So far I’ve found the same article published on 113 different news sources, including ABC News, Miami Herald, Orange County Register, Foxbusiness.com, Aberdeen News, Oklahoma City News, Yahoo News, The Wichita Eagle, Idaho Statesman, Fresno Bee, New Jersey Herald, Seattle Times, Las Vegas Sun, The Boston Herald, New York Times and the Hawaii Tribune just to name a few. I’ll explain why I went to the trouble of listing all of these in just a minute.
The article’s headline read: Some Fear California's Tax on E-Cigarettes May Deter Smokers. Now the piece starts out harmless enough, touching upon how smoking has dropped to historic lows nationwide, dramatically decreasing revenue from tobacco taxes, and how in search of funds, a growing number of states are taxing electronic cigarettes and now they are concerned that doing so may deter smokers from switching to “the safer alternative”. After all, adding a $2 per pack state tax to cigarettes onto the already existing 87 cents per pack tax is nothing to sneeze at, and neither is a 60 percent hike when it comes to the expense of vaping.
According to Gregory Conley of the American Vaping Association, "California just made the most attractive option unattractive for many smokers, and unaffordable." Why? - Because now with this new tax, it’s more expensive to vape than it is to smoke.
And just when you thought that a somewhat positive spin was being played out in the article, after all, they referred to vaping as the safer alternative, it takes a huge twist, and as is the norm it begins to fuel the fire of the misinformed masses and pollute public opinion.
No more than a sentence after saying that “E-cigarettes heat a nicotine liquid into a vapor, delivering the chemical that smokers crave without the harmful tar generated from burning tobacco.”, it segues into statements like the following… “E-cigarettes emit chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other harm, and there is concern over the long-term impact that nicotine has on adolescent brain development, according to California's Public Health Department. Use among young adults ages 18 to 29 has tripled in the state.” They then follow that up with… "The evidence is piling up very fast that e-cigarettes are more dangerous than people thought," And then… more than three dozen studies also found only a fraction of smokers quit after switching to e-cigarettes and that many end up smoking and vaping, which could be worse. And of course they can’t let an opportunity go by without adding… “Concern over the jump in youth users was a driving force behind taxing e-cigarettes."
The article then immediately jumped right back to how it began, covering the issue of taxes, state revenue, budgets etc. Why they felt compelled to insert inflammatory misinformation into the piece is beyond me, however, it brings me to the reason why I initially listed a portion of the 113 media sources in this article.
Each media source blindly runs stories regardless of the validity of the content provided. They don’t bother to check sources, and as a result, the public is introduced to what they believe to be fact, making the FDA and the local influential government officials in their home town’s lives that much easier, as they attempt to sway their community to voting on laws and regulations that they simply know nothing about. And as you can see, these media sources pervade not only the largest cities in the U.S., but the small remote towns across the country as well, placing local vape shops in a compromising disadvantage.
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