Need for honest reporting on vaping

Need for honest reporting on vaping

It is almost daily that you read an article whereby the author takes a scientific research report on vaping out of context or cites reports that have no documented basis.

The most recent example is an article in Science News entitled "Health risks of e-cigarettes emerge" with a by-line that reads "Vaping pollutes lungs with toxic chemicals and may even make antibiotic-resistant bacteria harder to kill".  This article draws information from several lab studies and reports but cherry picks which information to present to lead the reader to the conclusion that e-cigarettes are a significant heath risk.

I will not take the time to go through each exaggerated claims made and will focus on the opening sentence as a prime example.  The author writes, "Electronic cigarettes, marketed as safer than regular cigarettes, deliver a cocktail of toxic chemicals including carcinogens into the lung."  That is a pretty powerful assertion so what does the author use to substantiate this claim?  She relies primarily upon a document prepared for the World Health Organization that drew conclusions from a handful of research reports over a period of several years.  The report did state that there are toxins given off in e-cigarette vapor but it also concludes "toxins in the e-cigarette aerosol were at much lower levels compared with the conventional cigarette emissions."  How much lower?  Try over 1,000 times lower.

The point of this post is not to argue that vaping is better than breathing clean air.  What we need are fewer articles selectively using science to promote an agenda that discounts facts.  We need are better stewards of the what vaping is and what it is not.  Less hysteria and more facts.

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