Dr. Howard Zucker, commissioner of the state Health Department, recommended a ban on menthol-flavored electronic cigarettes. Gov. Andrew Cuomo accepted the recommendation. And when two leading vaping companies and the Vaping Technology Association, a pro-e-cigarette group, attempted to sue the state to block the ban, Judge Gerald Connolly of the state Supreme Court in Albany County denied a request by the vaping industry for a temporary restraining order on the emergency ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.
Much to applaud, it’s true. But now there are stirrings about imposing a ban on all cigarettes.
Bet nobody saw that coming.
That sounds like a refreshing idea. But do we now assume that government will meddle in issues of personal choice and personal responsibility? We don’t want government in our bedrooms. Why would we want it in our shirt pockets, wallets or purses?
Think about it. In many states smoking has been banned in other public facilities and private businesses for years. You can no longer smoke in restaurants, movie theaters, banks, schools, office buildings, concert halls and many, many more venues. We don’t need government to prohibit smoking. Places where the customers’ right to breathe fresh, clean air have already done the job.
By the way, all cigarettes come with clear and legible warnings.
The ban on flavored e-cigarettes, including the menthol variety, should focus on keeping young people from getting into a nasty habit, no matter how sweet it tastes. This is a good time to draw a line between protecting the health and safety of children and an adult’s right to his or her own choices. A total ban on all cigarettes isn’t necessary. Government cannot and should not interfere in personal responsibility.