Water vapor, basically. Several Senate Democrats and a number of local governments across the country want to ban a device that exposes people to nothing more than water vapor.
The device is an e cigarette. It delivers nicotine into the user in the same way as a cigarette, but instead of carcinogen filled smoke, it uses water vapor. Makers of the devices claim that they can help smokers cease using tobacco.
A number of Democratic senators called them, however, "candy coated poisons," and claimed they hurt "the children." They called for extensive regulations that, makers say, might choke out their ability to even sell the product.
CBS News reported on a study that concluded that e cigarettes did not help smokers to stop using tobacco, It also quoted an American Cancer Society official as claiming the study "has limitations" and "problems."
No study, however, has shown that e cigarettes damage a body anymore than drinks that contain the highly addictive drug caffeine. And also come in sweet flavors enticing to children.
New York Times writers from last year called on regulators to "tolerate" e cigarettes. Health officials in New York City fretted that those smoking e cigarettes could brazenly light up in areas that banned smoking. This runs the risk of exposing the public to visible water vapor. Officials also argued that the device represented a "gateway" to actual smoking of actual tobacco.
With nothing better to do, Democrats and bureaucrats scurry to save the general public from the scourge of water vapor.
Update: Philadelphia City Council actually does ban water vapor.