For those who are still wondering if the American Educational System is broken, look no further than the school superintendent of Rome, New York, Peter Blake. On December 11, Blake posted a short blog post about the alleged dangers of e-cigs, but the article was filled with loads of either completely false or intentionally misleading statistics.
The blog post is entitled A 900% Increase, a number that Blake claims represents the increase in teen vaping within the past four years. The American-educator-gone-wrong claims to have come to his erroneous epiphany after reading an article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) regarding the U.S. Surgeon General’s most recent press conference on the subject.
“My blog this week is not a philosophical thought, rather an attempt to inform our community about a reality and a concern for our youth. What has increased by 900% recently you ask? E-cigarette use among high schoolers has increased 900% in the past 4 years. This past week, the Wall Street Journal and many other major media outlets of reputation have released articles in relation to the surgeon general's most recent comments. “
To be totally accurate, the WSJ article that Blake refers to makes no such claim of a 900% increase, even though Blake deviously implies that it did. Unfortunately, Blake must have failed to read in its entirety the very article that he claims is so insightful. If he had, then he would have quickly discovered that the WSJ article entitled “E-Cigarettes Pose ‘Major’ Risks, Surgeon General’s Report Warns” puts the word Major in quotes.
NY school superintendent needs to do his homework.
To a less sophisticated individual, speed-reading this headline and perhaps the first couple of sentences of the article might lead one to believe that the WJS supports the Surgeon General’s outrageous claims. But after reading deeper, the WSJ is essentially warning parents not to believe everything that they read.
Ironically, in the A 900% Increase blog post written by Peter Blake, the school superintendent instructs parents to do the very same – to “do some more homework” on teen vaping and e-cig use.
“I strongly urge our parents to do some more homework on the e-cigarette prior to thinking that it is a safe alternative for anything. The e-cig has become the gateway drug to more serious things, has shown to stunt brain growth in teenagers, and falsely advertises their product on most occasions.”
Yet Blake goes on to tell his parental readership some undeniably incorrect facts.
“The e-cig has become the gateway drug to more serious things, has shown to stunt brain growth in teenagers, and falsely advertises their product on most occasions. Research is showing that 4-times more teenagers are using e-cigarettes than other forms of tobacco products and on average 40% of high schoolers have at least tried smoking them. Of greater concern that isn't discussed as much about e-cigs is that sellers are constantly finding ways to 'lace' the syrups with other products that are much more addictive, altering, and dangerous than nicotine. “
Peter Blake is lying to the parents of his students.
- No evidence exists that e-cigs are a “gateway drug to more serious things.” Furthermore, parents should demand that their school superintendents use more accurate language than the term “things.”
- No evidence exists that e-cigs “stunt brain growth in teenagers.”
- No evidence exists that the vaping industry is “constantly finding ways to 'lace' the syrups with other products that are much more addictive, altering, and dangerous than nicotine. “
- No evidence exists that “4-times more teenagers are using e-cigarettes than other forms of tobacco products.”
This last claim is particularly outrageous. If Peter Blake is to be believed, then teenagers are vaping four times more than they are smoking! This statement is appaulingly inaccurate, to say the least.
Teen e-cig use might be on the rise, and teen smoking rates are falling as a result, but to tell parents that vaping is equally or more appealing to teenagers is dead wrong. Furthermore, by implying that e-cigs are equally or more deadly than smoking, Peter Blake is intentionally misleading his parents with an ignorant, uneducated falsehood of epic proportions.
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