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Vaping’s Chicken or the Egg

Posted by The Dude on

The Steelers loss to the Patriots, global warming, the national debt, the wax in your ears, the list goes on and on. Yes my friend’s, vaping has been blamed for just about everything – and then some. Maybe there’s a contest somewhere that every news source is participating in that I’m not aware of, where the object of the game is to come up with the most obnoxious headline or subject matter to report on. Now I understand that their true intent is drive traffic to their site, but at what cost?

If you have been reading this blog over a period of time, you know we’ve covered, dissected and obliterated articles that have appeared in various publications reporting on studies that have been conducted, positions that have been taken by certain groups and just flat out stupid statements that have been made about either the vaping industry as a whole, or vaping as it pertains to one issue or another.

Well, I’m happy to report that none of the above are in short supply. Today the headline reads “Youths More Likely to Combine E-cigarettes with Other Substances.” The first paragraph went something like this… “Are youths more likely to combine e-cigarettes with other substances? A new study of Canadian high school students shows a correlation between e-cigarette use and other risky behaviors, including tobacco and marijuana smoking, binge drinking, and mixing alcohol with energy drinks.”

Really! Now vaping is directly responsible for kids smoking marijuana, binge drinking and mixing alcohol with energy drinks? Give me a %$#@! break!

As you can imagine, they covered how e-cigarette use has spiked among youth since 2011, but of course failed to mention that there was a four percent decrease in 2016, and that as a direct result of teens’ vaping, that smoking among youth has dropped dramatically. They threw out there the “potential” for e-cigarettes to become a gateway to traditional cigarettes and other substances and also included the standard cover-your-butt statement of how no one really knows the long-term effects blah blah blah.

Now here is the data that they collected from approximately 36,000 students’ grades 9-12.

“Nearly 10% of participating students reported having used e-cigarettes in the last 30 days. Comparatively, approximately 6% were current smokers, 15.97% were marijuana users, 13.69% consumed energy drinks mixed with alcohol, and 16.20% reported occasional binge drinking. While marijuana use was more common among male participants, occasional binge drinking was found to be more prevalent among females. Evidence also showed a higher likelihood of e-cigarette users to use other substances as well (28.66% of e-cigarette users were current tobacco smokers, 53.15% were current marijuana users, 20.09% were occasional binge drinkers, and 41.08% reported mixing alcohol and energy drinks). Researchers found that while the co-occurrence of binge drinking and marijuana use among current e-cigarette users seemed common, e-cigarette users who exclusively only smoked tobacco (and did not binge drink or smoke marijuana) was determined to be rare.”

Now let me remind you of the headline of this article once again. “Youths More Likely to Combine E-cigarettes with Other Substances.”

Here’s my question. Do you believe that just maybe – just maybe, there is some remote chance that some way, some how, these kids smoked cigarettes, indulged in binge drinking, mixed alcohol with energy drinks and smoked marijuana long before they even tried e-cigarettes? Why not binge drinkers are more likely to try e-cigarettes? Why not smokers are more likely to try e-cigarettes? – Wait no… that would make too much sense. Did they even bother to ask if they had any other bad habits before they tried e-cigarettes? Probably not. I guess if they did, the headline wouldn’t drive as much traffic.

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