transport.

        1. shot in the back of the head by an invisible gun no doubt. We don’t know how he got a gun in the back of the transport

  21. Why exclude Mexico? Wonder what THAT map would look like …

    1. For 32 states, the most common country of birth among respondents who said they were born outside the US was Mexico.

  22. Our government is run by losers.

    News at 24/7 !!!

  23. Tobacco giants Altria, British American Tobacco and e-cigarette maker Juul have all thrown their weight behind raising the minimum buying age.

    If vaping really were the gateway to smoking, you could be sure that Big Tobacco wouldn’t be pushing to raise the age for smoking and vaping.

  24. I think at this point the only libertarian thing to do is to legislate Juul out of existence. If they are going to spend all of their time trying to outcrony other vaping products and tobacco the freedom option is to remove them.

  25. “Believers in the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory approached the long-awaited publication” of Robert Mueller’s investigative report with anticipation that it would reveal the secret arrest of Hillary Clinton and crimes committed by her and other prominent Democrats. It did not.

    Believers in a right-wing conspiracy theory you’re never heard of are crushed. Meanwhile, believers in the omnipresent Trump-Russia conspiracy theory frantically move goal posts.

    1. “Believers in a right-wing conspiracy theory you’re never heard of are crushed.”
      Both of them?

      1. What is QAnon? I may have heard that word, but if I did I think I believed it was in reference to the former secretary general of the United Nations.

        1. I have no freakin idea. Reason really had to search hard to find somebody on the right to draw attention away from the left-wing tinfoil hat brigade.

          1. Not Reason, ENB. ENB is not a libertarian, she just lies about it.

    2. I loved MK Ham’s comment on CNN that she hopes people didn’t skip leg day because moving those goalposts is difficult.

  26. “a bill to make it illegal for anyone under age 21 to buy tobacco products ”

    It will still be legal to kill babies if you are under 21.

    1. But not while enjoying the cool flavor of a menthol 100…

  27. But now, over a thousand people have signed a petition calling for Paglia to be ‘removed from UArts faculty and replaced by a queer person of colour’ because of her views on #MeToo and transgenderism.

    because all queer persons of color hold the correct views on #MeToo and transgenderism?

    1. Because skin color and sexual preferences are 100% accurate predictors of job performance.

      1. When did job performance come into this? Considering applicants based on performance is both racist, evil, sexist, evil, nazist and evil.

    2. A few queer POCs I have known were incredibly intolerant to anyone who wasn’t themselves a queer POC and downright nasty to those who refused to bend the knee. The lip service for inclusiveness for all people was there, but not in everyday practice. Despite being an “ally”, being told to shut up or that you are not allowed to say anything because you aren’t a queer POC and are therefore unable to relate to their individual or collective experiences is frustrating, demoralizing and invalidating. (Of course, I get the exact same treatment here on Reason in the comments if my opinion doesn’t toe some sort of line.) Let’s not even go to cultural appropriation today. Obviously not every queer person is even remotely like those mentioned above. As far as views on being transgender, a significant plurality of LGBT folks fail to hold the “correct” views on those.

  28. She critcises the current panic about sexual assault because she is so dedicated to women’s freedom, not because she has no ‘respect’ for survivors.

    And I criticize Spiked’s spellchecking.

  29. “For some time, I’ve been hearing from the parents who are seeing an unprecedented spike in vaping among their teenage children,”

    I fear this may have something to do with vaping not existing 10 years ago. But it’s hard to say exactly why that matters.

  30. There hasn’t been a single immigration article all week. Amazing considering the president said he would give you limosuine liberals all the refugees you want. Amazing how silent you get when the illegal immigrants are going to be put in your back yard.

    You editors try to act all holier than thou but you’re really just part of the Beltway Clown Posse establishment.

    Enjoy your cocktails with the politicos at happy hour

  31. The government/media/democratic party complex is still desperately pushing their fairy tale that Seth Rich was murdered by a random D.C. street negro for absolutely no reason.

    1. 404, page not found. Even that story has disappeared!

      1. Thank you for correcting my bad link, that was the correct one.

        I wonder if they have any hot leads in the murder “investigation”, ROFLMAO.

  32. “the dangerous trend toward centralized tech regulation “and opaque censorship of the global internet,” often done under the guise of stopping terrorist and extremist content”

    It’s depressing and astonishing to me how eager democrats AND republicans are to control speech on the internet. We’re in danger.

    1. That’s why I’m keeping my ham license up-to-date.

  33. McConnell will introduce the legislation, called the McConnell bill, in May, he said. It will cover all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. McConnell’s backing marks the strongest support yet in Congress for what’s been dubbed “T21.”

    Is McConnell aware that e-cigarettes are not a tobacco product?

    1. If it looks dangerous, it IS dangerous.
      See – all gun control

    2. But they look like tobacco smoking!

    3. Frequently when they outlaw an activity, they also try to outlaw close substitutes for it. Seriously, that’s what it’s about—because if tobacco smoking is bad, so must be getting nicotine by other means, with carve-outs for medically approved treatments.

      Unless of course, they also outlaw vaping nicotine-free juice, with cannabinoids or otherwise, for those under 21. Then it really is because it looks like smoking.

    1. Damn, dropping “quisling” like it’s nothing.

  34. love Camille.

  35. “…see what Reason folks are saying about it below:
    President Trump’s Post-Mueller Report Tweets, Scored
    Trump May Not Be Guilty of Obstruction, but He Is Guilty of Arrogant Stupidity
    Trump May Not Have Obstructed the Mueller Investigation, But It Sure Looks Like He Tried
    Bill Barr ‘Disagreed’ with Some of Robert Mueller’s ‘Legal Theories’ on Obstruction”

    Summary:
    That damn guy was caught doing 34 in a 35-zone, but he looked like he was speeding!

    1. And the aggravating circumstance that elevates the charge to a felony – not being Hillary.

    2. Kimberley Strassel had another take on the report which could be very damning for the FBI (and the Obama administration):

      “The report instead mostly reads as a lengthy defense of the FBI—of its shaky claims about how its investigation began, of its far-fetched theories, of its procedures, even of its leadership.”

    3. I am impressed at how quickly this has dissipated. For over 2 years this was the most important story in the world (and why didn’t he just resign already?). And 24 hours later the libertarian wad is shot.

      The left has moved on…. obstruction has been proven and it is time for impeachment to begin! The only problem is convincing dinosaurs like Pelosi to get on board.

      1. Yep, he should be impeached for being Trump!

  36. […] cited data from 2016 that “cigarette smoking among U.S. adults stood at about 15.5 percent, down from […]

  37. “In addition, we all know people who started smoking at a young age and who struggled to quit as adults.”

    And now, with this legislation, we can ensure that these young people also have a hard time finding a job once we have handed them a criminal record. This way, we can ensure that our youth is not only addicted to tobacco products, but also that they can no longer find gainful employment.

  38. I dearly hope someone attaches to this 21 to smoke or vape bill to include not voting until one is 21. If we’re going to treat people like children until they’re 21 on some subjects, then we should do it on all subjects.

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