Watchdog Group Condemns Surgeon General’s Call for More Vaping Rules and Taxes

Ross Marchand

December 18, 2018

For Immediate Release
Contact: Grace Morgan
December 18, 2018

Washington, D.C. -Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) reacted to a rare advisory from Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, who called for more government restrictions on vaping products.  In the advisory, issued Tuesday morning, Dr. Adams called for additional taxes to deter use, in addition to indoor vaping bans by municipalities. The call comes amidst misguided efforts by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use scarce taxpayer dollars to enforce wide-ranging restrictions on the sale of healthier, safer alternatives to regular tobacco products. 

TPA Senior Fellow (and harm reduction expert) Jeff Stier criticized the advisory, noting that, “as a trusted, high-profile public health representative for the federal government, Dr. Adams has a responsibility to help smokers quit and reduce harm for the nearly 40 million American adults that use conventional tobacco products. Instead, taxpayer dollars are being wasted to fund an advisory that recommends harmful, counterproductive policies. Between the Surgeon General’s dangerous advice to localities, and the FDA’s destructive attempts to regulate vaping, consumers looking for safer alternatives face higher costs and fewer options.”

Stier continued, arguing: “research overwhelmingly shows that vaping products and e-cigarettes are far safer for smokers than conventional products, allowing consumers to experience a smoking sensation far less hazardous to their health. Taxpayers also benefit from a healthier population, with Medicare and Medicaid facing smaller medical bills and emergency rooms facing lower reimbursement costs. Yet, the Surgeon General and FDA only choose to focus on youth usage, despite recent evidence published in the journal Tobacco Control suggesting that teens are subbing out cigarettes for reduced-risk products.”

Stier concluded: “Whenever the federal government finds a product too risky or scary, they resort to a familiar refrain: more taxes and restrictions. But more rules and higher prices can only mean fewer options for the millions of smokers looking for an exit ramp off of their destructive habits. More prohibition only leads to more black market activity, as the Al Capone’s of the world find yet another way to finance their illegal activities. Less restrictions and lower taxes would mean less money for the black market and terrorist groups, and more money and choices for taxpayers and consumers.”