Wednesday 30 November 2011

Legislation As Corporate Sponsorship

Via SteveVape comes news that we kinda knew anyway, that bans don't really need to have anything to do with health.

Major U.S. and foreign airline associations unanimously endorsed a Transportation Department proposal to ban the use of electronic cigarettes on scheduled airline flights to, from and within the U.S.

In a letter to the DOT, the groups said all airlines already prohibit the use of e-cigarettes and would welcome a government ban.
Aren't private airlines entitled to set their own policies, I hear you say? Yes. Of course they are, but that's not the point of the article. Instead, airlines are petitioning government to ban something purely for their own self-interest. See here, for example.

For years, flight attendants have spoken out against electronic cigarettes, saying passengers have confronted attendants over electronic cigarettes because some air travelers argue that the federal tobacco ban does not apply to electronic cigarettes.
Of course it doesn't. Because there is not - and probably never will be - any damaging health effect ascribed to passive water vapour.

There's a distinct lack of bodies to prove the computer modelled devastation of secondhand smoke too, but considering the world and his equally bovine wife have been comprehensively duped by that con job, we'll leave it aside for now.

Suffice to say that here we have airlines calling for a ban so that their lives are made easier. Nothing whatsoever to do with health, just an easing of administration by way of government diktat to save poor airline staff from the onerous burden of doing their job.

Oh, don't get me wrong. They do at least hint towards health hysteria ...

The DOT proposed the ban in September fearing that electronic tobacco products, which are inhalers that come in the shape of cigarettes, cigars, pipes, pens or other objects, may introduce harmful vapors into aircraft cabins, even though they do not rely on combustion.
... it's just that there is quite literally zero evidence for any of it.

And how did such a destructively lazy and illiberal mindset become entrenched? I think you might have worked that particular conundrum out for yourself by now. It's, of course, because anti-nicotine bans have never been about health, merely the interests of one set of nicotine suppliers pitted against those who profit from an alternate delivery system.

E-cigs just happened to have wandered into the middle of a shit-storm and are being treated the same as traditional tobacco manufacturers. Pfizer et al don't look kindly on such impertinent competitors ... their shareholders would kick up such a darn fuss, so they would. Oddly enough, this kind of legislation is usually enthusiastically aided and abetted by lefty progressives who are too dumb to realise that they're boosting profits for aggressive global corporations.

Thanks to the fanatically insane tobacco control lobby, anything can now be subject to legislative banning without any scientific evidence required.

As precedents go, that's quite a biggie.


Jay said...

I flew to the US this past September, on Virgin, and was stunned to hear the announcement that e-cigs could not be used on the plane.

So I asked a stewardess* why this was so, and she replied that "some people will see you smoking [an e-cig] and think it's okay to smoke a real cigarette."

"Really? Is that the official position of the airline?" I asked.

"Yes," she said.

(* do feel free to substitute the words "flight attendant")

Dick Puddlecote said...

That's precisely the problem, Jay, and the same story given by Wetherspoons IIRC. It's bad enough that they're imposing silly rules on a harmless device on such dubious reasoning, but calling for the state to ban them is quite absurd.

And, above all, lazy.

Anonymous said...

Virgin Airlines makes me laugh. They ran an ad campaign last year with billboard sized posters in all the subway stations and it was of people waving bright red flags of the communist variety and with some stern leftist appearing models to encourage flying Virgin. I think of that airline as being for the flying left-wing idealogical healthist-zealots only and have no intention of using them. The fact airlines as a group would petition government do implement a ban almost proves the point of it being a fascism or bundling of corporate and state at this point, with the deluded lefties fully supporting global corporatism, as long as it comes pacakaged in the guise of government health and environment false goodness, a lie they can buy into and believe. The world has deluded itself and if they ban e-cigs that will prove the world has gone totally berserk in self delusion.

nisakiman said...

And just to think, when I knew him (vaguely) in the early 80s, Richard Branson was a Marlborough man.

Anonymous said...

preamaI seem to remember a little while ago reading that one airline (was it Ryanair?) was selling ecigs on the plane.

I rather think that the objective of the airlines involved in this wheeze have in mind to remove ecigs as an element of competition. It is back to the 'level playing field' idea. Level playing field = uniformity = less competition.

Chris W said...

No probs,just puff them in the toilet!

Anonymous said...

Hadn't thought of that, Chris!

Anonymous said...

But with security guards in the US terrorizing everyone at the gate with strip searches and gamma-radiation machines they're probably going to find a lot of e-cigs on people and confiscate them at the gates the same way UKBA confiscates legally purchased tobacco from overseas upon return entry through the gates, along with peoples' cars. So if they start doing that, then nobody will be allowed to have them on board and thus no puffing in the bathroom will be possible. Next thing you know, they'll probably force everyone to sit butt-naked in newly designed airline seats that will approximate the same look and feel the old Roman galley ships had where the slaves sat down below row, row, rowing the boat - maybe even handcuffed and everyone forced to beg permission just to use the restroom. That will be "flying the friendly skies" as the one airline long ago used to boast. But they'll be damned certain that everyone is keeping healthy that way though, under close scrutiny by the Stasi air stewards and stewardesses.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Same old, same old. Most EU legislation is corporate sponsorship, as it happens, so it's not surprising that the US has long been heading in this direction.

Probably most UK legislation is corporate sponsorship as well, to the extent that it's not already dictated by the EU.

Anonymous said...

Does this ban include drug company nicotine inhalators, which must produce vapour?