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That is a very big question and one which gets asked a lot. Many countries have imposed either a total or partial ban on the sale of electronic cigarette. You would be forgiven for questioning the whole e cigarette thing.
So let’s take a look at why this is happening, and see if we can answer the question Why are E Cigarettes banned in so many places.
We seem to have a product which has the potential to save millions of lives. There seems to be only evidence that whatever the potential limited harm, e cigarettes are very clearly massively safer than smoking normal cigarettes.
Despite this Australia have banned their sale and importation. Thailand have banned their sale and importation. I could go on the list is quite long, it is also readily available public information. The more interesting subject is why are they banned and even more interesting what are the reasons we are being given for the prohibition.
The reasons we are given range from “They haven’t been tested enough ” to “They encourage young people to use nicotine” and various other equally ridiculous notions
Two things I learned some time ago, when dealing with issues which seem to defy any kind of relationship to the truth.
1 Apply Ocams razor. That is to say whenever you are confronted with a number of Hypotheses, the one which has the least number of assumptions is almost certainly the one which holds the answer.
2 Follow the money. That is to say when you are looking for motivation in a situation which just doesn’t smell right, following the money is most likely to lead you to both the motivation and the motivated.
Ocams Razor to electronic cigarettes:
In the examination of the very large conglomerate of readily available information, both scientific and anecdotal we get this.
There is no doubt at all that Electronic cigarettes are hugely safer than normal smoking and therefore have the potential to save millions of lives.
Ocams razor to Banning electronic cigarettes:
The examination of the unsupported excuses given for banning gives us this
Governments are afraid of electronic cigarettes. In fact they are so afraid of them that despite the very obvious life saving potential, none of them have implemented their own examination of the potential benefits of electronic cigarettes.
Follow the money to electronic cigarettes:
Here we get a product which cannot be taxed in the same way as normal smoking, yet robs the exchequer of significant sums of money every time there is a new convert to e cigarettes.
Follow the money to banning e cigarettes
Here we get to understand quite how much money a government gains from people smoking normal cigarettes. Here we see that governments are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They would like perhaps to tax e cigarettes as much as normal cigarettes. If they do that, they will be accused of discouraging people from adopting the safer option. Maybe then they could tax e cigs highly, but not quite so highly as normal smoking
Yes they could do this but governments are not, in our democratic world, at liberty to tax a product more than another just because they want some money. They need an excuse. They need to be able to say that they are taxing it for a reason. Maybe to protect your health, or to save the environment. Unfortunately for them, as of now such excuses would have to be lies.
So there we have it. Some of the more pedantic governments got in early and banned the electronic cigarette, before there was too much public uptake others banned it anyway. The ones who haven’t banned it yet have a problem.
The problem is that the greater the public uptake, the more difficult it will be to ban it. Many people think it is too late for electronic cigarettes to get banned in most of Europe. We shall see.
Meanwhile be assured that there are a whole bunch of people looking at electronic cigarettes. They are not looking with such honest intentions. They are looking for ways to offset the damage it is doing to their revenue. They are not looking at the benefits to your health. But really we already knew they were never entirely on our side, didn’t we