Want to make the vaping community angry? It’s very easy to do it. All you need to do is suggest that vaping serves as a “gateway” to tobacco products or insinuate that vaping is unhealthy for you. And then…
Just sit back and watch the reactions come in.
Those in the vaping community—us included—have worked very, very, very hard to dispel many of the myths that exist when it comes to vaping. From myths about what’s really inside of e-juices to myths about e-cigarette batteries, there are all kinds of myths out there, and they are simply not true. But people continue to believe them, so we continue to fight tirelessly to shoot them down and disprove them.
The problem is that, every now and then, someone in a position of power helps push one of these myths forward, and it’s a big issue for us. Most recently, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy released a report about vaping that is disappointing for a number of reasons. But mostly, it’s disappointing because it features Murthy spouting off about all of the alleged “dangers” of vaping, despite the fact that most of the things he mentions aren’t actually true.
— U.S. Surgeon General (@Surgeon_General) December 10, 2016
Murthy refers to vaping as a “major health concern” for the U.S., and unfortunately, this isn’t true. Vaping is something that could potentially be a concern, but as Murthy admits, there needs to be more research done on it before we label it a true concern as he did.
So why did he take it that far and scare a bunch of people in the process?
We don’t know. But we do know that, after Murthy released his report, vapers responded with a vengeance and started a #DumpSG hashtag on Twitter. And in doing so, they tried to educate Murthy about why he’s wrong in this case.
Scroll down to check out the 8 ways vapers responded to Murthy’s report.
1. By Telling Him That…He Is Spreading False Information
— O_O (@AgentAnia) December 13, 2016
#FakeNews has been a big topic over the course of the last few weeks.
Many people believe that fake news articles actually helped influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. And while that may or may not be true, there’s no denying that Murthy’s report contains at least an element of #FakeNews.
Some of the things he says in his report—like that vaping needs to be researched more extensively and that we don’t know everything we need to know about vaping—are true. But he leaves out many of the positive aspects of vaping and instead chooses to focus on the negatives.
By taking this approach, Murthy is, unfortunately, doing a great disservice to the American people. He should have gone with a more balanced approach that showcased both the pros and cons of vaping so that people could read his report and make judgements for themselves.
2. By Telling Him That…E-Cigarettes Are Not a “Gateway” to Tobacco Products
— VapingIT, SPE (@Vapingit) December 13, 2016
There is no scientific evidence that e-cigarettes are a “gateway” to tobacco products. And in fact, the most recent stats show that youth smoking is down, not up, and there is some indication that that may be because of vaping.
This “gateway” myth that has been perpetuated by politicians and other people in power is harmful, and it should not be allowed anymore. Unless there is proof that e-cigarettes serve as a “gateway” to tobacco products, you should be skeptical about any report that uses it as a crutch to lean on.
3. By Telling Him That…His Report Could Lead to an Increase in Teen Smoking
So your conclusion is “#Smoking is safer” for youth.
— VapingIT, SPE (@Vapingit) December 13, 2016
Murthy has painted such a negative picture of vaping that it almost makes it seem as though it’s more harmful than smoking is! Therefore, we wouldn’t be surprised at all if parents went ahead and kept a closer eye on their teens when it comes to vaping.
We actually think that’s a great idea, since we don’t recommend youth vaping. However, we also think Murthy’s report could be dangerous in that it could actually encourage more teens to smoke cigarettes since parents will be so anti-vaping.
It will be interesting to keep an eye on the teen smoking rates over the next few years. If they do go up, it won’t necessarily be because vaping is a “gateway” to tobacco; rather, it could very well be because Murthy came down so hard on vaping products.
4. By Telling Him That…It Sounds Like He’s Siding With Big Pharma
— Tara A. (@tja7175) December 13, 2016
Big Pharma stands to lose big time if and when e-cigarettes ever become a legitimate alternative to tobacco cigarettes. If studies show that e-cigarettes are healthy enough to use as smoking cessation devices, Big Pharma could lose billions of dollars since they are heavily invested in other devices like gums, patches, and more.
Many people have pointed this out in light of Murthy’s report. Is he taking the side of Big Pharma in the battle against vaping to help them turn a profit? We certainly hope not. We all want to believe he’s doing what’s best for the American people.
But sadly, we can’t say for sure why he seems to be working on behalf of Big Pharma. Plenty of vapers have noticed it, though, and aren’t happy about it.
5. By Telling Him That…E-Cigarettes Are Not for Kids
— A.J. BRAVE (@BRAVEmediaMO) December 12, 2016
The gist of Murthy’s report seems to be “e-cigarettes are bad because e-cigarettes are not good for kids.” One of those statements is right—e-cigarettes are not good for kids and under no circumstances should they have access to them.
That being said, the whole “we need to do what’s right for the kids!” thing is a crock, and many vapers have called Murthy out for it. Yes, we all want to protect the children of this country and keep them away from dangerous products, but that shouldn’t in and of itself mean that we need to outlaw vaping.
If Murthy and others want to argue against vaping, that’s fine. But let’s not do it at the expense of those who vape responsibly and keep kids away from vaping products.
6. By Telling Him That…Other Countries Disagree With His Findings
— Alan Beard (@Alan_Beard1) December 12, 2016
Since Murthy released his report, the UK has come out against it. That’s because the UK has, in an official capacity, endorsed vaping in the past and pointed out that it could be 95 percent safer than smoking. Many vapers have pointed this out to Murthy in light of his report and told him to take a page out of other countries’ playbooks.
We shouldn’t simply follow the UK’s lead and recommend vaping because they do it, but we should at least consider what they are saying about vaping and use it to push our research forward.
7. By Telling Him That…He Is Not Fulfilling His Job Description
Your job performance @Surgeon_General is substandard.
— VapingIT, SPE (@Vapingit) December 12, 2016
Hey, Mr. Surgeon General, do you know what you are paid to do? If not, this Twitter user found your job description as a reminder. You should use it to refresh your memory.
Look, we all get that the Surgeon General is trying to do his best here, but he should make sure that he has the good of all people in mind before he releases reports. And this latest report about vaping just doesn’t feel like it has everyone’s best interests in mind.
8. By Telling Him That…He Deserves to Be Fired
— Tim Swan (@tswan40) December 12, 2016
Too harsh? Maybe. But the whole point of the #DumpSG hashtag was to encourage people to call for Murthy’s job.
We don’t know if we would go that far—honestly, the next Surgeon General would probably just agree with his report—but we do wish more public officials would at least think about the potential benefits of vaping before disregarding it as an unhealthy decision.
How do you feel about what the U.S. Surgeon General had to say about vaping?