By Steve Forbes, Patrick Gleason
The new surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, has sensibly noted that there’s a “desperate need of clarity” on the subject of electronic cigarettes. If a fact-based, nonhysterical approach were taken, all would be well. But don’t count on anything like that happening. The fanatical fervor of antismoking crusaders won’t be stopped by objective science. The reason? E-cigs too closely resemble the real thing–which is like waving the proverbial red cape in front of a bull. But there’s also another factor at work: an intolerant, puritanical mind-set that is offended because e-cigs make abstaining from or giving up cigarettes too easy. Forsaking smoking should involve pain, not pleasure!Instead of focusing on sensible guidelines to ensure the safe and sound manufacturing of electronic cigarettes, antismoking jihadists indulge in what might be called a scorched-earth approach. All tobacco products are regarded as equally bad–a scientific falsehood–and anything resembling cigarettes, even when no tar or smoke is involved, must be quashed.