Stranger Than Fiction – Media Frenzy Vs. The Truth
The art of deception is in full force against the ENDS industry.
As industry stakeholders we know there’s a big difference between ENDS products (electronic nicotine delivery systems), CBD products and THC products. There’s also a huge difference between regulated industry and black-market industry. To group all these product categories together as one is deceitful and bad for public health.
The current media storm about acute lung damage caused by vitamin E in black market THC cartridges is the perfect example of how grouping these different categories into one provides a false narrative for media outlets to slander an industry that is known to be the most effective tobacco harm reduction product ever introduced to market. There is one common denominator with all of the sensationalized headlines regarding youth vaping and lung damage: not separating these categories of products.
There is quite possibly a silver lining to all of this, if anyone in the industry has an ounce of optimism left.
In 2016, the Royal College of Physicians released what is the most comprehensive study done to date on the ENDS products, and the results were that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than combustible tobacco products. The results were so promising that the British government now has a plan in place to eradicate combustible tobacco products by 2030 with the help of ENDS products. Public health and healthcare costs is their motivation behind such an unprecedented and aggressive plan.
If such a reliable source for information, the Royal College of Physicians, promotes vaping and understands the public health benefits why is our government doing nothing to help clear up the false narratives that keep being pushed through the media? How much damage has their lack of transparency caused? The damage to public health can happen several ways. Uninformed ENDS users going back to combustible products because they think it’s less harmful, and if they acted more swiftly and released the actual products causing the lung damage, how many people could they have prevented from becoming ill from these THC products? Shame on them for not being transparent at earlier stages of the investigation.
Now that we have a perfect example of how grouping these categories together can harm public health, we need to start pushing the focus on the CDC’s questionnaire for school age children and have them separate the “vaping” categories so it’s not just one blanket category. This current method is deceptive and doesn’t provide the general public or our law makers with facts in order to create legislation that protects public health.
So, the silver lining of all of this is that people will soon realize the verb “vaping” doesn’t necessarily mean ENDS products. Let’s hope that the CDC realizes the difference and is more responsible when it comes to their data collection when questioning youth about ENDS use.
This article is the opinion of the author and not an official statement from FSFA.