Legislators, politicians, and once-respected academic voices across the country are crying out for the ban of e-cigarettes and all related vaping products. If you just looked at the list of names - prominent figures with the support and trust of their communities - you might think that there was a real concern worth seriously talking about.
Names like Thomas Friedman, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and prevention, and Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Senator, both claim that vaping is getting teens addicted to nicotine early and leading them to real, tar-filled cigarettes. Hawaii Governor David Igne, who signed the Clean Air Act, wants to ban the use of vape anywhere cigarettes are banned.
These big names, backed by many outspoken others, might make you think "Oh, this vaping thing must be really dangerous". Unless, of course, you understand the American News/Political cycle. Sometimes a group of people will start going after an issue like rabid dogs just because it is controversial and plays to "their base". Their tax base, that is.
Cigarette smoking has long-since been a highly contested issue. With countless studies showing their serious negative health effects on smokers and children of smokers, and the mild but notable health risks to people who inhale second-hand smoke, the move to discourage inhaling smoke and tar made sense. Sure, smokers grumbled and took it outside, but no one wants to hurt the lungs of a baby or granny, right? Right.
And vaping looks like smoking, so it must be equally bad, right?
So very, very wrong.
But the same scientific backing that had most dedicated smokers going along with "only outdoors" and "away from children" rules are simply not present when it comes to vaping. E-cigs have been legal in the US coming up on a decade now, long enough to see some patterns emerging. And before you start wondering if all those stuffed shirts hollering for vape bans and unbelievable tax rates (95% if Washington Governor Jay Inslee has his way), let's take a quick peek at why their oh-so-persuasive arguments are complete BS.
Haha... no. It has been true for a very long time that smokers smoke for the nicotine, but they die from the tar, fiberglass, and burning smoke that comes with it. Second-hand smoke is dangerous for the same reasons - it still contains a relatively high concentration of the carcinogens and other nastiness contained in your average commercial cigarette.
Nicotine vapor, on the other hand, doesn't contain tar, hot burnt plant material, or fiberglass. It contains vegetable glycerine (think canola oil), propylene glycol (as found in packaged frosting), and a variety of perfectly safe FDA-approved flavors. Plus, it can come with a few drops of nicotine for those who still need it.
Vapor is also more thoroughly absorbed by the vaper's lungs than smoke, meaning that a fully inhaled vape contains almost no remaining ingredients when exhaled except a little remaining glycerine vapor and just enough flavor to tickle the taste buds. According to a recent study from Respiratory Research, e-cig vapor of three different popular flavors (nicotine, mint, and berry) has no negative effect on lung tissue or cause any difficulty breathing. So the reason we banned cigarettes from restaurants and schools? Yeah, it doesn't apply here.
This is the big fear of parents and legislators everywhere. What if e-cigs are corrupting the youth?! Like great rumors that catch on and fill new advocates with dread, this one has a grain of truth. Teens do think that e-cigs are immensely cool. They also thought cigarettes were immensely cool, and drinking beer, and staying up late, and anything else their older siblings in college right now are doing.
However, despite the fearful cries, there is no concrete evidence that vaping teens (who mostly vape non-nicotine flavored juices) are more likely to pick up cigarettes. Sure, there are a lot of speeches and articles about it, but take a closer look at the numbers in this Fortune article. True: more teens are vaping. And a "scary high number" of teens are smoking who "never smoked before". Right, because new teen smokers didn't exist before vaping, and now they do. Then all the most persuasive-sounding arguments are quotes, not study results. While a study reported by Fox found that only 13-20 percent of this the "terrifying" number of teen vapers are actually vaping nicotine at all.
Oh, and there is zero information on the transition from vape to cigarettes. As in, real researchers won't speak to it either way because there is no conclusive evidence.
We're running out of article space, so let's just cover our final (and favorite) complete BS argument. Despite the tens of thousands of heartfelt stories out there about how vaping has helped people quit, cut down, and stop coughing up black gobs of horror every morning, some people are still arguing that vaping isn't -really- helping to move our society away from the dangers of smoking. After all... people who vape nicotine juices are still addicted to nicotine, right? So Big Tobacco is still winning, right?
Wrong again, friends. If that were true, then what about the patches and lozenges that have been recommended by doctors for decades as a way to ease down the addiction and get away from the tar and fiberglass? Yes, it takes a long time to kick a habit and, hey, maybe nicotine vapers are finally reaching an equivalence with the rest of the world's addiction to the dangerously habit-forming caffeine molecule that is oh-so-popular and universally available. We're not asking you to give up your morning coffee or keep your kids away from cola (though maybe we should). Don't ask us to stop vaping delicious harmless clouds of delicately nicotine-laced vapor.
So the next time you hear a national politician looking to score points, a fear-mongering television personality, or a brow-beaten doctor talking about the extreme dangers of vaping, quoting inflated numbers and false research results, keep your skepticism intact and spread the word. The most powerful tool these frothing sensationalists have is useful idiots who are frightened by these false statistics and stories about thousands of fictional children taking up cigarettes.
As for Velvet Cloud, we'll be doing our part by continuing to provide health-safe, high-quality vape juice in delicious nicotine and non-nicotine flavors for ex-smokers and recreational vapers alike. And, of course, we'll be spreading the word to help at least a few of the duped out there realize the truth: That anti-vaping propaganda is just that. Sensational fear-mongering BS.