Contributed by Paul Johnson
Then, I realized I have a responsibility to my fellow man.
For the life of me and the lives of millions of other smokers and former smokers, I cannot understand why non-profit organizations such as Alaska Family Health Services, Breathe Free Mat-Su and the Alaska Tobacco Quit Line would post such an outrageous and deceitful ad, demonizing vaping.
Almost everyone has lost friends and loved ones to cancer and other smoking related illnesses. I smoked for over 40 years and was able to quit instantly and completely, thanks to modern vapor devices and the myriad of wonderful flavors available. The patches didn’t work, the gum didn’t work and cold turkey didn’t work.
Modern vapor devices and e-liquids did. So why would organizations whose job it is to promote public health and help people get off of tobacco, want to frighten people into believing that something that does work is dangerous?
The ad is so outrageous, I have to address it.
First, let’s look at the hazmat suit. OSHA does require Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in food flavor manufacturing facilities, but not to the extent of the nuke suit pictured. That is a stock photo pulled from shutter stock. Here’s the link if you’d care to check it yourself.
Take note that the non-profits or their ad agency chose the most dramatic hazmat photo possible, if you do visit the page. Note also the radioactive material placard, just out of focus, in the background. The manufacture of food and beverage flavorings does not involve the use of radioactive material; a basic respirator and jump suit are all that’s required.
The flavors used in e-liquids are the same flavors produced for the food and beverage industry, and are consumed in food and drink every day. The manufacturing process to create those flavorings uses higher temperatures and far higher concentrations than the end user experiences in his or her food, drink or vapor. In short, it’s apples to oranges. Apple and orange are both excellent vapor flavors though!
The pretty pink and baby blue e-juice bottle labeled bubble gum is another obvious attempt to imply that the vapor industry is marketing their product to children. That is not the case. As an adult over 50, I enjoy bubble gum, cotton candy, pies, ice creams and many other junk foods. I was unaware that there is an age limit on enjoying delicious things. As a vaper, I can also tell you that the wide variety of delicious flavors has helped curb my junk food consumption, allowing me to shed a few unwanted extra pounds.
There are laws already in place to prevent minors from purchasing vapor products; the same laws that apply to tobacco products. This is another not very subliminal message meant to tug at your heartstrings, to protect the children!
The question still remains: Why would organizations that are tasked with getting people off of tobacco and protecting/improving public health be so dead set on demonizing a product that has saved or at the very least extended the life of millions of former tobacco users?
Modern vapor products have a much higher success rate than available NRTs. They actually work. Vapor products have been found by the Royal College of Physicians in Great Britain (the same people who were the first to link lung cancer to tobacco smoking) to be at least 95% safer than smoking. It makes no sense, right?
Actually cents, as in dollars and cents, is what it boils down to. Billions of dollars in taxes, donations and salaries will evaporate if current smokers discover that modern vapor products do work extremely well as a tobacco harm reduction product and they are at least 95% safer than smoking.
Non-vapers need to realize they are being lied to, and many already have educated themselves with truthful information. The big pharmaceutical companies, big tobacco companies, various healthcare industry organizations and various nonprofit organizations either lie or turn a blind eye to the truth in order to protect their status quo.
A billion lives are at stake! Please think of your fellow man. Vaping saves lives!