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TN judge orders law officials to destroy vaping devices found in possession of minors

Conspiracy theories involving notions that vaping causes heart attacks or teenage e-cig usage increases their risks of becoming future pot smokers abound on social media.  Unfortunately, the barrage of fake news reports surrounding the alleged teen vaping epidemic is now leading to real world consequences as is evident in a recent court order by a Tennessee judge. 

The move comes on the heels of the most recent allegations that underage vaping may be responsible for an estimated 127 cases of seizures in the Wisconsin area.  The story has yet to be proven accurate, and many rumors are circulating that the alleged vapers were perhaps vaping something that they shouldn’t.  Yet the recent ruling by the Juvenile Courts for Cumberland County strangely coincides with a press release by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announcing the opening of an official investigation into the seizures matter. 

Related Article:   U.S. medical group endorses vaping; encourages public education

Administrators of the Cumberland County schools system have been complaining incessantly of a perceived rise in teen vaping.  When the issue began a focal point of a local court case, the presiding judge issued the following ruling.

“Per order of the court, all Cumberland County law enforcement officers will hereby and henceforth destroy any and all tobacco and/or vaping products and devices that any minor is found to be in possession of.”

While many local governments and city school boards have issued restrictions on teen vaping, the Tennessee ruling may be the first of its kind to allow the legal destruction of privately-owned property – even if that property is illegally in the possession of a minor.  Meanwhile, the court also reserves the right to issue further guidance, punishments, or juvenile citations as needed.

Vaping myth of ‘popcorn lung’ mysteriously reappears

When local radio news station 94.1 FM asked Julie Long, a representative of the Cumberland County Rising Anti-Drug Coalition – yes – DRUG Coalition – for her thoughts on the judge’s ruling, Long offered the following commentary.

“Vaping is becoming a big issue here in our community, especially the middle school and our younger high school age students…Last year, the biggest offense with school kids having legal consequences was vaping, and I think they’re just trying to get on top of it this year and not have the outbreak we did last year.”

So, per Ms. Long, the biggest problem that Cumberland County school officials faced last year was teenagers in illegal possession of vaping gear.  Not marijuana.  Not opioids.  Not Oxycontin, ecstasy, or Tina.  Not even tobacco cigarettes.  Vaping is their “biggest problem.”

Related Article:   Research shows switching to vaping measurably improves myocardial health

But the misguided Julie Long doesn’t stop there with her outspoken foolishness.  She then goes on to repeat age-old vaping myths that have been repeatedly debunked by hundreds of reputable scientists.  Remember the old “vaping causes popcorn lung” conspiracy theory?

“Vaping can cause what they call ‘popcorn lung’. That’s when your bronchial tube have little holes in it where when you breathe in, you don’t get a really good, deep breath…Also, with vape pens, there’s not a filter so you’re getting all of the nicotine when you inhale that. It’s not as healthy as what some people think it is.”

Oh, the horror of it all.  This blogger doesn’t know which is worse:  A recent rise in teen vaping in Tennessee, the perhaps unconstitutional judicial solution posed by a Juvenile Court judge, or the fact that Tennessee kids are being educated by chuckleheads who actually believe that vaping causes popcorn lung.    

Related Article:   Scientists warn of bogus animal studies; confirm improved lung health of vaping

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

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