The Drugs Don’t Work

Posted 8th January 2015 by Dave Cross
The Mirror continues its campaign to associate electronic cigarettes with the evils of drug abuse, this time alleging that a simple fix to atomisers enables them to be used to vaporise dimethyltryptamine – otherwise known as DMT or psychedelic crack.

The linking of vaping to drug abuse isn’t new but it doesn’t want to go away either. You can still find reference to it being a “gateway to cocaine” on the NHS website; an article based on another Daily Mirror “story”.

That original story alleged that nicotine changes the chemistry of the brain, rendering it more susceptible to cocaine addiction. It was roundly debunked due to the lack of sound evidence to support the claim and the leaps in logic that took place in order to construct the conclusions. Many continue to question the decision to keep such a sensationalist and scientifically flawed piece online.

The link to cocaine was not the product of research; it was a collection of sound bites from a presentation given by two members of Colombia University in the States. It constitutes nothing more than an invalidated idea they have.

The latest article carried by the Mirror does have a foundation in fact. There are social media sites where the adaption of vaping equipment for drug use is discussed. Drug use also includes items such as fizzy drink bottles and spoons but the Daily Mirror has not yet featured them in an article.

The Mirror cites a post on Reddit: “You could play vape roulette, where you pass around the nicotine at a party and one in six gets the DMT. You could maybe flavour it somehow so they wouldn't know until it hits them.”

We Vape

The article has been created with the intention of making the reader scared of electronic cigarettes. They finish with a quote from Harry Shapiro, a representative of the charity Drugscope: “This is a very powerful hallucinogenic drug, there's no doubt about that. You can adapt those e-cigs to smoke just about anything. Not just what you are supposed to.”

That Harry believes the ecig is capable of being used to consume “all sorts of drugs” will appear to many as a specious argument. Tobacconists and supermarkets have been selling King-size rolling papers for a long time and yet there have been as many features written about it as there have the potential of credit cards to be used for substance abuse.

Online blogger Jen Wieczner wrote about the Saturday Night Live sketch (search on YouTube for e-meth) back in 2013. She finished her piece by quoting Doctor Fiore (a recipient of Professor Michael Siegel’s 2014 Anti-Smoking Myth of the Year award) saying: “It sure concerns me that there are new methods to deliver illegal substances, particularly to young people.”

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker