In their view, smokers should abstain, or embrace those medically approved cessation devices (gum, patches and prescription drugs) that appeal to only a small number of smokers. The whole approach reminds one of journalist H.L. Mencken’s definition of Puritanism: “The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” Former smokers take pleasure in vaping, as they break the habit. It’s far more enjoyable to sit on the patio and puff an e-cigarette than wear a nicotine patch. That no doubt infuriates the anti-tobacco zealots.
I admit that I don’t like the flavored bans for a variety of reasons, centered on this libertarian’s belief that adults should be free to make their own decisions, even bone-headedly stupid ones (such as smoking cigarettes). But San Francisco and other cities should be smart and remove vaping from the proposed bans. It would be a shame to sacrifice public health in service to moral absolutism.