The Los Angeles Times has an unfortunate story of e-cigarette users turning back to deadly combustible tobacco.
Even though [Lucas] McClain knows the dangers of cigarettes — lung cancer runs in his family — he thinks it might be easier to kick cigarettes than his Juul. Plus, his mom keeps warning him about the mysterious vaping-related illnesses that have sickened hundreds across the country.
So last month, McClain bought his first pack of cigarettes in years. Then he tweeted about it.
“Bought a juul to quit smoking cigarettes,” he wrote, “now I’m smoking cigarettes to quit the juul.” He ended with this hashtag: #circleoflife.
Further the Times reports that some users are not returning to cigarettes, they are using them for the first time to get off of e-cigarettes.
Some are turning back to combustible cigarettes — or taking them up for the first time — in a dangerous bid to lower their nicotine intake and ultimately get off their vapes.
“Isn’t it ironic that to quit juul I bought cigarettes,” says one Twitter user. Another points out that it’s “strange” that she used the device to quit smoking cigarettes but is now “far more addicted to my Juul than I ever was to cigs.”
The Los Angeles Times is part of the problem, disseminating misleading information about recent vaping-related illnesses in the news. The paper writes:
Vaping may not be safe either. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating at least 380 cases of lung disease in 36 states — mostly among young people — possibly linked to vaping nicotine and marijuana. Six people have died. California is looking into 70 potential cases.
The paper doesn’t clarify that most of those cases are connected to illicit, black market THC cartridges and not traditional nicotine e-cigarettes. Instead, the paper identifies the process with a bad product.
The BBC reports there are more than 40 million adult vapors globally. Why aren’t we seeing deaths and illnesses around the globe if “vaping” is responsible for the current presentation of illnesses here in the U.S.? For those who question the harm reduction of e-cigarettes the BBC writes, “However, doctors, public health experts and cancer charities in the UK agree that, based on current evidence, e-cigarettes carry a fraction of the risk of cigarettes. One independent review concluded vaping was about 95% less harmful than smoking. Professor Ann McNeill, who wrote the review, said “e-cigarettes could be a game changer in public health.”
California’s Governor Gavin Newsom is ready to take action and at least he appears to be focusing on the right targets: illegal and counterfeit vaping products.
On Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a crackdown on illegal and counterfeit vaping products. He plans a $20-million public awareness campaign about the dangers of vaping. Michigan this month became the first state to ban sales of flavored e-cigarettes in an attempt to end teen vaping. In June, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors banned the sale of all e-cigarettes, beginning in early 2020. Juul is fighting back with a November ballot measure, Proposition C, backed by millions of its own dollars.
“I don’t plan on ever smoking again, but if I had to choose, I would much rather buy cigarettes over a Juul,” said Ryan Hasson, 25. “I think a lot of people are quitting completely or going back to cigarettes,” he said. “They’re waking up to the reality that maybe this isn’t as safe as we once thought.”
What a shame.