Vaping is freedom, but there are people very unhappy over the rise of vaping, especially among teenagers that probably would have smoked a cigarette if they didn’t have that JUUL.
Ask almost any adult smoker if he or she regrets picking up the deadly dangerous habit of smoking tobacco, and the answer is an emphatic “Yes!” Ask that same adult smoker when they started smoking and most will say that they started as a teenager or young adult.
The advent and rapid growth of electronic cigarettes promises to be one of the most important developments in promoting public health since the invention of the polio vaccine.
People who would have started smoking when I did are choosing a different path:
The latest results from the Monitoring the Future Study, released today, show a jump in vaping by teenagers similar to the one indicated by the National Youth Tobacco Survey numbers published last month. They also show that cigarette smoking by high school seniors, which hit a record low last year, continues to decline.
Since e-cigarettes are far less dangerous than the conventional, combustible kind, the relationship between these two trends is vitally important in evaluating the public health impact of the underage vaping "epidemic." Yet the head of the Food and Drug Administration says his agency, because it is obligated to reduce e-cigarette use by minors at all costs, cannot weigh the possibility that its interventions, which so far include flavor restrictions and anti-vaping propaganda, may result in more smoking-related disease and death.
In the 2018 Monitoring the Future Study, 7.6 percent of 12th-graders reported that they had smoked cigarettes during the previous month. That is the lowest rate ever recorded by the survey, which began in 1975. It is 80 percent lower than the peak rate of 38.8 percent recorded in 1976.
A recent analysis in the journal Tobacco Control, based on data from five national surveys, found that downward trends in smoking by teenagers and young adults accelerated as e-cigarette use in those groups took off. That correlation strongly suggests that young people who would otherwise be smoking are vaping instead, which represents a huge improvement in terms of health risks.
But a local news station media is treating this as bad news. And they think it needs “combatting.”
Let’s get some facts established.
- Smoking kills. Vaping doesn't.
- Tobacco smoke contains at least 3,000 dangerous chemicals, including many known to cause cancer. Vaping doesn’t.
- Smoking is addictive. Vaping isn't.
- User controls whether and how much nicotine is added. Not so with smoking.
- Smoking leads to high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. Vaping doesn't.
- Smoking stinks. Vaping doesn't.
- Smoking stains your teeth, your clothes, your car and your house. Vaping doesn't.
- Big tobacco and big pharma want vaping banned because the more people smoke, the more money they make.
- State and local governments want vaping banned because they can't tax it like they can tobacco.
- Caffeine is more dangerous than nicotine, but you can buy a coke or a double espresso with no ID.
Why are people “in authority” trying to stop people from vaping? Because it costs them money, and a lot of it.
As of this post date, 17 December 2018, I am 501 days tobacco free. After including the costs of everything I’ve spent on vaping gear and supplies I have saved $4,435.63. At least 1/5th of that would have been taxes, or about $887.00. On average, I’ve saved about $206.00 every month, which is about the same as the monthly payment for a nice, 5-7 year old used car. Or about a quarter of the rent on a decent 2 bedroom pad in west Mobile or midtown.
That $4,435.63 I’ve saved would also cover most of the down payment on a house costing around $100,000.
Many of you who know me well know that I am a small “L” libertarian. I much prefer a society where I get to make my own decisions and act in my own best interest. Quitting smoking by vaping was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I breathe better, smell, better, sleep better and spend better. I will probably live longer, too.
But there are powerful forces who would like nothing more than to take my decision away. It’s either keep smoking or quit smoking their way. And there way costs as much (or more) than smoking. The people who make the drug Chantix and the nicotine gum hate vaping because they can’t patent my Butterscotch Caramel Cake flavored juice. Or my Peanut Butter & Chocolate, or my Strawberries n’ Cream. Or my Banana Cream Pie, or…
Both teen and adult smoking rates have been declining, but the most dramatic decline has been among teenagers.