Hands Off the Fruity E-Cigs

Participants puff during the vape competition at the Vape Trade Convention in Mexico City, Mexico, June 11. (Victor Ruiz Garcia/Reuters) The planned regulation is an affront to personal freedom.

The Trump administration’s Food and Drug Administration is gearing up to ban e-cigarette flavorings besides the ones that taste like tobacco. It’s unclear if this would have any benefits for public health. What is clear is that it will be a disaster for personal freedom, and that this is not a decision that Congress ever should have left in the executive branch’s hands.

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Smoking cigarettes is one of those things that we allow adults to do even though it’s obviously bad for them, causing numerous cancers and other health problems. There are extra taxes involved, but smokes are openly for sale pretty much wherever you go. It’s a free country.

But in 2009 Congress, in its infinite wisdom, gave the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products — except for all the products that were already on the market. This meant that the agency would have authority over upstart products competing with cigarettes, but the rules would not apply to cigarettes themselves.

Upstart products such as e-cigarettes,

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