Published on June 13th, 2013 | by Trick0
The Conspiracy Theorists Might Be Right
As more reactions pour in after the UK’s MHRA announced yesterday that e-cigarettes would be regulated as medical products beginning in 2016, Fred Crawley’s editorial in the New Statesman takes a look at all the conspiracy theories surrounding the decision. Did Big Tobacco lobbying cause this? The pharmaceutical companies? A government afraid of losing tobacco revenue? Zealots intent on imposing a form of anti-nicotine Puritanism?
“…To block people from accessing this escape route is rather like padlocking fire doors on the off-chance that someone tries to break in.”
Rob Lyons, Sp!ked
Crawley also suggests a couple other possibilities: the first being that people really are afraid that e-cigarettes might just get people hooked on nicotine who wouldn’t be otherwise. However, he points out that the number of people who would be motivated to give up cigarettes far outweighs any risk presented by the prospect of new nicotine addicts.
The second of his non-conspiratorial theories suggests that it’s a products safety issue — that without regulation, there’s no guarantee of public safety. However, as Crawley points out, there’s currently no evidence that electronic cigarettes are harmful, or that self-regulation has not been effective in keeping products safe.
“Perhaps, in this case, some of the conspiracy theorists have got it spot on.”
Having shot down both of the reasons for regulations that do not involve some kind of conspiracy, Crawley circles back, and recalls that the UK government shot down new restrictions on tobacco cigarettes just a month ago, and says “it really does cause one to wonder what conversations are going on behind the scenes.”