Every day the news is full of headlines spreading fear and lies about electronic cigarettes and vaping. After a Canadian vape shop was bombed last week, one can’t help but wonder if anti-vaping rhetoric is possibly leading to extremism. As more and more people discover the benefits of vaping, the attacks on e-cigarettes have only intensified.
Anti-vaping knows no boundaries. Public agencies are greedily spending your tax dollars to spread fear and misinformation about electronic cigarettes. Everyday the headlines are littered with endless misleading, anti-vaping stories chalk full of rote talking points robotically uttered by our own public officials and other leaders of groups purportedly charged with forwarding the interest of public health. It is literally insane.
The robotic talking points we always hear have largely been debunked as ecig myths. There are always news stories like using ecig flavors to attract kids to vaping. Not true and there is no proof to the contrary. Regardless, even when reason and fact are applied, health organization spokespeople simply fall back on the ambiguous and comfortable “There’s just not enough science.”
Here we have a technological device that has enabled millions of people worldwide, including an estimated 4 million in the US, to reduce their exposure to toxins. Ecigs are 1200 to 2000 times less toxic than cigarettes and that has been scientifically tested. That is not in doubt and there is no legitimate science to the contrary. Yes, if you heat up an ecig to ridiculous levels you can make the vapor toxic.
It is not remotely reasonable to infer that people are vaping this way. No one heats their vapor to such extremes, the vapor would be disgusting, it doesn’t happen in the real world. It is the exact equivalent of burning your food to a charred crisp before eating it. If you burn kale to a crisp, it becomes toxic, but no one does that. This is like someone going into a lab, burning kale to a charred crisp and then issuing a report that says that kale is a toxic menace.
Unless these anti-vaping people have been living under gargantuan rocks or have been so firmly ensconced in ivory tower environments that reality plays no part in their day to day, then they must know that existing smoking cessation methods have not worked for the overwhelming majority of smokers. Why are they not alarmed by that and motivated to do something about it?
We desperately need more smoking alternatives, not less. It would be far more productive and in the best interest of public health to recognize the potential of ecigs and work to bring sensible industry controls to maximize safety. Vilifying ecigs has the result of keeping people stuck on tobacco. It’s time for responsible officials to start telling the truth about ecigs.
Here’s a very interesting reality that might help offer some perspective. While doctors who work in labs and carry out paid studies might have an axe to grind against ecigs and while health bureaucrats who work in offices all day issuing anti-vaping jargon, practicing physicians who see live human patients actually feel that ecigs can help in the fight against smoking. An ecig health survey showed that 67% of practicing doctors feel that ecigs may help people to quit smoking. In fact, 36% of the practicing physicians who responded to the survey actually recommend ecigarettes to their patients who smoke.
This just goes to show the disconnect between the so called “experts” and the front line medical professionals that are operating under real world conditions.
Even Tom Frieden of the CDC, a very stern anti-vaping voice, has said that ecigs are most certainly less harmful “stick for stick”. Well, great! That should be good news and something they should get behind but no, they are in a war on ecigs. If ecigs had been invented by Big Pharma do you think that there would be such an uproar?
If someone listens to the anti-vaping messages filling headlines and airwaves, they would be left with the impression that ecigs are the second incarnation of Big Tobacco. They would hear that the ecig industry is trying to hook children on formaldehyde spewing, toxic vapor. They would think that nicotine is a cancer causing menace. They would think that ecigs lead to smoking cigarettes. The anti-vaping message is full of misinformation and lies.
Last week a vape shop in Langley, BC was bombed. There is no known motive at this time but the store’s owner says that “it was a clearly targeted attack”. Why would anyone target a vapor store? Is it possible that someone is hearing the anti-vaping message and targeting the ecig industry?
Is Anti-Vaping Rhetoric Fueling Extremism?
Last week, a calm summer night’s stillness was shattered at 11:30 at night. All Day Vapes vape shop in Langley, BC, Canada was damaged by a blast. Surveillance cameras inside the shop show a person leaving something in front of the store moments before the explosion. Fortunately, the store was closed at the time and no one was injured in the blast.
Equally fortunately, no one was walking by on the sidewalk or in the immediate vicinity at the time of the explosion. Police spokesperson Holly Largy did say that the explosion could be heard kilometers away. Ultimately, the only real damage was a destroyed gas meter and 6 shattered windows.
The City of Langley’s deputy fire chief, Kelly Gilday, did say that it was a serious explosion. “Yup, it was a pretty big blast.”
“The windows were blown in the front part of the building and some damage to the soffits and the structure part, but not a lot, and no fire damage at all. There was an explosion by the gas meter, and the crews just turned the gas off and went through the buildings to make sure they were safe,” he said.
It is the intent and motive that is a mystery. All Day Vapes employees wondered if it was the work of a disgruntled customer or perhaps a competing store but they report good relationships with other vape shops in the area. The motive is perplexing to all involved.
Langely RCMP is investigating the explosion and currently searching for the motive and the perpetrator. Police have reported finding evidence to support investigating the incident as suspicious. There is video that captured both the perpetrator and the explosion. The video seems to indicate a deliberate placement of an explosive device directly in front of All Day Vapes.
At last report, police were following up by gathering additional video evidence that may be shown on the surveillance systems of neighboring businesses.
All Day Vapes owner Shane Titus was contacted by the alarm company and he rushed to his store. He did not have the opportunity to check his surveillance video until after the police and fire crews had cleared the scene. What he saw on the video left him in a state of shock. “It was clearly a targeted attack in front of my business,” said Titus.
It must be beyond disconcerting learning that someone has deliberately targeted your business and inflicted harm. Why is a mystery that we can only speculate on at this point. We can only hope that some deranged person is not targeting vaping after hearing an anti-vaping message from somewhere.
The staff of All Day Vapes are cooperating with investigators to work toward understanding the motive and bringing the culprit to justice.
All Day Vapes staff were not about to be intimidated. After boarding up the windows, the store was open for business as usual the next day. Owner Shane Titus himself switched from smoking to vaping and has been dedicated to vaping ever since. He started by mixing juice and soon his passion grew into a business.
Titus wrote, “After years of working in another industry I decided to give up my day job and work full time at my home based business selling e-cigs and e-liquid, and I never looked back. I opened my retail location in February of 2015 with the help of my employees. I’m committed to great customer service and our customers are like a great big family to us.”