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Think tank publication makes case for less regulation of e-cigarettes

March 2, 2017
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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The free-market oriented Heartland Institute, which has opposed strict regulation of electronic cigarettes because they are seen as a safer alternative to tobacco, has published a booklet to urge policy-makers to rethink a tax-and-regulate approach to the products.

Vaping, E-Cigarettes and Public Policy Toward Alternatives to Smoking addresses topics such as facts and myths about e-cigarettes, the gateway theory linking e-cigarette use to smoking, and use of the products to help smokers quit tobacco use. Its lead author is Brad Rodu, a University of Louisville professor who also has studied the relative benefits of smokeless tobacco.

A news release from the institute states, “Smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes provide a much safer and healthier alternative delivery system for nicotine. Tobacco harm reduction is a proven strategy for helping smokers reduce their tobacco use or quit altogether.”

The release adds that policy-makers should reconsider the emerging direction toward e-cigarettes because “bans, excessive regulations, or high taxes on e-cigarettes could encourage smokers to stay with more harmful traditional cigarettes.”

The booklet is available online.