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Big Government Tactics 101: Save the Children!


Today, the same tactics used to squeeze cash from Big Tobacco in the 1990s are being brought to bear on electronic cigarettes, increasing e-cigs’ costs and restricting access.

Senators and witnesses accused e-cig manufacturers of targeting children at a hearing two years ago. They argued e-cigarettes had been advertised during the Super Bowl, and witnesses cited an advertisement on a woman’s bikini bottom in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. You know, kid stuff.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) accused the industry of targeting kids by putting flavors in their e-cigs, apparently basing her theory on the idea that adults want their e-cigs to be flavorless. One of those flavors allegedly targeting kids: piña colada.

Regulators ignore the fact that industry has proceeded carefully, conducting campaigns to block access to e-cigs for children, and limited its advertising to media and events with audiences that are at least 85 percent adult.

This tactic – regulators claiming they want to protect children — is how bureaucrats and activists took down Big Tobacco. The charge then was that Joe Camel advertisements were for children, because Joe was a cartoon, and cartoons are for children. By that logic, the Michelin Man and Erin Esurance are trying to sell tires and insurance to kids.

But logic has never been important to Big Government regulators who know that they can implement their worldview under the guise of child safety.

This blog post was adapted from the October edition of Capital Research Center’s “Green Watch,” by Dr. Steven J. Allen