Wednesday, March 05, 2014

The Sympathetic Magic Behind E-Cigarette Bans

Los Angeles has decided to ban e-cigarettes same way they ban regular cigarettes, and over at Consumer Affairs I discuss this and point out the similarities between e-cig opposition and the primitive belief in sympathetic magic: 

In modern American pop culture, the best-known example of sympathetic magic is found in voodoo-doll horror movies: “This doll looks just like you, so anything affecting the doll affects you too.” Western-literature majors or Old Testament scholars might also be familiar with the alleged healing or fertility powers of mandrake root — the roots of a mandrake plant often branch out to look somewhat like a four-limbed human figure, ergo the believers in sympathetic magic thought: “Since it looks like people, it must have power over people!”

And belief in sympathetic magic appears to be enjoying a renaissance among those who oppose “e-cigarettes” or “e-cigs,” basically on the grounds that a battery-operated metal tube emitting water vapor looks like a burning tobacco cigarette emitting cancerous smoke, ergo it must have the same disease-inducing power as said tobacco cigarette, right?

The full article is here


Anonymous Wayne said...

There is a town around here that is considering a ban on e-cigs. I'm not a smoker. Never have been. But I don't like the idea that we have to put bans on smoking. If you choose to smoke, go ahead. I may have to move away, or ask you to move away, or whatever. I'm not going to ask you to not smoke. That's a choice you make, just like my choice is to not smoke. The idea that e-cigs should be banned is just silly. Why? Really? We have to put a ban on something that isn't harmful? With all the things we could be doing, we have to spend time and effort on banning e-cigs because it LOOKS like you're smoking? Seriously? And your statement(s) about the air quality in LA, to me, prove even further that spending time banning e-cigs is not worth the tax payer money we will undoubtedly spend having to research this scourge.

9:22 AM  

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