Virtually every morning I get on my elliptical machine and pedal away for 45 minutes. I do this with a nearly religious fervor. Almost nothing can stop me--until this morning. As I was about to begin, a commercial popped up on my television that excited me so much I had to get off and run to my office to type this post.
The commercial was for something called American Blue Tip. It's a reusable device that looks and acts and supposedly feels like a cigarette. When you take a drag on it, the tip lights up and you inhale a bit of water vapor which you then exhale. I've never been a smoker, so I'm not sure just how satisfying this might be for those who still use tobacco, but I'm giddy with anticipation to see how America's "behavior police" will find a way to ban this thing.
I assume they'll start with health issues. Perhaps they'll come up with some second-hand water vapor argument. I suppose they'll also float the idea that inhaling water vapor will lead to an increased desire to smoke the real thing. And what about smoking opponents who will feel mocked by this invention and its users? Will people be banned from inhaling in public areas merely because it looks as if they're smoking?
Don't get me wrong; I'm personally opposed to smoking. I've lost loved ones to the habit, and I've seen the terrible struggles of them and others as they tried to quit. But I also believe some anti-smokers have used their campaign as a springboard to attempt to regulate all sorts of personal behavior, so I'm anxious to see how products like American Blue Tip will be treated. If it helps smokers quit, I see that as a positive. And if it makes others feel sophisticated, so what? However, I have a feeling this will really stick in the craw of people who know how we should all live. Now we'll get a chance to see whether they're more interested in public health or in regulating behavior they don't care for.
I'm too excited to pedal.