• Ting Yu

    Ting Yu is a Boston-area freelance writer and editor. Profile

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There are 2 comments on Why Is Menthol So Addictive to Vapers?

  1. There’s no widely-accepted scientific consensus on what’s causing the vaping-related illnesses (it’s too early for good studies), but virtually all the evidence points to bootleg products and unsafe additives like Vitamin E-acetate. That might be worth mentioning.

    Opponents of the Massachusetts law are characterized as “mostly vape shop and convenience store owners,” but what about actual users themselves? What about the people who’ve used it successfully to quit smoking, the “number one preventable cause of death in the state of Massachusetts,” as one of your sources characterized it?

    Also no mention that the proposed law works in concert with Massachusetts’ draconian civil forfeiture laws, and would allow MA law enforcement to seize and then sell a car belonging to anyone who didn’t have happen to be carrying a receipt for the vaping product they’re using. It’s ludicrous.

    This headlong rush to ban the next evil thing is good for self-interested politicians, and also good for the tobacco industry (which has just recently taken over Juul and is happy to go along with the flavor ban so it can sell more cigarettes), but not good for vape users or the teens everyone purports to care about. Ban this stuff outright, without any thought of the consequences, and they’ll turn to the bootleg market, which is actually the thing that’s killing people!

    We need good data and clear thinking here, not moral panic and lazy thinking (or lazy reporting). Poorly conceived articles like this are making the situation worse, not better.

  2. “And with more than 2,000 reported cases of vaping-related respiratory illnesses nationwide (among them a 17-year-old boy who underwent an emergency double lung transplant) and 39 deaths—3 in Massachusetts—there is a genuine public health furor and intense scrutiny of America’s youth vaping epidemic.”

    We need to stop conflating the public health issues of relevance here. As Greg mentions above, the most plausible cause of the vaping related lung injuries is black market THC cartridges contaminated with Vitamin E Acetate, NOT regulated nicotine containing devices. Banning regulated devices will do nothing to prevent injuries, and in fact may increase risk.

    “Close to a third of those students cited the availability of flavors like fruit, mint, and menthol as their reason for vaping.”

    There are problems with these statistics as well. These are “choose all that apply” questions. 39% also reported using e-cigarettes because friends or family members do. There are a myriad of reasons youth use e-cigarettes. It’s misleading to simply report these statistics with no context.

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