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Teens, Binging and Faux Fear

It has been a little while since self-proclaimed experts whipped up fear over teens and vaping but they’re back with some incredible claims

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American speakers have invoked the spirit of Graham Lineham’s IT Crowd with their speech to educators. Up in Canada, make up something about coping strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic to imagine that teens are now “binge vaping”. Meanwhile, at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), someone thought that they could claim kids are disguising vape devices as backpacks and not be pointed and laughed at.

Staff working in Baton Rouge public schools were recently subjected to an online training event where Dr Lauren Tillery, a family medicine resident at Baton Rouge General Medical Center, and Travis Costanza, a certified tobacco training specialist with Ochsner Health, scared the heck out of them.

Without adult vigilance, youths will develop lifelong, health-threatening addictions,” they were told.

Such an addictive threat that American teen vaping rates are on the slide [link], and amazingly enough smoking rates are rising as a result. Harm reduction doesn’t apply to smoking youths in the prohibitionist’s mind.

Moreover, latest research clearly demonstrates that addiction levels in U.S. teens is vastly overblown [link].

Tillery drew staff into her alternate dimension when she said that vaping was “initially” thought of as safer, but this view has apparently changed with evidence. Costanza then informed the audience flavours should only exist in foods and not vapes.

Invoking the spirit of a spoof advert from The IT Crowd, he said: “You wouldn’t grind up a hamburger and snort it up your nose!”


The trouble with the abject lies being spewed by the likes of Tillery and Costanza is that they have (at best) cherry-picked information to conform with their feelings about vaping. At worst, they have chosen to ignore evidence or are simply too dim and spout their nonsense to keep themselves in a job.

Information is there for them; Dr Nancy Rigotti (Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School) wrote in the journal of the American Medical Association last month. It was an article laser targeted at people like them. She said: ““In summary, the accumulating evidence from clinical trials suggests that e-cigarettes will likely turn out to be safe and effective tools to aid smoking cessation.” [link]

But who needs facts and evidence when you can be a Canadian “pediatric addictions expert” like Dr Chadi.

What starts as a pastime can spiral out of control and turn into a serious medical problem for those who are more vulnerable to mental health issues,” he said. Note, Chadi has a long history of coming out with extreme rubbish [link].

Teenagers, he says, “are vaping in a more harmful way during lockdown than in pre-pandemic times.” They are, he calls it, “binge vaping”.

It will surprise nobody to discover that Chadi offers up nothing more that unsupported anecdote: “Young people are telling me, you know I can just sit in my room and vape until my pod or my cartridge is empty, I’ll just plug it in charge it and just vape and vape and vape - get a head rush, get the buzz from the nicotine and then there’s no more.”

That’s correct, he is claiming teens are telling him they will binge all the way through a 50mg/ml pod device in one sitting. He’s lying. Dr Nicholas Chadi is a liar. He’s a liar telling lies.

This week’s prize for fantastical claims doesn’t go to Chadi’s iron-lung teens though, it is presented to the FDA’s Director of Communications Kathy Crosby. She has used the publisher Scholastic’s website to warn parents and teachers: “Youth may be using stealth e-cigarette products disguised as backpacks, smartwatches, sweatshirts, fidget spinners, or gaming devices.”

Ahh, those incredibly popular and readily found backpack and sweatshirt vapes.

Next week, look forward to claims that vaping makes either children’s heads explode or turns them into werewolves, and that devices can frequently be seen disguised as elephants and buses. No lie is too incredible anymore.


  • Teen vaping still dangerous – [link]
  • How to Spot Ecigs by Kathy Crosby – [link]
  • Binge-vaping, a dangerous new COVID-19 coping strategy among some teenagers in Montreal – [link]
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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