You might not expect to find many articles about vaping when you crack open The New York Times, but the truth is that the newspaper has actually been on the cutting-edge of vaping for awhile now. Last year, the NYT put together a lengthy story called “Safer to Puff, E-Cigarettes Can’t Shake Their Reputation as a Menace” that made a really strong case for why the CDC and other health organizations should rethink the way they talk about vaping.
The NYT turned out to be an unlikely ally for the vaping community when they published the piece, seeing as how many mainstream publications have taken shots at e-cigarettes and vaping rather than considering the potential benefits associated with them.
The NYT just published another article about vaping, too, but this article doesn’t necessarily paint vaping in the most positive light. It’s a fair article—it considers all sides of its subject—but it deals with “dripping,” which is not necessarily a new concept but is starting to get more mainstream attention.
Plain old vaping gives way to ‘dripping’ among teenagers, study says https://t.co/6ijXcX2sXo
— NYT Health (@NYTHealth) February 7, 2017
Dripping is, in its simplest form, a practice that calls for vapers to apply e-juice directly to the heated coils on their e-cigarettes rather than vaping with their e-juice located in a tank. It allows people to produce significantly larger clouds of vapor when they vape, and it has become popular for this reason. It’s an advanced way of vaping and, in addition to delivering more flavor, it also provides vapers with “a stronger throat hit.”
So why did the NYT pick now to cover it, and maybe more importantly, did they make the right decision by doing it? Let’s explore those two questions further to see what the goal was for the newspaper…
Why The New York Times Covered Dripping
As we mentioned, dripping as a concept is not particularly new. Many vapers have been dripping for a long time now. And while, as the NYT piece pointed out, there are some vaping manufacturers who are making it easier for vapers to drip, now feels like an arbitrary time to cover it.
However, the NYT did have its reasons for doing it. It seems Yale University conducted a study recently that included asking more than 7,000 high school students about their vaping habits. Of these students, about 1,900 said that they have vaped with e-cigarettes in the past, and almost 300 said they have tried dripping.
So that was why the newspaper decided to cover it in the first place. The study, which was published in the Pediatrics journal, showed that dripping has become something that parents are hearing more and more about. So the NYT article gave them a good reference point for it.
What the Newspaper’s Goal Was With Its Dripping Article
Now that we understand why the NYT covered dripping in the first place, let’s try and figure out what their goal was. This is where it might get a little bit tricky.
The Yale University study gave the NYT a reason to cover vaping. But there are studies on vaping released on an almost daily basis these days. If you haven’t noticed yet, we cover many of these studies right here on Aspen Valley Vapes, but we haven’t seen many of them in the NYT. So it would appear as though this particular one caught the eye of a NYT editor.
And we would suspect that these two lines explain exactly why the study ended up being the subject of a NYT piece: “Teenagers have found a new way to worry their parents. Never mind plain old vaping—now, it’s all about dripping.”
It seems as though the NYT sees two things as problematic here: The fact that teenagers are vaping and the fact that they have taken vaping to a new level by dripping.
We see their point when it comes to the first item. The Yale study does point out that there are quite a few teens using vaping products. And as long as they are 18 or 19, that’s OK! But underage vaping is something that makes the whole community look bad, and we want to see it curbed ASAP.
On the other hand, the NYT seems to suggest that dripping is a bad thing at times in their article, which simply isn’t true. Dripping isn’t for everyone, but it is a great way to experiment with vaping as long as you know what you’re doing. And despite what the NYT suggests at the end of their article, there are no known studies that show that dripping is harmful to those who do it.
Will It Help the Vaping Community…
Even though the NYT article includes some things that might make the vaping community look bad in it—like the fact that many high school students vape—there are some excellent points made in it that portray vaping in a favorable light.
At one point in the article, the NYT speaks with a vaping blogger about dripping, and he points out that dripping is not something that’s new. Additionally, he mentions that dripping is a natural extension of vaping itself.
“There’s a side of vaping that’s super simple, and that’s what most of the public sees,” Blake Brown says in the piece. “There’s also a different side to vaping where people like to tinker around with things, take things apart.”
He also explained, in very simple terms, the appeal of vaping.
“You’re getting more of a smooth draw and the flavor is enhanced greatly,” he said. “Compared to the standard e-cigs you can get, it’s like, you can go buy a Prius or you can go buy a Corvette.”
This portion of the article was enlightening, and we sincerely hope that all of the parents and anti-vaping folks out there read it and got a better understanding with regards to dripping.
…or Will It Hurt It?
We did enjoy much of the NYT article, but there were some parts of it that could be detrimental to vapers. Specifically, the NYT spoke with Dr. Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin—a professor at Yale who headed up the dripping study—about dripping and she gave them the impression that it could be bad for you. She cited research done at the American University of Beurit and said heating e-juices up to high temperatures could release high levels of carcinogens, which isn’t necessarily true.
Dr. Krishnan-Sarin did say that more long-term research needs to be done on vaping in general, which is true, but like many researchers out there who aren’t sold on the potential benefits of vaping, she left parents with a parting shot that sends the wrong message about vaping.
“My message to parents always is: It’s not a good idea for your kids to use these e-cigarettes until we know more about the safety and toxicity of these products,” she said.
We again side with her and the NYT when it comes to shooting down the idea of those under the age of 18 using vaping products. But we don’t like that it’s being done by shooting down vaping and dripping entirely. We wish the NYT piece would have sold the idea of vaping responsibly a little harder.
At the end of the day, we’re glad to see that publications like the NYT are taking an interest in vaping and exploring concepts like dripping. We just hope they don’t try to unfairly portray vaping in a false light or touch on topics like dripping with bad intentions.