Holding Firm Against Vape Hysteria

Posted 11th January 2018 by Dave Cross
It isn’t difficult to find negative stories about vaping in the national and international media; it outstrips positive coverage by some margin. Even quality publications and those purporting to be experts in science fall short of the mark when it comes to a product that is 95% safer than smoking. Journalist Matt Ridley cries out: “Don’t let this British success go up in smoke”.

“Vaping is grown [sic] in popularity among Eagle County kids, and it’s not safe, health officials say,” according to the Aspen Times – believing that even Christmas Day was a good time to stick the boot into harm reduction.

“Like almost any other industry, vaping devices were initially manufactured and marketed by small start-ups. Those quickly consolidated. Phillip Morris, Lorillard and Reynolds American, Altria acquired many of those start-ups and now control most of the vaping industry,” they lie in an article constantly battling with the English language and sanity. What does “Flavours, up to and including cotton candy” even mean? It’s unintelligible gibberish.

The Winthrop Transcript is the same. Just days earlier it called for parents to become educated on the subject of vaping – and then filled their piece with as many distortions and lies as they could get their hands on.

Discover Magazine might focus on science and engineering coverage, but they are woefully off centre when it comes to harm reduction. In an article titled: “The Problem with E-cigarettes”, the magazine publishes news of a study without question or challenge. It was nothing more than another second-rate in vitro study that doesn’t replicate real world vaping or translate to the actual impact on cellular DNA.

“Think e-cigarettes are a good alternative to smoking? Think again”, writes Sandeep Sharma for Kentucky.com, while The Verge is stating: “Big Vape is copying Big Tobacco’s playbook”. Big Vape? Has someone suffered a blow to the head?

Vape Club

It makes Matt Ridley’s recent article in The Times all the more poignant.

“Imagine if Britain led the world in a new electronic industry, both in production and consumption, if independent British manufacturers had a worldwide reputation for innovation and quality, were based mainly in the north and were exporting to Asia. And that this innovation was saving lives on a huge scale while saving consumers over £100 billion so far,” he begins. Then Ridley swiftly links the boom in vaping to the dramatic decline in smoking rates.

He highlights that “even at last the British Medical Association” has joined Public Health England, the Department of Health, Cancer Research UK, Action on Smoking and Health, the Royal College of Physicians, and the British Psychological Society in declaring vaping to be an effective quit smoking tool.

Rather than maintaining the status quo, or following America into a dark corridor of stupidity, Ridley argues that current restrictions should be rolled back in public buildings and legislative paragraphs alike. As he says, “vaping should be like mobile phone use: something that you do with consideration for others and covered by rules of etiquette, not prohibitions”.

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