Leave My Vape Alone…

Leave My Vape Alone…

It should come as no surprise that the controversy surrounding e-cigarettes and their relationship to the larger issue of cigarette smoking has ignited a firestorm of commentary, public opinion and political wrangling.   Add the FDA, WHO, CDC, NYC, and various state’s attorney generals to the conversation, and “vape” has replaced “weed” in today’s lexicon for the gateway drug of the 21st century, destined to convert our middle and high schoolers to a lifelong addiction to nicotine and high risk of cancer.

Let’s put things into context for a moment.

Obviously, the dreaded weed was such an effective “gateway” drug that 23 states and the District of Columbia have now enacted laws to legalize medical marijuana, with some states (and DC) allowing for non-medical use as well.  Funny thing…teen use in the states that have legalized marijuana is comparable to usage in states that have not legalized marijuana.  So much for that gateway.

“Vape”, the word so popular that Oxford Dictionaries recently named it the “international Word of the Year”, describes the act of vaping an e-cigarette or the actual device, itself.   Vaping is now front and center in the debate surrounding youth and smoking.  Amidst the foggy hype and hoopla is the fear that our young people will 1) use e-cigarettes because they come in brightly colored packages with candy-like flavors, and 2) graduate from e-cigarettes to their significantly more harmful counterpart, traditional cigarettes.

Again, let’s put things into context with a very simple question.

Why would anyone, our young people included, choose to switch from their brightly colored vape in a variety of sweet and fruity flavors to a dull looking cigarette that tastes like tobacco and smells like an ashtray?

Vape, verb

Inhale and exhale vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device

Vape, noun

An electronic cigarette or similar device; an act of inhaling and exhaling the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device