E-Cigs See Endorsement From Rush Limbaugh

Klaus Kneale
by Klaus Kneale
33 Comments
December 11, 2012

In a December 7 broadcast, aggressively conservative Rush Limbaugh spoke on his experience with electronic cigarettes and the new wave of advertising pushing them in front of the American public.  Despite bans on TV ads for cigarettes since 1971, e-cigs advertisements are making their way on to the airways.  Because they don’t contain tobacco, electronic cigarettes are not subject to the same bans as conventional cigarettes.

You can read the transcript here.

Limbaugh gives a basic overview of the opportunity electronic cigarettes provide: nicotine delivery without significant health risks at a lower cost than conventional cigarettes.  Okay, so he says the price is mostly equivalent and maybe cheaper in some states, but we can’t expect him to get everything right.  The main point he makes is that nicotine by itself is not a carcinogen and shouldn’t be viewed as this nasty, destructive toxin by itself.  Prolonged use of nicotine by itself does little more than raise blood pressure (and actually has some health benefits)–which is hardly as concerning as the lung, throat, and mouth cancer, COPD, and death that long-term smoking can cause.

Republicans have long supported loose restraints on tobacco products–placing both the freedom and the responsibility of use in the hands of consumers.  Democrats, meanwhile, often place responsibility in the hands of regulation to prevent companies from “tricking” consumers into becoming addicted to their products.  This has led electronic cigarettes to become a somewhat partisan dispute, republicans for and democrats against (when reduced harm is normally in the reverse position).

Apparently Limbaugh is an electronic cigarette user himself.  According to Limbaugh, 2 years ago he was in a bar using an e-cig.  The manager asked him not to smoke.  To which Limbaugh replied, “Oh, it’s not a cigarette.”  A brief conversation followed about what it was and the manager decided the device was fine.

Shortly after, the manager returned to say that a woman had complained.  Limbaugh quite unapologetically stated that it wasn’t against the law and, being in a bar, concerns of decency and “the children” were a bit ridiculous (though not in those precise words).

Limbaugh follows up with three points–each of which could merit some discussion on their own.  He first argues that the demonization of electronic cigarettes is often done by individuals that are more or less pro-marijuana.  It’s hard not to make a hippy reference here, so I just will.  Weed is like natural, joints don’t have additives, I don’t support the man, man. In order, nicotine is a naturally occurring substance that exists in potatoes, eggplants, tobacco leaves and more.  Many individuals still fail to realize that smoking (inhaling combusted material) is associated with 98% of tobacco-related health issues.  Most e-cig companies are “small businesses” and it’s only been in the last year that Big Tobacco started buying into the industry.

Second, Limbaugh uses the example of a parent complaining about a church showing Charlie Brown.  His argument is that if a church wants to show Charlie Brown, it should be allowed and someone that doesn’t like it just shouldn’t see it.  This isn’t the best example, because the issue he’s referring to involved Little Rock, Arkansas public school kids taking a field trip to see a production of “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown.”   Nevertheless, the point he ultimately makes is that electronic cigarettes shouldn’t be held back by a few “namby-pamby” individuals that don’t like the look of them.

Finally, Limbaugh connects the rise of obesity to the decline of smoking rates in the US.  His argument is that because nicotine is proven to assist weight-loss, the decline in smoking must be connected–in part–to the obesity epidemic.  There is nothing we can add to this comment that would come from a position of intelligence or accuracy.  This is not a theory that has been investigated… at all.

