Here's a provocative title from NationalReview.com: Let the Free Market Kill the Combustible Cigarette.
There are some innovative products on the market now which could help eliminate diseases related to tobacco. They're E-cigarettes. They're simple. They vaporize an oil containing nicotine, and the user inhales the vapor. It's a nicotine delivery system that doesn't involve inhalation of smoke. Ingenious.
Nicotine is supposed to be highly addictive, so e-cigs probably won't do much to break the habit. But they look like they would be so much healthier than regular cigarettes.
But then there's the federal government. Some proposals put forth to the FDA would regulate e-cigs the same a tobacco products. That would merely put a lot of the small manufacturers out of business and shift the odds in favor of the big tobacco companies.
As Michael R. Hufford and Gilbert Ross say in the above linked article:
We can extinguish the last combustible cigarette in our lifetimes, but doing so will require a delicate balancing act. Products must be compelling enough to meet the nicotine needs of smokers — today’s products are not there yet, requiring capital investment in innovative technologies. Profits must be enough to satisfy investors, and regulations must be sufficient to protect the public health without impeding the innovation that is needed to radically transform the market for nicotine.
Regulations without impeding innovation -- now there's the toughie.