Electronic cigarettes are dangerous, so dangerous in fact that they’re banned from checked bags on airplanes, so dangerous that no one under the age of 18 can purchase them legally nearly anywhere, so dangerous that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has spent years trying to ban them.
In fact, e-cigarettes claimed their first victim just one year ago. Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson was a Democrat member of the New Mexico House of Representatives, who had a career as a pediatric physical therapist before serving in the legislature beginning in 2013.
But, Representative Thomson didn’t die; voters kicked her out of office for her baseless assault on vapor products and the consumers and voters who use them.
Every reasonable person and business supports restricting the sale of nicotine containing products to minors.
The FDA’s overreach is an extension of the Obama administration’s anti-public health agenda, dead-set on protecting the government’s excise tax collections on traditional cigarettes.
Over the objection of some so-called public health groups last year, New Mexico banned the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. Some, like Rep. Thomson, wanted the products stripped from the hands of adults and teens alike. They wanted to subject the products to “sin” taxes, limit the types of products available, and ban their use in public places.
In October, vapor businesses and consumers organized a sizable group to attend a hearing in Santa Fe. Rep. Thomson was among those who attacked public health professionals like Dr. Joel Nitzkin in her quest to expose the “dangers” of e-cigarettes.
Vapers discovered soon after Rep. Thomson’s assault on the products they attribute to saving their lives that she was involved in one of the most closely contested races in New Mexico. Her opponent, Republican Conrad James, was a more market-oriented candidate, open to science and facts and not jaded by his hunger for more tax dollars and control over consumer choices.
Vapers made significant financial contributions, knocked doors, made phone calls, and were involved in a significant Get Out The Vote (GOTV) effort in the days leading up to the election. Financial contributions were so great, James started turning down contributions out of a lack of need.
Rep. Liz Thomson was defeated by Conrad James by 374 votes and Republicans won control of the New Mexico House for the first time in 60 years.
The next time you hear about the dangers of electronic cigarettes from Democrats, Republicans, or the press, remember Liz Thomson of New Mexico. She became the first victim of these dangerous products just one year ago.