The Hill: Misleading information on e-cigarettes risks lives

Public health advocates should give consumers the facts about e-cigarettes. By equating the health risks of e-cigarettes and combustible cigarettes and failing to acknowledge the different relative risks of these products, authority figures are doing a disservice to the millions of smokers who may be seeking a safer alternative but are misled into believing there […]

Do Mandatory Vehicle Inspections Really Make Us Safer?

Most state laws that require regular safety inspections for passenger vehicles were passed more than 75 years ago, at a time when motor vehicle fatalities per mile traveled were about 8 times higher than in the 21st century and vehicles lacked many of the safety features we benefit from today. A growing number of states […]

Consumer Spending and Experience with Food

As society prospered over the past 100 years, we have increased our level of education, enjoyed better health care, earned higher incomes, lived in a more diverse and tolerant society, taken advantage of technological breakthroughs in communications and transportation, and been presented with abundant food choices that are both better and worse, but generally much […]

Only the Public Can Balance on Privacy vs Public Safety

When does the individual’s right to privacy trump the right of society to pursue justice and public safety?  Neither right is absolute.  That issue underlies the FBI-Apple iPhone decryption scuffle, the Microsoft suit against the Department of Justice (DOJ) for its client email gag orders,  the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and the USA Freedom […]

Privacy, Safety and Encryption

In the abstract, consumers welcome privacy but we also acknowledge that real-world tradeoffs may be inevitable between privacy and safety.  Most of us are at peace with surveillance of telephone and electronic records of suspected criminals or foreign spies.  If law enforcement lacks the information needed to target and halt unlawful threats, the public can […]

A Pass on Nutrition, an Incomplete on Safety

Good nutrition and food safety are important to all consumers. While there is some improvement in the nutrition information made available to consumers and a huge leap in Food Stamps, attention to food safety is lagging. To address that shortfall, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) passed Congress in 2010, but none of the urgently […]

When Privacy Can be Lethal

The recent airliner crash in Europe raises questions about European privacy laws.  A European Union (EU) law known as “the right to be forgotten” is rooted in sentiment that on the Internet, we deserve to control how we are viewed by others. Along the road to that law’s adoption it leaned on evidence from some […]

ConsumerGram: Time to Revisit Trucking Regulations

A number of reports have explored ways to improve transportation efficiency by increasing the length of less than truckload (LTL) twin trailers from 28 feet to 33 feet, while not increasing truck weight. This ConsumerGram reviews the empirical evidence of the proposal, and finds that increasing trailer length would not only significantly lower transportation costs, […]

ACI Launches Microsite: Urges FAA to Stay the Course with Air Traffic Controller Program

Today, the American Consumer Institute (ACI) launched the microsite “Fight Flight Delays” to draw attention to a proposal by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to scrap its current air traffic controller training program – the Air Traffic Controller Optimum Training Solution (ATCOTS) – and replace it with a new, untested program. This is an unnecessary […]

The Hill: The FAA’s Fright or Flight

The Holiday season is officially here and, as of Black Friday, at full tilt. For many, this time of year is about shopping, giving and good tidings. But, for those of us traveling, the season’s holidays bring a certain level of high anxiety. Travels during the holidays are certainly one of the most frantic times, […]