Comments

33 Responses to “E-Cigs See Endorsement From Rush Limbaugh”

      John on December 11th, 2012 3:05 pm

      Rush is a definitely a powerful figure to have on our side. Whether or not if he is liked by society, it doesn’t really matter.. He is known and a strong voice. I really don’t have much of an opinion on this guy…
      I definitely agree with his statement on obesity and smoking.

        robovape on December 11th, 2012 3:24 pm

        normally i wouldn’t want to be on the same side of a cause as him, to be quite honest, i wouldn’t normally expect to be in that situation… he has a powerful voice in the conservative arena and could be a very good friend to have as a vaper…

          MorrinB on December 11th, 2012 3:34 pm

          I hate to be in agreement with this guy, but I guess it had to happen eventually. Seriously though, this article spends a lot of time demonizing democrats and that’s just wrong. Big ole hippy right here and I’m all for personal responsibility. Lumping is bad!!!!!

            hificat101 on December 11th, 2012 5:49 pm

            A Republican pundit speaking up for ecigs, is different that a Republican politician. Republicans have long had an exclusively cozy relationship with the tobacco industry, and also a very cozy relationship with the pharmaceutical industry. These two industries are literally the two biggest enemies of ecigs, and the two biggest losers in the rise of ecigs. It’s hard for me to imagine politicians cutting themselves off from much needed campaign money on a principal.

            This may not be a common, or popular opinion in the ecig community, but I actually think we have much better chances with Democrats. They are also cozy with the drug industry, but have an openly adversarial relationship with Big Tobacco.

              nicxvapor on December 11th, 2012 7:20 pm

              I think that such a widely known person speaking up for e-cigs and PVs is a great thing regardless of his political affiliation. He brings up some great points that more people should be aware of. Most of the dirty looks and arguments I receive regarding this are from those who don’t know what it is and are scared of it. Too many assumptions being made.

                slap_maxwell on December 11th, 2012 8:32 pm

                I have to disagree, hificat101…when you think of regulation, taxation and government intervention, it’s often the democrats at the forefront. But that’s beside the point of the article. I think anyone with a high profile can only help the cause…unless the guy was Charles Manson or something. :-)

                  Karla Lyle (Msv8PR) on December 11th, 2012 9:34 pm

                  That’s great. Posted this on my facebook page the other day. At least someone is supporting ecigs. Although I would have choose another representative if I had a choice.

                    saboinia on December 11th, 2012 9:43 pm

                    >:}} i have always admired him….sometimes i disagree with him but he always maks a good pointt when he talks

                      Scott McKirahan on December 11th, 2012 10:31 pm

                      I think if folks do their homework, they will see that both political parties receive massive amounts of funding from both the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries. The biggest opponent of all is Senator Lautenberg – (D) New Jersey. Last I saw, he raked in over $128,000 from Big Pharma in 2008, alone.

                        Nathaniel on December 12th, 2012 6:48 am

                        I heard this a while ago and its good to know he still feels the same way.

                          Mike on December 12th, 2012 5:06 pm

                          That was a surprise

                            Mike on December 12th, 2012 5:07 pm

                            i bet it involves $ though

                              robovape on December 12th, 2012 5:10 pm

                              “He first argues that the demonization of electronic cigarettes is often done by individuals that are more or less pro-marijuana.”

                              i don’t think this is true at all, i don’t think the two are particularly related, and if so, it’s more a case that they go together…

                                hificat101 on December 12th, 2012 8:45 pm

                                “I think if folks do their homework, they will see that both political parties receive massive amounts of funding from both the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries.”

                                I respectfully disagree Scott. As I said in my post both parties have been the recipients of Big Pharma largess, but Tobacco industry contributions to Republicans absolutely dwarf, their donations to Democrats. Plus Democrats tend to have an openly antagonistic relationship with the Tobacco industry.

                                As to “reputations” for regulation, both parties will support regulation that their contributors want them to support. Abortion, gay marriage, and in some cases pot laws spring to mind when thinking of regulation that Republicans embrace. To say that only one party “supports regulation” misses the mark.

                                Not trying to start a political beef with fellow members of this community, but I simply disagree.

                                  Dahcwon on December 12th, 2012 10:14 pm

                                  I cant stand Rush Limbaugh at all but Im glad someone with a big name would come and support vaping.

                                    Johnathan Brown (Sepsis) on December 13th, 2012 10:31 pm

                                    I also cannot STAND limbaugh. But, that being said, it does not hurt to have a big name behind them.

