Rampant Misinformation Could Cause Massive Damage

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A rash of stories connecting vaping and mysterious lung illnesses are missing a major part of the story, and it’s leading to more damage. 

2019 has indeed been a make or break year for the vaping industry, with especially the last several months proving extremely challenging. Recent weeks have seen reports around the country of mysterious lung conditions which have media outlets looking to place the blame firmly on e-liquid vaping.

Things got worse when the Illinois Department of Health announced news of a fatality they’re connecting with vaping, despite any hard evidence linking the two. In the wake of this news, the CDC released a misleading and vague statement, which suggest all vaping products should be avoided, not just the shady products connected with these illnesses.

In fact, the CDC believes their stance is correct, even though they lack evidence connecting cases from around the country. Not only that, but they’re sending out these warnings, despite any concrete information about which products they believe have caused this damage.

Misinformation Circulating

The CDC has currently noted just over 200 cases of acute lung disease, across 22 different states. The most serious of these conditions have been things such as lipoid pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and chemical pneumonitis. However, the overwhelming majority of these cases are not related to nicotine vaping at all.

Regardless, officials from the CDC blasted vaping and e-cigarettes as the primary culprit of the rash of lung conditions. They provided no toxicology or autopsy findings to support their claims, creating a ton of misinformation. Even worse, despite their lack of evidence, they still mentioned nicotine vaping explicitly, while not mentioning what many state health officials have identified as the real issue, counterfeit THC cartridges.

All 21 cases of acute lung disease in California were attributed by state officials to illegally produced and distributed cannabis vape pens, containing Vitamin E Acetate. It wasn’t isolated to California either, as almost all 27 cases found in Wisconsin also followed this trend. Looking elsewhere, and you start to see the extent of this trend, with counterfeit carts being the most common denominator.

Reports have shown vaping butane hash oil, a popular method for these illegal carts can directly lead to acute lung disease. Meanwhile, the nicotine, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and flavorings used in quality e-liquids have never been found to pose the same risks as butane hash oil.

The Case For Vaping

This type of misinformation circulated by the CDC is directly leading to many more people not having the information they need to succeed. Instead of seeing vaping as the viable alternative to smoking that it is, stories like this make it much less likely, people will understand everything they have to gain from switching to vaping.

The harm reduction value of legitimate e-liquid vaping has been proven time and time again. Going back to 2015, researchers from Public Health England concluded vaping is at least 95% safer than continued smoking. Taking things further, a report by Roswell Park Institute found the toxicants in vapor are about 93% lower than in tobacco smoke.

Looking into the smoking cessation value of vaping and the case only gets stronger. A study published by researchers at the University of Louisville tested all the most common smoking cessation tools and methods before determining vaping is the single most likely to lead to a successful quit attempt. Even more impressively, a study out of the Journal of Aerosol Sciences found the excess lifetime cancer risk of a smoker is around 57,000 times higher than a demographically similar vaper.

Implications

It’s extremely important that we fight back against these misguided claims. The CDC would have smokers around the country believe there’s no reason to switch to vaping, and it may, in fact, be even more dangerous. Given the evidence we currently have, we simply cannot abide by people thinking smoking is the safer alternative.

Stories like those spread by the CDC and news outlets are based on a genuine fear of the unknown. Vaping is still relatively new, and as such people are quite afraid of what it could do in the long run. But all the evidence we have strongly suggests that if your only alternative is continued smoking, it should be a no-brainer to give vaping a try instead.

If we don’t work together to fight back against these claims, we may soon wake up in a world where the vaping industry is merely a shell of its former self. That would be a massive loss for vapers around the country who have finally been able to quit smoking for good.

What’s the big deal with treating vaping and smoking the same? Do you think vaping counterfeit carts is dangerous? What’s the best way to protect the vaping industry moving forward? 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.

(Image Credit – Pixabay – https://pixabay.com/images/id-2557396/)

Jimmy, lover, blogger, vaper and ex-smoker. I’ve been blogging about and supporting Vaping since 2009. They changed my life and I think history will show them as one of the most significant public health invention of the 21st century.

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