NY Senate committee hears one side of e-cigs debate. Who will win, d ya think?

By Gil Ross — May 12, 2014
NYS Senate panel to deliberate on how to reduce access to effective smoking cessation method, thanks to testimony from experts committed to keeping e-cigarettes off the market, while barring other testimony. Democracy? Not really, nor public health.

CharlizeVapesSNLToday, the New York State Senate Health Committee, run by Sen. K. Hannon, Rep. of Nassau County, will convene to debate several measures aimed at reducing access to e- cigarettes in the state, similarly to the bans and restrictions rammed through the NYC Council last December by then- Mayor Bloomberg. But apparently, Hammond doesn t even have the courage of his convictions sufficient to permit testimony and science-based presentations from those of us interested in actually helping to stem the cruel course of smoking-related disease and death in our nation via e-cigs. This pseudo-debate will have only opponents of harm- reduction methods in attendance, analogous to the Stalin-era show-trials.

The FDA-approved cessation products rarely work, despite the blather of the FDA, the CDC, and other conflicted, agenda-driven agencies and politicians. As per my letter in today s Albany Times-Union, e-cigs represent the best hope of helping addicted smokers quit. Yet the public health spokesmen at all levels of government seem determined to carry out a crusade to keep e-cigs away from smokers trying to quit, via bans, restrictions and taxes. Some of these measures have been fought off successfully, thanks to efforts of like-minded groups, including CASAA and CLASH (the latter sponsoring an effort to turn back the onerous NYC law via litigation). These successes, in Vermont, Washington state, and Michigan, have been outweighed by numerous state and local measures banning the devices out of baseless fear of second-hand vapor, among other myths. Many of these political bans have arisen out of greed, rather than public health: cigarette sales are declining as e-cigs have skyrocketed, threatening tax receipts and budgets based on collecting them. E-cigs are mainly free of the cigarette-level excise taxes, although greedy state budget directors and other officials are eyeing them ravenously.

In another sign that the e-cigarette phenomenon won t be disappearing anytime soon despite the best efforts of the Big Tobacco Control-anti-smoker conspiracy another big-name celebrity was proudly vaping on national media over the weekend: Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron whipped out an e-cigarette on a Saturday Night Live skit. Sorry CDC, another sign of the apocalypse! Let's see which pompous politician will be the first to attack her and SNL?!

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