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OpenMarket: Consumer Product Safety

  • 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.
  • Free-Market Groups Support Trump Light Bulb Reform

    November 4, 2019
    The Bush and Obama administrations imposed a number of restrictions on light bulbs, but the Trump administration is pushing back on behalf of consumers. Today, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and 13 other free-market organizations filed a comment with the Department of Energy (DOE) in support of these efforts.
  • 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.
  • In Praise of Pro-Consumer Tenure of Finance Regulator Kraninger

    October 16, 2019
    As she prepares to give her semi-annual testimony to Congress this week—on Wednesday to the House Financial Services Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and on Thursday to the Senate Banking Committee—Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathy Kraninger has much to be proud of. Since the Senate confirmed her in December 2018, Kraninger has worked diligently to make the CFPB more transparent, more accountable, and ultimately more consumer-friendly.
  • Killing Us with Kindness: Democrats' War on Vaping Costs Lives

    October 15, 2019
    Liberals are supposed to the ones whose hearts “bleed” with concern for others’ welfare. That’s why modern liberals generally reject an abstinence-only approach to regulation. They recognize that policies aimed at reducing harm, like sex education, needle exchange programs, and addiction services, are beneficial to both individuals and society while prohibition merely creates injustice and suffering.
  • Heretics in the Church of Tobacco Control

    August 23, 2019
    ​​​​​​​H.P. Lovecraft opined in 1931 that “if religion were true its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into artificial conformity, but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth ….” Of all the professions in the world, one might think scientists would be most inclined to agree with this sentiment. But, as the case of Dr. Marewa Glover demonstrates, anti-tobacco research has become more religion than science, where anyone who dares to deviate from or even question the prevailing dogma is cast out as a heretic.
  • If You Vape (Illicit Street Drugs), It May Kill You (Duh)

    July 30, 2019
    Over the last four weeks, eight Wisconsin teenagers have been hospitalized with severe lung damage. The news that vaping caused these illnesses has swept across social media and is, predictably, being used to push for more government restrictions on e-cigarettes. But, what few of these reports have pointed out is that it seems most—if not all—of the hospitalizations were related, not to e-cigarettes, but illicit “street vapes.”
  • Bogus E-cigarette Panic Literally Killing People

    July 16, 2019
    Is this a story from The Onion? It’s a question we often ask ourselves these days when we encounter stories online that seem too ridiculous to be true. Sadly, Cheantay Jensen’s recent article about why she returned to smoking is not satire.
  • Anti-Plastic Crusade Proves Deadly

    July 12, 2019
    News reports this week described the tragic death of a British woman, who died last November while using a metal straw. Apparently, Elena Struthers-Gardner, a former jockey who was disabled from a work-related injury, tripped while holding a mason jar with a metal straw affixed to the lid. When she fell, the straw went through an eye and then into her brain.
  • Federal Grants to 'Children's Health Centers' Fund Junk Science

    June 24, 2019
    Environmental activists threw an ever-predictable tantrum after Environmental Protection Agency officials indicated last month that they may eliminate EPA grants to a number of university-based children’s environmental health centers. Headlining their rhetoric were assertions that defunding these centers represents a heartless attempt to undermine children’s health. Lost in this melee is the fact that these centers don’t have any measurable impact on children’s health, nor do they add much to the body of research on that topic.

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