Last week in these pages, Ike Brannon noted that Europe is outstripping the United States in reducing the role of government in the economy (“Europe Leads the Way?” October 14). Now it seems that our European brethren are also taking a more sensible view of the regulatory state. The European parliament surprised observers by refusing to regulate electronic cigarettes as medical devices, which would have subjected them to onerous regulations.
As Ethan Epstein wrote in these pages a few months back (“Thank You for Not Vaping,” August 5), e-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to traditional smokes, because “they don’t contain many of cigarettes’ most harmful substances, like carbon dioxide and tar.” Studies have shown they are also useful as a quitting aid. Meanwhile, on this side of the pond, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is pursuing what Michael Siegel of the Boston University School of Public Health, and a major expert on e-cigarettes, calls a “de facto ban” on the products.
The Scrapbook’s Strange New Respect for Europe grows apace.