Vaping panic will lead to more smoking
“It’s too late to unring the panic bell,” said Anthony Fisher, but America’s panic over vaping is the result of “mass ignorance.” The FDA’s pending ban on the sale of flavored vape cartridges will do nothing to prevent the lung illnesses caused by bootleg vapes. The CDC recently confirmed that the lung epidemic was “almost entirely confined” to users of bootleg THC cartridges laced with vitamin E acetate, not cartridges made by Juul or other companies. A second panic involved vapes with fruit and candy flavors, which critics say lured teens into becoming addicted to the nicotine in vaping fluid. Concerns about nicotine addiction are valid: A recent study found that 25 percent of high school seniors are vaping. But that statistic must be put into context. In 1996, 26.6 percent of 12th-graders smoked cigarettes daily; by 2018, just 3.6 percent smoked. That “is a remarkable public health victory.” For many teens and for millions of adults, vaping is an effective “smoking cessation tool”—less dangerous than cigarettes, which kill 500,000 Americans a year. Banning vape flavors will backfire, driving millions of teenagers and adults back into the arms of Big Tobacco.