Local view: Regulation would be more bad governmentI was appalled when I first heard the Duluth City Council was considering regulating e-cigarettes the same way actual cigarettes are regulated.
By: Bill Rees, Duluth News Tribune
I was appalled when I first heard the Duluth City Council was considering regulating e-cigarettes the same way actual cigarettes are regulated.
My main interest is in good government, which means government that does not base its decisions on ignorance, prejudice, lies or self-interests. It also means government that goes out of its way to avoid pushing around minority people and those it does not understand without a very compelling reason.
The electronic “cigarette” is indeed electronic, but it certainly is not a cigarette. It contains no tobacco. It emits no tobacco smoke. It emits no smell. No reliable research has ever shown it is a health hazard to anybody. Linking the e-cig with tobacco smoking is just plain ignorant — or crooked.
Actually, so was the ban on ordinary smoking in bars, workplaces and elsewhere.
Government could not ban smoking in private establishments without a compelling reason, a health hazard. The Environmental Protection Agency supplied one, but it cooked the data and a federal judge tossed it out. It was a fraud. On appeal, amazingly, the EPA made no claim its data was accurate, only that its report was not an official rule and thus only an opinion — and thus none of the court’s business.
I feel sure the EPA never believed its own data, that it was intended only to justify local governments taking actions on their own, which is exactly what happened in thousands of cases. This was a deliberate fraud, in my opinion, and I have copies of court filings that suggest the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and other anti-smoking groups were complicit in the fraud.
The anti e-cig ordinances in Duluth would pile little fraud upon big fraud. That’s just more bad government. The advocates and supporters of the ordinances should be ashamed of themselves.
Bill Rees of Duluth is a retired lieutenant colonel of the U.S. Air Force and was the fourth generation of his family to farm tobacco.