Vaping News

Bee Sting

Misinformation in California drives parents onto the streets to oppose a vape shop, whipped up by the local rag.

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One hundred people gather in the street; men, women and their compliant children sport a range of hand-made placards. These people are angry. They breathe fear that their lives will forever change because of the arrival of something horrendous, something that threatens to prey on their young ones. In a state where marijuana is legal, gun possession almost compulsory and earthquakes commonplace, this new danger must be of biblical proportions. Rocklin, California, is about to have a new vape shop.

The Sacramento Bee claims to be “a newspaper that serves the needs of its community without becoming subservient to the whims of public opinion or the pressures of the powerful.” Its coverage of vaping appears to carry little sense of community needs as it sticks to the line being given out by the Californian Department of Public Health. It regurgitates half-truths and lies to fuel ignorance and bile.

The crowd gathered outside a “shopping centre where a smoke shop concentrating on electronic cigarettes might open its doors, close to five different schools. Each weekday after classes, the centre is crammed with kids from sixth-graders to seniors, hanging out at Starbucks, Subway, the pizza place, a tutoring centre or the parking lot,” writes Bruce Maiman. He goes on to link cancer and birth defects to ecigs, make the fatuous claim that more teens are using them and even claims: “Studies show that e-cig use is a gateway to traditional smoking.” Bruce Maiman is, at best, playing fast and loose with the truth.

The POTV news section has previously covered the ridiculous lie-strewn health campaign, the man behind it and the response by Doctor Nichols and Professor Polosa.

Maiman believes the angry mob has a point. On one hand he wants the “smoke shops” hidden away from sight along with porn shops, medical marijuana facilities and nightclubs – while on the other he contends that every home should have the right to fly the swastika. The failed DJ, who liked to call himself “Doctor”, evidently has some pretty mixed opinions.

“Residents believe that Anthony Hirani, who owns several Sacramento-area smoke shops and convenience stores, picked this Rocklin location specifically to target kids.” So, his logic goes, adult access to a safer alternative to smoking should be restricted because forty-odd parents are concerned they didn’t raise their children effectively enough to make sensible choices.

“We’re not trying to stop him from opening a business,” he quotes protestor Dana Clifford as saying. But, she then added: “If the city doesn’t pass an ordinance and he does open his doors here, his business will die.”

Maiman concludes his article with a personal comment advocating mob rule and the triumph of ignorance over science: “Government can and should play a role, and has played an often positive role in social change. At this point, in this particular instance, the community voice seems likely to suffice.” No doubt he is comfortable that a handful of people adequately represent the opinion of a community numbering 60,000 in a state of 39 million where over half a million are expected to die from cancer in 2015.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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