If you’re a vaper who uses the internet, there’s no way you aren’t aware of the current panic regarding the selling of flavored vaping products due to a few deaths that have been caused by vape-related illnesses. On the surface, it seems like a pretty clear situation. People are dying from vaping, and so the government must step in and put an end to this industry in order to save lives. Right? Well, not so fast.
It didn’t take long for Twitter to start pointing out the hypocrisy, illogical thinking and flat out propaganda going on when politicians announced intentions to ban flavored vapes. Let’s just say that there are far too many loopholes in this narrative for vapers to accept such a widespread change in vaping legislation.
What, Exactly, is Going On?
This past weekend, after a sixth person died of a mysterious respiratory illness related to vaping, President Trump tweeted his intentions to ban flavored vapes on a federal level. Now, first of all, what constitutes as a “flavored vape” remains unclear. After all, every vape juice contains flavoring, whether it be a candy flavor, a tobacco flavor or a menthol flavor. But most are pretty confident that flavored vapes include everything that isn’t tobacco or menthol.
When Trump made the announcement, there was, unsurprisingly, an outcry on social media. After all, more than one fifth of the population of American adults use vaping products, with the large majority of them being former smokers who have found that vaping has been the only way to help them quit for good. Many were wondering why the government would be so quick to ban a product before a thorough investigation was conducted. Others questioned the true motivations of the president, implying that big tobacco was simply waiting for an opportunity to lobby against the vaping industry to take back a large chunk of their profits.
Whatever the reason, things have only progressed from there. It’s worth noting that since Saturday, Trump has, oddly, taken back most of his claim, stating that not all vaping products are harmful. Of course, anyone who lives in America should not be too surprised to see the President flip-flopping on an issue on social media before thinking it through and discussing it with his administration.
How it All Started
In recent months, about 400 respiratory illnesses have been reported to be linked to vaping. The vaping industry has been alive and well for over a decade now, so these sudden illnesses seemed a bit alarming. Many speculated that it must be one specific company producing low-quality products for the masses.
As time went on, the media let out the fact that these illnesses were linked to THC vape products, not conventional e-liquids containing nicotine, and certainly not commercial vape products such as JUUL. It was also discovered that the culprit behind the illnesses was likely a derivative of vitamin E that is highly dangerous when inhaled. It must be pointed out that commercial vaping products do not contain such an ingredient
Eventually, it was also determined that the deaths were related to THC-containing marijuana vape oils that were purchased illegally. This means that these products were not subjected to regulation for safety.
Despite the fact that these illnesses, and these deaths, were linked back to an unusual ingredient found in illegal THC vape products, the media failed to make such a distinction when reporting on the topic. Instead, they threw the whole vaping industry under the bus, causing mass panic as every vaper in America began to feel waves of fear as they examined their trusty vaping devices.
Only yesterday, investigators announced that they believe they found the culprit. An operation run out of Wisconsin by two brothers may be solely responsible for the many illnesses reported after vaping a THC oil. These brothers have been illegally producing marijuana vape oil and selling it to various black-market distributors.
JUUL: Always Taking the Blame
Now, let’s remember one thing: never have investigators even suggested that JUUL is responsible for these respiratory illnesses. And, yet, as you checked out the latest social media posts regarding this topic, how many times did JUUL’s name come up?
It’s clear that Americans are on edge about vaping, whether they partake in it or not. This is proven by how quick Americans were to point the finger at JUUL despite there never having been any reason to believe that they are responsible for these recent vape-related deaths.
But, JUUL is the company that has gotten the most media attention since the vaping industry started, and that’s largely because of how successful it’s become. After all, with great success comes great controversy.
Anyone who has followed vaping news for some time knows that the FDA pretty much despises JUUL. They’ve raided JUUL’s facilities several times, and have attempted to pull all flavored JUUL pods from stores. The FDA reason? Because teenagers have gotten their hands on the product, although JUUL never marketed its products toward teenagers. JUUL always existed to help adult smokers find a cessation method that actually works, and so far, it has.
Politicians Contributing to Mass Hysteria
News that “vaping kills” spread rapidly over the last couple days, with basically everyone in charge largely ignoring the facts. Despite the fact that there is no reason to believe that commercial nicotine vaping products are contributing to a public health crisis, more and more officials are speaking out against the vaping industry, largely singling out JUUL.
Just this past Sunday, Governor Cuomo announced an emergency ban on all flavored vape products across the state of New York. Instantly, he was scrutinized by citizens, who claim that he’s almost definitely motivated by tobacco lobbyists rather than the health of New Yorkers
Banning flavored e-cig and vaping products, by the way, hurts many people. For one thing, many vapers have only been able to quit smoking because of flavored e-liquids. Also, many businesses in the state can only thrive because they sell a wide selection of flavors. Cuomo’s announcement is basically a death sentence to the industry as we know it, at least in that state.
Now, weeks before Trump announced he intended to ban flavored e-cig products (which, again, he later took back), the governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, successfully banned flavored vape products in her own state. We’d like to point out that also in Michigan, Flint is still dealing with a crisis regarding unclean and hazardous water, which can kill far more people than flavored vaping products. Many Michigan residents, needless to say, believe that Governor Whitmer’s priorities need to be reconsidered.
Is Vaping the Issue?
Of course, the question on everyone’s mind is, is vaping actually going to kill you? This technology is very new, and before it existed, vapers smoked cigarettes, which we know are deadly. Is vaping any different?
Vaping is, indeed, a new industry, only being about a decade old. But, now, it’s been around long enough for researchers to study its effects, as well as its ability to keep people off of cigarettes. Several studies have shown that vaping is far more effective as a smoking cessation tool than anything else that’s on the market. And, many studies have revealed that vaping is over 95 percent less toxic than cigarettes.
So, why hasn’t the media picked up on these studies? And, if the government cares so much about public health, why is it not promoting vaping over cigarette use?
If the government really wanted to harm the vaping industry in an effort to keep citizens healthy, it would ban cigarettes as well. And, it would ban alcohol, because there are far more alcohol-related deaths each year than vaping-related deaths. It would also ban gun use, and, probably automobiles.
So, what’s the real reason behind this mass hysteria regarding vaping? Many suspect that tobacco lobbyists have more influence over our politicians than we think.