If you’re new to the wide world of vaporizers, you’re probably wondering about the reputation of vaping after seeing alarming statistics in the news.
Are any of these claims true, or is the media painting an inaccurate picture of vaping and the risks it poses? Are these stories harming the reputation of vaping and harming the massive potential vaporizers have to help people quit smoking?
We took a look at some of the most common stories that the media told about vaping over the past few years to see if they stood up to science.
Here are some of the most commonly sensationalized vaping stories we found:
VAPING IS WORSE THAN SMOKING
This one may be the worst.
When you smoke, you’re inhaling over 7,000 substances. Smoke from cigarettes contains 43 known carcinogens and over 400 toxins!
When you vape, you’re inhaling 4 ingredients. None of these ingredients have ever been shown to cause cancer or act as a toxin in any way.
There is no reason for the media to paint the picture that vaping is somehow worse than smoking. However, by creating fear and sensationalizing vaping, they are able to get more people worked up and in a frenzy about the dangers that vaping supposedly poses.
By leaving people fearful and worried, companies can fracture the reputation of vaping while increasing the number of shares on social media, thus increasing the number of readers, which in turn results in higher advertising revenues.
VAPING IS A GATEWAY TO SMOKING
Vaping is not a gateway to smoking in any way. This is a ploy used by opposing industries to slight the reputation of vaping.
David Levy, Ph.D. and author of the study stated: “recent claims by some scientists that e-cigarettes are likely to act as a gateway to the use of tobacco products are overstated.”
Even with this research available, many news outlets have published stories claiming that vaping can act as a gateway to smoking. When legitimate news sources push this type of agenda, they harm the life-saving potential of vaping.
If the majority of the population begins to view vaping as a gateway to smoking, rather than a method towards quitting smoking, fewer people will start using vaporizers. With tobacco being the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, this fact is particularly disturbing.
The more of a stigma the media paints around vaping the less likely people are to take it up, which leaves more lives at the mercy of cigarettes.
VAPORIZERS ARE CONSTANTLY EXPLODING
This story has become prevalent with both politicians (like Chuck Schumer) and the media alike touting the potential dangers of vaporizers exploding. But are vaporizers exploding in large numbers? Is this something we should be concerned about?
A study carried out by the U.S. Fire Administration found that since 2009, there have been 195 cases of exploding vaporizers. Considering that there are around 9 million people in the United States who currently use vaporizers, this is a small number of explosions.
When the media reports on these stories, they rarely mention any of the specifics behind the explosions. Leaving out critical facts about these stories shows both a lack of integrity and intent to harm the reputation of vaping. For the majority of explosions, the user of the vape that exploded had modded or altered it in some way.
When using a vaporizer as intended, the chance of an explosion is minuscule-to-none.
The media tells these stories because they offer an inherent shock value. When people are shocked and on alert, they are much more likely to continue watching the news and sharing those stories.
MORE RESEARCH NEEDS TO BE DONE
At the end of so many news stories and reports, you’ll hear a typical statement: “More research needs to be done to determine whether or not vaping is actually harmful.”
Why does this phrase get thrown around so often?
Countless studies show that vaping is not as harmful as smoking and presents few health risks, if any at all.
A study published by the American College of Physicians discovered that people using vaporizers “substantially reduced levels of measured carcinogens and toxins relative to smoking only combustible cigarettes.”
Another study by BMJ Journals found that “optimal combinations of device settings, liquid formulation, and vaping behaviour normally result in e-cigarette emissions with much less carcinogenic potency than tobacco smoke.”
The Royal College of Physicians in the UK published a study that countered many of the false rumors spread about vaping by the media. They found that “inhalation from e-cigarettes available today is unlikely to exceed 5% of the harm from smoking tobacco.” They also discovered that vaping would not act as a gateway to smoking or as an act that renormalizes tobacco smoking in society.
When news sites and shows include the phrase “More research needs to be done,” they instill a belief in the public that little research has been done of merit to demonstrate that vaping is not harmful. In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
This type of narrative leads to negative public perception, with no concern for the reputation of vaping as a beneficial industry to the public.
NICOTINE IS AS ADDICTIVE AS HEROIN
If you’ve read anything at all about smoking, tobacco, or vaping, you’ve heard the fact that nicotine is addictive as heroin. With almost 20% of the adult population in the United States still smoking despite the irrefutable research that smoking is deadly, it is no surprise that people believe that nicotine is addictive as heroin.
Is nicotine, on its own, as addictive as heroin? Or is there something else in tobacco smoke that makes it more addictive than nicotine in its pure form?
Scientists discovered it is difficult to get animals addicted to pure nicotine. However, when nicotine mixes with other chemicals present in tobacco smoke, it is possible to get animals addicted. A study discovered that other chemicals found in tobacco smoke form a cocktail of chemicals that causes the tobacco to be as addictive as it is.
When the media reports that nicotine poses as much of a threat for addiction as heroin, they are not telling the truth. This leaves the uninformed community of non-vapers with the assumption that everyone using vaporizers is a serious drug addict even though nicotine on its own is not anywhere near as addictive as more serious drugs.
HOW THESE STORIES HARM THE REPUTATION OF VAPING
Numerous studies illustrate that vaping is a safe and non-destructive habit. By the media telling these stories, they discourage people from ever trying out vaping and stigmatize those currently using vaporizers.
The more these stories become the public perception of vaping, the harder they will be to reverse. Vaping may get stigmatized so much that people quit attempting to use it as an alternative to smoking tobacco.
Have you noticed stories like these in the news? How do you think the media’s portrayal harms the repuation of vaping?
Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page!