Thank you, Mr. President. Electronic cigarettes are safer. Electronic cigarettes have fewer toxic effects. Electronic cigarettes are somewhat healthier, safer, and somewhat healthier with fewer toxic effects than cigarettes.
That's a pretty low bar to clear, don't you think, especially considering these claims are being made about a product that has not been sufficiently studied and that is not meaningfully regulated, especially considering these medical claims are being made by an industry that engaged in the largest, longest, and most expensive public health deceit in American history.
If we learned anything from the decades-long campaign to reduce cigarette use, it is that we must address the potential public health emergency early on. And why is e-cig use a potential public health emergency? Because early studies show alarming trends in e-cig use. Shockingly, the Center for Disease Control found a doubling of e-cigarette use among children and a doubling of use among adults in just the past few years.
Additionally, let's remember the changing messages crafted by cigarette manufacturers over the past 60 years. First cigarettes were marketed as healthy, with print advertisements depicting doctors endorsing Lucky Strikes. Next, following release of a series of reports by the Surgeon General advocating a smoke-free lifestyle, tobacco companies contended that the science around cigarette use was inconclusive.
And, finally, once everyone realized smoking was a public health crisis, tobacco lobbyists shifted course and argued loudly for smokers' individual rights.
From where we sit today, think about how absurd it would be for cigarettes to be marketed as healthy or how ridiculous it would be to contend that research demonstrating the negative effects is inconclusive. This is exactly where we are with e-cigarettes, and today many of the same people that wailed about the end of the freedom that Philadelphia's endorsed smoking ban would wreak are the same folks who are up in arms about the ability to use the drug delivery system of their choice wherever and whenever they want, as if smoking were a right, like voting.
We have the benefit of history to inform our treatment of electronic cigarettes. It's clear what we have to do.
Thank you, Mr. President.