Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) is agitating to start a federal war on vaping, calling for taxes and regulations to be levied against this new public scourge.
“In the memorable words of the cartoon Pogo, we have met the enemy and the enemy is us, and I am referring in some respects to those of us on this side of the room,” Romney said to FDA regulators, referring to his fellow legislators.
“We need to take action to provide authority for you to be able to regulate effectively these products, and at this stage, I understand… Sen. Murkowski has put in place legislation, or proposed legislation over a year ago to restrict flavors and yet we don’t act,” he added.
Romney is perplexed why the Congress hasn’t jumped into action to ban vapes, and send people back to tobacco products that are far more harmful.
“We talk about this epidemic among young people, and wonder why you all haven’t done something about flavors, but why haven’t we done something about flavors?” Romney asked.
“Sen. Berkley and I put together a piece of legislation that does four things: one, it makes these flavors illegal, number two, it insists on closed tanks, a closed system as opposed to one that people can add THC and other products to, three, it puts a lot more money into advertising on social media and other media sources to go to kids, and finally, it pays for that advertising by putting an excise tax on nicotine just like the excise taxes on… cigarettes,” Romney said.
He advertised his new prohibitionist proposal on social media:
Congress needs to act now to address the vaping epidemic. My legislation:
✔️Bans non-tobacco vaping flavors
✔️Requires cartridges to be tamper-proof
✔️Applies excise tax to e-cigarettes
✔️Uses the tax for education
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) November 13, 2019
Vape-related hysteria has grown in recent months, with the White House even falling for the hype. President Donald Trump has proposed significant restrictions against vaping.
“It’ll take several weeks for us to put out the final guidance that will announce all the parameters around the enforcement policy, and then there will likely be about a 30-day delay to effective date, as is customary,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in September. But “at that point all flavored e-cigarettes other than tobacco flavor would have to be removed from the market.”
The Trump administration has backed off of his proposed vape ban in recent weeks, but statist lawmakers in Washington D.C. still want to restrict an alternative to cigarettes because of a small handful of illnesses that have resulted from their usage.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is pushing back against the new prohibitionist hysteria from the swamp.
Yesterday I spoke at hearing on the government response to lung illnesses and rising youth e-cigarettes use. They say politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies. I fear that's what's going on here. pic.twitter.com/igfqpDy0Cm
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) November 14, 2019
Romney is leading the charge against vaping with the same statist approach that lost him presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012 in embarrassing fashion. Some people just never know when to throw in the towel.