If the evidence strongly says that vaping is safer, should the FDA ban cigarettes?

Cigarettes are the most deadly and destructive consumer product currently in use. When used normally, they cause more illness and death than any other preventable cause.

And the awful thing is, the nicotine itself is just a drug, the same as other stimulants, and while it is terribly addictive and deadly if overdosed, it doesn’t cause many health problems in itself. Higher blood pressure - probably a higher risk of stroke. But if you just dissolve nicotine in water and deliver it as a vapor cloud, it’s generally going to be safe-ish.

No other manufacturer in any other industry is permitted to do this. Ford can’t put razor blades in their airbags. Raid can’t make their cans of bugspray explode like grenades every 1 in 10 times you use them. The makers of oxycontin can’t include lead and crushed glass in each pill they sell.

Anyways, I know that quitting smoking is insanely difficult. I’ve tried to quit junk food and caffeine, and I’m still almost as overweight as I was before and drinking 2+ energy drinks a day. But if cigarettes were banned in favor of safer delivery devices - like vaping or nicotine patches - that deliver the same dose of nicotine for a reasonable cost - wouldn’t this be a massive improvement on the current situation?

You do hear about fly by night Chinese manufacturers of some of these vaping products getting sloppy and contaminating the vape fluid with tobacco leaf, leaving toxic debris on the heating element, getting sloppy on the battery protection circuits so they burst into flame. But to say that the fact that sometimes vaping devices can be unsafe somehow makes them equivalent to cigarettes which are always unsafe is a false equivalency.

Only if they also ban other tobacco products - cigars, chew, dip, etc.

“No other manufacturer in any other industry is permitted to do this. Ford can’t put razor blades in their airbags. Raid can’t make their cans of bugspray explode like grenades every 1 in 10 times you use them. The makers of oxycontin can’t include lead and crushed glass in each pill they sell. “

Do you think the government prohibitions on bug spray grenades are the reason they don’t exist? Of course not. People like cigarettes in their current form, that is why they are made. I would encourage them to quit, but banning them is not the answer.

Our track record on successfully banning addictive substances is rather poor.

Smoking in the US has decreased dramatically in the last few decades due to effective information campaigns and narrowly-tailored bans that slowly reduce the places it’s acceptable to smoke. Continuing that process is likely to be more effective and have fewer terrible side effects than adding tobacco to the War on Drugs.

Please read the headline before contributing to the discussion. I’m not calling for banning the addictive substance nicotine, merely banning the delivery mechanism known as “cigarettes and dip”. Manufacturers would be permitted to sell other products that do not emit a cloud of radioactive toxic smoke just to deliver a few milligrams of nicotine. (yes, tobacco smoke is slightly radioactive and one theory as to why it is so carcinogenic is because of that)

Wow, that’s pedantic even for this board. Cigarettes are an addictive product, and you are proposing banning them. If I ban coffee, no one is going to claim that I’m not really banning coffee because you can still buy caffeine pills in the store and dissolve them in water. Caffeine dissolved in water is not coffee, and vaping a fluid containing nicotine is not smoking, even if they contain the same active ingredients.

I’m 100% with iamthewalrus. The track record on prohibition speaks for itself. There already is a thriving black market for cigarettes feeding money to organized crime. Your proposal would add billions to their pockets over the long term.

Has anyone else noticed that is it always the people who can’t control their own vices who advocate for prohibition?

Some people will still want to smoke cigarettes. It’s still a (mostly) free country. They should be allowed to.

If it matters, I hate the fact that people use tobacco products of any kind.

I’m not proposing making cigarettes illegal. I’m proposing making the manufacture of them illegal. Hell, not even that. You can roll your own. Sell them to friends. I’m just proposing the mass manufacturing in organized factories and mass sale over the counter in retail stores should be illegal.

Rolling paper won’t be illegal, neither will raw tobacco. In the same way that bug spray and lighters aren’t illegal, even though you can make a crude flamethrower out of them. But fully assembled flame throwers are illegal and not sold over the counter in stores.

Flamethrowers are legal in ever US state except California, as well as in Canada. I personally own a XM42 flamethrower. It’s great for clearing brush, sadly it’s less good for clearing snow. It is always a big hit at parties, I’ve discovered that firing a flamethrower is on a lot of people’s bucket lists. To be clear, I haven’t set any people on fire with it. Yet.

Fully assembled improvised flamethrowers, where there is a significant risk of the product exploding. That’s what I meant to type.

Burning paper as a method of drug delivery is about as dodgy as using lamp cord to wire a house, using zinco breakers and aluminum wire, or selling a car where the gas tank is bolted to the rear bumper. We live in a country where all the things I just mentioned have been made illegal to sell and do commercially. You won’t go to jail if you modify your car or house yourself, but you cannot sell at Lowes or the auto dealership manufactured products on a national scale made this shoddily.

