The Richmond Times is to be praised for publishing a positive story by pro-active vaping company Avail Vapor LLC. Avail surveyed over eight thousand vapers to find out why, having quit, they continue to vape. So often public health campaigners easily dismiss our collective anecdotes, documenting them in the media is a good way to entrench the viewpoints.
Avail discovered that 94% of respondents were previously smokers, a finding that mirrors the multiple pieces of research conducted by Professor Robert West. Of these, 80% adopted vaping as a means to quit smoking – and 85% did successfully quit, a number far in excess of the success rates for traditional nicotine replacement products.
Of those who didn’t quit, a small number according to James Xu, the co-founder and co-owner of Avail, most had used ecigs to drastically reduce their consumption of cigarettes. Vaping is, according to Wu: “not a gateway to traditional smoking. The data shows it is a one-way street.”
In addition to quitting smoking, the survey highlighted the demand for flavours and the importance of allowing vapers the possibility to decide on their own nicotine strength.
Unfortunately the Times doesn’t appreciate that balance in an article is only valid if the balancing opinion is informed and valid. Their independent health policy consultant appeared ignorant of the research carried out to date and the news video contained factual errors.
The Kansas City News carries a far superior video, featuring Candi McCann (who runs her own vaping Youtube channel). “I’m not going to tell you this is healthy,” Candi tells the paper, “but I can tell you that it is 99 percent better for you than smoking.”
In addition to the health benefits and taste, highlighted so far, the second article extols the virtues of the customisability of what becomes a hobby and the sense of community that has grown between vapers. “There’s the social aspect that has seen some vaping stores, like Waldo Vapes on Wornall Road, becoming something akin to java-free coffee shops,” the journalist wrote, “where people gather to shoot the breeze, play games and challenge each other to see who can blow out the biggest cloud of scented vapour.”
But even this piece is ruined by so-called balance: “It is a way to get kids addicted to nicotine,” said a know-nothing rent-a-quote. “I’m concerned about the possibility of renormalizing behaviour.”
One thing we can always rely on, no matter what the main reason is for you wanting to vape – you can guarantee someone doesn’t like it.
So why do you vape? Let us know in the comments below!