Is there no end to the stupidity the Government can commit in the name of "protecting the children"? It's bad enough that we have to become the world's laughing stock with attempts to filter the internet, but now technology that helps smokers kick the habit without harming non-smokers is outlawed because it might seem cool to kids.While the original News.com.au article focuses on the fact that sites like ebay have been selling e-cigarettes online, in my opinion the bigger issue is that they're outlawed in Australia at all. After all, they only produce vapour (not acrid smoke), don't actually burn anything so they're a lot healthier for smokers (although smoking nicotine vapour still isn't good for you), and come with a price tag that should keep them out of hands of most young people today.
So why are they outlawed? Well, considering News quoted Health Minister Nicola Roxon as saying, "This looks like another insidious, manipulative attempt to hook people on smoking," before adding "I'd be very concerned about any attempts to promote smoking, especially to young people," I'm going to say that it's probably because this Government is stupid.
As a vehement non-smoker, I can honestly say that I would rather smell a slightly pungent vapour than burning tobacco smoke. If they were really serious about protecting the kids from the evils of nicotine, then smoking in public would be outlawed as a prelude to banning all tobacco products. Of course, that will never happen, so this latest attempt to kill a technology that actually benefits both smokers and non-smokers is ignorant at best and arrogant at worst, especially with the reasons given by the minister.