A key question any voter should ask when considering proposed legislation is who does this bill benefit? In the case of Iowa's e-cigarette bill the answer is the tobacco industry.
Sure, on the surface the legislation seems to work against Big Tobacco. It supposedly just prevents minors from buying e-cigarettes.
But look closer and you'll learn tobacco companies are snapping up e-cigarette makers in bulk. They're selling e-cigarettes like they used to sell traditional cigarettes with TV commercials, celebrity endorsements and fun fruity flavors. They're also introducing legislation nearly identical to the Iowa bill in states across the country.
Do you think it's because they're suddenly concerned with public health? I seriously doubt it.
More likely, they're supportive of the numerous loopholes and benefits this bill creates for the future of their bottom line. It exempts e-cigarettes from tobacco taxes, from regulation and licensing and basically creates a special class of products within state law all for e-cigarettes.
With so much unknown about e-cigarettes but so much known about the tobacco industry, Iowans would be wise to hold off and stop this legislation. The last thing we need is to reverse decades of public health progress all at the behest and benefit of the tobacco industry.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association and other public health groups oppose this legislation for a reason. I trust them, not the tobacco industry, with knowing what's best for Iowa's health.