Search Google using the term “e-cigarettes” or “vaping.” Try to find big media outlets that present real facts about electronic cigarettes and real stories about them. Chances are you won’t find a lot. The most influential media outlets prefer sharing stories filled with sensationalism and scare tactics. Skewed science? For sure, you’ll find that. Unending news regarding taxes and restrictions? Plenty of that revolves around multiple news outlets. But if you want to find positive reports about vaping, you need to dig deep, as these articles are often written by vocal advocates, such as this story that illustrates how many people in the UK consider vaping as the most essential tool that allowed them to finally quit.
It’s wrong to say that there are no statistics that back up the many health benefits of vaping. It’s wrong to say that there are no personal testimonies from real people that have been positively influenced by using e-cigarettes. It’s just that the most prominent media outlets ignore these stories. For what reason? Because people want to share the sensationalist stuff. People tend to share unfounded claims. These myths and misconceptions then spread like wildfire. Isn’t this simply absurd? We should all be responsible for setting the record straight.
The following story which was published on the San Diego Union-Tribune tells of something that deeply resonates with most people belonging to the vaping community. The author talks to a man who switched to e-cigarettes after smoking tobacco for 4 decades. That is 40 years of taking in a chemical cocktail with undeniable health risks. But now he says that vaping actually saved his life, emphasizing that he is no longer consuming the 8,000 carcinogens contained in a cigarette.
Such stories are very similar to that of many vapers that you will meet, but you wouldn’t hear much about them in the United States. In contrast, Public Health England has always remained vocal about their opinions on vapor cigarettes, explaining that they are 95% less harmful compared to smoking tobacco cigarettes. If you ever hear big media outlets in the US use vaping and 95% in the same sentence, chances are it talks about taxes.
One of the most recent examples of bad press regarding the use of e-cigarettes in the US came in the story of Dr. Margaret Cuomo, a celebrity doctor who expresses an opposite opinion to that of Public Health England’s statement. Cuomo claims that vaping can prove to be just as harmful as smoking. The Huffington Post shared Cuomo’s video, and plenty of medical experts quickly jumped on board and refuted all those so-called facts shared by the doctor.
Professor Hajek of Queen Mary University of London, who serves as the director of Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine’s Tobacco Dependence Research Unit, said that it is very unfortunate to have misguided zealots who lie to the public, thinking that they are helping other people but in fact, they are indirectly supporting the tobacco industry and convincing other people to continue smoking.
The misguided zealots Professor Hajek talks about can be seen everywhere, spreading false information and scare tactics regarding the use of e-cigarettes. Politicians also incorrectly place vaping together with other tobacco products to restrict people’s access, something that most vapers and health experts think is an unwise decision as it takes away an effective form of reducing the dangers of smoking tobacco.
How can this misinformation be stopped? How can we compel the media to begin publishing more stories from real users of e cigarettes? We band together. When we stumble upon articles that tell the truth, we must make certain to share them. We must keep updated and informed regarding all the latest changes and news in the vaping industry, giving us the knowledge to inform others as well. As vapers, we all have the responsibility to spread the truth. This is something we have to keep in mind all the time. We are a community. Together, we can let our voices be heard. Let us change the public’s perception about vaping and inform them of its many health benefits.