If you are reading this, chances are you are thinking about quitting smoking, or you'd like to find ways to help a loved one quit. And if so, congratulations on taking this first step! Quitting smoking is a journey, not an event. It can take time and require lots of support from family, friends or your healthcare provider.
A study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine addresses an interesting, incremental way to motivate people to butt out: you pay them. In a previous post I've written about both the public and private sector rewarding people for healthy living, including in terms of being more physically active and eating/drinking more nutritiously. Paying people to quit may, at first, seem far fetched. But it is part of a larger movement to implement what are regarded as sound policies without invoking the heavy hand of the state: regulating lite.
So when no evidence exists to show that e-cigarettes are safe for long-term use by humans, when laboratory studies demonstrate worrisome potential physiological risks, and when strong evidence is mounting that e-cigarettes are leading our youth to consider smoking tobacco cigarettes, I would contend that caution here is the only reasonable approach.
Note to Occupiers: If there was a week when populist movements managed to scare the beejezus out of elected officials, this was it. In a surprise move, President Obama on Wednesday rejected the permit to build the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, upon recommendations from the State Department. And the growing peoples' movement also managed to beat back the hugely contested SOPA and PIPA bills, aimed at curbing illegal music, movie and software sharing.
Meanwhile, in home news, a number of our contributors were experimenting with inhalants -- legal and illegal...