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OpenMarket: Health and Safety

  • Greenpeace’s Swing and Miss Reveals Its Hypocrisy about Health Risks from Reusable Bags 

    March 26, 2020
    According to Greenpeace, my recent article on the sanitary benefits of single-use plastic bags is part of an effort to “exploit” COVID-19 fears and promote “pro-pollution agendas.” But Greenpeace’s accusations are not just wrong, they are laughable. In fact, they better describe Greenpeace’s tactics.
  • House Democrats’ Third Coronavirus Supplemental Appropriation Bill Is an Outrage

    March 26, 2020
    The Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act is the most irresponsible piece of fiscal legislation to come out of the profligate Congress for a long time, at $2.5 trillion. It is an insult to a nation in the throes of a scary pandemic, witnessing horrific deaths from oxygen starvation, with no obvious end in sight.
  • Regulation, Not Offshoring, Is Hindering Industry from Ramping up Production

    March 25, 2020
    In his latest Bloomberg column, Noah Smith argues that offshoring production led to the current shortage of medical masks and equipment in the face of the coronavirus. The real question is: Why can’t we suddenly switch production and churn out millions of masks a day in the face of an unanticipated calamity? The answer to that is not offshoring, but regulation.
  • Toilet Paper Economics: Emergency Capitalism Still Better Than Normal Socialism

    March 17, 2020

    There are quite a few hot takes circulating at the moment about how grocery stores temporarily running out of toilet paper amid the current coronavirus pandemic is a stinging indictment of a capitalist economy. Most of those takes are not serious enough to be worth refuting, but apparently it bears repeating that consumer choice in a free society during difficult times is still better than the options that are available under normal conditions in a socialist society.

    I blogged a while back about how most Americans who tell pollsters that they approve of “socialism” aren’t talking about the life they would experience under an actual socialist regime. When they say they like socialism they mean...

  • Liberty in the Time of Coronavirus Part 1

    March 16, 2020
    A recent headline at The Atlantic declared, “There are No Libertarians in an Epidemic.” But, just as there are atheists in foxholes, there are libertarians present in a crisis; it’s just that nobody listens to them. And because those in power tend to exploit the widespread fear that accompanies national emergencies, often in ways that infringe on civil liberties, an epidemic is exactly when libertarians are needed most.
  • HHS Price Disclosure Rule Will Not Make Medicines More Affordable

    February 12, 2020
    In his State of the Union Address, President Trump renewed his commitment to “lower[ing] the cost of health care and prescription drugs” and “requir[ing] drug companies, insurance companies, and hospitals to disclose real prices to foster competition and bring costs way down.” His administration’s plan to lower pharmaceutical prices by tying them to foreign countries’ price controls has attracted significant criticism. Unfortunately, while more transparency in health care pricing would be beneficial, the price disclosure mandate Trump wants would do nothing to help consumers and would have no effect on price competition. It’s also unconstitutional.
  • CDC Confirms Black Markets, not "Vaping," Caused Outbreak

    January 16, 2020
    A new CDC report puts the final nail in the coffin of the idea that the spat of lung injuries that occurred beginning last summer were caused by “vaping.” The CDC admitted this week that the injuries appear to be exclusively linked to marijuana vapes—not nicotine e-cigarettes, most of which were purchased on the black market, a fact that CEI knew nearly six months ago. 
  • Blame Anti-Tobacco Advocates for Youth Vaping "Epidemic"

    December 20, 2019
    Like most teenage crazes, youth interest in e-cigarettes once seemed a passing fad. In the early years youth vaping skyrocketed, but by 2016 began to plummet. Teens remained uninterested in e-cigarettes in 2017. But, the following year, something suddenly rekindled their interest. In 2018 the number of high school students who vaped jumped by 78 percent.
  • Tobacco 21: Feel-Good Policy Could Backfire

    November 6, 2019
    Amid an outbreak of “vaping-linked” lung illnesses, a campaign of fear against vaping has reached a frenzied peak. For years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), health groups, and lawmakers have been sounding the alarm over rising numbers of adolescents who reported using e-cigarettes once a month. The lung injuries, occurring predominantly in young people and apparently entirely related to vaping black market cannabis, has only escalated the panic.
  • CEI Report: Universities Misuse Federal Children’s Environmental Health Grants to Pursue Political Agenda

    October 24, 2019
    For more than two decades the federal government has funded a number of “children’s environmental health centers.” Since they are housed in universities, you might think these centers would produce objective science on environmentally related children’s health risks, but think again.

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