E-cig bans vs Free Speech

by thethoughtgang

What a wonderful comment…

Cyto|12.25.13 @ 11:00PM|#

Their arguments in favor of this ban set up an interesting legal possibility. By arguing that e-cigarettes must be banned because they resemble smoking real cigarettes and therefore encourage smoking by making it seem “OK” to smoke they are saying that their ban is a ban on an expression of an idea, not a ban on a dangerous behavior.

That’s pretty interesting. A challenge to a regulation on free speech grounds – and on the grounds that the government intends to suppress speech that no one intends to make. Nobody intends to make a statement that smoking is acceptable by using an e-cigarette. They don’t intend to express any idea at all – they are just living their lives. And the state is saying that simply living your life as you see fit is an expression of an idea that must be suppressed. Interesting.

I cannot say whether this is really a ‘legal possibility’, but I love the line of thinking.

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