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OpenMarket: Risk and Consumer Freedom

  • Plastic Bag Ban Mania Will Do More Harm than Good

    February 1, 2019
    An anti-plastics craze has swept the country and the globe, prompting lawmakers to propose and impose bans on various plastic products—from straws to shopping bags to polystyrene foam cups—all in the name of saving the environment. CEI has already detailed why such bans can actually lead to increased energy usage and wasted resources, and why straw bans won’t achieve their intended purpose of reducing ocean pollution.
  • Ninth Circuit Strikes Down Soda Labeling Ban for Wrong Reasons

    February 1, 2019
    This week the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held unconstitutional the size requirement in San Francisco’s soda warning labeling regulation. However, there are broader problems with the law that the Ninth Circuit failed to identify.
  • Department of Justice Disregards Intent of Congress on Internet Gambling

    January 16, 2019
    Congress was not vague in its intent when it enacted the Wire Act in 1961. The law, developed and supported by then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy, was never meant to establish new prohibitions on any type of gambling. Rather, it was designed to provide federal enforcement support for illegal interstate sports gambling or, as a House Judiciary report in 1961 put it, to “assist the various States and the District of Columbia in the enforcement of their laws pertaining to gambling, bookmaking, and like offenses…”
  • Agenda for the 116th Congress: Consumer Freedom

    January 15, 2019
    The second-to-last chapter in the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s agenda for the 116th Congress focuses on consumer freedom. Specifically, the chapter recommends ways Congress can rein in federal agencies from infringing on adults’ right to decide how they spend their money and what they put in their own bodies.
  • VIDEO: What Beer Can Teach Us about Well-Crafted Laws

    January 11, 2019
    Our friends at the Federalist Society have released a fun and informative new short film on the history of beer and alcohol regulation. 
  • 5 Myths about E-cigarettes and Public Health

    December 13, 2018
    My colleague Michelle Minton recently released an excellent new study on the health impact of e-cigarettes and why some people are misrepresenting the risks involved (watch Michelle’s interview with Reason TV’s John Stossel on the topic here). The full study, complete with all of the details and end notes, is 100 pages long, however, so for readers looking for the short version, we’ve prepared a blog summary and the infographic below.
  • 85 Years after Repeal, Prohibition Lingers in Your Beer

    December 10, 2018
    On December 5, 1933 the federal government’s nationwide prohibition against alcohol ended. Eighty-five years later, the beer market seems to have finally recovered. Today, there are more than 6,000 breweries—more than at any time before or since Prohibition—making a seemingly endless variety of beer for us enthusiasts to enjoy. But, while we may be living in the “golden age” of beer, the specter of Prohibition remains.
  • Conflict of Interest over Vaping Threatens Public Health

    December 5, 2018
    Cigarette smoking kills nearly half a million Americans every year, and for every person who dies due to smoking, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The rise of a vibrant market for e-cigarettes in recent years has been a blessing for public health because many longtime smokers have been able to reduce health risks associated with smoking or even quit their life-threatening habit entirely after switching to vapor products. Research suggests vaping poses just 1 to 5 percent of the health risk posed by combustible cigarettes.
  • Can You Buy Alcohol on Christmas (and New Year's Day) in Your State?

    December 3, 2018
    The holidays bring parties, feasts, and libations. But some celebrants may find themselves without a cup of cheer if they wait until the day of a holiday to buy their booze. Though alcohol Prohibition ended 85 years ago this December, many states maintain Prohibition-era laws, which ban the sales of liquor on Sundays and certain holidays.
  • Reason's John Stossel Interviews Michelle Minton on the E-Cigarette Scare

    November 20, 2018
    The FDA recently announced new regulations restricting the sale of e-cigarettes, supposedly to protect young people from harms associated with nicotine. However, as CEI Senior Fellow Michelle Minton, author of an upcoming CEI study on the topic, notes, “Rather than keeping adolescents away from nicotine, the FDA’s new rules will likely push adolescents to acquire e-cigarettes through illicit channels or simply use combustible cigarettes.”

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