The “DRUG” Industry, Part I

Protectionism: When the government enacts a policy that “protects” an industry of the nation, either because it is unstable due to market trends, or suffering profit losses due to foreign competition. Typically, the government passes trade barriers to help the industry survive. These barriers can be tariffs, or taxes on foreign imports, so that way the foreign imports are more expensive than local goods. Sometimes, they can entirely ban the importing of a good, and other times, the government will force a supply limit on the foreign good so that way the supply is small and the local import will be bought due to being the only good in excess.

E-Cigarettes

According to Wikipedia, the electronic cigarette is a battery powered device which simulates cigarette smoking. It was first patented in 1963, though it has become extremely popular and the target of a new wave of anti-smoking regulations. It uses a heating element that heats up a vapor and the smoker inhales the vapor, which contains nicotine, flavoring, and water. Some cigarettes do not contain the nicotine, which typically foments the addiction in consumers of cigarettes, electronic or otherwise.
The World Health Organization has stated that because the reviews of electronic cigarettes have not been finished, and because the product is too new, stating a health benefit in the reduction of cigarette fatalities or nicotine addiction cannot be given. They encourage all possible consumers halt the usage of such products until further review. However, the American Association of Public Health Physicians has stated that those who suffer from chronic, or long-term smoking habits, may yield a reduction in their habit by using electronic cigarettes.

Polosa, Rodu, Caponnetto, Magila, and Raciti have authored the only controlled and randomized study of tobacco harm reduction that compares Nicotine patches, e-cigarettes with nicotine, and those without nicotine. They see E-cigarettes as a great way to reduce the harm of tobacco addictions, for several reasons. First, the traditional materials that make up chewing tobacco or cigarettes, and the materials necessary to use traditional cigarettes do not exist in the electronic cigarette. There is no exposure to ash, tar, and other hazardous chemicals that make up the traditional cigarette. They believe that the risks associated with smokeless tobacco will be similar to electronic cigarettes, and predict that that the mortality of these new products will be 1% of the mortality associated with traditional smoking. They also go on to say that a lot of the fear-mongering of the “smokeless E-cigarettes” comes from websites that lump the electronic cigarette unfairly with its smokeless cigarette counterpart and chewing tobacco. They credit the media for creating a fear campaign when there isn’t any strong medical or health based studies to say the tobacco-less electronic cigarette is just as harmful as the tobacco-based products.

The McKinney Opinion: I am no smoker, and my exposure to tobacco products is this; I smoked a tobacco pipe once, and have taken a hit on an electronic cigarette. I coughed less from the electronic cigarette, but I also suffered a migraine following the participation. Clearly nicotine is a highly addictive drug, but so is caffeine, and the consequences of cutting both off entirely can lead to harsh and violent reactions by one’s body. If Electronic cigarettes offer a way to slowly reduce the tobacco consumption for people, I don’t see the reason to particularly ban the product. I would argue that it still deserves all the taxation we give traditional tobacco products, and that should be in place for the foreseeable future, until conclusive evidence proves that electronic cigarettes reduces health risks in former smokers. I think banning the product, and banning the advertisement and publicity of the products is a rather “moral” thing to do, in the sense the government is deeming an action immoral. Sure TV ads convince kids to do things. So if we ban cigarette ads, the Dos Equis ads then have to go because they make booze “cool”. Victoria Secret ads shouldn’t be permitted either because they are educating young girls and young women to believe that “lingerie” will make you beautiful or win men over.
The entire pretense that banning a product from visual advertisement simply because someone might do it can only lead to the following reality. EVERYONE, you must stop consuming chocolate because you might tempt a diabetic to hurt themselves. EVERYONE, you must always obey the speed laws because failing to do so teaches children it is okay to break any law. EVERYONE, you must never discipline your child publicly, because you might scare other children and their parents with your harsh actions…its hypochondria in terms of society. The way we should approach this is to allow parents to dialogue with their children, schools to teach the various ill-effects and government programs associated with the products, and that like many things, when you remove the curiosity of the product, consumption goes down in the younger populations.

Fatalities associated with:

As Rush Limbaugh quoted yesterday on his program, the New York Times has an article up about Electronic cigarettes, in which they smear campaign the product by making it out to be a “Dangerous Poison on the LOOSE”. While they claim there is a 300% increase in the number of child poisonings due to consumption of the liquids for e-cigarettes, the cases are at 1,351. The American population is 310 Million, meaning that the amount of accidental poisoning of children is equal to less than 1/1000th of 1%. Even better, only one person has died from the “TOXIC” formula. The death was due to injection, and was the result of a suicide. MEANING, the person took a syringe, pump the liquid into the syringe, and put it straight into their blood. It wasn’t by consumption or spilling it on themselves, it was by intentionally hurting themselves. You could do the same with air or water. * Le GASP* EVEN WORSE, there hasn’t been a single reported child fatality due to E-cigarettes! *Le GASP GASP*

For those who really want to know what the greatest implements of child deaths are, here’s the collection of data from 2007.

Food For thought: So the New York Times wants me to pre-emptively protect the Smoking industry by eliminating a product that has not killed anyone, and could possibly reduce all health associated risks with tobacco for its users?
Even better, the New York Times wants us to believe that children consuming the liquid and getting medically treated for being poisoned is a solely e-cigarette issue. Did we forget about rat poison, ant traps, cat and dog food, and the list continues of things children eat or drink that can hurt them. Yet no one has died except for someone who shot the stuff straight into their blood. Which, death by injection seems to be a really excruciating way to die.

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2 thoughts on “The “DRUG” Industry, Part I

  1. There is one thing you left out in your post and poll. As far as I know only a small handful of states have prohibited the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. Beyond taxation and regulation of advertising is the question of regulation of who can buy and use them. The concern that minors will find these appealing and become addicted to nicotine naturally points to this. I think if you are going to allow them to advertise, you definitely need to have this question figured out. If studies in the future show that they have legitimate value in curbing addiction to traditional cigarettes, I could see allowing them for minors with a doctor’s prescription, or some such solution, for minors already addicted to traditional cigarettes.

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    • I would have assumed that the age restriction for e-cigarettes would have been established as the normal smoking age. But I agree that a doctor prescribing it should be an acceptable reason for someone to gain access to them.
      I guess the reason I didn’t account for age restrictions is because I labelled them as an adult product. But it is a valid point, that I should have made. It can be easily mixed that I am suggesting minors should have access to the product, when that’s not what I actually believe.

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