Warning: This Politician’s Anti-Vaping Op-Ed Will Piss You Off

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

So I made the mistake of reading this op-ed from Massachusetts State Senator Jason Lewis. And now I’m filled with nerd rage.

Not just because he disagrees with my opinion. I understand that perfectly reasonable people can disagree with each other from time to time.

My problem is that his logic is, well, nonexistent. The op-ed is filled with classic anti-vaping propaganda that was popular circa 2014 and contains literally zero evidence to back up any of his claims.

Unbelievably, Senator Lewis is continuing to parrot the disgusting “think of the children” excuse for banning vaping. In current year.

From Senator Lewis:

Most adults are not familiar with e-cigarettes or vaping. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for teenagers. The use of e-cigarettes in recent years has exploded among middle and high school students, who think that they are cool and harmless. This has rapidly become a major public health concern.

Another choice quote, where he makes the classic anti-vaper claim that only kids are able to enjoy things that taste good:

Tobacco companies are aggressively marketing e-cigarettes to young people, using the same playbook that led to high rates of smoking in the past. These tactics include celebrity endorsements, ads on social media, cheap products, and enticing flavors like cotton candy, fruit punch, and crème brulee.

At one point he even cites his teen daughter as evidence that the Juul in particular is popular amongst kids. This is a state senator. Using a (possibly made up) statement from his teenage daughter as justification for passing laws that will increase the rates of smoking and destroy a massive industry that has created tons of jobs. Here’s the quote:

The industry also downplays any health risks. For example, check out www.juulvapor.com whose products are very popular among middle and high school students in our communities (according to my teen daughter).

Never mind the fact that the CDC just released a study showing that teen vaping rates are actually declining. No, that real evidence doesn’t count. Lets focus on the alleged anecdotal statement from his own daughter instead.

If that wasn’t rage-inducing enough, he goes on to cite the widely discredited formaldehyde study as justification for his opposition to e-cigarettes:

However, researchers have found that e-cigarette vapor may be filled with cancer-causing chemicals. One study, noted in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that e-cigarette vapor can contain cancer-causing formaldehyde at levels up to 15 times higher than regular cigarettes.

I swear to god, I feel like I’m reading a fake op-ed on The Onion or something. It’s hard to believe that an elected official is actually citing discredited studies to justify his positions. Didn’t this guy do a single second of research? It’s not that hard, I do it all the time and I’m just some guy who writes for a blog. This is state senator for fucks sake.

So what’s his end game?

You guessed it.

He wants to pass yet another restrictive anti-vaping law:

In my role as Senate Chair of the legislature’s Public Health Committee, I have filed legislation, An Act to Protect Youth from the Health Risks of Tobacco and Nicotine Addiction, and I’m doing everything possible to see that this bill becomes law in Massachusetts. The bill makes it clear that e-cigarettes are tobacco products; raises the minimum legal sales age for all tobacco products from 18 to 21; and prohibits vaping in schools and other places where smoking is not permitted. A number of our communities have already enacted similar policies through the action of local Boards of Health, but we need to implement these important safeguards statewide.

VaporVanity readers are smart, so I don’t need to lay out the reasons why this law is absurd. But come one, really? tobacco product? There is no tobacco in e-cigarettes!

Ok it’s time for me to take a break. It’s been a while since I’ve gone on a good old-fashioned rant on the VaporVanity blog, but this was so egregious that I couldn’t resist.

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