Society needs to take a long, hard look at what the responsibility of the government is in people’s lives.
Most would agree when it comes to private actions and decisions, the government has room to regulate activities that may negatively affect others.
This is why murder, theft and other crimes are banned.
It is also why drugs like heroin or meth are banned — they destroy the life of the user both physically and mentally.
Drugs like these can destroy one’s ability to function in civilized society. They lead parents to neglect their children and sometimes even steal from family members to fuel their expensive addiction.
In other words, these drugs don’t just negatively affect the user, they affect everyone close to the user.
Hard drugs aren’t banned because they are unhealthy, they’re banned because they’re destructive.
However, the government isn’t, and shouldn’t be, in the business of banning products that are simply unhealthy but only really affect the individual consumer.
It is important the regulatory bodies of the government, such as the FDA, don’t transform into organizations that go around telling adults what they can and can’t do based on what they feel is best for people.
Yet, despite this traditional role that government plays, the FDA has become a nanny-like organization, with certain local divisions and governments being even worse.
By and large, around the country there has been a massive crackdown on vaping.
The (San Francisco Bay Area) Marin County Board of Supervisors, all Democrats, voted unanimously to ban the sale of all flavored vape products, leaving only tobacco and menthol flavors available.
The argument is that vaping has become an epidemic among middle and high school students and, therefore, should be banned.
Particularly in focus are
the flavored juices which, so Democratic politicians claim, are exclusively popular with underage vapers.
In reality, they’re popular with anyone who doesn’t like their vape to taste like a cigarette.
Ultimately though, the fear is these middle school and high school kids are going to use vaping as a gateway to smoking cigarettes.
But if you want kids to actually start smoking cigarettes, the easiest way to do that is to remove access of vaping products.
These young vapers would default to other ways of getting the nicotine they’re addicted to, and it would make the problem worse.
As everyone knows, nicotine is addictive, so taking vaporizers and vape juice off the market will not cease nicotine addiction.
Vapers will instead opt for cigarettes or chewing tobacco to get their fix.
This is already happening in Marin County.
The FDA is under the impression vaping isn’t as accessible to the youth as other tobacco products are.
But this is completely ridiculous because the same smoke shops and corner stores that obviously don’t check ID’s, don’t card for tobacco or nicotine products at all.
So, in response to this, certain local governments have called for a ban on menthol cigarettes (some even for all cigarettes).
This is negative for two reasons.
First, those governments would be stripping the rights away from adult smokers, and secondly, it would create the largest black market the world has ever seen.
Much of this would come from tobacco grown in the U.S., as we’re the fourth largest producer of raw tobacco in the world behind China, India and Brazil.
Then, vaporizers would be sourced from China, as they are now.
But instead of smoke shops and other legitimate companies buying these wholesale vaporizers, it would be private citizens buying them up to sell on the black market.
This is so easy to do because of the Chinese manufacturers who sell their products on Chinese wholesale websites like Alibaba.
Literally anyone with a few hundred dollars to spare can order these products on Alibaba and have them shipped right to their doorstep without any scrutiny from authorities.
In our increasingly interconnected world, there is no way to stop these products from coming into the country, and that’s simply the reality of the situation.
Come 2020, think twice before you vote Democratic for the state legislature.
Consider what is at stake.
They will ban vaping, adult smokers will lose their rights and a massive black market will form.
You heard it here first.
Miles Streicek is a sophomore studying finance.