Monday, September 8, 2014

Vaping is Innocent Until Proven Guilty

I was going to work on the promised post about talking to non-vapers about vaping today. Maybe even finally get around to making a proper header graphic for this blog. Ahem. But this story from ABC News caught my eye this morning and I can't get it out of my noggin.

The article starts off well enough with coverage of a new editorial in the British Journal of General Practice from a research team at University London College. I highly recommend anyone who vapes, or is concerned about vaping, to read the editorial. (If you follow me on Twitter you've already seen it! Hint, hint, nudge, nudge!) The team makes the simple and apt point that vaping can save thousands of lives and questions why this wouldn't be the main focus of the "debate."

The rest of the ABC article goes downhill pretty fast. In particular, two quotes from the article jump right out that are, to be frank, terrifying. We're talking of the fascist variety of scary. I don't use the term fascist loosely here, but you decide.

In the ABC article quoting an editorial in The Lancet:

“A credible case can therefore be made that, unless reliable evidence shows e-cigarettes to be effective cessation aids, there is little justification for their sale,” the editorial reads.

and this quote from the assistant Vice President of the ALA:

“E-cigarettes are guilty until proven innocent," said Erika Sward the assistant vice president of the American Lung Association said, adding that regulation can’t come soon enough.

Are these even real arguments in the 21st century?

Let's set aside any and all favorable research regarding e-cigarettes and the fact that they are significantly less harmful than smoking tobacco. We'll also set aside that this is not a "debate" at all. Let's pretend that we really don't know much about the effects of e-cigarettes. Not true, and i wish people would stop saying that, but we're going to make believe.

Even if we knew absolutely nothing about the dangers or benefits of vaping, "I don't know" is not a valid excuse to ban or heavily regulate a product.  The burden of proof is on the accuser, not the accused. This is a basic tenet of modern society.

It is certainly not an excuse to regulate a product in the same manner as smoking tobacco when the product is not used for smoking tobacco!  It is absolutely not an excuse for "respected" organizations to become radical extremists and spout fascist nonsense that died off as an ideology decades ago. "I don't know" is not justification. Period.

Change the word 'e-cigarettes' to any other issue you favor in the quote above and you'll see what I mean. This is language and "logic" terrorists and radical religious extremists use. It's disgusting and repulsive and one wonders . . .

Why?

As usual, the answer is most likely money. Maybe throw in power, as well. In this case, the power to get people to listen to you.

If WHO or the ALA, or any of the radical anti-vaping groups, come out and state that vaping is a great way to reduce deaths and illnesses from smoking tobacco and that the governments of the world should push through responsible regulation to support and promote these products, what do you think would happen to these organization?

Are there a lot of people and companies out there that will send them millions of dollars in donations and grants to continue to say vaping is okay? 

Is a publication going to get readers to come back again and again for articles that reiterate that there is no debate about vaping and it's a great way to stem the tide of smoking related illnesses?

Of course not. There's no money or eyeballs in it. The money and eyeballs come from controversy and debate. And where there isn't any to be found, just make it up and make it sound good. Throw in a couple of inflammatory snippits and shout loudly enough and you'll get attention. And money. And power.

Which statements would get you more riled up and ready to fight?

  • E-cigarettes are a significant reduction in harm over traditional tobacco cigarettes.
  • E-Cigarettes are an excellent way get smokers to quit and should be pushed through as a cessation aid as soon as possible. 
  • E-cigarettes can save thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of lives around the world.

Or

  • E-cigarettes are dangerous because we don't know anything about them. Buyer beware!
  • There is little to no scientific evidence that e-cigarettes are useful as a cessation aid! Ban them now before it's too late!
  • Your children could get hooked on smoking tobacco, and possibly crack and heroine, because of e-cigarettes!

Head over to casaa.org for link upon link to reports and studies supporting the first set of statements. You'll be hard pressed to prove, scientifically or otherwise, the second set of statements.

We know a lot about vaping, actually. It is quite clear that vaping can and is used successfully as a cessation aid. There is zero evidence even suggesting that kids will take up smoking because of vaping any more than than would do so without vaping.

I support, without hesitation, responsible and reasoned regulation for e-cigarettes. In particular, quality control regulations in the production and manufacture of juice and vaporizers. The heavy handed, draconian regulation and outright banning of vaping products, however, is irresponsible, unwarranted, and verges on criminal. Doing so will cost thousands of lives. 

Vape Right has always been about the joy of vaping with a hobbyists zeal for a product that literally saved my life. I've always tried to keep it positive, even to the point of instituting what some may consider a questionable policy of never publishing a negative review. I just want to be people who read this blog to come away with something they can enjoy, and not worry about the crap that they won't enjoy. 

I use the term radical extremists in the truest sense of the words in this article. The quotes above illustrate it better than anything to date that's cspewing from the anti-vaping crowd. It is shameful and ridiculous and as Plato so aptly put it: "Your silence gives consent." 

I''ll still be keeping this blog as light, happy, and positive as possible. But silence is not something that will be offered. I urge you to get your voice out there and be heard, as well.  

Tell your story. Vape Right. And Vape On!

-Cris

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