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OpenMarket: Consumer Product Safety

  • Debunking the (Plastic) Straw Man Arguments

    August 3, 2018

    Of all the consumer products one might have expected to become a flashpoint for political controversy, the humble plastic drinking straw is an unlikely contender. Leap into the headlines it has, though, with communities like Seattle and San Francisco recently enacting bans on disposable straws. The city council of Santa Barbara, California initially voted for a ban that would have punished restaurant workers with up to six months of jail time for giving out a disposable plastic straw, but city officials agreed to revisit the ordinance when it appeared to also ban the sale of straws at supermarkets.

  • For Sake of Public Health, FDA Should Not Ban E-cigarette Flavors

    July 16, 2018

    Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gotlieb, a medical doctor and cancer survivor, has had a long-term interest in tackling tobacco-related diseases. But unfortunately he’s on a path that will, perversely, be a disaster for the very people he wants to help.

  • 5 Facts about Vapes that Media and Activists Don’t Want You to Know

    July 16, 2018

    The news media and activists like to hype e-cigarettes and flavored tobacco products as a health hazard, but the reality is that e-cigarettes could help save smokers’ lives. This summer, San Francisco voters went so far as approving a new ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products. 

  • Five Reasons Banning Plastics May Harm the Environment and Consumers

    July 13, 2018

    Consumers beware: In response to plastic waste collecting in the oceans, states, businesses, and even the European Union have proposed absurd bans on the use of everyday plastic straws, cups, and other items in an attempt to solve ocean pollution.

    This week, Starbucks pledged to remove plastic straws from its nearly 30,000 stores worldwide by 2020. Starbucks joins a going list of companies supporting this effort to decrease or ban the use of plastics: IKEA, Royal Caribbean, McDonald’s, Hyatt, American and Alaska Airlines, and more.

    Recently, the city of Seattle became the first U.S. city to ban plastic straws and utensils...

  • Last Chance for the 115th: Common-Sense Guidance on Regulating Flame Retardants

    June 26, 2018

    In “Free to Prosper: A Pro-Growth Agenda for the 115th Congress,” CEI recommended that Congress hold oversight hearings regarding the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), specifically the Commission’s consideration of an activist petition calling on the agency to ban an entire class of flame retardants. We had already pointed out in a study why banning an entire class of chemicals is contrary to sound science and common sense—and is potentially dangerous, because it contributes to fire risks. The CPSC voted to proceed with the rulemaking last October, but...

  • Last Chance for the 115th: Protect Lifesaving Vaping Products

    June 22, 2018

    Congress must act before anti-tobacco zealots in and outside of government eliminate life-saving vaping products. Anything that makes e-cigarettes less attractive to smokers will result in fewer smokers switching and more smokers dying. 

  • Prop E Win in San Francisco Would Be Loss for Public Health

    June 1, 2018

    “Big Tobacco” is pouring millions into a campaign to maintain their ability to keep selling harmful products that target children. At least, that’s the narrative most news outlets have sold about Proposition E, a measure on the city’s June 5th ballot, which would ban the sale of flavors, including menthol, for tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. The David and Goliath story is compelling, but don’t be fooled. The other side, comprised of hundreds of anti-tobacco activists is just—if not more—powerful than big tobacco companies.

  • Will Coffee Give You Cancer (in California)?

    May 25, 2018

    Our friends over at Reason TV have a new video asking the attention-grabbing headline “Will coffee give you cancer?” As it turns out, no (unless you’re drinking several thousand cups of coffee a day). But the news earlier this year that the state of California was going to require every coffee shop in the state to post signs warning customers about a cancer risk is, itself, a serious issue.

  • Supreme Court Ends Sports Betting Prohibition—Now What?

    May 21, 2018

    It’s hard to believe it was just last Monday the U.S. Supreme Court ended the federal law that, for 25 years, prevented the states (except Nevada) from legalizing sports gambling. The question at issue for the Court in Murphy v. NCAA, et al. was whether the law could prevent states like New Jersey from decriminalizing the activity, as well. In the end, six of the Justices deemed the law unconstitutional (with another, Breyer, partially agreeing and partially dissenting).

  • Tell the Energy Department What You Think about Your Dishwasher

    May 18, 2018

    Thirty-five years ago, dishwashers cleaned dishes in about an hour. Sadly today, due to federal regulations, there are no dishwashers that do so. This isn’t progress—it’s the failure of the government to allow consumer choice. The Competitive Enterprise Institute has asked the Department of Energy (DOE) to change these regulations, and they are currently considering doing so. To help them decide if the regulations should be changed, the DOE has opened a public comment period until June 25th. You can submit your comments at


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