On March 23, 2013, New York Times reporter Matt Richtel reported a story titled: Selling a Poison by the Barrel: Liquid Nicotine for E-Cigarettes which many “Vapers” are calling an unfair attack on the electronic cigarette industry. This of course is just one of the most recent news stories being reported on the e-cigarette industry which seems to be based more on sensationalism more than facts. This problem is one that is increasing across all major news outlets and is one that many people want to see stopped. A forum post on e-Cigarette Forum has several people in the Vaping Community outraged at this type of reporting.
The article published by Mr. Richtel starts out by stating, “A dangerous new form of a powerful stimulant is hitting markets nationwide, for sale by the vial, the gallon and even the barrel.” Sure, nicotine is available in various quantities; however, it is not typically purchased in large quantities by people who are not using it to manufacture e-liquid. As far as it being available by the gallon and barrel, that is the way that many manufacturing ingredients are sold. When a consumer purchases nicotine by the vial it is usually already mixed into a flavor base of propylene glycol and vegetable glycol and is a finished product known as e-liquid or e-juice. Also, nicotine is not a “powerful” stimulant as is stated in the article. According to drugabuse.gov it is a mild stimulant comparative to caffeine.
Mr. Richtel also writes about one particular case where a person injected nicotine in order to commit suicide. Many electronic cigarette users have found this example to be inapplicable, because someone who wants to die is going to find a way if he or she is serious about it. The fact that the person chose to inject nicotine is a poor example. Had the nicotine not been available to the person, he could have just as likely chose to jump off a bridge, overdose on illicit or OTC drugs, or chose some other method of suicide.
It has also been suggested by many news reports that dessert or candy flavored e-liquid products are being used to try to lure kids into the electronic cigarette world. As hard as it may be to believe, there are a lot of adults out there who love sweets. These flavors are being used to fill the needs and desires of adult e-cigarette users and are not being marketed to children.
Many news agencies blame the fact that dessert and candy flavored e-liquids smell good makes small children want to drink them. These reports are a feeble attempt to place the blame on e-liquid instead of placing the blame where it truly belongs, on the parents. It is a parent’s responsibility to ensure their child stays safe by keeping harmful objects out of reach of the child. Most parents know that if they leave a bottle of bleach lying around where their child can get to it, then the child might drink it and become very ill or even die. The same care and judgment should be used by parents when it comes to e-liquid as well.
A bad stigma is being put on e-liquid and the entire electronic cigarette industry because of irresponsible reporting and irresponsible parenting. It is remarkable that most reports do not mention the more than 480,000 deaths that occur every year in the United States from smoking tobacco cigarettes. It is also astonishing that more reports are not generated about the number of people who have been able to quit smoking because they switched to “vaping” e-cigarettes. It appears as though the only agenda mainstream media outlets have is creating misleading stories to scare people away from using electronic cigarettes. These stories are unfair to the Vaping Community as well as society as a whole.