If you’ve been following the news this week, you probably heard about the Trump administration adopting a ban on flavored vape. This came in response to hundreds of reports (and six deaths) related to vaping. There’s also been a concerted effort to paint vape as uniquely harmful to kids.
The ensuing outcry has mainly been the result of articles and press stories like this.
Adam Hergenreder's vaping habit almost killed him.
Late last month, the 18-year-old student athlete was hospitalized after using e-cigarettes for more than a year and a half. Now his lungs are similar to those of a 70-year-old, doctors told him. https://t.co/ssxbNqhW23
— CNN (@CNN) September 12, 2019
The problem is that almost none of what we are hearing is actually true. Remember, vaping is not new. Yet, out of nowhere, we all the sudden saw several people die from illness caused by vaping. What could actually be causing this? CNN tells us in the article while running with such a misleading headline.
Eventually, Adam said that he went from vaping over-the-counter e-liquids to vaping THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the main psychoactive component of marijuana. Adam would get the THC from “a friend” or dealer.
Over time, Adam said that he developed shivers and couldn’t control them. Then, the vomiting began.
“I was just nonstop throwing up every day for three days,” he said. “Finally I went to the pediatrician.”
At first, doctors did not connect Adam’s symptoms to his vaping. He was given anti-nausea medication, but he said that his vomiting did not stop. After visiting various physicians, he finally saw someone who asked if he was “Juul-ing” and using THC.
Nearly every current case that’s being looked in this rash of new vaping illnesses involves the use of THC. This actually has nothing to do with vaping itself. There is no actual link between lung disease and inhaling water vapor mixed with nicotine.
There’s also not even much evidence that kids vaping is somehow more prevalent than tobacco use was before vaping was an option. Yes, we’ve seen a drop in smoking among teenagers. It’s not a coincidence though that it has tracked with a rise in vaping. In other words, kids are trading a deadly habit for one that’s largely harmless unless you mix it with illicit substances.
Sure, we’d all love them to not use nicotine products at all, but isn’t it preferable they vape and not die of lung disease?
Given the actual facts of these cases, why is Trump acting rashly on this? It could have something to do with Melania Trump’s opinion on the matter, as she’s been waging this fight for a while.
A marginalized group (current or ex-tobacco users). An ill-defined public health threat. A theory of moral deviancy involving kids. This is a textbook moral panic.
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) September 12, 2019
This is why many of us opposed Hillary Clinton and Michele Obama’s interjections into public policy. First Ladies are not elected. They shouldn’t be shaping government decisions. Melania Trump seems like a perfectly lovely woman. She’s not the President though.
The biggest issue here is what the alternatives are. Banning flavored vaping (leaving only tobacco flavored) means a lot of people are going to end up back on cigarettes. 480,000 people die every year from illnesses related to smoking. That’s not even counting chewing tobacco. Banning the majority of vaping products because six people died doing it wrong will ultimately end up in hundreds of thousands of more deaths over the next decade.
How does that make any sense at all? It simply doesn’t.
This was pointed out in an exchange on MSNBC earlier this week.
Vape Assoc's Conley (@gregthr) vs Dr. Gupta: "Mr. Gupta, you were wrong about marijuana. You admitted it. 20-plus years you were wrong .. I hope there aren’t body bags on the streets in 20 yrs because of policies like these when you realize vaping products are saving lives." pic.twitter.com/MGnt5DkX4e
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 12, 2019
You can’t run a country based on emotion and even the best intentions often have far worse unintended consequences. I don’t vape or smoke. This doesn’t affect me at all. But everyone should be able to recognize the stupidity of these latest policy change.
There’s also the aspect of freedom of choice here as well. We are supposed to be conservatives. Banning things over illogical moral panic is not conservative. Trump needs to reverse course on this. It’s a mistake and will only make things far worse.
I’ll end with this video from Steven Crowder, where he takes down the ban in typical comedic fashion.
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