NBC’s Today Show, a forerunner to ITV’s Good Morning Britain, is no stranger to controversy. It sparked outrage when prioritising Keeping Up with the Kardashians co-star Kris Jenner over a September 11th remembrance ceremony and has been embroiled in allegations of "inappropriate sexual behaviour."
The Today Show began its coverage of the Connecticut news by rehashing a recent debunked study [link]: “This morning, a new study from Yale, casting a cloud over what chemicals are being inhaled by those smoking JUULs, detecting chemicals known as ‘acetols’ [sic] that could irritate lungs and throats.”
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said: “Vaping just doesn’t involve a liquid salt-based liquid that carries nicotine, that it may also carry heavy metals, and other pollutants and noxious chemicals and things that are not good for you. We’re not waiting on the Federal Government; Connecticut is taking action today.”
Tong went on to ramble in another interview: “[The epidemic] is really bad. We know that in every school, including our Middle Schools, we are talking about, you know, 10, 11, 12, 13-year-olds, that vaping is widespread, is pervasive, it happens in school. And we’ve seen, I think, in High School students it’s shot up 80% nationwide – for Middle School students, 60% - one in five High Schoolers, one in 20 Middle Schoolers, and rising.”
“On his freshly-launched investigation: “We want to know about JUUL’s claim that it is a smoking cessation tool, that you can use JUUL to stop smoking. Because if they’re making that claim, they are not approved by the FDA to make that claim. And if they’re saying something they’re not approved to say by the Federal Government, that on its face is unlawful.”
“But we think that’s pretty misleading and deceptive too because it’s not been proven that JUULing, as they call it, helps you quit smoking. Erm, but it’s their main excuse, their rationale. Whenever anybody says ‘Well JUUL, you’re targeting kids’, and, erm, ‘You’re targeting other communities’, and, erm, ‘You’re using marketing and flavours to convince people to use JUUL and to promote addiction and dependency’, JUUL’s response is ‘No! We’re helping people stop smoking’, well, err, we’re trying to get to the bottom of whether that’s true.”
Tong then debunked the idea that teens are vaping to avoid smoking: “And, you know, we know because we hear about it, we see it in school suspensions and expulsions have increased exponentially here in Connecticut, from 300 or so suspensions and expulsions to now more than 2000 suspensions…and expulsions. Kids are going to rehab for their JUUL addiction because, err, one JUUL or one JUUL session, I don’t know what you call it, you know, has more, err, than a whole pack of cigarettes.”
Maybe if the state hadn’t squandered its revenue from the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) it would be in a state to do something positive towards reducing tobacco-related disease for once [link]? Barely coherent in thought and speech, Tong cuts a sorry figure in his mission to defend smoking and the tobacco industry by attacking tobacco harm reduction.