Common sense is prevailing in the media war over Electronic Cigarettes. Slate has published a great rundown on the coverage in the mainstream. Talking about the current import ban on electronic cigarettes, Slate asks this (h/t OsborneInk):
Governments seem to be buying this view. The FDA has officially barred importation of e-cigarettes. "These appear to be unapproved drug device products," a spokeswoman tells the Times, "and as unapproved products they can't enter the United States." Australia and Hong Kong have also prohibited the devices.
That's a pretty awkward position. We restricted smoking, tobacco sales, and advertising based on decades of evidence that smoking was harmful to smokers and bystanders. Now we're treating electronic cigarettes the same way based on ... what? That "nobody knows" how bad they might be? The elements of smoking that justified our war on tobacco—carcinogens, combustion, secondhand smoke, even nicotine—have been removed or made optional. Is it really logical to ignore these differences?
The big problem is the lack of common sense in the bureaucracy known as the FDA. People have been kicking the old nasty tobacco habit by switching to the new electronic cigarettes. They have also had their own doctors tell them that they are healthier, but that isn’t good enough for the pencil pushers at the FDA. Instead they only worry about what is being said by people who haven’t even taken the time to look at the device.
Allowing the sale and use of e-cigarettes is not only a healthier alternative for the end user, but also those around them, as second hand smoke becomes a non-issue. Hopefully either the courts or the FDA will come to realize this and allow the continued sale of these products.