E-cigarettes and copyleft

With millions of smokers eager to kick the habit, and the rest of us just as eager to help them, you would think that innovations such as e-cigarettes would be in good standing with the powers that be.  Apparently, this is not the case.  As Thomas Knapp explains, in this article, not only big tobacco, but the F.D.A., big pharma (see comments) and the American Lung Association are all erecting hurdles to keep people from availing themselves of this technology.

Enter the electronic cigarette: No tobacco involved. Nicotine and flavorings are delivered in a liquid (propylene glycol or vegetable glycerine), slightly heated to produce a fog or vapor. While the full health implications aren’t yet clear, it’s a safe bet that e-cigs are safer than “real” cigarettes. Cigarette smoke is full of carcinogen-laden “tars.” E-cig vapor isn’t. There’s no “secondhand smoke” because there’s no smoke at all.
Even thought they’re currently only a tiny portion of the nicotine market, e-cigs are driving all the usual suspects crazy.
Big Tobacco wants them gone ASAP because they threaten tobacco profits.
The FDA wants to bring them under its regulatory authority because authority is what regulation is all about.
If you’re surprised to hear that the American Lung Association has condemned e-cigarettes, you shouldn’t be. They rake in more than $50 million per year, mostly by leveraging the scare value of tobacco-related lung disease. “Non-profit” or not, the continued solvency of ALA depends largely on the continued popularity of their bête noire, smoking.
The alleged Axis of Anti-Smoking — Big Government and Big Non-Profits — are fully aligned with Big Tobacco on the issue of electronic cigarettes. If we take their claims at face value, smoking kills more than 400,000 Americans per year … and they want to keep it that way.

Whenever a vast infrastructure grows around a “war against… (fill in the blank)”, we should be suspicious of the “warriors” true motives.  There is no doubt in my mind that many, if not most, anti-Cancer activists have noble intentions.  They would probably celebrate if Cancer were eradicated for good.  The same is no doubt true of anti-AIDS activists, anti-hunger advocates, anti-poverty advocates and even those who wish to extinguish “racism” (whatever this means for them).  However, money has a way of talking.  Each morning, when those activists get up for work, money speaks to them and says things like, “don’t you like your job?”, “you sure have a cozy job and good benefits… it would be a pity if, for some reason, you would lose it.”  Yes, it’s true that if Cancer were conquered, most of those doctors and researchers would find equally good jobs in other fields.  But will they all be able to do so and what guarantee do they have that their new jobs will be just as good?  The people we should be more concerned about are the lobbyists, fund-raisers and administrators of “non-profit” groups.  Those people have a great interest in keeping their enemy alive.  For them, Cancer, AIDS, poverty, hunger and “racism” are their bread and butter. Would it be surprising if we found out that some of those activists were secretly working to propagate the very evil they are supposed to be battling?
At the bottom of the above article is a small piece of text that reads: “Copyleft 2010 Center for a Stateless Society”.  Copyleft is a way to retain credit for intellectual work while allowing the work to be freely distributed.  I’ll take this opportunity to say that every one of my articles on this blog is copylefted.
Those who invented electronic cigarettes deserve to make massive profits from their work.  If the powers of evil succeed in robbing them of this profit, my suggestion would be for them to create easy-to-read instructions so that average people could manufacture their own electronic cigarettes.  If they could succeed in doing this, then the victory of big tobacco, big pharm, the F.D.A. and the A.L.A. would be a pyrrhic one.

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2 Responses to E-cigarettes and copyleft

  1. countenance says:

    Don’t forget taxes. Tobacco is taxed at special tobacco rates; e-cigs are only taxed at the normal sales tax rates. Every smoker who smokes an e-cig instead of a real one is marginally costing government. There’s another factor.

  2. fred says:

    That’s a good point about groups becoming dependent on the very industry they were created to oppose. I always think of this in terms of politics. Politicians like to run on “issues” but they really don’t want to solve them. Because then they’d have to find new issues to run on. If one wants to get re elected its better to establish one’s reputation for supporting/opposing an issue while trying like heck not to do anything about it.

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