Vaping News

Vaping: Fact vs Opinion

You don’t need to go far online to find conflicting opinions about vaping.

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There’s a saying about opinions that likens them to parts of the anatomy. There’s something about vaping that has caused a huge polarisation of views with little ground given to compromise. If people opposed to electronic cigarettes are doing so based on sound bites they read on the Internet then isn’t it time we began adjusting what they find from search engines?

“When confronted with critical decisions about the products and services that matter most, consumers are bombarded with an onslaught of marketing, advertising, opinions, and options,” says Consumer Reports. “That’s why for nearly 80 years, [we have] empowered consumers with the knowledge they need to make better and more informed choices.” All good so far then, an impartial outlook based entirely on fact – unfettered by advertisers or other commercial influences. Who better to give their opinions about vaping?

The answer is ‘almost anybody’.

“We spoke with medical experts and reviewed more than 50 scientific studies to find out what’s known,” they write. Unfortunately we are not privy to who the experts were or what the scientific studies were but it all seems deeply at odds with what we know and a long way from the “Facts you need to know”.

The public is informed that flavours can attract children, ecigs can come with 72mg strength nicotine, even higher levels of nic base poison kids attracted by the packaging and there’s a possibility of non-smokers proceeding from vaping to smoking. Oh, and that patches are as effective as vaping for smoking cessation, so probably not “facts” at all then.

Even when articles attempt to balance the pro and anti arguments we end up with misinformation creep: Two students from Wyoming offered their opinions as the vaper talks about 8,000 flavours.

Her opponent, Alec Schaffer say: “it is alarming to me, the amount of misinformation and straight up lies that are out there about the health effects of Electronic Cigarettes.” So alarming that he promptly makes up some misinformation and straight-up lies of his own: “E-cigarettes are not a healthy alternative to tobacco. They are not a good way to quit smoking.” And then he tells us about the flavour danger and marketing to children.

It was mentioned in the Public Health England report that it’s worrying how the public seem to believe electronic cigarettes are far more dangerous than their ‘95% safer than smoking’ conclusion suggests. We are locked into a cycle of the public regurgitating spurious media comments and lies like those made by Senator Merkley, Senator Markey and Senator Blumenthol.

While the first casualty of war maybe innocence, the biggest casualty of the war for vaping and harm reduction has been the truth. If vaping is to achieve a greater level of acceptance then vapers need to begin to redress the imbalance in coverage on the Internet. We need curious users of search engines to land upon more features and articles with reference to things like the Public Health England report, Effects of Nicotine and the Not Blowing Smoke: Studies (as referenced by Gary Wood on We need to be sending these links to misinformed authors and appending them to comment sections. We need to start dropping the fact bomb.

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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