by Clark Miller

Published November 14, 2018

Updated April 7, 2021

Evidence continues to accumulate pointing to increased prevalence of “vaping”, or use of e-cigarettes to inhale vaporized nicotine (the addictive chemical in cigarettes), in adults and youth as providing no established net population health benefit and likely harm. As noted in a previous post in a series – as with other “harm reduction”, replacement, and healthcare practices driven and implemented by the medical industry in collaboration with drug manufacturing and delivery industries, medical/pharmaceutical fixes for entirely non-medical problems have resulted in predictable failed outcomes and harms. Just last year, the FDA branded vaping as an important “harm reduction” strategy, that approach endorsed in the nation’s leading medical journal.

Juul vape devices in a store

The most recent post in this series discussed new evidence of alarming reversals of decades-long trends in decreased cigarette use, including in youth, concurrent with booming “vaping” of nicotine – seemingly pointing to a worsening, rather than protective effect of e-cigarette use:

New Canadian public health figures – for e-cigarette and cigarette use among Canadians 15 years of age and older – appear to model similarly alarming U.S. trends. Prevalence of that population in Canada having ever used e-cigarettes increased by 15% in 2017 compared to 2015. And concurrently with the increased use of vaping, instead of the desired and industry-promoted projection of decreased cigarette use related to vaping, cigarette use increased, also by 15%, over the same period. As in the U.S., cigarette use had apparently prior to the upturn been in decline, “In 2017, the overall prevalence of smoking among Canadians aged 15 and up was 15 per cent, representing 4.6 million current smokers, an increase from 2015 when it hit an all-time low of 13 per cent.”

More recently, epidemiological data on vaping among youth and adults at risk of increasing use of tobacco cigarettes and nicotine dependence was released by the American Academy of Pediatricians.

“With our findings, we suggest that smoking uptake and progression is an adverse public health consequence of high rates of e-cigarette use among youth and young adults. The findings also did not reveal strong evidence of transitioning away from combustible cigarette use as a potential public health benefit of e-cigarette use in young people. Together, these findings reveal that adolescent e-cigarette use may result in an overall adverse impact on the public health of youth and young adults.”

The congruence of those results with the accumulating evidence pointing to a gateway rather than proactive link from vaping to cigarette use and nicotine dependence appears to form another disturbing example of medical/pharmacologic fixes for non-medical problems predicting harm.

Why A Critical Discourse?

Because an uncontrolled epidemic of desperate and deadly use of pain-numbing opioid drugs is just the most visible of America’s lethal crises of drug misuse, suicide, depression, of obesity and sickness, of social illness. Because the matrix of health experts and institutions constructed and identified by mass media as trusted authorities – publicly funded and entrusted to protect public health – instead collude to fabricate false assurances like those that created an opioid crisis, while promising medical cures that never come and can never come, while epidemics worsen. Because the “journalists” responsible for protecting public well-being have failed to fight for truth, traded that duty away for their careers, their abdication and cowardice rewarded daily in corporate news offices, attempts to expose that failure and their fabrications punished.

Open, critical examination, exposure, and deconstruction of their lethal matrix of fabrications is a matter of survival, is cure for mass illness and crisis, demands of us a critical discourse.

Crisis is a necessary condition for a questioning of doxa, but is not in itself a sufficient condition for the production of a critical discourse.

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