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Hu Yilin, Assistant Professor of Tsinghua University: glass dab rigs Is Another Pursuit of Technolog

by linbin on June 17, 2020


  Is glass dab rigs smoke? At first glance, this question seems to be pure sophistry like "white horse is not horse", but when you think about it carefully, it is actually a serious problem.

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  First of all, from the appearance point of view, in addition to the early generation of glass dab rigs intentionally imitating the appearance of cigarettes, the current popular glass dab rigs are very different from the traditional cigarettes in appearance. Some are like USB sticks, some are like pens, some are like mice, some are like hammers, and some are like flying saucers. In short, most of them look like novel electronic toys and have no connection with traditional cigarettes.

  From the content composition, glass dab rigs uses liquid smoke bombs, which contain propylene glycol, glycerin, flavoring agent and nicotine, of which only nicotine is the same as traditional cigarettes, but there is another kind of water pipes for sale which does not contain nicotine and wins by pure fragrance.

  Judging from the usage methods, the common point is to inhale into the lung, but the specific methods are totally different. Traditional cigarettes are burned while glass dab rigs is atomized.

  All in all, the only thing glass dab rigs have in common with traditional cigarettes is probably "inhaling nicotine into the lungs." Then, can we say that cola with the common point of "drinking caffeine into the stomach" is also tea? If coke is not tea, then why is glass dab rigs smoke?

  There are indeed many people who support the position that "glass dab rigs is not smoke", not out of philosophical considerations such as rhetoric, but in order to make money. When glass dab rigs is in the ascendant, manufacturers often intentionally use the gaps in definitions to enable the advertising and sales of glass dab rigs to bypass the traditional tobacco ban, to enable glass dab rigs to be sold in non-smoking areas, or to be sold to children and adolescents who are traditionally prohibited from smoking, and to try to evade the government's additional taxes on the tobacco industry. For traditional smokers, glass dab rigs are also often defined as drugs to assist smoking cessation and widely marketed.

  China's "Tobacco Monopoly Law" enacted in 1991 obviously failed to include online headshop. Article 2 of the Monopoly Law defines "tobacco monopoly products as cigarettes, cigars, cut tobacco, redried flue-cured tobacco leaves, tobacco leaves, cigarette paper, filter rods, cigarette tow and tobacco machinery." However, the law does not cover whether there are other tobacco products other than "cigarettes, cigars, cut tobacco and redried tobacco leaves" and how to identify them.

  Therefore, in actual promotion, businesses sometimes emphasize that glass dab rigs are cigarettes and sometimes emphasize their non-smoking status for the sake of interests. This ambiguity in positioning is precisely the place where glass dab rigs have been criticized. People find that glass dab rigs, although seemingly less toxic than traditional cigarettes, have greatly expanded the audience, allowing many young people and even children who would not have been exposed to tobacco to join the ranks of smokers, and a considerable number of them are more likely to try addictive consumer products such as cigarettes and marijuana. In addition, some people who might have sought more effective ways to quit smoking are more likely to enter new pits, and many people end up using both the old and the new and smoking more.

  The governments of various countries have responded one after another and successively issued relevant standards and regulations of glass dab rigs. It is expected that China will soon issue the glass dab rigs standard. However, even if the new standard is issued, it may not be able to solve the positioning problem of glass dab rigs once and for all, because the glass bongs industry itself is still changing with each passing day and is not yet mature.

  Judging from the history of technological development, the introduction of new standards and regulations is always lagging behind the change of new technologies. Especially when the new technology has just become popular, developers are still doing all sorts of strange things and the development route is full of tricks, which makes it even more difficult to establish a standard for once and for all. As soon as the standards have been formulated, perhaps the new generation of products will iterate over the existing standards. In many cases, the formulation of standards helps forerunners consolidate their market position, but it may hinder the creativity of technological development.

  In fact, it is common in this era for new technologies to break through the old laws and regulations and develop freely. A typical example is the rise of e-commerce represented by Taobao. In the early stage of development, it was precisely by using the ambiguous identity of "online shops are not shops" that small sellers were able to evade various taxation and management systems for traditional shops, which led to rapid development. However, various management methods for physical stores are indeed out of date and need to be re-formulated. However, if the new regulations are formulated too fast and too strictly, it may stifle the vigorous development of e-commerce.

  Electronic communications, mobile payments, online literature, live webcasts and other emerging things. If the post office manages e-mail, the telephone office manages QQ, the bank manages Alipay, and the television station manages live webcasts from the beginning lookah tattoo glass pipes, then these new things may not be able to fully expand their possibilities. Taking advantage of the lag of laws and regulations, "while supervision is not paying attention" constitutes a golden time for the development of new technologies.

  However, the standard must keep pace with the times. On the one hand, many new things will bring many new social problems in the process of barbaric development. On the other hand, it is not necessarily that any new technology is necessarily a good thing. Online shops and online chats may be allowed to take place, but whether online gambling and online lending should all be allowed to develop savagely is debatable.

  The ever-changing technological era puts forward new requirements for our institutional culture. We must maintain the appropriate tension between strangling the bud across the board and completely letting it go. The formulation of standards and laws certainly requires rigour and accuracy, but it has to leave room for appropriate changes in technology.

  In the face of technological development, we need to go beyond the ready-made, either-or mode of thinking. We cannot simply regard a noun as a collection of certain fixed things (for example, cigarettes = cigarettes, cigars, cut tobacco and redried tobacco leaves), but should look at things from a historical perspective. From pipe and pipe to cigar and cigarette, the shape and cultural significance of tobacco products have been changing. We cannot decide the boundary of "cigarette" once and for all. However, at the same time, we should also maintain the stability of standards and regulations and stick to  the "consistency" of legislative principles. For example, no matter what kind of tobacco is, what is the purpose of urging us to enact laws to restrict tobacco marketing?

  In this regard, the "Tobacco Monopoly Law" is also expressed. Before the definition is given in Article 2, Article 1 of the law explicitly explains the legislative principle: "This Law is enacted to implement tobacco monopoly management, organize the production and management of tobacco monopoly products in a planned way, improve the quality of tobacco products, safeguard the interests of consumers, and ensure the national financial revenue."