Acceptable Risk

There is a lot I do not understand I will admit. Some of our laws are right up on the top of the list of those things. For instance 38,300 people were killed and 4.4 million injured on U.S. roads in 2015 but no one is picketing GM and Ford or trying to ban motor vehicles or at the very least improve/create public transportation in the non-coastal states. The real kicker – you only have to be 16 (or a bit younger) to drive. You have to be just 18 for the country to pay you to fire automatic weapons, handle explosives and drive tanks. Yet you have to be 21 to buy weak beer at a grocery store. You would think that the older I get I wouldn’t be bothered by such – on the contrary – the more young people I have gotten to know the more random these numbers seem.

What is bothering me is not the fact that some 18 year old working two crappy jobs to make money to gamble on a college degree can not buy a beer – it is the government dictating what risk is acceptable to a legal adult. I vote to elect people to represent my point of view in governing my city, state and country but I do not at any point remember voting for anyone to decide what is acceptable risk for me personally. We must draw a line at an age to safeguard children, this I agree with (an adulting license may be a better idea). We should not be pulling arbitrary numbers out of our butt to coerce people of a certain age, those above that adult demarcation, to act a certain way. Got a problem with that – raise the damn age of majority! No more military, death penalty, prison, voting etc for people under 21! Driving? Lulz! You can not be trusted not to drink yourself to death – no car for you! If you think that is stupid – it is but it is more logical than what we currently have.

The next train wreck of acceptable risk is the FDA ruling on ecigarettes – now you have to be 18 to buy ecigarette products (even with no nicotine) which have had 0 deaths due to any contamination/carcinogen so far as I can tell. Not that it matters – the FDA has made sure most of that industry will cease to exist in two years by requiring testing of every flavor/nicotine level of ecig juice. That is millions of dollars per generally mom and pop company – effective equivalent of a ban. Mind you I believe these to be a product that has saved my life. If we can accept the risk of motor vehicles, guns, alcohol and other things that we know can kill you dead – I think we can accept the risk of a product that might actually save a life or two. I may be straight up bat-shit crazy but if we are going to require testing for these products – what about perfumes, air fresheners, what ever the stank floating out of an Abercrombie and Fitch is and that really nauseating incense you can buy at Walmart? Unlike ecig juice (which is propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, food safe flavoring and optionally nicotine) I really have no idea what is in those products. By the way – PG and VG which is the bulk of ecig liquids are used in medical products too. At the very least make the testing process quick, cheap and fast – these are not complex products unlike say – any processed food sold today.

Many, including myself, suspect this has to do with money. As in “hey our punitive tax on cigarettes worked and people are switching to a safer alternative – crap! Less money!” we must demonize whatever alternative that we can not tax or does not make a pharmaceutical company, who makes alot of nice political contributions, a butt-load of money. Even if you do not smoke next time you are in the pharmacy check out how much a box of nicotine gum costs – it is an insane and almost obscene profit! If that gum cost just a wee bit more than a pack of doublemint – we probably would not even have ecigarettes because nicotine gum does actually work. I get the really creepy feeling that our government really does not care much past the almighty dollar.

From what I have read in some forums – the black marketeers are stockpiling ingredients. Just like everything ever banned – the government is creating an even less safe market for this product. I guess I shouldn’t care – I have cut my nicotine down to the bare minimum – quitting will be easy for me now (thank you ecig makers). The principal does bother me none-the-less.

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