Some select State Governments, as well as the Federal Government, is now engaged in selectively determining what products and innovations are allowed to be sold in America and who will profit. This is not based on law or on science, but on perception, speculation, and possibly money.
The electronic cigarette has no history of harming any American (or anyone to my knowledge). It has been sold in the US for over 3 years now (7 years world wide), without incident. Absent any unfounded marketing claims, there is no law current law preventing the sale of electronic cigarettes. So, some States are attempting to create a law banning the electronic cigarette while the Federal government continues to work to hand the product over to the well established pharmaceutical industry.
Where is the line between our free market and government intervention? If there is scientific evidence that a product will harm at least a certain percentage of American’s, then it reasonable to place restrictions and requirements on the product. But these restrictions should not be designed to stifle competition and should be analogous to the threat posed.
The current stance of our Government (the FDA) is that e-cigarettes need to be regulated more stringently than tobacco cigarettes. As a new drug and medical device, the e-cigarette could only be legally sold in pharmacies, not in gas stations competing with tobacco cigarettes. As a new drug, it may require a prescription. As a new drug, a pharmaceutical company would need to invest (pay the FDA) to bring it to market.
When comparing a product that hasn’t harmed anyone to a product that kills over 400,000 Americans per year, it should be obvious which needs greater restrictions. Being oblivious to the obvious may mean many American’s will continue to use the most deadly product in American history rather than a new innovation that hasn’t harmed anyone.