5 Lies About Vaping Portrayed in the Media
For the most part we have a free press here in the developed western world. Some see this as one of the cornerstones of a democratic society, whereas others are sick of the press and how they report on, and sometime influence, major events.
There are plenty out there who would sacrifice their left testice to keep the press as free as it is now, but there is an equally large number of people who would be glad to see the back of the EU hating, phone tapping, celebrity hounding fleet street empire of Rupert Murdoch. Not to mention all of those blogging, tweeting, fact check missing keyboard warriors.
Whatever your opinion on the press it’s hard to argue that everything you ready in major newspapers and on internet news sites is true. Hillsborough, various sexual abuse accusations surrounding prominent politicians and even the football transfer gossip are all examples of the mainstream press getting the wrong end of the stick.
Vaping has a difficult relationship with the press and mainstream media. For a long time it has seemed as though the positive stories are drowned out by the negative, sensationalised headlines. With that in mind, here are 5 Lies About Vaping Portrayed in the Media.
1: Vaping is just as harmful as smoking
Although every serious study has concluded that vaping is far less harmful as smoking, this hasn’t stopped plenty of news outlets claiming the opposite. This is dangerous because smokers will see these headlines and, understandably, continue to smoke fearing that making the switch would do more harm than good.
2: More research needs to be done
Even positive news stories about vaping often end with the line “more research needs to be done before determining the long term safety of e-cigarettes”. Obviously, more sound research about anything is a good thing, and studies are constantly been conducted into the effects of food, medicine, alcohol, the environment and just about anything else you can think of. But claiming more research needs to be done about vaping before it can be considered safer than smoking is a bit like claiming more research needs to be done on broccoli before it can be considered safer than bacon. Plenty of research on vaping has already been done. The Royal College of Physicians report is the obvious one many point to, but there are many other sources too such as the work done by Dr. Farsalinos and the recent study funded by Cancer Research UK.
3: E-Cigarettes Explode
When the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 started catching fire it got huge media attention. And rightly so. However, the discussion about it was, overall, measured and no one suggested that smartphones were inherently dangerous or that they should be heavily regulated. As with the Samsung phone, when an e-cigarette “explodes” it’s due to the battery. Vaping advocates have long stressed the importance of battery safety, but this advice is relevant to all lithium-ion battery powered electronics.
4: Vaping gets kids addicted to nicotine
In an ideal world under 18s would not be vaping or smoking. However, most smokers pick up the habit before legally being able to purchase cigarettes and this often leads to a life long addiction to nicotine. In 2015/16 there was a huge rise in the number of teenagers using e-cigarettes for the first time. This is understandable considering that vaping wasn’t particularly prominent up until this point, at least no where near as prominent as it is now. But this doesn’t really tell the whole story. Many teenagers who have tried vaping did not pick it up as a habit, and the majority of those who did continue with it use nicotine free e liquid. Teenagers have always been attracted to smoking which is why so many so many smokers started in high school, and given the choice between your child picking up a tobacco cigarette or a e-cigarette, the answer is obvious.
5: Vaping is a gateway to smoking
Despite zoro evidence to back up this claim, it’s still a point made by many of those in the press and in the media with a downer on vaping. Smokers who make this switch to vaping are making a conscious effort to stop doing something they know is harmful, but if you think about it, the experience between vaping and smoking a cigarette is pretty stark, particularly considering the prominence of direct lung devices nowadays. The flavour, the draw, the nicotine hit and the ergonomic differences between smoking and vaping are massive, and it’s almost unheard of for a vaper to switch to tobacco having never smoked a cigarette before.
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Further reading: Why Vaping Really Matters