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Vaping hysteria

FRED JOHNSON

Muncy

I have read recent newspaper articles on vaping, including one entitled, “Can vaping have serious consequences?”

I’d like equal time to respond. This article merely repeats the same vague fears and uncertainties that were offered on “Good Morning America.” In my opinion, no definitive information was provided.

Each of the assertions were couched in words such as “may” and “could.”

“More study” is recommended. Meanwhile, hysterical parents are demanding a political solution and opportunistic politicians are happy to oblige.

The referenced article notes that conventional cigarettes produce smoke, whereas vaping produces an “aerosol that isn’t just a harmless water vapor” but “may contain toxic chemicals.”

That comparison makes conventional cigarettes seem benign compared to vaping. Conventional cigarettes utilize a combustion process that produces thousands of different compounds, many of them known to be carcinogenic. By contrast, vaping does not utilize combustion, so the constituents in the vapor are chemically the same as in the e-liquid. E-liquid contains vegetable glycerin, which is used in food, medicine, and many personal care products, plus propylene glycol which is used in asthma inhalers, food, and many personal care products as well. Both of these constituents are USP listed and are unchanged by the vaporization process. The liquid may or may not include nicotine, which is not carcinogenic, but of course is highly addictive, and flavorings, such as those used in food, beverages, and over-the-counter medicines.

Yes, the intent of vaping is to get a dose of nicotine, but in a manner that is less harmful than smoking. Many people have quit smoking by using vape products. This may be dismissed as “anecdotal”, but keep in mind that the plural of “anecdote” is “data.” It has been reported that the success rate is higher when using vape products, compared to the “USDA approved” products such as patches, chewing gum, etc., which, incidentally, are manufactured by pharmaceutical companies who spend their obscene profits lobbying the government and the FDA. Something smells rotten there. I think that the medical establishment, including well-meaning physicians, will oppose anything from outside their parochial discipline that upsets the status quo and the favorable cash flow.

The recent cases of illnesses and deaths attributed to vaping have been found to be caused by black market e-juice, made with marijuana, rather than commercially prepared e-juice. Black market? Outlawing it doesn’t seem like such a good idea now. It’s ironic that marijuana is trending legal, while vaping is trending illegal. The argument for legalizing pot is that it would be used by responsible adults. That argument doesn’t seem to be good enough for the opponents of vaping. I suppose that properly raising their children takes away too much “me time” from the clueless parents who look to the government to raise their children for them.

With regard to the flavors, it so happens that responsible adults like flavors too. My favorite is a sublime blend of apple, cinnamon, and pastry crust, which is not available in those pesky Juul units. Are the responsible adults to be punished because of what the kids are doing?

Maybe delicious flavors should be outlawed in ice cream, too. There’s a lot of large kids waddling through the mall, hauling around definite health risks with them. What are these do-gooders doing about the epidemic of obese children?

I am convinced that the role of government is to protect us from outside threats and at times, each other. But the role of government is not to protect us from ourselves.

Clear thinking needs to prevail over the current hysteria about vaping.

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