Ban defies logic

Ban defies logic

October 22, 2018

A commentator writing in the South China Morning Post has questioned the rationale behind a recently-announced ban on electronic cigarettes in Hong Kong.

Stephen Vines said that one thing no one had expected from Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s policy address of last week was a frontal attack on Hong Kong’s long-standing commitment to free and open markets.

However, in announcing a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes, she had delivered a mighty blow to this commitment, while providing a rationale that defied logic.

‘The ban is based on some seriously flawed arguments if indeed, as claimed, it has arisen from public health concerns,’ Vines said.

‘Those promoting the ban have overexcitedly argued that vaping either poses a greater health risk than tobacco consumption, or is just as bad. They have focused their concern on the attraction e-cigarettes hold for the young and cited controversial evidence that vaping does nothing to reduce tobacco consumption.

‘Even if all these arguments are valid on health and social grounds – a bit of stretch, but let’s go with it for the moment – there is a fundamental illogicality here.

‘If vaping is just as bad or almost as bad as smoking tobacco why on earth has the sale of tobacco products not been banned? If e-cigarettes present a particular threat to the health of young people, why is nothing being done to eliminate much greater, proven health risks involving products targeted at young people that are full of carbohydrates and unsaturated fats – not forgetting the menace of monosodium glutamate that is heavily used in Hong Kong?’

The full comment is here.

Category: Breaking News

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