Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader (and de facto head of the Democratic Party), has come out against science. Instead of recognizing the fact that e-cigarettes are as much as 95 percent safer than smoking (and can be powerful smoking cessation aids), Schumer plays into the fear-mongering that has become the heart of the tobacco control movement. In reference to the FDA’s recent delay of potentially crushing vaping regulations, Schumer told the New York Post on Sunday:
“To know that New York kids are much more likely to be using these new-age e-cig devices, like Juul, is not only concerning, but it could be dangerous… Up until now, the FDA was on track to reign in e-cigs and regulate them like any other tobacco product, but this recent delay, coupled with the new numbers showing a rise in the use of gadgets like Juul, which can fool teachers and be brought to school, demands the FDA smoke out dangerous e-cigs and their mystery chemicals before more New York kids get hooked.”
In Schumer’s first complaint, he says that there is a rise in students using e-cigs. Schumer must not realize there are already laws on the books that prohibit selling these devices to minors. Of course violators can and should be punished.
Then there’s Schumer’s argument that teachers and administrators are having a hard time determining if a student’s “gadget” is a vaping device. This makes no sense. If a student is putting a device to their lips and exhaling vapor, it is an e-cig. If the educators of this country can force all faculty and staff to participate in sensitivity training one would think they could send an email to faculty and staff stating “If a student puts a device to their mouth and exhales vapor, that device is a prohibited item.” It’s a laughable notion that these educators cannot tell the difference.
Schumer further plays on the fears of people by implying that “mystery chemicals” are what students are smoking in these devices. This is the typical and sadly commonplace ignorance often exhibited by opponents of vaping. You could just ask Siri or do a Google search to find this information. Nearly all e-liquids are a combination of vegetable glycerin or propylene glycol coupled with nicotine. Compare that to the laundry list of chemicals found in cigarette smoke. Unlike the carcinogens found in combustible cigarettes, there is little to no evidence of health risk associated with the base compounds of e-cigarettes.
Chuck Schumer and his Democrat allies often present themselves as the “party of science.” Now the truth is out. It’s easy to be “pro-science” when that science fits neatly into one’s overarching political agenda. And it’s just as easy to dismiss science when it doesn’t.