Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 4:34 pm
By Alva Noë
We see symbols and their power at work in the recent controversy surrounding the effort to extend bans on smoking to the electronic cigarette. An e-cigarette is no more a cigarette than a chocolate cigarette is.
But — as with the case of toy guns — this doesn't mean they are any less dangerous.
When it comes to persuading teenagers not to smoke, you have to think short-term, the Food and Drug Administration says.
"While most teens understand the serious health risks associated with tobacco use, they often don't believe the long-term consequences will ever apply to them," FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg told reporters Monday before unveiling the agency's first-ever anti-smoking campaign.
The FDA currently regulates cigarettes, loose tobacco and smokeless tobacco, but does not regulate e-cigarettes, little cigars or dissolvable tobacco. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment wants that to change.