My open letter to the New York Times follows.
This topic relates to substantial and deliberate errors on the part of your reporters and editors, and what appears to be an attempt at social manipulation, rather than factual reporting. Therefore I address all parties ostensibly in charge of correcting this disservice to your readers.
Over the past 6 months and even longer, I have watched with dismay as the fourth estate- including yourselves- have vilified and branded vaping as a social scourge for no good reason. News outlets like yours have misrepresented, obfuscated and lied on every point and continue to willingly ignore solid statistical data in favor of political ass-kissery. Broad brush strokes that fulfill someone else’s agenda while failing to accurately portray one of the most important life-saving social movements of our time. Further, this red journalism has shattered the lives of millions who depend on the vape industry for income as well as the millions who depend on vaping as an effective method for cessation.
I will document every assertion I make with legitimate data and beg that you change your wholly inaccurate framing of vaping and change the slanted and prejudicial lexicon you use. It is incumbent upon you to take a principled vocal stand and cease this unmerited and deeply damaging war on vaping.
There is no vaping crisis because vaping has never killed or injured anyone
There have been 20 or so persons who have died from inhaling lethal chemicals, yes. However, NONE of those cases are from vaping legitimate vape products. Were this food poisoning, you would have never blamed food for the deaths, rather citing chemical or biological contaminants. No products that contained FDA approved ingredients are, or have ever been at fault. I have no problems with the accuracy of the phrase ”Vape Contaminant” or the like, why would you not use this more accurate descriptor in the first place? Yet somehow, every headline is strident and hysterical VAPING DEATH, which serves only to further obfuscate the truth. This is the equivalent of demonizing liquor for those poisoned by wood alcohol ( methanol), yet the phrase Alcohol Kills 20 would never be printed, as it is in fact, a poisoning that occurred. You need to frame it objectively and not resort to this click-bait phuckery.
There is plenty of data available which refutes the moronic assertions of the FDA.
The typical response “we just don’t have enough data”, is specious crap and should never be stated without referencing the Public Health England study. PHE published its findings regarding vaping in 2015. Again, this is the UK, not some 3rd world backwater. Here’s the summary.
-Vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking and switching completely from smoking to vaping conveys substantial health benefits
-E-cigarettes could be contributing to at least 20,000 successful new quits per year and possibly many more
-E-cigarette use is associated with improved quit success rates over the last year and an accelerated drop in smoking rates across the country
-Many thousands of smokers incorrectly believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking; around 40% of smokers have not even tried an e-cigarette
-There is much public misunderstanding about nicotine (less than 10% of adults understand that most of the harms to health from smoking are not caused by nicotine)
-The use of e-cigarettes in the UK has plateaued over the last few years at just under 3 million
-The evidence does not support the concern that e-cigarettes are a route into smoking among young people
(youth smoking rates in the UK continue to decline, regular use is rare and is almost entirely confined to those who have smoked)
Professor John Newton, Director for Health Improvement at PHE said:
Every minute someone is admitted to hospital from smoking, with around 79,000 deaths a year in England alone.
Our new review reinforces the finding that vaping is a fraction of the risk of smoking, at least 95% less harmful, and of negligible risk to bystanders. Yet over half of smokers either falsely believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking or just don’t know.
It would be tragic if thousands of smokers who could quit with the help of an e-cigarette are being put off due to false fears about their safety.
Professor Ann McNeill, lead author and Professor of Tobacco Addiction at King’s College London said:
It’s of great concern that smokers still have such a poor understanding about what causes the harm from smoking. When people smoke tobacco cigarettes, they inhale a lethal mix of 7,000 smoke constituents, 70 of which are known to cause cancer. People smoke for the nicotine, but contrary to what the vast majority believe, nicotine causes little if any of the harm. The toxic smoke is the culprit and is the overwhelming cause of all the tobacco-related disease and death. There are now a greater variety of alternative ways of getting nicotine than ever before, including nicotine gum, nasal spray, lozenges and e-cigarettes.
Professor Linda Bauld, author and Professor of Health Policy, University of Stirling and Chair in Behavioural Research for Cancer Prevention, Cancer Research UK said:
Concern has been expressed that e-cigarette use will lead young people into smoking. But in the UK, research clearly shows that regular use of e-cigarettes among young people who have never smoked remains negligible, less than 1%, and youth smoking continues to decline at an encouraging rate. We need to keep closely monitoring these trends, but so far the data suggest that e-cigarettes are not acting as a route into regular smoking among young people.
Lung cancer rates have fallen since 2011 for the first time in history
So far, there are ~ 2.6 Million fewer cases of cancer, most of which is lung cancers. Of course, total cessation is a factor as well, but even if vaping was responsible for only a half that result, it would represent over a million lives spared. That’s hardly a crisis, is it? More like salvation. This American Cancer Society study tells the story: https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/facts-and-figures-2019.html
Plus when looked at from the context of the 16,500 deaths and 115,000 hospitalizations in 2018 attributed to OTC nSAIDS, the entire idea becomes even more laughable. Or the hundreds of thousands of deaths from opioid abuse? Or the 88000 who die yearly of alcohol use and dependence? Where are your priorities? Literally millions are dying as a result of other products, reasons or cultural icons and you participate in vilifying an entire market that isn’t responsible and do it knowingly? What of that million or so people who have been freed of their smoking addiction?
It is incumbent upon you to take a principled stand against the mewling public officials and their PTA bootlicks and stop this unmerited, ignorant and deeply damaging war on vaping.