Schumer wants action!
Sen. Chuck Schumer is demanding action on “exploding e-cigarettes.” He called Sunday for the federal government to issue recalls of defective products and investigate the industry. Schumer claimed that highly publicized recent battery incidents were proof immediate steps need to be taken.
“It’s bad enough that e-cigarettes cause nicotine addiction…but now it seems they’re doubling as a ticking time bomb,” he told the New York Post.
There’s just one problem. Most vaping battery incidents don’t happen because of defective products, but because of ignorance about basic battery safety and charging procedures. And investigating vape mods won’t protect anyone from laptops or cell phones, which have the same risks.
“Where there’s smoke, there’s fire and that seems to be the case — again and again — for many popular e-cigarettes that have injured dozens of people,” Schumer said. “With any other product, serious action would have been taken and e-cigarettes should be no exception. Despite the explosions, no recalls have been issued. It’s radio silence from both the industry and the feds, so that’s why I’m sounding the alarm.”
But most e-cig battery issues occur because of user error. In typical incidents, people carry batteries loose in pockets with change, use improper chargers, or buy mechanical mods that require specialized knowledge to operate safely.
Schumer said that the FDA identified “about 66 explosions in 2015 and early 2016 after recording 92 explosions from 2009 to September 2015.” By “explosions” he apparently means any kind of battery incident — most of which aren’t explosions at all. And that timeline is…vague.
Nothing new here
But common sense has never moved Sen. Schumer. He’s always been known as a legislator quick to call for restrictions and bans.
“No issue is too stupid or inconsequential for Schumer to weigh in on,” wrote Nick Gillespie in Reason, “inevitably calling for a ban or regulation that serves no other possible purpose than to shine a light on the glory and grandeur of Chuck Schumer.”
In the past, Schumer has demanded action on yoga mat chemicals, 3D-printed guns, laundry detergent, laser pointers, energy drinks, bitcoin, drones, high-frequency stock trading, cereal prices, home-made bombs, video games, and cadmium in children’s jewelry.
The country can take comfort knowing Schumer is on the case, ready to nag the evil vapor manufacturers and the FDA into action — or at least trot vaping out for a public dunking whenever he feels he’s not getting enough attention.