An indecent proposal

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And speaking of tobacco harm reduction, we've just learned that a proposal to ban e-cigarettes in New York was introduced in the State Senate. While no one thinks that the bill will become law in the near future, Long Island Republican Kemp Hannon, the Senate Health Committee chair who proposed it, says that he did it "to get some discussion going." Hannon says that, by gauging the reactions of people for and against a total ban, as well as gathering information "that would provide a rational basis for action or inaction," the Health Committee can decide where to go from there.

But as regular Dispatch readers already know, there is no rational basis for banning e-cigarettes. In fact, any truly rational thought process would result in promoting the e-cigarette as the effective smoking cessation option it is.

ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross was dumbfounded by Hannon s proposal. I am simply flabbergasted that such a measure, the consequences of which would condemn many thousands of New York ex-smokers back to cigarette addiction and premature death, can be proposed by the Chairman of the Health Committee of our state s Senate, he says. Sen. Hannon should be expected, in that role, to know a little bit about the relative risks of smoking and modified risk products, including, of course, electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS, or e-cigarettes). If he doesn t know, he should be given a quick course in preventing disease and saving lives. With this measure, the blood of smokers forced to give up e-cigarettes and resume smoking would be on his hands. Hopefully, this boneheaded measure will die a quiet death before a vote and never be heard from again.