The Insane Anti-Vaping Argument You Won’t Believe People Are Making
As the FDA continues to bear down on vaping, some are still calling for further misguided regulations
Vaporizers have had a bad public perception for almost as long as they’ve been on the market. Especially since they rocketed into relevancy, legislators and parents alike don’t seem to miss an opportunity to undermine the valuable harm reduction and smoking cessation tools. This continues despite a growing pile of evidence which makes it clear that e-cigarettes have a lot to offer smokers. In fact, only around 13% of adults seem to even be aware that vaping is any safer than smoking, with many believing they’re potentially more dangerous than the statistical leader in preventable death and disease.
It’s not hard to see what this level of public understanding gets us, a woefully over-regulated and misunderstood product. Things have only gotten worse recently, as the FDA has made it clear they’re planning to ban e-liquid flavors sold in most stores across the country. As if this massive blow to both the users and manufacturers who make up the vaping community wasn’t bad, some critics are vocally calling for further action, saying the FDA hasn’t gone nearly far enough.
To many in the vaping community, the regulations we already face are doing enough damage, with minimal benefit to show for it. Regardless, it’s unsurprising to hear this type of discussion, as what is now a moderate stance on the topic has shifted. Just earlier this month the FDA Commissioner laid out their new plan for tackling teen vaping. It wasn’t the first time he’d went on the record to say that despite the many benefits vaping offers adults, preventing teenage vaping is worth missing out on all that value. Unfortunately, the peer-reviewed evidence on this topic has seemingly gone unheeded in favor of a perceived easier route thanks to the already poor public perception of vaping. It’s easier to solve the problem you fabricated than deal with the underlying issue.
It seems that vaping is just another industry suffering from a slippery slope of regulations. Vaping supporters have often referenced the fact that new laws only make further rules down the line easier to achieve, and now we’re starting to see this first hand. An editorial which was published on the popular Bloomberg news site makes the scary case the these latest flavor bans are not going nearly far enough, and should instead be closer to outright vaping bans found elsewhere. The argument they made was lacking in any real substance or evidence and chose instead to use a few hyperbolic examples to paint a misleading picture. If these regulations were implemented, the same people would only call for further control, until vaping in America is nothing but a distant memory.
Why Vaping Matters
It seems that our chosen leaders have fallen into the trap of focusing on the wrong thing. Yes, we need to be wary of our youth and do what we can to protect them. But smoking continues to kill more people every year than anything else that’s avoidable. Public Health England made it clear back in 2015 that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking, and our understanding of the harm reduction value of e-cigarettes has only gotten stronger since then. For instance, we now know that vapers have about 57,000 times lower excess lifetime cancer risk than demographically similar smokers. On top of that, we also have peer-reviewed evidence which indicates vaping is also the best smoking cessation tool out there, even beating prescription drugs.
But above all else, the FDA and others have seemingly failed to look into the research on teenage vaping and their so-called “epidemic.” This concern is almost always referenced when legislators talk about limiting vaping rights, but all the large-scale evidence seems to show a minuscule impact. A poll conducted by Action on Smoking and Health of over 60,000 students found that only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking students were ever picking up vaporizers habitually. That means far fewer than even 0.5% of non-smoking students are ever ending up smokers because of vaping. It’s clear we must improve the oversight on what lawmakers are doing and how they’re justifying it.
It’s only a matter of time until the vaping industry is barely recognizable if we keep letting regulations like these pass. They’ll never be satisfied until vaping is entirely banned from America, and it all starts with these latest FDA flavor bans. Critics are wasting no time to claim we need to do more, and even if we gave in, these calls for more regulation wouldn’t cease. The only way to truly protect the vaping industry is by improving the pitiful public perception. Until more people who have lost loved ones to tobacco start to see vaping as a way to fight back against Big Tobacco, it will be incredibly hard to protect vaping rights. It should be clear to everyone who’s paying attention that vaping represents the best chance we’ve ever had to put an end to the smoking epidemic once and for all. But this can only happen if we get our lawmakers to stop equating vaping with smoking and recognize how much they have to offer.
How far do you think the FDA will actually take vaping regulation? What’s the best way to help improve the public perception of vaping? Do you think spreading this type of information will help protect vaping, if not why? 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.