We Market to Adults, Not Teenagers

A 2017 Vaper Preference Survey found that an overwhelming majority of consumers who use vaping products are former smokers. Hon Lik, the man credited for having invented the modern electronic cigarettes back in 1966, was a lifelong smoker. Many, if not most, electronic cigarette companies and manufacturers were/are owned by former smokers. Fully aware of how smoking can adversely affect health, it only makes sense that vaping products would be marketed to rid an adult smoker of their habit — not to entice teenagers. Vaping has always been about harm reduction, first and foremost. We market to adults, not teenagers.

Fear Mongering Helps No One

Major health organizations such as the American Cancer Society and Public Health England have issued public statements advocating electronic cigarettes as a better alternative to smoking. Yet, a vast array of agenda-driven media outlets continue to use fear mongering tactics to paint a completely false narrative on the subject.

NBC recently published an article on their health page entitled— Teens inhale cancer-causing chemicals in e-cigarettes. SPOILER ALERT: this article, like many of those before — and undoubtedly sure to come — is just another dangerous attempt to redirect attention.

What The Article Says About Electronic Cigarettes

The article starts off by associating smoking with vaping. It reads:

“Smoking e-cigarettes delivers cancer-causing chemicals that get into the body— and popular fruity flavors appear to be the worst, researchers reported.”

Smoking and vaping are two quite different things. See here.

Virtually without pause, the article goes on to say:

“…teenagers who try vaping may be poisoning themselves with many of the same chemicals that make traditional cigarettes so.”

Are Adults Immune… or…

What about adults? Again, if we must, vaping was a tool designed to help smokers quit. Not to entice teenagers to pick up a needless habit. But, what about sweet e-juice flavors?  Don’t they entice teenagers to vape? Actually, that doesn’t seem to be the case. In fact, it is the sweet flavors that the elderly prefer as their flavor senses dwindle. You can read all about it here.

The article goes on to cite a study conducted by Dr. Mark Rubinstein, of UCSF’s Division of Adolescent Medicine, in which three group of teenagers: vapers, smokers and vapers, and teens who do not smoke or vape, had their fluids tested. Urine and saliva were tested and the results were startling — or should we say — exactly what the vaping community has known all along? Those who used both types of cigarettes had significantly higher levels of chemicals compared to those who use neither product. Again, advocates of electronic cigarettes market their products as a better alternative to smoking, not breathing.

Keep Calm, Vape On

In conclusion, the article continues its inflammatory rhetoric by rebirthing the “popcorn lung” claim. They reignite the acrylamide controversy and re-reference diacetyl as a cancer-causing chemical prevalent in e-cigarettes. It should be noted that the article fails to explain in any detail the harmful impact of combustible cigarettes. Instead, the focus is solely on teenage vapers.

For more information on acrylamide, for the truth about diacetyl, and for the full scoop on popcorn lung, click the associated links.

Especially relevant: Last Week’s Truth Tuesday

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Andrew Figgs

Photography Major from Western Washington University . I joined MBV back in December 2014 and am happy to be working in an industry focused on helping others.

  • chris says:

    good blog

  • chris says:

    awesome blog

  • evan says:

    it’s a shame that vaping has become popular to teens who have never smoked cigarettes. Unfortunately, this is something that was eventually bound to happen regardless.

  • Paul Hughes says:

    Ridiculous! Why don’t they focus their attention on a truly significant issue, such as underage drinking and driving. I suspect big tobacco and big pharmaceuticals are driving this rash of negative attention.

  • Christine says:

    I’m a former smoker – and a former vaper. I smoked for 32 years and had tried every pharmaceutical made in order to quit smoking and nothing worked until I finally tried vaping.

    I vaped sweets during the time I vaped, and found them very helpful to make the difficult switch from smoking to vaping, and to keep me away from cigarettes. I would never have succeeded if all that was available to me was tobacco flavors.

    Vaping (nicotine) is not nearly as addictive as smoking (and all the associated chemicals involved), and thus I was able to quit vaping after 3-1/2 years.

    Many kids who are vaping, are either switching from cigarettes to vaping, (I started smoking at the age of 13) or they are simply not picking up the first cigarette, but what’s a fact is the fact that when you look at teen smoking AND vaping together as one unit, the number of teens with a habit haven’t changed at all, what has changed is the amount of teens who are smoking. There has been a definite drop in that number commensurate with the increase in teens who are vaping, which means that the teens who are vaping aren’t smoking – and that’s a positive thing.

    Kids will find a way to do what they want to do, but I’d much rather the ones who do find something far less harmful, and far easier to walk away from, than cigarettes.

    I was an addict my entire life, I was in horrible physical shape by the time vaping came around due to all those years of smoking. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. So, while vaping is being marketed and made attractive to people like myself, I’m not sure we can call it a bad thing that some kids are picking up a vape mod instead of a cigarette..

  • Linda Smith says:

    June 15, 2014 won’t let me put in my vaping start date.

  • brad says:

    The real scandal here is that big tobacco and big pharma are using fear mongering and trying to push a narrative of the poor children in order to stop people from recognizing an at least 95% safer and there by better alternative to smoking. Oh and I’m wondering just how many billions they’ve already lost as a result of vapings existance? The truth is the same in this instance as any other, you want the strait dope ? Follow the trail of money. Big tobacco and big pharma along with state and local governments are loosing money as a result of healthier happier people, and they aren’t happy about it. So you tell me, who’s the real monster here, the ex smokers opening small business trying to help there community not need cigarettes anymore, or the multi-national billion and trillion dollar companies and the governments who copitulate ???

  • Tim says:

    Just follow the money, or lack of it. Smoking cigarettes is decreasing due to several reasons — one of which is most certainly the advent of e-cigs. Why else would the cigarette companies be entering the e-cig industry. Because that’s where their consumer base is going. But they continue to drag out incomplete or fictitious articles to shore up their dying (literally) business.
    How many times have we read a frightening article about, oh let’s say, coffee and how it kills you dead. And it’s usually brought to you by the American Tea Institute, or doctors who got a chunk of cash from them. A week later, another article heralding ‘Coffee is Great!’ from the Coffee Grinders Union.
    And might I add, they’ll never ‘cure’ cancer. There are two many doctors, hospitals and researchers depending on the paycheck of ‘treatment’. They’ll keep you alive as long as they possibly can. You’re worth nothing if you’re cured or dead.
    Remember the 100 MPG carburetor that some guy invented? Exxon bought it from the guy and threw it in the trash.

    • Anna Christina says:

      Tim, you nailed it! Business is business… whether pushing people to their graves, or leaving them hanging by a thread, as Tim said, with cancer patients, it’s all about the bottom line… In the history of “Big Tobacco”, teenagers have always been their #1 largest target market. & as much as I love & am all for vapeing, I do see a pattern. I happen to be a FIRM BELIEVER that vapeing is PRACTICALLY HARMLESS. I have also owned small businesses, on my own, so I get the bottom line. I’ve also smoked all my life, so my 2 cents, just look at any page of juices. It boggles my mind, smoking having such a rugged flavor, why would anyone think I’d be looking for tuti-fruity? It’s taken me a year to find 3 juices I like, among scores of candied disappointments. I Just ordered something “boardroom”, supposed to taste like tobacco & brandy… nope, just candy. Just saying, we’re giving them all the ammo they need.

  • Brittany Herritt says:

    Awesome blog!

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