EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

September 10, 2013

Editorial: Nanny government identifies a new target

(Continued)

E-cigarettes do not change this rationale at all. Their sale to minors should be prohibited.

But the legislation would also extend the ban on smoking ordinary cigarettes in public places to electronic cigarettes. There is no rational basis for this legislation.

Smoking is prohibited in enclosed public spaces because anti-smoking advocates were able to argue convincingly that secondhand smoke poses a health risk even to nonsmokers. But there is no such evidence that the vapor exhaled by those who smoke e-cigarettes poses any health risks whatsoever. Banning smokers of electronic cigarettes reflects nothing more than an irrational fear of and animus towards those with personal preferences that differ from our own.

While no sensible person would claim electronic cigarettes are a health device, some smokers use them to wean themselves off nicotine altogether. Some 1 in 5 smokers now report using e-cigarettes.

Unless some hard evidence proves these devices pose some threat to nonsmokers, we ought to leave adult e-cigarette smokers alone.

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