Opinion

The Media is Purposefully Misleading You about Vaping

|
Posted: Sep 22, 2019 12:01 AM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent the views of Townhall.com.
 The Media is Purposefully Misleading You about Vaping

Source: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File

Over the past few weeks, the fake news media and ignorant politicians have shamefully perpetuated a myth that “vaping” is responsible for more than 500 hospitalizations and seven deaths. This is completely false, misleading, and downright disgraceful.

However, the CDC goes on to state, “Based on initial data … we know: Most patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette products containing THC.” And here is the crux of the matter, which the media has completely downplayed and ignored: the vast majority (if not all) of the recent hospitalizations are due to people consuming unsafe and illegal substances with a completely safe and legal vaping device.

In essence, the scandalous fake news media is driving a completely false narrative that legal vape “pods” are the sole cause of these health problems. Once again, as far as we know, almost every case to date has involved illegal, black market, or homemade vape pods containing who knows what—not the commonplace, legal pods one can purchase at convenience stores and vape shops.

For those unaware of how vaping generally works, here is a short tutorial. Vaping devices, unlike far-more-harmful (95 percent more harmful, to be exact) combustible tobacco cigarettes, do not contain tobacco or any of the other chemicals proven to cause cancer. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “These products use an ‘e-liquid’ that may contain nicotine, as well as varying compositions of flavorings, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and other ingredients. The liquid is heated to create an aerosol that the user inhales.”

The fake news media and mindless politicians have declared war on vaping. This is incredibly stupid and dangerous. This could drive thousands of adults to abandon vaping and return to far more harmful, and deadly, tobacco cigarettes. Even worse, untold numbers of teenagers (and pre-teens) are likely to begin vaping because it has been stigmatized as “dangerous” by authorities.

In case you are unaware, when you tell a teenager not to do something because it is dangerous, you just increased its “coolness factor.” As a former high school teacher, I am all too aware of this phenomenon. Although it seems counterintuitive, if we actually wanted to reduce youth vaping rates, it would probably be better for more authorities to tout vaping as safe.

For purposes of full disclosure, this author is a former heavy smoker. Although I quit smoking cigarettes years ago, I am keenly aware of the addictive nature of nicotine. However, as a current vaper, I am also well aware of the health benefits legal vaping offers.

The fake news media and foolish politicians are doing us all a major disservice by unfairly portraying legal vaping as a potentially dangerous (or life-threatening) habit. This is utterly untrue and these authority figures should know better.

Flavor bans and other misguided legislation will do absolutely nothing to reduce the unfortunate cases tied to the vaping of illegal substances. Unfortunately, idiotic flavor bans, like those recently undertaken in Michigan and New York, are nothing more than feel-good pseudo-solutions that will do much more harm than good.