Vaping Deaths: How the Media Misrepresents the “Vape Epidemic”

Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

The nanny state is back again, swinging its cudgel of liberty-hating prohibition as forcefully as ever. This time, it’s coming for your Juuls to combat the so-called “vaping epidemic”. Hide your pens and hide your pods because America will soon be going full 18th amendment on your electronic nicotine devices. Online news is all over the phenomenon, but their reporting on the six vaping deaths is far from accurate. Rather, it’s a horrendous misrepresentation that will cost Americans a basic human right.

Vaping Deaths in the Media

The mainstream media is not letting the opportunity for vaping views go to waste. After six people died from “vaping-related” injuries, they are not hesitating to pull the trigger on every piece of vaping media possible. However, the headlines of such articles are not totally accurate. And because we live in the hyperspeed age of rapid information intake, few Americans are researching deeper than the New York Times headline.

So what exactly is going on here? USA Today reports that “A 6th person has died from a vaping-related lung illness, this time in Kansas“. CNN adds to the dumpster fire with the headline “A sixth person died from vaping-related lung disease. Here’s what you need to know“. These headlines immediately paint a bad picture of vapes.

But to understand the true nature of the phenomenon, we need to look a little closer. Doctors report that the injuries are mostly due to a chemical called vitamin E acetate. Vitamin E acetate is found in THC vapes, commonly called “dab carts”. New York health officials found extremely high vitamin E acetate content in the THC cartridges that they investigated. However, traditional Juul pods, as well as other vape liquids, do not contain vitamin E acetate.

Vitamin E acetate is often used to cut THC cartridges to save on costs. However, the nicotine vape industry does not use such a product. The problem here is pretty clear: mainstream media is not reporting on the THC products in their headlines. They’re lumping all electronic vaporizers together, regardless of what is actually in them. This leads headline readers to have a terrible frame of reference for what this “vaping epidemic” actually looks like.

Government Steps In

The government is here to save the day and combat the vaping epidemic. Unsurprisingly, it’s doing it in all the wrong places and at the expense of human liberty. The Trump administration made clear on Wednesday that they will be pursuing a ban of flavored e-cigarette products.

The result of this ban would be no more mint and menthol-flavored Juul pods, along with other e-cig products. Taking flavored vape juices off the market, though, won’t solve the problem. Marijuana is seeing widespread legalization across the United States. State governments everywhere are legalizing the products that contain vitamin E acetate while the Trump administration attacks a totally unrelated product.

Is the Trump administration brain-dead on this issue? No, but the American population is. They don’t understand the nuances of the issue, which makes it easy for Trump (or any other candidate, for that matter) to make empty political postures for cheap boomer votes.

Not only will this ban not solve the issue, but it is an abridgment of the basic human right to choose what one puts into his or her own body. No, we shouldn’t ban THC cartridges. We need to research what is and is not healthy and hold the companies that fill their products with these toxic chemicals responsible. Take responsibility and don’t poison yourselves. And government, don’t tread on the Juuls.


71 Republic takes pride in our distinctively independent journalism and editorials. Every dollar you give helps us grow our mission of providing reliable coverage. Please consider donating to our Patreon.