Earlier this month, hundreds of people all across the country probably had conversations about vaping after seeing a tweet that was sent out from the official @CNN Twitter account. Those conversations went something like this…
“Hey honey, did you hear about how e-cigarettes are now the most commonly used form of tobacco among teens?”
“Wow, really? That sounds bad! I thought tobacco use was on the decline.”
“Nope, apparently not. It was on CNN! Teens are getting their tobacco fix from e-cigarettes now.”
And unfortunately, those conversations were based on information that was 100 percent false. The people who had them talked about e-cigarettes after seeing this tweet come across their Twitter timelines:
— CNN (@CNN) December 8, 2016
Can you spot the #FakeNews? Fortunately, many Twitter users did and they were quick to point out the error that CNN made in their tweet. E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco and are therefore not the “most commonly used form of tobacco among teens in the United States,” since—again!—they don’t have tobacco in them. These people realized that:
@CNN yo idiots up at CNN! There’s no tobacco in ecigs get ur facts right
— Furco (@FurcoMusic) December 8, 2016
Christ almighty @CNN, do some fact checking and editing. E-cigs contain no tobacco. None.
— Eric V. (@esvbud) December 8, 2016
@CNN all day and you still haven’t corrected yourself, there is no tobacco in them..get the facts right
— Tracey J Marchu (@TJMarchu) December 8, 2016
@CNN e cigarettes are not tobacco. Is CNN staffed with 10 year olds?
— America First (@3merrychristmas) December 8, 2016
— Chris Lewis (@Not_Chris_8) December 8, 2016
Many other people didn’t, though, and that makes the CNN tweet—which, by the way, is still up and hasn’t been deleted or edited—dangerous. Here is why CNN is doing a disservice to Americans by failing to acknowledge the difference between e-cigarettes and tobacco products…
It Makes It Seem as Though E-Cigarettes and Cigarettes Belong in the Same Category
E-cigarettes and cigarettes are not the same thing. At the moment, there is a lot of research being done on e-cigarettes, and at some point in the near future, we should all know more about how e-cigarettes affect the long term health of those who use them.
However, that does not mean that e-cigarettes and cigarettes should be clumped into the same category, which is what CNN is doing by suggesting that e-cigarettes contain tobacco. If you know anything about e-cigarettes, you know that they do not have any tobacco in them. They also do not contain any of the carcinogens or dangerous chemicals found in cigarettes.
E-cigarettes are devices that are used to heat up e-juices, which then form a water vapor that can be inhaled. Some of those e-juices do contain nicotine just like cigarettes, but nicotine in and of itself is not definitively harmful for you. In fact, some studies have shown that nicotine can actually be helpful to the human body when taken in moderate doses. So before you go throwing e-cigarettes and cigarettes into the same category, you should learn the difference between “tobacco” and “nicotine.” You will find that they are very different and come with much different health concerns.
It Turns Some People Off From Wanting to Use E-Cigarettes
The tweet that CNN sent out makes it sound like e-cigarettes are bad for people to use. We aren’t allowed to say that e-cigarettes are good for you because there are still many studies being done on them at this time. But we can point out that some of the studies that have concluded suggest that there could be potential benefits to using e-cigarettes.
Over in the United Kingdom, the government promotes e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to tobacco cigarettes, and their studies have shown that e-cigarettes could be up to 95 percent safer than traditional cigarettes. Here in the U.S., we haven’t come to that conclusion just yet, but everyday, we are getting closer to finding out just how safe they might be.
Don’t allow CNN or other forms of media to turn you off from using e-cigarettes just yet. Just like we aren’t permitted to say that e-cigarettes are safe, other publications shouldn’t be allowed to say that they’re dangerous. There’s just not enough evidence out there to make any definitive statements about e-cigarettes either way, and CNN should know better than to try and do it.
It Gives Credibility to a Myth the Vaping Industry Has Been Trying to Destroy
Over the last few years, those in the vaping community have worked tirelessly to try and shoot down some of the myths that have gone around with regards to vaping. One of those myths is that e-cigarettes contain tobacco, and it seems that no matter how many times we say that that is not correct, people continue to perpetuate the lie.
So let us say this once and for all: E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco in any way, shape, or form. There are people who prefer to use tobacco-flavored e-juices, but those types of e-liquids don’t contain tobacco! Tobacco is a product that is only found in cigarettes, cigars, and other products that you smoke. You do not smoke e-cigarettes (once again, e-cigarettes and cigarettes = NOT the same!) and you don’t have to worry about coming into contact with tobacco when you use them.
It Actually Tells Two Lies at Once
The crazy part about the CNN tweet is that, while the tobacco angle is obviously false, it’s not even the only #FakeNews in the tweet! The tweet also suggests that teen tobacco use is up in recent years, and this is also a lie.
Teen tobacco use has gone down recently, which is something that should be celebrated. But instead of celebrating it, some media outlets like CNN are finding other ways to bring vaping into the discussion to try and make it seem like it has increased tobacco use. It’s not true, and you shouldn’t buy into it. You can find out more about that particular topic here:
We realize that we’re making a huge deal out of a single tweet, but we hate to see conversations like the one at the top of this post taking place amongst good, decent people who just don’t know any better. Shame on CNN for spreading misconceptions about vaping. It hurts everyone both inside and outside the vaping community when fake news like that spreads, and we should all do our part to stop it from happening. It’s the only way to make sure that people are properly educated about vaping.