Washington Examiner: Let’s not Equate the Dangers of Smoking with the Dangers of Vaping

by Andrew Livermore on April 11, 2018

In an opinion piece for the Washington Examiner last week, Paul Blair called on Americans to recognize the crusade against vaping for what it is: fear-mongering. Many major newspapers have been publishing hit pieces on vaping citing their nicotine content, the fear that they could lead teens to cigarette smoking, and some even making the claim that they’re “…just as bad as smoking a cigarette. Just kind of packaged prettier!”

While these claims may be well-intentioned, research and facts needs to be the driving force behind legislation, school policy, and America’s approach to the growing trend of vaping.

A Brief History of Vaping and Smoking

Since electronic cigarette products began hitting the market about a decade ago, the teen smoking rate has dropped to its lowest level ever. It’s not a coincidence. Teen use of electronic cigarettes reached its peak from 2011 to 2015 and has since fallen by about 5%.

Vaping vs. Smoking

According to a report by The Royal College of Physicians, “The hazard to health arising from long-term vapor inhalation from the e-cigarettes available today is unlikely to exceed 5% of the harm from smoking tobacco.” e-Cigarettes deliver the nicotine without cancer-causing carcinogens, tar, and other harmful chemicals. To equate the danger of smoking to the danger of vaping could not be further from the truth.

Legislation moving forward.

The vaping industry is not anti-legislation. The e-cig and e-liquid markets aren’t advocating for the use of their products by teens. Federal law already prohibits the sale of such products to minors which is as it should be. Federal law also prohibits the marketing of such products to minors which is as it should be.

What the industry is against is legislations that would make it harder to adult consumers to purchase e-cigarettes and e-liquids. These products are helping thousands of people to quit smoking where other cessation methods have failed them. To group them with tobacco products, demonize them in ad campaigns, and tax them heavily might discourage their use and ironically lead to higher smoking rates.