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.”
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.
June 12, 2019
Regulators at the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) had an opportunity in 2016 to move marijuana into a less restrictive category of controlled substances. This could have ended the ongoing conflict between federal law, which considers the sale of marijuana illegal in all cases, and the laws of the states, almost all of which consider some form of marijuana legal. The DEA, however, rejected petitions to reclassify marijuana.
May 16, 2019
Readers of The New York Times deserve better than advertising masquerading as righteous opinion writing. While reporters at Times get credit for exploring and exposing conflicts of interest among its reporters or sources, their commitment to ethical journalism is not consistently applied. See the paper’s coverage of e-cigarette controversies.
April 15, 2019
E-cigarettes pose less risk than smoking. The science is clear: while cigarettes kill about half their users, e-cigarettes have perhaps five percent of the risk. Therefore, e-cigarettes have the ability to save the lives of those smokers who switch to vaping. Yet, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is trying to eradicate e-cigarettes, a move that would sacrifice smoker lives and squander one of the greatest public health opportunities of our generation.
April 4, 2019
Journalists aren’t the only purveyors of “fake news.” Federal agencies also generate misleading headlines. Sometimes, they do it with a purpose. That seems to be the case with the Food and Drug Administration’s recent press release warning the public about a possible link between e-cigarettes and seizures.
April 1, 2019
In a tidal wave of Washington drama, President Trump’s Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb abruptly and unexpectedly announced in March 2019 that he would be resigning. His reasons remain a source of mystery and speculation, but that means there’s a huge opportunity now to get a replacement who does better at adhering to the principles of FDA’s mission and improving the effectiveness of FDA policy across all programs.
March 11, 2019
This January, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued an opinion that threatens legal online gambling in the U.S. The tenuous rationale on which the opinion is based has raised some eyebrows, but the most concerning aspect is that the DOJ revisited the Internet betting issue at the behest and in service of a single casino owner, one who just so happens to be a major donor to the president.
March 7, 2019
Tobacco companies faced a savage backlash in the 1990s when the public realized they willfully misled the world about the dangers of smoking. Yet when leaders of the modern medical establishment employ the same tactics to deceive the public about the risks of e-cigarettes, they face few, if any, repercussions.
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…”