Clive Bates, one of the foremost experts in tobacco harm reduction strategies, lambasted the ALA, calling this work both “incredible” and “outrageous”. Tom Pruen, who used to be the Science Officer for defunct British trade body ECITA, slammed the document as: “Appalling, dangerous, irresponsible, inaccurate ... negligent”.
The ALA streams out a series of lies, half-truths and coloured language in telling parents what they “need to know”. It states: “You’ve probably heard a variety of terminology, but don’t let that confuse you. JUUL, vapes and vape pens are all forms of e-cigarettes and they’re all dangerous.”
It ignores the relative danger compared to smoking because this would destroy the entire point of their PDF.
“Vaping is highly addictive. In fact, one JUUL pod contains as much nicotine as 20 cigarettes, or about one pack of cigarettes. Vape pods also contain toxins and carcinogens, including formaldehyde, propylene glycol and acrolein, which can cause irreversible lung damage.”
The first part is a misrepresentation of facts, the second is an out and out lie – conflating various study findings, leaving out salient points and culminating with a totally unsupportable conclusion.
They say: “All these risks are being funded by a familiar foe, Big Tobacco”, but conveniently ignore the fact that the tobacco industry does not have a monopoly on vaping and didn’t start it. The independent sector targeted and continues to focus on helping adult smokers quit cigarettes.
“About 40% of kids have tried vaping,” the ALA continues, but doesn’t mention that regular use is confined to current/would-be smokers which is a fraction of that 40% figure.
The organisation gives parents tips on spotting a vaper: “Look for changes in your kid’s behaviour. They might start cutting back on caffeine or getting frequent nosebleeds. Also look for signs around the house. Vape pens can look like markers or USB flash drives and have disposable flavour pods, so look for discarded pods in the trash. And since vape pods come in lots of flavours, take note of any new sweet scents in their rooms or on their clothes.”
POTV’s top tips for teens who are worried their parents might need therapy: “Do they question your coffee consumption? Do you find them rummaging through rubbish bins or constantly asking to borrow your flash drive? Do you catch them hanging around sniffing outside your bedroom? It could be that they require counselling due to losing the plot or developing a cocaine addiction.”
The ALA is instructing parents to tell their kids: “Vape pods contain harmful ingredients, including formaldehyde, propylene glycol and acrolein, which causes irreversible lung damage. It’s not just water vapor, and it’s not safe.”
They are telling lies to parents in order to get them to support the lies they tell children, and they save the best till last:
- Vaping is smoking
- Once you start vaping, nicotine addiction follows – and quitting is really hard
- There are multiple cases in the news of kids having seizures
Vaping isn’t the same as smoking; the level of ‘addiction’ is greatly reduced, and research has demonstrated this. There are hardly any reports of seizures; and those that have occurred point to reasons other than vaping.
The ALA is correct in one respect, young people aren’t stupid. They have the ability to access the internet and will discover for themselves that they are being lied to. The ALA may be shoring up its funding in the short term, but one day these teens will be making the decisions and they will remember this duplicity and dishonesty.
Blogger Dick Puddlecote wrote: “The tobacco control industry seems to be nothing but a lie factory now. ‘Vaping is smoking’, apparently, according to the Lung Association. Not that they're lying charlatans or anything, natch.”
- “How to talk to your kids about vaping” by the American Lung Association – [link]