Mobile telephony has been plagued by the rumors of negative side-effects since the beginning of widespread adoption. Scientists have issued countless studies that have yielded in contradictory evidence concerning the safety of cell phones. The public perception of physical dangers has fluctuated but has never seemed to slow the proliferation of ever-more sophisticated mobile handsets and ever-more ubiquitous mobile usage.
Today, it was announced that the Maine legislature is considering requiring mobile phones to carry warnings about potential negative effects - such as cancer. This would be the first time that such a public and reputable warning would be attached to mobile phones in the United States. It would conceptually make mobile phones similar to cigarettes and alcohol.
Would such a warning have any influence on mobile usage? Potentially - especially if steps to minimize risk were clearly outlined - e.g. using the speakerphone option, etc. But unless these warnings are based on new, more conclusive studies, the massive expansion of mobile will not be slowed. Unless more short-term negative effects become clear, the positive efficiency impact of mobile services will continue to push further adoption.