Is Big Tobacco’s influence possibly behind the recent vape scare narrative?
Considering the competitive bias of their recent announcement, it seems very plausible.
New Big Tobacco appointed JUUL CEO K.C. Crosthwaite, couldn’t agree more as Altria and the press declare “The timing couldn’t be better for the new nicotine product, as scrutiny grows around smokeless alternatives like e-cigarettes.”
What uncanny irony.
A quick rundown:
Big Tobacco recently launched Iqos and for the last few weeks we have heard claims that it is “not a vape” and the “timing couldn’t be better”?… also declaring, “Iqos heats tobacco, but doesn’t burn it, and is designed to give users the same rush of nicotine as smoking with fewer toxins.”
Au contraire dear Altria, this is EXACTLY what vaping is.
If you look up the definition of vaping you will find something along the lines of “vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, often referred to as vapor, which is produced by an e-cigarette or similar device.”
When you look into how this “new” device works, it is put very simply: “To use Iqos, users insert a Marlboro-branded heatstick, which looks like a stubby cigarette, into the device. They then click a button and the device heats the tobacco, producing an aerosol.”
There is no combustion, sure, but this is how vapes work today and how they worked 10 years ago. In fact, this “new” Iqos design is remarkably similar to how the ATMOSRX DRY HERB KIT worked, a vape pen made in Florida back in 2010. This is not a new technology. Nothing appears to be newly invented or discovered here.
“The timing couldn’t be better.”….???
Are they referring to the rapid spreading of misinformation propelled by exaggerated and false media stories about the “vape epidemic”? We already know that the media has been spinning stories of hospitalizations due to “lung injuries”. Those same patients who fell sick are now claiming that the media’s focus on e-cigarettes is entirely wrong. These patients were smoking toxic cannabis blends via poorly-made hardware and had communicated that pretty clearly when interviewed.
Are these events being used to control consumer beliefs and sway trust and purchases towards some other alternative product (like we now see being pitched by Big Tobacco)? Well, it seems Big Tobacco is making that pretty clear.
In today’s world of constant tweets and plagiarized status updates, the over-sensationalized media engine is in its prime. Our scrolling consumption of spoon-fed news drives attention to bold headlines and embedded buzzwords. Cluttered articles drowning in adverts often reveal little more than an ocean of regurgitated commentary masquerading as fact. Perpetuated misinformation and propaganda inevitably leads to false perceptions and misguided discussions that border more on conspiracy theories than sound technical understanding.
This vape “crisis” is no different than any other evolving model of the classical hypodermic effect, where self-customized algorithm-driven social media feeds victimize targeted demographic audiences, manipulating their emotions and shaping their understanding of the world.
As we discuss these topics and allow them to influence our decisions in life, we should remind ourselves to always look behind the proverbial veil. Behind the mental hologram, the media is projecting for us to see. If we look for cookie crumb trails, we will undoubtedly find bias; if we follow, we may find a motive. The media is a tool. Sometimes a sophisticated weapon. Topics are often blown out of proportion and the context is used as means of misdirection or mass influence. We should all pay close attention to who or what is being positioned as the solution. It is not unhealthy to ask who stands to gain.
“Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.” – Jim Morrison
For a more in-depth view of what is actually happening regarding the cannabis vape “crisis”, please refer to our recent blog post.