The attempt to ban booze gave us powerful mobsters. The attempt to ban drugs gave us powerful cartels and gangs. An attempt to ban something that people want is going to have one predictable and unproductive outcome. Banning what people will go out of their way to find anyway is a fools game.
ETA: I see that you’re not calling for an all out ban. I don’t see grow your own as a viable alternative. I can see making the tobacco manufacturers fully responsible for letting their customers know in full detail what the risks of their products are.

The idea is to make it hugely inconvenient. You’d be able to go to a smoke shop and get loose tobacco and rolling papers, but that’s a lot less convenient than going to the local gas station or grocery store. A pack a day smoker doesn’t want to roll 20 cigarettes by hand. But, otoh, they won’t be willing to pay the huge price premium for illegal cigarettes if hand rolled is costing them $5 a pack.

I don’t even care if some shop in Chinatown starts secretly manufacturing cigarettes. If they get caught, well, the government just confiscates the equipment and fines them. Doesn’t even matter if lots of small businesses are doing it - still a huge improvement over what we have now, where cigarettes are trivially available everywhere, manufactured in vast quantities.

If you think burning paper is dodgy method of drug delivery, I’m guessing you’ve never heard of hooping.

As for your plan, it would appear to reduce the taxes collected by the state while doing nothing to reduce either the use of or damage done by tobacco. I don’t see any winners here, except for the black marketeers of the world.

I had to look up hooping. I disagree, it’s not a dodgy method, just a gross method that is dangerous with some types of drug. It’s efficient and rapid (which is the problem - you can die with a much smaller dose with some drugs) and in itself doesn’t do much damage. You could “hoop” a lozenge containing delayed release nicotine several times a day for probably 40 years and probably not suffer any long term health effects.

Do you genuinely believe that people use cocaine and heroin in exactly the same quantities now that they would if they were sold in every drugstore?

1- I’ve never noticed a difference regarding alcohol use between provinces where liquor had to be bought at certain stores during limited hours and provinces with looser rules, but I’ll admit that’s anecdotal.
2 - I’m a pack a day smoker, and I rolled my own for years. They have machines that make it pretty easy. I could roll two packs, one for me and one for the ex-wife in a 22 minute sitcom. That’s roughly a smoke rolled every 30 seconds.
3 - Minimum wage here is about $10/hr. At two cigarettes a minute, that’s 120 per hour. That’s 8.33 cents each, or $1.66 for a 20 pack. Given a pack of smokes runs about $15, that’s only an 11% surcharge. Given that loose tobacco is cheaper than pre-rolled per smoke to start with, I see problems with your math.

I would guess that if only loose tobacco was sold, people would use pipes more often.

From what I see of young “smokers”, I wonder if cigarettes will eventually be replaced by vaping anyway. In the smoking area around my building, only older people use tobacco. The younger people are all vaping. So there may be a natural migration to vaping without having to do anything.

And I also think that if all tobacco was banned, people would switch to vaping rather than black market cigarettes. As long as people could still legally get their nicotine through vaping, I don’t see them making a whole lot of effort to get tobacco through illegal means.

This. Even though the OP attempted to handwave it away, it’s like saying ‘well, we aren’t going to ban ALL guns, just those that fire more than one bullet at a time! Should be ok’. Basically, an attempt to ban ‘just’ burning cigarettes, cigars, dip or whatever is going to have the effect of making people simply buy it illegally. Instead of the steady downward trend we’ve had in the US of folks basically voluntarily giving the stuff up, instead they will dig in their heels and it might even lead to more people using it than before the ban.

Really, the US has a pretty low use of cigarettes and tobacco products compared to many European nations (and countries like China that are off the charts), and that downward trend doesn’t need much additional help to continue. Sure, some folks are going to continue smoking no matter what, but you can’t save everyone from every potential harm. Sometimes you just have to say shit happens and let folks kill themselves with their chosen poison, be it booze, tobacco or drugs. C’est la vie.

(BTW, just for the record, I’m a fan of vaping and do it myself, so I’m on board with folks switching to this as a good and healthier alternative. I still like a good cigar, however, and I’d definitely fight anyone trying to take that away from me, especially in the privacy of my own home, which is really the only place I can smoke on these days)

Who says you have to roll cigarettes by hand?

That’s fine. What it comes down to is those shiny plants run by phillip morris and other giants shouldn’t have this unlimited license to make all the ‘death sticks’ they want. They shouldn’t get government protection and tax breaks and all the rest. You shouldn’t be able to go into a convenience store and see the smokes available in limitless quantities.

If a user wants to buy themselves a rolling machine, some papers, and do this, that’s on them.