There is no longer any doubt whatsoever that smoking cigarettes has catastrophic effects on human health. As noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking harms virtually every organ in the body, reduces lifespan and causes multiple life-threatening illnesses. In fact, nearly one-in-five deaths in the United States is directly related to cigarette smoking. Of course, in a perfect world absolutely nobody would take up any form of smoking – cigarettes or otherwise – but the reality is that as long as smoking is perceived to be cool by younger people it is a practice that is likely to linger.
With that in mind, The Daily Vaper recently reported that the lives of tens of millions of smokers are being put at risk by the ban Facebook has enforced on all smoking advertisements, since this blanket rule includes vaping. Facebook strictly refuses to advertise “Tobacco or tobacco-related products, including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, tobacco pipes, hookahs, hookah lounges, rolling papers, vaporiser devices and electronic cigarettes.” [Emphasis added]
While it is truly noble that Facebook would turn its back on such a potentially lucrative advertising stream, by including “vaporizer devices” they are inadvertently protecting Big Tobacco’s interests.
Why do we say that?
First of all, as noted by The Daily Vaper, vaping devices are not, in fact, tobacco or tobacco-related products:
Vaping devices heat liquid nicotine and do not contain tobacco, but continue to be labeled as tobacco products and included in restrictions applied to traditional cigarettes.
Second, vaping is 95 percent healthier than smoking cigarettes. A 2015 report by Public Health England found that vaping is “significantly less harmful to health than tobacco.” Their “best estimate” was 95 percent less harmful – significant indeed.
If consumers were more educated about this massive reduction in risk – via advertising, for example – they would be far more likely to switch from smoking traditional cigarettes to vaping. By refusing to publish these types of advertisements, therefore, Facebook is inadvertently protecting Big Tobacco’s interests. (Related: Get help at StopSmoking.news)
Third, vaping is 40 percent less expensive than traditional smoking. This is important, because smoking is far more common among people with lower socioeconomic status than their wealthier counterparts. According to Money, switching from smoking cigarettes to vaping can save upwards of $2,000 a year – money which poorer people can use to improve the quality and nutritional value of the food they buy. (Related: Old-school smoking on the decline as more people pick up e-cigarettes.)
Fourth, the CDC and other organizations have voiced concerns that vaping might turn out to be a gateway to traditional smoking for teens. However, the statistics indicate that rather than transitioning from vaping to cigarettes, the majority (90 percent) of vapers are in the process of transitioning from cigarettes in an attempt to improve their health.
In other words, by refusing to allow vaping advertisements, Facebook is preventing potentially life-saving information that could help smokers get off cigarettes.
Fifth, vaping poses significantly less of a risk to the environment and those in the vicinity of the smoker, as determined in a study conducted by the CDC.
So, while no sincere advocate of natural health would ever endorse smoking of any kind, it does seem like Facebook is making a mistake by not allowing vaping companies to advertise. At best, those who switch from cigarettes to vaping could potentially stop smoking altogether, and even those who continue vaping will have reduced their health risks by 95 percent. To refuse to publish these advertisements is really only a protection for Big Tobacco.
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