Need Ammo for your Vaping Debates? Use these Vaping Rebuttals
Here’s a scenario that you may have encountered. You’re out socializing with a few friends or maybe having a cup of coffee with your co-workers when the subject of vaping comes up. Someone levels a criticism or, even worse, asks you a question point-blank that requires an intelligent, informed response. You pause, attempt to organize your thoughts, and begin to make an argument that quickly devolves into a mash of opinions and facts as it wanders down a dozen different rabbit holes. The best way to avoid these types of situations is to have an arsenal of fact-based vaping rebuttals at your immediate disposal.
Having to defend your position on certain subjects from time to time is a part of life. To help you avoid embarrassing situations like the one mentioned above, here are some common points made by non-vapers in vaping discussions and a few suggestions that will help you deliver a factual, informative rebuttal.
#1 Vaping is Bad for Your Health
Use this Rebuttal: The truth is that we simply don’t have enough information yet to support or refute the claim that vaping is bad for your health. Even the FDA admits that, on average, it takes 12 years of clinical studies to make that kind of determination. Even though their origins can be traced as far back as the 1930’s, the first electronic cigarettes didn’t appear in Europe and the United States until 2006. The FDA is only now preparing to conduct the first series of clinical vaping trials. As I am sure you would agree, our judgment on this point is best reserved until we have more data.
#2 Vaping is a Gateway to Smoking
Use this Rebuttal: Actually, some data is emerging that appears to suggest otherwise. The annual Monitoring the Future study conducted by the University of Michigan reported in late 2016 that rates for both vaping and smoking among young people declined dramatically. The decline in teen smoking rates was the most dramatic in the history of the MTF study, which is widely regarded as an accurate estimation of societal behaviors. If vaping were encouraging individuals to smoke, it is logical to assume that the number of young smokers would be going up instead of down.
#3 You’re Swapping One Addiction for Another
Use this Rebuttal: Well, to be precise, it is the same addiction: nicotine. Would a smoker that uses a nicotine patch or some other form of nicotine replacement therapy be swapping one addiction for another? Perhaps, but studies suggest it is a beneficial swap to make. Patches have a 15% success rate after one year in helping individuals quit smoking, but the important comparison here is that the nicotine level in e-juices can be reduced over time just as it is with a patch. The difference is that most e-juices are available in a form that contains zero nicotine, which permits the vaper to gradually eliminate nicotine altogether if they choose. A commitment to reducing one’s consumption of nicotine is something we can both agree is beneficial.
#4 Nicotine is Poisonous
Use this Rebuttal: We are certainly in agreement that nicotine is addictive. The presence of nicotine, albeit at low levels, in fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers, would negate the argument that nicotine is poisonous. There is a significant amount of research to indicate that nicotine even confers some benefits such as improved cognition, memory, attention, and mood. It has been demonstrated to be useful in reducing anxiety, and smokers appear to have a lower risk of Parkinson’s Disease. While I won’t disagree that the risks of nicotine consumption may very well exceed the potential benefits, it would be incorrect to categorize nicotine as a poison.
#5 E-Liquid Flavors Target Children
Use this Rebuttal: If this were true, then the decision to do so is the worst fail in the history of marketing. Not only are young people smoking less today, according to the annual Monitoring the Future study they are also vaping less. It is also noteworthy that not a single vape shop appears on the most recent list published by the FDA of businesses cited for selling to minors. Yes, many e-liquids come in flavors that are inspired by the taste of breakfast cereal and popular varieties of candy. The fact, however, is that about 30% of adults that eat breakfast choose a cold cereal. Adults like these tastes, too. Would you agree that a popular brand of alcohol inspired by the flavor of hot cinnamon candy targets children? Of course not. Perhaps a better criticism would be leveled at cereal companies who pack loads of sugar into their product right alongside the chance to win a gaming system.
#6 Aren’t You Worried About the Batteries Exploding?
Use this Rebuttal: Yes, to the extent that I am also worried about the batteries in my laptop, fire alarm, or cell phone exploding. I rarely give it any thought because it happens so infrequently as not to merit excessive worry. Lithium-Ion batteries are used in a variety of items that we use each day, and overall they overwhelmingly perform as expected without harm to the user. Here’s the reality: every energy storage device carries a risk. It was true for the steam engine in the 1800’s and its true for Lithium-Ion batteries today. What we do know is that the manufacturers of these batteries are doing an admirable job in reducing the risk of explosion. In 2006, Sony recalled six million batteries because 1 in 200,000 was found to be defective. That ratio makes flying in an airplane a riskier proposition than using a Lithium-Ion battery.
#7 Vaping Won’t Help You Quit Smoking
Use this Rebuttal: Actually, the largest study conducted so far on this very subject says otherwise. According to researchers at University College London, vaping may have helped 18,000 individuals in the UK quit smoking in 2015. Furthermore, the director of prevention at Cancer Research UK, Alison Cox, says that the evidence of the study shows that vaping has a “positive impact” on those who want to quit smoking. I agree that it is far too early to draw definitive conclusions on the efficacy of vaping for everyone, but the research we do have indicates that it is effective for those who want to quit. This is especially true when vaping is combined with other measures such as increased awareness of the risks of tobacco use.
#8 E-Liquid Has Formaldehyde in It
Use this Rebuttal: Perhaps you are referring to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine which found trace amounts of formaldehyde when vaping at a high wattage. Michael Siegel, the Boston University Professor of Public Health, contends that the wattage required to produce the traces of formaldehyde was so high that it made it impossible for vapers to tolerate the taste of the vapor. Would it surprise you to know that traces of formaldehyde are also present in apples, pears, and Shiitake mushrooms? Unlike vaping, however, you don’t need to heat them to unreasonable temperatures to ingest it.
#9 Propylene Glycol (PG) is Used in Anti-Freeze
Use this Rebuttal: You are correct. It is not, however, a toxic ingredient of anti-freeze. That would be ethylene glycol which is indeed toxic to both humans and animals. The sweet taste of ethylene glycol can cause accidental ingestion, and the compound is responsible for many deaths each year. Propylene Glycol is now being used in anti-freeze because it presents less risk of willful ingestion thanks to its horrible taste. Furthermore, the body converts PG into lactic acid—the same compound your body produces when you exercise. The presence of PG in other items such as ice cream, artificial sweeteners, soft drinks, and even alcoholic beverages like Fireball Whiskey makes an argument against its presence in e-juices difficult to sustain.
The above vaping rebuttals are all based on the latest facts on vaping. We have included links to the sources of the rebuttals for your own research. These links will also come in handy when that inevitable request to prove your facts is asked.
We will update these rebuttals as new information is developed. In the meantime, let us know how your debate went using these rebuttals by leaving a comment below.