You might not necessarily expect to read many vaping stories when you crack open a copy of The New York Times. But the NYT has actually covered vaping on a number of occasions over the course of the last year or so.
At the end of 2016, the NYT put together a story that featured them make a strong case for why the CDC and other health organizations should consider rethinking the way that they treat the vaping community, and they followed that up in early 2017 with a story about dripping. That story wasn’t necessarily as positive as the first one, but it was still nice to see the NYT addressing the issue of vaping and shedding some light on it.
And now, the NYT is back with yet another vaping story, with this one taking a look at a different side of the vaping community. This time, the NYT is putting the act of vaping to the side and instead focusing in on the small vape shops that have popped up around the country and the effect that the FDA deeming regulations are having on them. The NYT has decided that it’s important to tell the stories behind some of these shops.
This is important work that the NYT has done because the truth is that there are still so many people around the country who don’t have a clue what vaping is or how the FDA regulations are taking a toll on vape shop owners and their employees. Further, there are many people who, unfortunately, have the wrong impressions of those involved in the vaping industry.
Here is what the NYT story is all about and why we’re glad to see the NYT continuing to educate people about vaping…
The Focus of the NYT’s Latest Vaping Story
The latest NYT story about vaping starts by talking about the small vaping business run by a man named Stephen D’Angelo. He runs his vape shop in Hartsdale, N.Y., and while he just recently started turning a profit, he’s worried like so many other vape shop owners about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations that are going to affect his business.
D’Angelo credits vaping with helping him quit smoking, and he believes that his shop will help others to do the same thing. “If I can help someone stop smoking and add five or six years to their life, I’ve accomplished something,” he told the NYT.
However, the FDA regulations are already threatening to put him out of business, even though they won’t go into effect until August 2018. He told the NYT he’s concerned about what the future holds for him.
Essentially the same story is also repeated by another vape shop owner named Kim Thompson from Tacoma, Washington. She has owned a shop since early 2011, but recently, she said the vaping industry has become very “unstable” because of the FDA. She said that many of her employees are even opting to get jobs in other industries simply to avoid what they believe to be inevitable—the downfall of the vaping industry.
In between telling these stories, the NYT also points out the debate over the health concerns tied to vaping. They talked to several experts who told them that the jury is still out with regards to whether or not vaping is better for people than smoking. And it also touches on the stories of a couple other vape shop owners before explaining that even large tobacco companies are struggling to come to terms with some of the FDA regulations being put into place.
What the Story Will Hopefully Teach People
If you aren’t familiar with vaping, the NYT story will teach you quite a few things about it. First and foremost, it will teach you that vaping is not as bad as some people will tell you it is. At least, it hasn’t been proven to be bad since there are so many studies that still need to be done on it.
This story will also teach you that there is a human side to the controversy surrounding vaping. There are many vaping critics who just want to tear it apart and act like vape shop owners and those in the vaping community are trying to do little more than make a quick buck in an industry that is predicted to grow from $3.5 billion to more than $40 billion in the not-so-distant future.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. As you’ll read, there are many vape shop owners who truly want what’s best for those who visit their stores. Many are former smokers themselves looking to tell others about the benefits of it. And those people are the ones who are being penalized for trying to do it by the FDA. They are worried about losing their livelihoods simply because the FDA refuses to acknowledge the potential of vaping.
Why It’s Important for the NYT to Cover Vaping
When the NYT prints a story, there are many people across the country who suddenly sit up and pay attention. It’s one thing for online forums and online magazines to talk about vaping. But when the NYT does it, it legitimizes it to a certain degree and forces people to pay attention to it.
That is what the NYT is doing here. They are forcing people to look at the issues beyond just what they see on the surface when they think about vaping. What about the vape shop owners who will lose their businesses and be forced to part ways with employees due to the FDA regulations? What about the lack of innovation that will sidetrack the vaping community once the FDA forces everyone to do a ridiculous amount of research and testing on new products? What about those who have turned to vaping for help with quitting smoking who will now start smoking again?
The NYT is shining a spotlight on many of these questions and forcing people to try and answer them. That is commendable and should help the vaping community in the long run.
What Should the NYT Cover Next?
Towards the end of the latest NYT vaping story, the publication addresses the fact that it’s not just small vape shops complaining about the FDA regulations. It’s also gigantic companies. So if they can’t get their act together, why is the FDA expecting small shops to do it?
The NYT should explore that aspect of vaping next. What struggles are the big boys having and how are they handling them? This could point out even more problems with the FDA regulations and educate the American public more about the crisis in the vaping community.
There are so many ways for the NYT to attack this story, and things are only going to heat up as we inch closer to 2018. Let’s hope the NYT continues to stick with their vaping coverage and expand upon it.