FDA Launches Fear Mongering Campaign
As reported in one of our latest articles, FDA Poised to Ban E-Liquid Flavors Nationwide; Claims Underage Vaping is an Epidemic, the FDA is cracking down on teen vaping, claiming that it has reached epidemic proportions and with that comes new laughable campaigns. Revealing their newest opposition to vaping, the FDA has a launched a campaign centered around images of body horror and misleading statistics. Because we always want to bring the latest news to our EightVape community, we are going to break down their site and the increasingly inaccurate claims with their accompanying graphics and video.
Metal in Vapes
The claim that metal particles can be found in vapes is not a new one but the cause is often never discussed. In many cases, the cause of these findings stem from the setting they choose to perform the study and in a number of scenarios, including ones listed as sources by the FDA on their website, the parameters seem skewed to produce negative results. For example, some studies have used older generation devices with inferior coils. In another study, they “dry puff” and state that they are burning a coil with no juice and above recommended level to produce metals in the vapor, which any vaper would know that is not how you would use a device. Anything can be turned dangerous given extreme and unsafe usage and to use these as an example to fear monger shows a disregard for the context.
Of course the FDA doesn’t stop at using questionable study conditions to push their agenda. In some cases they will even use unrelated stories and make connections without providing actual connections such as their infatuation with the myth of Popcorn Lung.
Popcorn Lung has become synonymous with vaping in recent years with no evidence of any link between the two. In 2015 a Harvard study found that diacetyl was found in some e-juices and while diacetyl was connected to Popcorn Lung, the dosage was left out. Popcorn Lung, used as a colloquialism for bronchiolitis obliterans, concerns come from a 2002 paper from the Centers for Disease Control after a number of cases involving factory workers in a popcorn factory. These workers had been involved with the mixing and packaging directly in areas that had high levels of diacetyl with no respiratory protective equipment for long periods of time a day for years. In comparison, cigarettes have been known to have diacetyl for many years before the e-cigarettes connection, only at levels over a 100 times higher. Another interesting fact is that even at 100 times the level of vaping, those earlier tobacco studies found those levels still not enough to cause popcorn lung to occur.
So why is it that vaping has become connected with this myth that has zero instances of ever existing? Why are the claims made but none of the actual stats are discussed? Michael Siegal, a physician and professor at Boston University has this to say in connection, “It creates a scare by omitting a key piece of information, undermining the public’s appreciation of the severe hazards of tobacco smoking and leading to perverse public health outcomes.”
The FDA has access to the same studies as everyone else does, but they still wish to perpetuate a complete myth for no other reason than to create a fear mongering campaign but it doesn’t end with skewing study results as evident by their next step.
This video is a new step for propaganda in terms to vaping, moving away from misconstrued facts into the realm of outright lies and fear mongering. It almost seems laughable at times, treating nicotine as if parasites are living in vape juice and upon use now live in the user. The video features tiny creatures crawling through arteries, lungs, and chomping down on brains even as a voice over provides vague claims before showing the parasites and zooming out to show them swimming around in e liquid.
The ad agency FCB New York, along with filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, created the video above as the foundation of their new campaign. FCB New York signed a 5 year contract last year with the FDA for the price of $625 million and it certainly shows. With special effects that rival recent horror films, this video would probably be terrifying to anyone that didn’t know what a vape device was but to anyone that has done even the smallest amount research, its clear how ridiculous an approach it is.
On top of this video, the FDA has also created monsters that seem better fit for a Silent Hill game than a means to prevent teen vaping. Speaking of video games, The Real Cost has also developed their own game about the “epidemic” featuring a very nicely rendered basement filled with “facts” and research for players to discover.
As demonizing as the FDA wants to make the vaping community, the truth is that it is made by adults for adults and the responsibility falls upon retailers and parents to ensure that teens don’t have access to these products. Teens are not a targeted demographic and the quote “if someone doesn’t vape or smoke, then we don’t want to get them to start” has made its way around the EightVape office. On that topic, teens should know that vaping is made for adults and are encouraged to stay away, but the issue becomes that using manipulated data and outright lying is not keeping teens away from vaping, it is putting adults’ access to these life saving devices in danger. Campaigns to stop teen vaping can be admirable but with themes like the ones we’ve discussed here, it is clear that the FDA doesn’t care about the truth or if law-abiding adults lose access to the means of literally saving lives.
The adage goes that “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants” and in this case, we want to make sure that all the light reaches this clear misinformed fear mongering propaganda. What are your thoughts on this and some of the other campaigns the FDA and others are pushing to confuse and misinform the public concerning vaping? Feel free to let us know here or on any of our social media outlets.