The downward spiral continues this week as vaping is now fully in the crosshairs of everyone who ever had a reason to dislike it - whether rational, emotional, or for monetary purposes.
Sensible Views on Vaping
Even though the majority of world seems to be having a knee-jerk reaction to the outbreak of lung disease in the US, a few groups and journalists are looking at it objectively. Let's start there...
Ivo Vegter Fights the Good Fight
First up is a article on the current vaping issues from Ivo Vegter, published on Daily Maverick. As always, his claims are backed by evidence and his objectiveness seems very rational. I could summarize, but it's definitely worth reading the full article instead.
Vaping: US vs UK
This next article highlights the difference between the US and the UK's views on vaping. I suppose in many ways it is a testament to the different cultures, but the tables may indeed have been turned had an outbreak occurred in the UK.
That said, due to the UK's acceptance of vaping and subsequent tight regulations it seems unlikely that they would have such an outbreak. I think this is a key factor here - banning is bad, regulating is good. This has been illustrated many times over the last century (the US alcohol prohibition being a prime example) - if you ban something people want, they will just get it illegally and then there is no control over the quality of what they use.
Read the full article here:
The Danger of a Flavour Ban
The US presidential proposed ban on flavours may drive people back to cigarettes. This seems like a no brainer to any vaper - we love the flavours, and it is a huge part of what keeps us off cigarettes. Banning these flavours will drive many vapers back to cigarettes and will prevent many more smokers from switching to vaping - trading "potentially harmful" vapour for the "known death and disease" of smoking.
Others feel the same. Read about it here...
The Less Sensible Views on Vaping
Unfortunately, the less favourable views on vaping far outweigh their counterpart. And this week it went from bad to worse.
India completely bans vaping
The Indian government has banned vaping outright.
India is the world's second largest consumer of tobacco cigarettes (100 million smokers) but cigarettes were not included in the ban. The government owns 28% stake in a tobacco company, meaning they directly profit from the sale of tobacco.
They seem to be using the current anti-vaping climate and claims about preventing youth vaping as a means to snuff out their competition. Public health does not seem to feature in their decision making process at all.
Read all about it...
The Lung Disease Outbreak in the US + The Flavour Ban
The number of cases of lung disease tied to "vaping" is still rising, with yet more deaths (up to 8 now) this past week.
Not surprisingly, this has led to a number of knee-jerk reactions and vaping is currently seen as the prime evil. It's hard to blame the public for being concerned, as the government and regulating bodies are at a bit of a loss - so far vaping is the only common factor in all these cases, even though it seems most likely that some additive used for THC liquids is the real culprit.
The presidency has come out proposing a federal (i.e. country wide) ban on flavouring, and various states have started banning the flavours internally as well. They're effectively using this crisis as a means to skirt due process and implement damning changes to the vaping industry.
Besides the health concerns of more people smoking due to lack of flavoured e-liquids, they will run the risk of a black market of flavoured e-liquids, over which they will have no regulatory control. You'd think that prohibition taught them that lesson, but it appears not.
Various media outlets and retailers are also turning their back on vaping - advertising is being banned and products are being pulled off shelves (in retail stores) across the country.
Here are some articles on the subject...
The Great Vape Ban
All over the world, vaping is being demonized and banned. Interestingly, a lot of the countries that have outright banned vaping are poor countries that likely make a fair amount of their income from smoking related taxes...coincidence?
Here's an article listing the countries that have banned vaping...
And that's the state of vaping this week. It's not looking great, but hopefully the few remaining countries that have embraced this life changing technology will lead the way in showing what a positive force it can be.