- All panics begin with a rational fear that quickly turns dangerously irrational. The bans on legal nicotine vaping products in the US is an example of such a panic.
- It doesn’t seem to matter that nearly all of the vaping-related illnesses have reportedly been tied to black market THC vaping products, and that the CDC hasn’t been able to identify a single legitimate nicotine vaping product to warn the public to avoid.
- Vaping is simply a game-changer when it comes to helping to end a true epidemic, which is tobacco-related illness.
- But it’s being emotionally, unscientifically conflated with illegal, unregulated THC vapes. The two have nothing in common besides the delivery device.
- Science is no match for the wisdom of a panic. And the panic is, distressingly, bipartisan.
All panics begin with a rational fear that quickly turns dangerously irrational.
A threat is identified. The danger posed by the threat is amplified by speculation. Worst case scenarios are obsessed about, and action is demanded. Discussion of unseen consequences are discouraged. Skepticism of the threat is met with suspicion or anger.
The current panic over a spate of lung illnesses attributed to vaping usage checks all these boxes.
As of early October, 1,299 lung injuries and 28 deaths have been attributed at least in part to vaping or e-cigarette usage, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In response, city and state governments have issued sweeping bans on sales of everything from flavored vapes to any form of e-cigarettes.
Even the regulation-averse Trump administration has gotten in on the mass fury, announcing plans for a federal ban on flavored vaping products, ostensibly to protect teenagers from getting hooked. Because after all, no one over the age of 18 likes flavors.
It doesn’t seem to matter to any of these public servants that nearly all of the vaping-related illnesses have reportedly been tied to black market THC vaping products, and that the CDC hasn’t been able to identify a single legitimate nicotine vaping product to warn the public to avoid.
The fact that prohibition of marijuana directly lead to the creation and sale of unregulated black market THC vapes, which are the most directly responsible for the vast preponderance of vaping illnesses, is barely considered.
Even if the disastrous and failed ban on marijuana – itself the result of a mass moral panic – caused the vaping crisis, the conventional wisdom holds that surely the solution must be more sweeping bans.
Science takes a backseat in a panic
Contrast that with tobacco – a legal and regulated product – which is responsible for over 480,000 deaths a year, or about 1,300 deaths every single day. If those numbers aren’t staggering enough, the CDC says “more than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking.”
Read more from the source: BusinessInsider.my
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