Let's try something different this week. Instead of focussing on the vaping epidemic in the US (now called EVALI), let's rather look at some other vaping news. Of course there are updates on the state of this epidemic, but I'll just link to those articles and those who want can read them at their leisure.
E-cigarette or Vaping product use-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI)
Here are the updates on the current state of the lung injury outbreak in the US:
The lighter side of the vaping "epidemic"
Jeff Winkler, a writer from Tennessee, takes a lighter look at vaping in the current climate of vaping related illness. What ensues is a honest, and often hilarious, take on the life of an ex-smoking vaper at this time.
Vaping has increased my chances of dying in a freak exercise accident because it's helped curb my decade-long smoking habit.
He goes on to mention something most of us vapers have experienced at some point (even before this latest epidemic): the warnings from friends and family about the dangers of vaping - which they read about in the media somewhere.
I received most of this panic news via personal texts from concerned, non-vaping friends and family. The texts all said something like "be careful" or, more ominously, just linked to a news article and nothing else.
These warnings come from a good place, of course, but are nonetheless frustrating because the media often publishes sensationalist articles around unproven (or outright incorrect) studies - and how would the average non-vaper know the difference. Even as a vaper, I sometimes have to convince myself that feeling a hundred times healthier than when I was smoking is not a placebo effect - even if there might be negatives to vaping, compared to smoking it's so obviously less harmful.
Then the topic changes to how, as a vaper, he went from smelling terrible and being shunned to the opposite side of the spectrum - other people are often enticed by the wonderful smells of vaping.
Thanks to vaping, however, I now smell like success ... and cotton candy.
The article then circles to the positives of vaping and how it has improved his life, even if it isn't a "healthy" alternative (it's just that much less harmful than smoking).
I would count all the ways that vaping is slowly making my life better, but I’m afraid I’d run out of breath.
And finally he looks at the irrational fear and reactions that has been prompted by this vaping epidemic, but remains positive about his choice in switching.
Apart from a good vape hit, nothing's quite as smooth and calming as the feeling of being right.
In closing I would just like to add that, despite all the negative press that vaping has been getting of late, I too am still perfectly happing having switched the cigarettes for vaping. Don't let the negativity drown out the positive effect vaping has had on your own life!
Banning vaping is madness
This article takes a look at how knee-jerk, and often emotional, reactions to the current vaping epidemic is more harmful than good.
All panics begin with a rational fear that quickly turns dangerously irrational. The bans on legal nicotine vaping products in the US is an example of such a panic.
Even though it has come to light that most (if not all) of the cases involve black market THC vapes, "traditional vaping" is taking the majority of flack from government.
It doesn't seem to matter that nearly all of the vaping-related illnesses have reportedly been tied to black market THC vaping products, and that the CDC hasn't been able to identify a single legitimate nicotine vaping product to warn the public to avoid.
The "true epidemic", tobacco smoking, which kills millions every year, seems to be ignored in the current war on vaping.
Vaping is simply a game-changer when it comes to helping to end a true epidemic, which is tobacco-related illness.
Due to the emotional response, logic and science is being ignored in order to seem "reactive" - this is a dangerous path as it obfuscates the true causes of the vaping illness outbreak.
Science is no match for the wisdom of a panic. And the panic is, distressingly, bipartisan.
Whilst some of the responses to this vaping illness outbreak is understandable, it is no less damaging to the greater health of our civilization.
And that's it for this week. Here are a few more articles to tide you over...