More Hysterical Propaganda From Ecig Critics
Critics of electronic cigarettes will say practically anything to feed the mass hysteria and create media hype. We saw just that this week when Dr. Jonathan Winickoff from Massachusetts General Hospital for Children and Harvard Medical School made some truly absurd statements about vaping and the impact on brain function.
Dr. Winickoff alleged that ecigs and any nicotine products used been teens was essentially “playing Russian roulette with the brain.” He said when teens use ecigs, it could lead to memory problems, higher rates of depression and anxiety, and tension problems during adulthood. “Essentially, this drug creates a biologic need that can be permanent,” he said.
While numerous studies have shown that electronic cigarettes don’t act as a gateway to tobacco use, Winickoff disagreed. “It also sets up the adolescent brain for more durable and stronger addiction pathways,” he claimed, “not just for nicotine, but for other substances such as cocaine, marijuana, and other drugs.”
Winickoff also believes that nicotine addiction is much more severe among youth. “The most susceptible youth will lose autonomy over tobacco use after just a few times. So before they even know they’re addicted, they’ll first start wanting, then craving nicotine whenever they go too long between uses,” he said. “And more exposure to nicotine at an early age will up-regulate nicotine receptors more rapidly in those developing centers of the brain than in adults. More receptors mean more craving.”
With all this scary information circling in the media, it’s no surprise that people look at electronic cigarettes as the enemy. But how many of Dr. Winickoff’s theories are backed by science? The answer might surprise you.
First, it’s important to understand that ecigs do not contain tobacco. The only real danger is found in nicotine. However, science shows that nicotine is actually found naturally in a lot of substances. If you really want to keep kids away from nicotine, you will have to ban some common foods from their plates: tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, tea, peppers, cauliflower, spaghetti sauce, salsa… all of these foods contain nicotine. So by Dr. Winickoff’s logic, eating tomatoes could set you up for a lifetime of cocaine abuse.
Secondly, there is no scientific evidence to show that nicotine exposure alone can impair brain development. Furthermore, there isn’t any evidence to suggest nicotine alone is harmful. In reality, it is quite similar to the health impact of drinking coffee. The danger comes when you mix nicotine with deadly tobacco in traditional cigarettes. By eliminating the tobacco, ecigs reduce the risk factors.
Once again, this is a case of misinformation that is causing mass hysteria. Supposed health experts are twisting facts, misinterpreting studies, and using that information to incite fear. But why? Could it be related to Big Tobacco’s research funding cloaked under shady cover organizations? Are lobbyists pushing for these bogus claims in order to denigrate the ecig industry so that Big Tobacco can continue to reign supreme?