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More Teen Vape Studies

Positivity from a source close to Big Tobacco, but hysteria from Hawaii.

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Data produced by the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration has been analysed by a body kindly disposed to vaping, and it produces results that mirror those previously obtained. Meanwhile, in Hawaii, the frothing at the mouth taking place threatens to eclipse all sight of a news program from television, as they hit peak vape fear-mongering.

The news article begins: “Pick a popular spot for teens and you're likely to see them: E-cigarettes, being passed around like a bag of chips.” It is a stance framed by the Hawaiian anti-vape debate, driven by political and public health zealots striving to ban vaping for ideological reasons.

While they’d pour scorn on the anecdotal evidence of two people if it were in support of harm reduction, the feature continues: “‘I started vaping since I was seventh grade,’ said a 10th grade student who Hawaii News Now is not identifying. A friend of his did as well. ‘I stopped for an entire year. Then more and more people started vaping,’ the second student said. ‘I'll just go back into that too’." 

And exemplifying how level-headed and grounded the vape debate in Hawaii is: “At St. Francis School in Manoa, Sister Joan of Arc Souza has not had to deal with the problem yet, but vows to be tough on repeat offenders. ‘Expulsion! Because I just don't believe this is not going to hurt them. It is,’ she says.”

It is rampant hysteria, baseless mania to rival that of the Reefer Madness video from a time when alternative facts were the accepted currency. The new law criminalises the state’s teens, $10 for the first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense of being caught in possession of an electronic cigarette.

So, to PinneyAssociates measured treatment of the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration’s data. Researchers looked at the information produced from a survey of 418 school pupils. Their conclusions mapped to the other measurement treatments of the data: “Nearly 90 percent of the respondents said that ‘they might be less harmful to me than cigarettes’ or ‘they might be less harmful to people around me than cigarettes’.”

Saul Shiffman is a senior scientific adviser to PinneyAssociates, and co-wrote a book on quitting with Robert West, he said: “These data show that even teens who are using e-cigarettes are motivated by harm reduction. Use of any tobacco or nicotine product by teens should be strongly discouraged, but it’s important that our thinking balances concerns about this use with the potential benefits of vaping for smokers who want to reduce their harm.”

He added: “[That] by not combining responses citing harm reduction, the earlier [JAMA] analysis overemphasized the comparative role of flavours in youth vaping decisions. Among the teens who said flavours were important, fully 92 percent also said harm reduction was their motive for vaping. Flavours play a role in youth experimentation with e-cigarettes, but this analysis underscores that the much lower harm of vaping compared to smoking cigarettes is a far more important factor.”

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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