A small study done by The Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at The University of California, San Francisco, "suggests that e-cigarettes don't actually help people to quit smoking." However, of the 949 smokers in the study, only 88 used e-cigarettes, causing the study's researchers to "admit that their findings should be viewed with some caution."
World Science reports "They also found that e-cigarette use was more commmon among women, younger adults and people with less education." Last year, the US Centers for Disease Control reported e-cigarette use more than doubled among U.S. middle and high school students from 2011-2012. The lack of solid research, potential youth market, and abundance of caution have had anti-tobacco activists and researchers pushing for a ban on advertising of e-cigarettes.
NPR has a recently story about "vaping" (using e-cigarettes) indoors and in the workplace.
If you smoke, have you been able to cut back your smoking or quit thanks to electronic cigarettes? If you do not smoke, does it bother you that others use e-cigarettes indoors?
I'd disagree on one point:
"I have no problem that the government says I must make my child wear a seat belt"
I used to think the same, but the only way to enforce such stuff is through invasive monitoring, and we already have too much power wielded by CPS and the like. I've reached the conclusion that it's better that a few children (and animals) suffer, than that all of us be subject to these little tin gods.
Maybe in a few cases. However, we already enforce seat belt laws. Retracting the law to only apply to minors shouldn't have change how the it is enforced.
I am amazed today that they want 8 year olds in car seats. I remember growing up where the neighborhood kids would go to the matinee on Tuesdays. All of us in a hatchback with the hatch left open and strict instructions to never lean out of the car. Nobody thought anything of it. Of course, at that time seatbelts were the thing you shoved deep into the seat so they wouldn't poke you in the back.
Hell, I first crossed a busy four-lane street (on a mission to buy cake flour) just before my 5th birthday. But that was in 1960. We've become such a risk-averse society that now ANY risk sounds disastrous, especially exceedingly rare risks (Bruce Schneier is right about that).... and along with the galloping regulatory expansion is causing crap like this (read the car-and-driver bit):
http://www.troynovant.com/Farrell/Illuminants/Airb ags-and-Gun-Control.html [troynovant.com]
See alsohttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-462091/How -children-lost-right-roam-generations.html [dailymail.co.uk]and here's a copy of the map, which didn't display in any of the article archives I found today:http://www.pinterest.com/pin/224687468879227327/ [pinterest.com]
See http://www.freerangekids.com/ [freerangekids.com] for someone who is fighting this influence, which is raising a nation of incompetents and mental cripples unable to cope with even ordinary life, let alone risks (when and if they happen).
The roots of this insanity are in the very economic prosperity that lets us enjoy a relatively risk-free society:
Back before the industrial revolution, most new parents (still too young to be emotionally competent to raise kids) lived in an extended family of grandparents and maiden aunts and unmarried uncles, who were experienced enough to understand that every skinned knee isn't a pediatric emergency, and that you can't sanely prevent kids from getting those skinned knees. And mature opinion prevailed, preventing young parents from being full-time helicopterists. But the industrial revolution's increased money flow let young newlyweds move away from that influence, into a "home of our own" and today's largely-dysfunctional 'nuclear family' gradually became the norm. So effectively, we have children raising children, with a child's lack of perspective about ordinary childhood risks.
This is also the origin of a great deal of the modern political-liberal's mindset that every ill can be fixed and every risk prevented, if only you sufficiently legislate, regulate, and fund against it.
Some of all of this is the relative safety and prosperity, but some of it is also a matter of the two income family becoming the norm. When I roamed all around the neighborhood and the next growing up (in a nuclear family), it was a good bet that if there was a problem there would be a responsible adult at nearly every house. It helped that the nightly news wasn't at that time better titled 'the moral panic hour'. I don't advocate a return to women staying home, rather that pay grow to match the massive productivity gains in the last few decades and a move to two part time incomes as the norm.
The two-income family is just the latest incarnation. It takes two to three generations for a way of thinking to die out. We are now about a generation past that point. Many people don't even have a living grandparent who remembers the freedom kids used to have, and how no one (save a very few nutjobs) worried about 'em round the clock.
Of course nobody thought anything of it, the people who died of it weren't around to have an opinion, and any survivors with first-hand experience are themselves a tiny minority.
Part of the problem here is that humans suck at evaluating rare risks, the math is not intuitive, so we under-rate the ones we don't experience first hand and over-rate the ones we do.
In this case it would be useful to track down the statistics behind the car-seat requirement instead of relying on personal anecdotes.
If the survivors (That is, siblings and parents) are such a tiny minority, that must mean the risk of what was once a nearly ubiquitous practice must have been minuscule.
There have been a few reviews of the deeply flawed research on car seats and their effect on safety such as this one (PDF) [uchicago.edu]. Among it's findings, most of the studies compare children in car seats to completely unrestrained children. The case of a child using a seatbelt but no child seat is ignored. That considerably reduces the NHTSA of 6000 lives saved between 1975 and 2003.
That's often the problem, too many studies more or less designed so that they can't help but confirm the author's bias flood the field.
It reminds me of air bags and their many unintended consequences such as killing a child in what would otherwise be an injury free fender bender. That's how we reach the grim truth that airbags kill more children than school shootings.