This Incredible Lie About Vaping Could Cause Massive Damage
The Pennsylvania Department Of Health tweeted some blatantly false claims recently
Rampant misinformation is a massive problem for the vaping industry. You don’t have to look very far to find a report which claims to put the nail in the coffin for vaping, only for the report to be woefully misguided or even blatantly biased. This is why it’s always so important to do your own research before believing anything you hear. A lot of people don’t follow this simple rule, however, so it’s no wonder why public perception to the benefits of vaping remains as low as 13%. Making matters worse, there are no signs of slowing down these reports, as recently the PA Department of Health tweeted claims about vaping which are entirely false.
Unfortunately, that type of headline is precisely what grabs the reader’s attention and sells papers. Since vaping itself is a relatively new thing, it’s fair so many seem to be unsure about the long-term impact of vaping. That doesn’t make it right for respected institutions such as the FDA or DOH to spread information they know full well is misleading. This type of misinformation could have a significant and lasting impact on the value of vaporizers as smoking cessation and harm reduction tools.
Twitter has truly become the best way for an average person to get in direct contact with celebrities and name-brands. But it’s also become a platform for the blatant spreading of misinformation by groups looking to control a narrative. The twitter account for the Pennsylvania Department of Health made a post last month which claimed vaping is no safer than smoking. The tweet read, “E-cigarettes, e-cigs, e-hookahs, mods, vape pens or vapes—whatever you call them, they are NOT safer than other tobacco products.” While researchers are still working on the precise level of harm reduction offered, most agree that smoking is much more dangerous. One of the major problems with this false statement is the advantage it gives Big Tobacco. These companies now rely on misinformation about the relative risk of vaping to continue to sell cigarettes.
It didn’t take long for this statement to draw some ire and criticism from doctors and researchers around the globe. The former Director General of Wales, Dr. Clive Bates also felt the false statement would give an advantage to Big Tobacco. But others took harder stances, with Dr. Carl Phillips, for example, indicating this is precisely why you cannot trust the government to tell you the whole truth about a given topic. Regardless, this type of narrative is the same as what’s been coming out of the FDA for the last several years, showing it’s not likely to go anywhere without a fight.
The Value Of Vaporizers
There are several excellent reasons why you rarely hear health institutions go as far as to call e-cigarettes just as dangerous as smoking. Going back to 2015, we got a report from Public Health England which concluded vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking. This number made waves at the time, but now it’s just a common figure. In fact, just last month a report found cigarette smoke has about 93% more toxicants than e-cigarette vapor. But to truly understand the harm reduction value of vaping, consider the report published in the Journal of Aerosol Sciences which concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is around 57,000 times lower than a smoker from a similar background.
Taking things further, there’s still a lot to love about vaping. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Louisville tested all the most common smoking cessation methods and tools to determine which one was the best. After collecting all their data, they found that not only is vaping a useful smoking cessation tool, but it’s actually more likely to be successful than anything else, including prescription drugs. Finally, we even have reason to believe the teenage vaping “epidemic” is quite overblown, as a report of over 60,000 students found only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever picking up vapes on a regular basis.
It should be surprising that false information like this has been spread by a supposedly trusted institution like the PADOH. Making it much worse is their apparent lack of remorse over helping Big Tobacco stay viable into the future. Peer-reviewed research is the best way we can fight false claims, so be sure to keep your eyes open. Just taking the government’s word for it can work sometimes, but it’s clear vaping is not one of those instances. It’s much too easy for the government to lie. So if e-cigarettes are ever going to reach their potential as smoking cessation and harm reduction tools, false information like this must be stopped dead in its tracks.
Is this going to be a big problem for the vaping industry? What’s the best way to fight back against false claims like these? How have you found success talking to others about vaping? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.