                                      Mikey on December 14th, 2012 4:58 pm

                                      hificat I hate to break the bad news to you but just because they are “openly antagonistic” does not tell us what they do behind closed doors they are also ‘openly antagonistic” towards the rich but they reap the rewards from all the big hollywood celebs now the last time I checked they were not exactly whay I would consider paupers. Now do both parties like regulation absolutely they do but Democrats are the ones who are more of the nanny state people who think they know how to treat people best they always know what is best for everyone. We need to be able to recognize the Progressives because they are the ones doing the most harm and probably about 99% of the Democrat party is made up them and right now the Republican party is getting close to 50%

                                        Mandi on December 15th, 2012 2:04 am

                                        lol i dont know how i feel about this

                                          Jon on December 16th, 2012 1:03 am

                                          Hey, now. I’m a die hard, pro union, blue state, Atheist who is a proud Democrat and I still support e cigs. Please don’t make the generalization that all Democrats oppose e cigs.

                                            Mikey on December 16th, 2012 11:59 am

                                            Jon go back and read my statement I said 99% of democrats have been consumed by the progressive movement they are the ones people need to be aware of . BTW I am sorry you are pro union and I can say that because I am in a union but I don’t want to be.

                                              Mike on December 16th, 2012 12:57 pm

                                              Yeah….this is the way Kristen Stewart is an advocate for legalization.

                                                Mike on December 16th, 2012 12:57 pm

                                                You want someone on your side, but your like wtf…them?

                                                  robovape on December 17th, 2012 2:51 am

                                                  see, i keep coming back to this article and more and more things just jump out at me that are just so utterly ignorant, and THAT’S the Rush Limbaugh i know and love to hate… how does he get his foot so far in his mouth with his head so far up his @$$? and now he’s our spokesman, and that’s GREAT because there are a lot of really ignorant people that just LOVE him… he’s got never-smokers buying ecigs just to be cool like Rush and people that are normally not interested in harm reduction (the right wing) okay with the ecig… but he makes the normal average moderate blue collar american who vapes look like such an idiot…

                                                    robovape on December 17th, 2012 6:09 pm

                                                    the ecig vendors can’t say that it helps quit smoking and he’s promoting it as a cure for weight-loss… OY VEY!

                                                      Mike on December 19th, 2012 2:48 am

                                                      Sometimes I wonder if some publicity is worse than others. Even though he has a strong voice it is often surrounded by hate mongers. People love to hate anything this man says is good or okay. I would hate people to have opinion on electronic cigarettes clouded by their own hate for this man. Just my opinion.

                                                        Steve Mitchell on December 19th, 2012 6:09 am

                                                        Go Rush Go!!

                                                          unclerj on December 22nd, 2012 1:55 am

                                                          Bottom line is that we can use any help we can get!

                                                          Unless it from someone like Charles Manson.

                                                            mongrel on December 23rd, 2012 2:48 am

                                                            Although he’s a polarizing figure he’s got a voice that many people listen to. You have to realize if you’re not a fan of his that the way he speaks is what his fans like, so it’s giving many of them a positive introduction to something they probably knew nothing about.

                                                              Donald Hammond on December 23rd, 2012 10:07 pm

                                                              That’s great. We’ll take whoever we can get. LOL

                                                                Philippe Caron-Boutin on December 26th, 2012 8:34 pm

                                                                Great!

                                                                  Adam on December 31st, 2012 5:00 pm

                                                                  I guess a broken clock is right twice a day. He isn’t off-base on this issue at all.

                                                                    walking dead season 3 episode on February 28th, 2013 12:09 am

                                                                    I had so much hope for Andrea in the beginning.

                                                                      RCO67 on May 5th, 2013 3:28 am

                                                                      Whether you agree with Rush Limbaugh’s rhetoric or not, fact is gets has a lot of exposure. Any exposure by a highly visible person, be it celebrity or politician can only be a good thing for raising awareness of vaping.

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