All’s Stupid At The Western Front


Stupid Western Front

It’s easy to get disheartened, if you’re a vaper who reads the news. There’s so much out there to be down about, with business press outlets and pop culture magazines attacking vaping with little or no real information on which to base their attacks.

     But what’s most troublesome — more than the misinformation or outright disinformation that’s being presented now, today — is that the disinformation is perpetuated on to the next article, the next writer, the next publication. And while response pieces like the one you’re reading now can’t change the hearts and minds of the editors or publications running these attack pieces overnight — maybe not at all — I can at least try to counter them at the level of the readers.

     It’s time now for me to put on the gloves and do that once again.

      This particular attack piece is relatively short, so it won’t take a whole lot of time or verbiage to destroy it — but it has to be destroyed, because it’s a toxic little nugget of deception that only perpetuates ignorance and has the potential to keep its readers following a deadly course.

     This article comes from The Western Front, which appears to be a student news source for Western Washington University, and is entitled, “Unknown e-cigarette dangers.”

I think we can tell, from the title alone, just what kind of biased lump of tripe we’re in for. “We don’t know — therefore, there must be dangers.”

     The problem with this is, of course, is that as of 2014, we do know, and what we know is that the “danger” is negligible at worst.

     Let’s dive into the piece itself:


“E-cigarettes are becoming popular among young users, replacing traditional cigarettes in many cases. As the number of vapor stores downtown rise, Western students have to accept the fact that they will come in contact with electronic cigarette vapor more frequently. On a sunny day in Red Square, it is not unlikely to see someone using an e-cigarette by the fountain, or sitting at a bench rather than in a designated smoking location.


     This is the one of the most ignorant and malicious things you could wish for people to do. Vapers switch from smoking to vaping to get away from the toxins in cigarette smoke. How is it that the tobacco prohibitionists reconcile their desire to see people stop smoking with their insistence that those who stop smoking via a method the prohibitionists disapprove of should continue to ingest hazardous tobacco smoke anyway?


“The vapor is not smoke, so traditional regulations do not apply to users in public areas. However, e-cigarettes still contain tobacco and should be considered nothing more than camouflaged cigarettes.


     That was the catalyst for this response. That statement, right there. Because it is a bald-faced fucking lie. The only alternate explanation for a statement that absurdly false is that the author of this article has absolutely zero knowledge of the subject on which he or she was writing.

For those who don’t know, the basic components of an electronic cigarette are as follows:


*A Battery

*An atomizer

*A container for eliquid


     The battery simply provides electrical current to the atomizer. The atomizer is a coil of steel wire wrapped around a length of wicking material. The wicking material is saturated by eliquid from the container into which the atomizer is inserted. When the battery sends electrical current to the atomizer assembly, the wire heats up until the eliquid that saturates the wicking material is heated into vapor.

     That combination of hardware not only does not contain tobacco, it would not function in the presence of tobacco. The mechanism simply does not function in a way that will allow tobacco to be consumed through it.

     To assert that electronic cigarettes are “camouflaged cigarettes”, though, takes the author’s statement from a simple mistake resulting from a lack of information on the topic to outright deception.

     One might object thus: “Well, he just didn’t know!” That excuse won’t fly. When a writer tackles a topic, he actively makes it his business to know. Next quote:


“The last two years have shown a doubling of e-cigarette use among middle and high school students, according to the Center for Disease Control.”


     This oft-debunked claim again, and again from someone who obviously didn’t even read the abstract of the CDC report. The CDC, once again, tested for experimentation, not regular use. 


“These are students who legally cannot buy tobacco products.”


     What a delightful little false inference we have there. As if the fact that middle school and high school students aren’t able to legally buy combustible cigarettes means anything in light of the simple fact that they get them, legality be damned. What that should demonstrate to the author at The Western Front is that prohibition simply does not work.

     Of course, if he figured that out, he’d probably have scrapped the piece before submitting it, since the obvious intent behind it is to engage in excuse-making for prohibition of electronic cigarettes in some form.


“So, as the use of e-cigarette numbers rise and cigarette numbers drop, young people are facing the controversial question: which is the lesser of two evils?”


     The lesser of two evils is the one that doesn’t involve combustion byproducts or carcinogenic additives. And if you really want to crusade against evils, Unknown Author, I suggest you begin by deploying an army of corrections to your article.


The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated the use of e-cigarettes and has sent multiple warnings to distributors for violations of the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act by way of false claims and poor manufacturing practices.”


     With zero citations or references offered for for these claims, the above claim is absolute fiction. This is what makes this article one of the most jaw-droppingly, absurdly, maliciously biased lumps of shit ever to dirty my display’s pixels.


“Despite a growing industry, it is still very difficult to confirm the legitimacy of practices in the making of e-cigarettes, which is a potential danger to users, who cannot know exactly what they are putting in their bodies.”


     The hilarious presumption with this last statement is, of course, that you should avoid “potential danger” in favor of continuing to expose yourself to a known danger. The author at The Western Front, presumably, would rather see you not use nicotine — but if you’re going to keep being a naughty child and resisting the advice of your betters, the reasoning seems to go, then you should have to pay your penance for that by using nicotine in the way that is definitely going to do you, your friends, and your family more harm.


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