Why Vaping Bans Are a Terrible Idea
Why the proposed enacted bans on vaping is a highly illogical and foolish thing to do
My grandpa quit smoking in 2002, after smoking cigarettes since he was 13 years old back in the early 60s. A time when doctors were the spokespeople helping tobacco companies sell their products.
Despite having smoked for so long, my grandpa was able to quit, but only after having a hypnotist alter his brain’s response to cigarettes. He once tried to smoke a quick one but ended up being repulsed by odor and never asked for a cigarette again.
Which is good, because, according to the CDC, cigarettes cause around 7 million deaths each year. Yet, all those years of inhaling the harmful smoke can still have long term consequences such as cancer, bronchitis, COPD, among others. Even though my grandpa quit 17 years ago, he could still become sick with one of these deadly ailments down the road.
Recently, innovation has given us a much safer road to traverse. In the form of vaping and e-cigarettes. However, there’s been a lot of news reporting a high amount of vaping deaths in the united states. The media, treating it as an epidemic, and the American government banning the sale of pods in some places are good examples. The biggest one just recently being voted upon by the New York City city council to ban all flavored e-cigarettes officially.
While on an even larger scale, the Trump administration has proposed a federal ban on all e-cigarette flavors.
However, banning vaping and e-cigarettes is about the most moronic, stupid, illogical action we could possibly take to fix the problem.
To put it in perspective. Let’s actually look at how many people have died of vaping since it’s invention and popularization from 2007 to today in 2019.
The death toll for e-cigarettes is 47. Which is obviously still a terrible tragedy for those people and their families.
But what about the 130 American deaths per day from opioid overdoses? 68% of which came from a legal prescription. Or the 88,000 annual deaths related to alcohol in the United States alone?
Why aren’t these substances being banned in New York City? Or on the federal level for that matter? Those drugs, individually, are thousands of times the epidemic vaping is.
The deaths are, nevertheless, tragic. Any loss of life is clearly a bad thing. But have we asked why people are suddenly dying from something relatively safe (addiction is obviously a dangerous condition on its own)?
I found on the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) website. The vape users who had either gotten sick or died had a common chemical in the pods they were using, Vitamin E acetate. Which the CDC believes is causing these lung injuries. Although they’re not ruling out other compounds found in vape products as a cause or sub cause of the lung damages.
However, vitamin E acetate, which they discovered to be an additive found in some THC and nicotine vaping products. The vitamin is not meant to be inhaled. When vaporized, the vitamin can potentially cool down inside the lungs, thus coating the inner tissues of your respiratory system in oil.
This process leads to lipoid pneumonia, a form of lung inflammation from the entrance of lipids (fats) into the lungs, according to Michelle Francl, a chemist from Bryn Mawr College. Which is similar to drowning in water. Except in this case, more like drowning in a lake of bacon fat.
The real question is, why was this chemical inside the products people were vaping with? The answer, for the majority of lung injured patients, was that they got it from a bootlegger, a friend, or added something with vitamin E in themselves.
So if the majority of sick or dead people are doing this themselves or from another product customizer, then what good would a ban on licensed products do?
A ban would only increase the number of purchases from bootleg product creators.
If anything, it would cause more people to buy from novice bootleggers, and away from the companies who do develop their products with safety in mind.
I should note that some people reported buying cannabis vaping products that sent them to the hospital with injured respiratory systems. This means even legal dispensaries and e-cigarette companies need to be regulated a little tighter than they are now. And that’s okay given it’s such a new industry. They’re practically babies compared to the centuries-old alcohol and tobacco industries.
However, there’s a stark difference between banning and regulating.
Like Tony Stark kind of stark.
Especially since regulating e-cigarettes would actually save lives. As opposed to banning them, which, as stated earlier, only creates more shit for everyone.
There’s no logical reason we should ban cigarettes, alcohol, or even opioids. Even though on the surface, it seems the smart solution is to keep people from using these substances, it’s the dumbest solution of all. All of the previously mentioned substances are addictive, and people have used them before civilization. If there is a way to alter your brain’s chemicals to produce happier ones, we’re going to get high.
Banning these substances has never worked in the history of mankind.
Prohibition. America’s famous attempt at banning the sale of alcohol that created the mob culture we still see today. The Americans who loved drinking didn’t suddenly lose the desire to drink. With demand comes opportunity, and with opportunity comes sellers. Those entrepreneurs being gangsters. Who’s unique way of competing with other sellers was to murder them.
The drug wars. America’s second attempt at banning an addictive substance that created an even larger mob culture south of the border. Pablo Escobar, El Chapo; those billionaire gangsters would be nobodies if we hadn’t put a ban on drugs. Like alcohol, when we banned cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, we created a slew of products for criminals to sell. Instead of giving them to legal businesses or state-run institutions where one can take their drugs in safety, being supervised by doctors while getting high. A great system devised in Europe and Canada to combat overdose deaths.
Another great example is the opium wars (1st war 1839 - 1842) Where Britain, who desired profitable port cities and financial reparations, smuggled as much opium as they could into China. However, before the war had begun in 1839, Britain was illegally trading opium back in 1773. After banning the substance in 1729, the Emperor wasn’t able to make a dent in the smuggling until 1839 when he commanded forces to confiscate 1,300 metric tons of opium from smugglers. Of course, there were no takesies backsies. So the Emperor kept all the valuable inventory from the western traders, costing them lots of mula. Unfortunately, this forceful action didn’t stop drug trafficking. It continued for many more decades, leading to another opium war.
No doubt, this event is a somber example of European colonial bullying. But also a testament to how drug bans don’t, nor their enforcement, stop drug users from using. Even though the drug was illegal and damaging Chinese communities, opium still spread. The people wanted it, legal or not.
Addiction will always be more prominent and stronger than the ban. Addicts need help, not the law. Drugs need regulation, not condemnation.
Vaping can literally save millions of lives, despite containing the addictive chemical nicotine. That’s why Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik invented the modern-day e-cigarette back in the 2000s. His own grandpa had died of lung cancer induced by smoking.
7 million v.s 47.
We should choose an alternative that is literally millions of times safer than the unbanned alternative. Regardless of Trump, or the New York City government. Or the media, who clearly has gotten terribly bored reporting the millions of cigarette related deaths.