E-cigarette non-ban: Part 2

Commentary

The Issue and the real Issue

Protesters gathered on the Ellipse outside the White House to show their opposition to a proposed ban on flavored e-cigarettes.Credit…

I wanted to do a quick follow up on my column entitled, “Trump Retreats From Flavor Ban for E-Cigarettes.”

My issue with the Trump retreat from banning the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes for blatantly political reasons was the that he did it for, well, blatantly political reasons. And, of course, for his own personal interests. Just like everything else he does.

The real issue is not about Trump but, more importantly, what should be done about e-cigarettes. In his pullback from the ban, Trump indicated that he still “wants to study the issue”. While “study” and “Trump” are mutually exclusive, I’d like to hold out some hope that there will be a positive outcome from all this dithering.

The fact is a sweeping ban on e-cigarettes is probably not a good idea. (I think something else “nefarious” was banned by the government years ago; they called it Prohibition. How did that work out?)

As the Times editorialized last week, “Banning E-Cigarettes Could Do More Harm Than Good,” noting that “prohibition is not a good long-term solution, for a number of reasons. Such measures are not guaranteed to prevent teenagers from getting e-cigarettes. And they would almost certainly force people who already use these products, including roughly 11 million adults, to choose between traditional cigarettes (which remain widely available, despite being deadlier than e-cigarettes) and black-market vaping products.” The Times suggests, “the better, if more complicated, option would be to build a public health system that’s strong enough to combat all nicotine addiction in the long term.”

For more on the Times proposals, download the following link.

Hopefully, despite his antipathy for the New York Times, someone in the Trump “study group” will read the editorial and, perhaps, take some of the advice.

Oh, wait. That’s not going to happen; Trump banned all federal agencies from subscribing to the Times. And the Post for good measure. No, not the New York Post, that’s still allowed. It’s the other Post, the Bezos fake news one, The Washington Post. Perhaps this is another ban that will be retreated from, allowing some thoughtful staffers to take heed.

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy.

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