“The great vape debate” – Here we go again.
“The US is cracking down on vaping while the UK is promoting e-cigarettes as an aid to giving up smoking. Where does the truth lie?” Is the newest article regarding the misinformation campaigns regarding vaping in the Guardian. Whilst I’m sure we can all agree that The Guardian is one of the more trusted news sources, aren’t we getting a bit tired of having to reiterate the same information over, and over again?
Every time a scaremongering article appears in the mass media, the vaping community, backed by the NHS, and other authoritative health organisations provide statistical and medical evidence to rebut these claims, only to do again one month later.
The majority of developments within the vaping industry is situated in America with its continual shift of legislation, ‘epidemics’ and misinformation spread by the news outlets. We have seen a rise in states banning flavoured eliquid, banning vaping altogether, and even the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommending stopping vaping completely back in 2019.
If you are not caught up with the CDC reporting it’s ‘Mystery Vaping Illness’, here is a quick timeline on what happened. – This incident is what the basis of the majority of the anti-vaping arguments, which you can see is a complete moot point from the beginning.
The ‘Mysterious Vaping Illness’ timeline
August 17th, 2019 – CDC investigates into 94 cases of ‘vape related’ illnesses in 14 states.
August 23rd, 2019 – The first ‘vape-related’ death is reported in Illinois reportedly using e-cigarettes to consume nicotine.
September 3rd, 2019 – Oregon’s Health Authority says it is investigating the death of an individual with a severe respiratory illness following the use of an e-cigarette.
September 4th, 2019 – Forma FDA commissioner writes an editorial in the Washington Post urging federal officials to take action and to investigate into illegal and dangerous vape juices
September 6th, 2019 – 5th ‘vape-related’ death reported after falling ill after vaping an illegal THC product and a history of lung disease.
September 10th, 2019 – 6th ‘vape related’ death and Officials from the Kansas Department Of Health urges that everyone stops vaping regardless of already identifying that those who have become ill or have died were using illegal and unregulated ingredients.
September 11th, 2019 – Trump announces it’s pushing a ban on all flavoured e-cigarettes in the US even though flavoured liquids isn’t the identified problem at all. Claiming it’s a health epidemic for teenagers regardless of statistical information and based on emotional fearmongering.
September 15th, 2019 – New York announces a ban on flavoured eliquid.
September 19th, 2019 – FDA conducts criminal probe into ‘vape-related’ illnesses.
September 24th, 2019 – Massachusetts announced 4-month ban on all vaping products declaring a public health emergency. So far this is Michigan, New York, and Maine banning vaping.
September 25th, 2019 – Jull CEO steps down although no evidence to show that Jull is tied to the illnesses. This could be completely coincidental as CEOs change all the time.
October 4th, 2019 – FDA warns not to use any THC containing vapes.
November 8th, 2019 – CDC homes in on Vitamin E Acetate, an illegal ingredient, plus the use of THC and states that people who have bought any eliquid that contains THC have done so through illegal and unlicensed dispensaries.
December, 2019 – New York mayor Bill de Blasio signed a law banning flavours despite the evidence that eliquid flavours are not the problem and never have been.
January 2020 – Justice Catherine Cholakis revoked the New York Ban saying that it was an overreach.
Mysterious Vaping Illness summed up
In summary to the ‘Mysterious Vaping Epidemic’ was caused by people using illegal substances that they have purchased through the black market.
Governing officials and anti-vape campaigners started to use this tragic event of people consuming illegal substances and consequently becoming ill or dying to start banning flavoured eliquid, or vaping altogether, even though the two are completely unrelated.
What’s new in San Francisco?
From the end of January it is now illegal to sell vaping products within, or to a person who resides within San Francisco. This has led to business closures, and a large increase of risk for the residents to pick smoking back up and seriously harming their health.
Interestingly, as San Francisco as historically been more progressive than the rest of the US, legalised marijuana back in 2016. The legalisation of marijuana is as progressive as a place can be with only a few cities in the world allowing marijuana to be sold recreationally. So, if they are so progressive with one of the most criminalised plants in the world, why are they banning vaping?
Won’t somebody please think of the children!?
The ban is a precaution on teenagers vaping. Again, we have seen the statistics that there is no crisis among America’s’ youth or anywhere else for that matter. As we can see in the timeline, Trump was pushing for a ban back in September, to save the children claiming that vaping is a gateway mechanism to smoking. We would much rather see San Francisco banning tobacco which has caused countless deaths across the world than a highly successful quitting smoking aid.
The Cross Atlantic Schism.
Here in the UK, which is a highly regulated vaping industry, the NHS continues to support vaping as the most successful way to quit smoking with a 95% safer statistic which is hard to ignore (unless you are an American official looking to ban vaping).
“Prof Ann McNeill of King’s College London, a tobacco and addiction expert who advises PHE, defends its position. “We are battling against misinformation on a massive scale,” she says. McNeill acknowledges there has been a rise in vaping among kids in the US and Canada, but does not see it as a reason for panic. “I don’t think it merits discussion of an ‘epidemic’. That word is overblown,” she said.”
“Ann McNeill says there is not much growth in vaping among kids in the UK. Her key concern would be a rise in vaping among young people who have never smoked, but there’s no sign of that. She thinks the key to reducing youth uptake is “getting adult smoking down”, because young people tend to imitate their elders’ behaviour.”
The ‘Great Vape Debate’ is the same nonsense that we have been seeing for years. Fearmongering noise from the paid-to-publish media organisations versus facts. The Guardian’s article goes into more detail and, a testament to the Guardian as always, presents the facts and a balanced argument.
In the UK, the NHS continues to lead the way in promoting and even selling sanctioned vape stores within Hospital premises to help combat smoking related deaths.
I’m sure that this isn’t the end of the vaping debate, but we will be here time, and time again to put the record straight with facts from reliable sources.