If 6 Deaths = Ban Vaping, What About Guns, Cigs & Alcohol?

By Brian Lemay No comments


Uh, there is a sort of stunning hypocrisy
around the recent vaping related panic that the president has shown. Now, last week we had this sort of cartoonish
moment where Donald Trump explained that the first lady, meaning his wife, Melania Trump,
is very, um, finds the vaping issue very important because she has a son, of course. It’s also Donald Trump’s son. And it was funny and it was a good laugh,
but there’s actually a much bigger stunning hypocrisy surrounding this entire vaping thing. And Donald Trump wanting to ban and or heavily
regulate vaping over six deaths that may or may not be related to vaping specifically. So let’s back it up and kind of set the story
up. Um, what is vaping? Vaping is, uh, inhaling and exhaling the aerosol,
it’s often called vapor, which suggests that it’s water vapor, but it’s not, it’s the aerosols
produced by e-cigarettes or similar devices. And the term vaping is used because the e-cigs
don’t produce tobacco smoke. So the term vaping is a very innocuous way
to say, well, these are aerosols that are being created rather than tobacco smoke. And those aerosols contain varying amounts
of different chemicals, many of which are known to be toxic, many of which have been
linked to cancer, heart disease or respiratory disease. So it’s obviously not a healthy thing to be
doing to be vaping. There are debates over, is it less bad than
just straight up smoking cigarettes? Is it less bad than a smoking pot in the sort
of traditional way? Those are open questions, but the idea that
this is not harmful is completely laughable. That’s kind of the starting point. Donald Trump now is talking about banning
vaping altogether. So first of all, the question is did six people
really die from vaping? I’m unclear. The CDC has identified close to 400 confirmed
cases of what they call vaping related lung illnesses and six deaths. Now, whether the cause is vaping itself, the
answer is probably not. From what I’ve researched, it does appear
that there are chemicals in some of these vaping products and it could be the chemicals
themselves or interactions between chemicals or interactions between chemicals and THC
or the chemicals and nicotine which could be causing these illnesses. I don’t pretend to know. We don’t fully know, but let’s just for a
second today, pretend that you know what it is. The, the mechanism of vaping itself that caused
these six deaths. If six people dying from something means that
the president gets involved and bands it. What about cigarettes? What about alcohol? And maybe even most importantly, what about
firearms, whatever the intended use of these things. So with guns you can say, well, the intended
use of a firearm is self-defense. Cigarettes. You can say the, the intended, uh, use is,
you know, nicotine, nicotine, uh, enjoyment of nicotine. The pleasure of nicotine. I don’t know. The goal of alcohol is relaxation in social
settings. It doesn’t matter more than six people, many,
many more than six people die as a result of guns, cigarettes, and alcohol every year,
way more than even ostensibly attributed to vaping. At this point in time, you can go further. More people die in migrant detention then
from vaping, and there is no interest in banning that from Donald Trump whatsoever. Although maybe the political circumstances
are very different. There they are, uh, the guns that are mostly
killing people other than the owners are doing the type of damage to the non-users that vaping
is not, I mean in the end, vaping, if anything is killing the vapors and the vapors alone. Whereas firearms are killing innocent people,
other people that don’t even have the firearms. So there is this incredible hypocrisy of being
against nanny states and being for businesses, doing what they will, you know, all that stuff
that we hear from so-called pro-business, small government conservatives, and then six
people may be die as a result of associated chemicals with vaping. And Donald Trump right away is talking about
banning vaping. And there are a number of angles on this that,
that I’ve read about, many of which are compelling. One is that people are smoking traditional
cigarettes less and less in the United States. And that this is all part knowingly or unknowingly
of a way to again, try to reinvigorate the tobacco industry, which to some degree is
suffering because people are abandoning smoking over time, which is a really great thing. So there’s the, the sort of corporate angle. The other one is that this is an easy moral
position to take for Donald Trump. Uh, and therefore he is jumping in head first
so to speak. Now when we talk about, aside from Trump’s
hypocrisy, when we talk about regulating and banning things, there is actually a need to
have an adult conversation just doing the country’s, you know, governments shouldn’t
ban stuff that’s nanny state. And any way when you ban something, all you
do is create a black market for it. Versus we just need to regulate and ban everything,
which nobody really takes that position. We should be scrutinizing and considering
regulation of banning at regulation or banning on each issue individually and we need to
be looking at how would regulating or prohibiting this versus that actually influenced the behavior
we are trying to stop. What sort of other effects, what side effects
will there be from the regulation or the band? There’s a case to be made that aggressive
regulation of guns, not bands per se, but that aggressive regulation including background
checks, including more extensive licensing, uh, national registry required insurance,
making ammunition significantly more expensive, expensive through tens of taxation, that that
would drastically reduce gun deaths, which is the goal at least if public health advocates,
if not the NRA banning vapes will actually do very little without a more holistic approach,
including looking at alternatives. And of course, how do you justify banning
vapes and cigarettes are still legal? What you need only look at the power of their
respective lobbies. Guns have alternatives that are far less lethal
knives, right? We’ve talked about this before and yet there
is no willingness to do anything about it. And here we have Donald Trump all of a sudden
saying, we’ve got a van ban vapes on the basis of six possible deaths. The hypocrisy is stunning, but also the hangers-on
that are coming out of the woodwork with their foe libertarian ideology are quite frankly
making me sick. Let me know what you think about the entire
vaping hypocrisy. I’m on Twitter at d pacman. The show is on Twitter at David Pakman.

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