LET’S DO SOME PLAIN SPEAKING ABOUT VAPING AND THE GOVERNMENT’S EFFORTS TO KILL IT OFF
Plain Speaking in government ranks? Oh, come on now!!!
After Harry Truman left the White House and went back to Independence, news columnist Mary McGrory wrote, “Since Harry Truman left town almost nobody has spoken his mind. Mr. Truman took the tradition of plain speaking back to Missouri with him.”
If Harry had been faced with vaping as a substitute for smoking tobacco, can’t you imagine him being asked at a news conference, “Mr. President, how do you feel about the government prohibiting vaping which effectively helps cut smoking and at the same time saves money on health care costs?”
Mr. Truman: “It is idiotic.” Or “It’s just dirt dumb” Yuh think?
Government officials who seek to ban flavoring do not speak plainly.
They know the facts. They know banning flavoring will cripple the vaping industry. They know that will end the most effective, safest alternative to cigarette smoking. They know the health care costs that result from smoking. They know how many people die each year from tobacco related causes. But no plain speaking about any of that.
Instead, they talk about how flavors attract and tempt the young, under 21 group from rushing headlong into getting hooked. And, friends, to quote my late uncle Phel Grantham of Grantham Corners South Carolina, “That is pure hogwash!”
What pray tell was “pure” hogwash? I guess the closest I could come in non-Grantham Corners lingo is, if you’ll forgive and overlook an obvious play on words, “It’s just a smokescreen, a total smokescreen!”
The law already makes it illegal to sell the e-liquid and devices to anyone under 21 in California. Every store I have visited sports a “No one under 21” sign. So, if prohibition works, why is it necessary to ban flavors? Why isn’t it enough to simply have the “not under 21” law on the books? Why does anyone think that a ban on flavoring will prevent access by youth to smoking or vaping any more than does the “not under 21”.
Point of fact, in plain speaking as to youth: if a 17-year-old decides she is going to smoke, her aunt, her older sister or cousin, her older boy friend will oblige and buy for her. And, if vaping is eliminated, there is no game in town except combustible cigarettes and the dependence that usually follows. And, federal law prohibits any attempt to ban cigarettes! But, even if they could be banned, our prospective smoker would be supplied by the black market.
Anyone around old enough to have experienced prohibition of alcohol in this country? Probably not with enough memory to reconstruct it. But surely there are people who have read about it – alcohol production was banned because the American Christian Temperance Union was strong enough to have booze banned. The result? Booze flowed like water. It was made in good clean laboratories and it was made in rusty old bath-tubs – and it all sold at a gosh-awful price, raking in disgraceful profits for the criminal syndicate that operated the underground alcohol business
In fact, no one event fed growth of the criminal syndicate in this nation more than prohibition. It was illegal to make it, to possess it, and to drink it. Thus, the attraction was novel and greater – and we had more drunks than any time in our history.
Just plain speaking: prohibition produced drunks and huge profits to finance crime.
Even more just plain speaking: banning flavors will produce huge profits to finance crime.
That’s just plain speaking bad public policy. Yuh think?
The plain-speaking truth is that it is all about the money.
Governments have become addicted to tobacco settlement funds. They are so sickly addicted that they can’t satisfy their general fund appropriations without the tobacco money. They gushed over it at the beginning, sold bonds on the expected windfall from future tobacco settlement money, and spent those bond sales like the money was going out of style.
Now, however, the bonds are coming due, and these spendthrift governments do not have the money to redeem the bonds and fund basic government functions. They are caught between a rock and a hard place—-and nowhere to go but back to the well and draw some more money furnished by those who buy tobacco and die from it.
We have reached the idiotic position at which our governments thrive on money furnished by people smoking their lives away, and prohibit a product that would end cigarette dependence and save human lives.
Our governments prefer to let people die and so they can get their money, rather than lose that money and allow people to live.
In the marvelously clever Pogo comic strips, the artist/author hit the nail on the head when he used an historic phrase, turned it into swamp character talk and voila we had, “We has met the enemy and he is us.”
And that my friends, fits the plain speaking we need for the governments that would ban flavors and destroy vaping. “WE HAS MET THE ENEMY, AND HE IS US.” Yuh think?