New study shows U.S. ‘bungled’ EVALI response by imposing vape bans, says Forbes
Nearly a year ago, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began warning the American people of a potentially devastating lung disorder that may be “vaping related.” Within days and without evidence, multiple state governors and legislative bodies began the laborious process, at taxpayers’ expense, of initiating flavor bans on all vapor products. The respiratory condition would soon be given a terribly misleading name by public health officials – EVALI, an acronym for e-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injury.
New research from scientists at Yale University indicates that the rush to judgement to impose prohibitory legislation against vapes was precisely the wrong thing to do. While the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States has just reach the 6 million mark with more than 183,000 deaths, EVALI was only linked to 2,807 hospitalizations and a reported 68 fatalities by February 2020. Yet, the CDC seemingly spent more time and resources spreading fear and hysteria about vaping rather than focusing on the real threat facing the American people – the coronavirus pandemic.
Anti-vaping crusaders using lies and ‘nonsense’ to intimidate lawmakers into vape bans
Turns out, there was never a link between EVALI and the vaping of conventional nicotine-based vapes as all. The true culprit behind the mysterious ailment was and is the use of contraband THC-containing cartridges illegally laced with vitamin E acetate. This discovery, of course, led the anti-vaping activists to retarget their aggression toward the legalized marijuana industry, aggressively spouting “nonsense” and, in many cases, outright lies about the dangers of legalized weed. Forbes Magazine puts it this way.
“The vape-lung injury crisis also gave ammunition for anti-cannabis legalization advocates, who freely and openly claimed that legal marijuana dispensaries were selling dangerous product. Those claims were without merit—i.e., they were nonsense, they were lies—as areas with higher rates of vape use prior to the crisis’s beginning had lower rates of EVALI.”
In the Yale peer-review report published on August 25 in the medical journal Addiction, author Abigail Friedman makes clear that these anti-vaping crusaders are peddling pure fiction, perhaps in a diabolical attempt to entice former smokers to give up the vape and return to Big Tobacco cigarettes.
If EVALI caused by THC-containing vapes was such an urgent health crisis, then why were there so few cases reported in regional markets where legal cannabis is for sale? Regarding nicotine-based vapes, Ms. Friedman also found that the facts are directly opposite those which public health officials are claiming. States with higher rates of legal vaporizer usage reported far few cases of EVALI hospitalizations on average.
“In the US, states with higher rates of e‐cigarette and cannabis use prior to the 2019 ‘e‐cigarette or vaping product use‐associated lung injury’ (EVALI) outbreak had lower EVALI prevalence. These results suggest that EVALI cases did not arise from e‐cigarette or cannabis use per se, but rather from locally distributed e‐liquids or additives most prevalent in the affected areas.”
In her interview with Forbes, Friedman says that the political push to ban vaping is having the reverse desired effects. Instead of curbing teen vaping, it is encouraging young vapers to return to the black market – the very place that illegally sold the contraband EVALI-causing cartridges in the first place.
According to Friedman, it “would be safer for consumers” if government healthcare agencies called for “smarter e-cigarette devices” that will not work with “bootleg cartridges.” Yes, the government’s initial response to EVALI was bungled and counterintuitive, but it might also lead to better, more targeted vaping legislation in the near term. That is, as long as the vaping community and advocacy organizations continue to aggressively and consistently fight for their rights to vape.
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