The Story Behind Anti-Vaping FUD
Before we launch into anti-vaping FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt), and the rise of the Anti-Vaping hoards, let us explore the historical relationship between mankind and horror.
A LEGACY OF FEAR
Thousands of years ago, humans were devoured by cave bears, wolves, lesser apes, saber-toothed felines, carnivorous kangaroos, and fellow humans. Day-to-day life was a saga of mortal danger, in which seeing the morrow’s sunrise was uncertain. Mankind developed anxiety in this arena of horror; fight-or-flight reactions prepared primitive humans for danger. These reactions were crucial for the survival of the species.
Today, our fears are abstract. Where once we battled engorged and bloodthirsty beasts, we now juggle adult, civilized responsibilities. Our fight-or-flight reactions have lingered into an era of human service and industrial productivity. Most of our dangers are intangible and do not kill us. General Anxiety Disorder is the most common mental illness in America, with 40 million adults living in utter terror. Startling, considering cave bear-related deaths rates have gone down.
MANIPULATION THROUGH FEAR, UNCERTAINTY, AND DOUBT
Human fear has largely been rerouted to societal concerns. Marketers, propagandists, politicians, and cult leaders have taken advantage of our anxieties with a tactic known as Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD). FUD is a strategy to pervert public perception by disseminating dubious or false information. Microsoft famously used FUD to turn consumers away from their high-tech competition in the 1990’s. Political campaigns use FUD to smear opposing campaigns. If you terrorize the public, you can manipulate them to your will. This practice is unethical, deceptive, and literally horrifying.
FEAR, UNCERTAINTY, AND DOUBT AGAINST THE VAPING COMMUNITY
The Anti-Vaping legions have used FUD to spook people away from vaping. These deceivers capitalize on the Fear of the Unknown, making unfounded claims that e juice ingredients are unknown and that people are inhaling “battery vapor.” Claims that vaping companies are targeting children are unfounded. Some even go so far as to say vaping is a gateway to harder drugs. Even if their FUD propaganda is proven false, they have muddied the debate and claim victory in stalemate. Frightened consumers may be struck by a deer-in-the-headlights response, and continue smoking, ironically “playing it safe” by sticking with a product that is proven to poison and kill millions.
These campaigns beg the question: what’s the motive? Are these anti-vaping groups genuinely concerned for the well-being of potential vapers? Who is funding these FUD attacks? Who profits from instilling fear of vaping into the populace?
THE MASTER SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
Amidst a blitz of class action lawsuits aimed at Big Tobacco in 1998, 46 state governments and the wealthiest tobacco companies came to the MSA. The Master Settlement Agreement waived the lawsuits against Big Tobacco in exchange for annual payoffs from the companies until 2025. The more money generated from cigarette sales, the more money the state governments would receive. State governments suddenly had a vested interest in keeping their citizens on cigarettes.
Looking for a quick buck, various state governments sold bonds to Wall Street based on cigarette sales projections through 2025. The states paid off their bonds comfortably for a few years. Then the bottom dropped out.
Declining cigarette sales in the early 2000’s put state governments in a tight spot. The meteoric rise of vaping from 2008 to today made that spot tighter. State treasuries, who spent the blood money freely, then had to make up the difference.
Bond-selling states like California, New York, and Washington have become desperate to fill the void. They began behaving desperately. The California Department of Public Health has launched a $75 million Anti-Vaping FUD campaign across all media. These alarmist and unscientific attack ads are floundering attempts to twist public perception against vaping. The worst part? It might be working.
Indebted and irresponsible state governments have capitalized on mass anxiety to keep their citizens smoking: pure anti-vaping FUD. Outraged yet?
Theodore Roosevelt once said, in what I assume was a burly roar, “Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of today.”
Do likewise, vapers. Do it for Teddy.