FDA ecig regulation vs. Iraq War, parallels

Someone was lamenting to me that the attempt to respond to the FDA’s new proposed regulation of e-cigarettes is sadly like the protests in 2003 in advance of the invasion of Iraq: a lot of people are protesting and pointing out obvious downsides, but isn’t the U.S. government going to just do what it wants anyway?

That got me thinking about other parallels, and they struck me as uncanny, and deserving of one of those “versus” tables, which appears below.  However, I am not so entirely pessimistic as my correspondent — see the italicized observations toward the end.

(Obvious disclaimer:  This blog, and thus this post, is not a CASAA publication like antiTHRlies.com is.)

Sorry about the annoying margins — graphic design is not in my skill set.  Click to enlarge (and if your system works like mine, click again to enlarge more). Of if you want a .docx version to play with yourself (ideas for improving it welcome): phillips IraqWar-vs-FDAecigRegs.

phillips IraqWar-vs-FDAecigRegs

11 responses to “FDA ecig regulation vs. Iraq War, parallels

  1. Great comparison. I’m trying very hard to be “itallicized”, but it ain’t easy. lol.
    As an ex brit military co-worker kept telling me .. I’ll try to just “keep taking the tablets, and plod along”.

  2. Niamh O'Farrell

    I saw footage of an Iraqi child being carried unconcious during the war, there was a large wet patch on his trowsers, he had been incontinent of urine, probably from sheer terror, I don’t like that “likely to be worse” statement, as it seems to equate being denied a smoking substitute to having bombs rain down on your head and that of your children, to some extent smokers have a choice, of course we should be allowed to choose a safer alternative to tobacco, but it should not be implied that what happened in Iraq is not as bad as taking away our smoking substitue.

    • Carl V Phillips

      Rather than wait for a response about how horrifying it is to die from cancer, I will point out that the statement was about the number of deaths caused. I stand by my assessment. (Incidentally, your better argument about the deaths not being comparable is not the horror, but the ages. Severe restrictions on ecigs will cause more premature deaths than did the war, but the YPLL will remain lower since most deaths caused by smoking cause the loss of only a few potential life years.)

      As for the “have a choice” argument, I think that is another parallel, though one that is rather too subtle to fit into the format: The Iraqis were “supposed to” rise up against their government after the 1990 invasion, but annoyingly failed to do so. So it is really their own fault. Ok, well, the Shia and Kurds actually did try to do it, but we left them hanging, so it is still their own fault.

      • Carl V Phillips

        Just for the record, in case someone is under the impression that I am clueless, I will state the obvious: The Iraq War was much worse in many ways.

        The total destruction inflicted was greater, everything considered. Someone who is being shot at has no recourse. Metaphorical torture is not the same as real torture. The justification was all lies (though this is a close call between the two). The action was a defiance of the Constitution and Congress, whereas FDA is basically doing what Congress (unfortunately) told them to do.

  3. Reblogged this on artbylisabelle and commented:
    It’s not about war versus health, it’s about the approach and management and the unaccountability where it most matters.

  4. It’s not about war versus health, it’s about the approach and management and serious unaccountability where it most matters.

  5. I want to reblog the image, unfortunately there is no reference to my area of (arguable) expertise, namely snus. Smokefree legislation as it is today should for all intents and purposes be almost identical (or worse) than the suggested e-cig rules. Despite having a much longer efficacy/safety track-record compared to e-cig. Besides being a more probable choice for poor people living in the Iraq war context. Thanks in advance. (Off topic, but not off topic at all). BR Atakan

    • Carl V Phillips

      You certainly do not have to tell me that. There is a much clearer case for treating smokeless tobacco differently from cigarettes (no punitive taxes, no misleading warning labels, allowing marketing as a low-risk alternative) than there is for e-cigarettes. And I also agree with the point that it is a more practical alternative for at least half of the world’s population. In particular, it is desperately needed in the India region as a substitute for gutka and such.

      I would guess that 99% of those who say that e-cigarettes are 99% less harmful than smoking have no idea that this number was calculated for smokeless tobacco (by me) and then we are making an educated guess that e-cigarettes are about the same. Chances are they are a bit worse, though.

  6. “seems to equate being denied a smoking substitute to having bombs rain down on your head”

    I got told off for smoking in a rocket shelter at HQ ISAF in Kabul. I really have to wonder about the kind of mind that worries about secondhand smoke as Taliban warheads crash down around the rickety structure you’re hiding in.

  7. Pingback: CDC press release about e-cigarettes: blatant lying by government officials | Anti-THR Lies and related topics

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