category factcheck
score Half-Truth ๐ŸŸฅ๐ŸŸฅ๐ŸŸจ๐ŸŸฉ๐ŸŸฉ
claim "Wellness fraud vapes are called e-cigarettes"
author American Medical Association / Bonnie Halpern-Felsher
tags ['third-party-fact-check', 'linguistic-analysis', 'flavour-fallacy', 'ergo-harmful']


Socialites` conference requires side scares #clearthemist

Survey paper redefines aroma and health scam vaporizers as e-cigarettes, because prohibition campaigns require a steady stream of rationalizations - to make up for lackluster harms. The main author is usually obsessed with redeclaring NVPs as tobacco product. Also exhibits the usual understanding woes on the difference between NVPs and THC pens (despite articles` own references pointing it out). But since the CTFK frontgroup is focused on flavor conjectures (lobbying to force adult and teen ex-smokers onto tobacco-relapse products), hones in on another regulation failure.

It should be noted that no such market exists in the EU, because sensible product class regulations and a preference for marketing constraints over post-factum illegalization is seemingly working alright. While the US is occupied by stoking teen curiosity first, then attempting to solve issues of their own making. Publication date coincides surprisingly well with the parent interest simulation conference. Rita didn't like brief commentary.


The paper relies on a factitious noun expansion to construe a device classifier:


Out of ~200 repetitions of "e-cigarette", ~100 are prefixed with "nonnicotine" and ~40 with "nicotine" to sustain the contrived terminology. No sane person would assume e-cigarettes to refer to anything but nicotine vaping products. But Bonnie naturally also avoids the term NVP if possible. "ENDS" on the other hand appears a welcome ambiguant.

Less prevalent, but in line with survey reliability, it also mentions THC "e-cigarettes" a few times. Classed together with e-cigs potentially using CBD-liquids. Notably one of the two works better in ceramic atomizers, but gunks up cotton-based heating setups. Which indicates as much conterfeit products as research integrity.

Survey participants OTOH were made aware of a plethora of more descriptive terms, such as diffuser, wellness vapes, or THC pens; among also vendor and generic product names.

sliding scale tables

As an aside: always watch out for scoping scales (n=subset) in presented data. Not sure if there's practical reason for these kinds of presentations, but rising percentages for subgroups aren't inherently elucidating. Btw, overall gimmick vaporizer use was 10-14%, in case anyone was wondering. (In the sample 0.002% population set making up the survey base.)

phrasing rundown

Not much effort put into scoring here, just as an overview:

In this study of adolescents, [โ€ฆ] a sizeable proportion reported having ๐ŸŸจ In-survey quantification doesn't tell us much about population level use.
co-using them with nicotine e-cigarettes ๐ŸŸช "Co-use" seems one of the startle phrasings here.
prevention should be developed to address youth appeal, ๐ŸŸง But no advertisment regulations. Should never be the first impulse!
unsubstantiated health claims ๐ŸŸฉ How easy it is to agree.
and possible health harms ๐ŸŸง Weasel has spoken.
Millions of adolescents, ๐ŸŸจ Appeal to fear, argument by quantity
e-cigarettes containing tetrahydrocannabinol ๐ŸŸฅ Not a thing
other nonnicotine e-cigarettes ๐ŸŸฅ Fictious product classifier
products state that they do not contain nicotine ๐ŸŸซ Poisoning the well; unsubstantiated, even if plausible for faux health scams.
may translate to ๐ŸŸจ Sure. Depends more on heating technology, doesn't it. Medical/sonic vaporizers perhaps warrant leaving research to someone else.
and other heavy metals ๐ŸŸฅ ยตg/L, telling on research integrity
potentially harmful constituents in tobacco products ๐ŸŸช Misapplied reference
more chemical compounds with toxic health effects than nicotine e-cigarettes claim,23 ๐ŸŸจ A word?
research on ingredients, flavor types, and health effects ๐ŸŸจ Flavors are only mentione 50 times.
The average time taken to complete a survey was 28 minutes. ๐ŸŸซ Very cognizant of participant lifetime.
race and ethnicity classified by investigators ๐ŸŸจ Summary findings don't provide much insight, other than socioeconomic causes.
and โ€œHow long does it usually take you to finish 1 nonnicotine vape?โ€ ๐ŸŸง Participants also confused with contrived terminology.
Flavor Types Used in Nonnicotine e-Cigarettes ๐ŸŸง Not really much to glean from this, other than personal preferences, or substantiating emotional illegalization campaigns.
used it as recently as on the day of the survey, ๐ŸŸฉ The chutzpah!
younger than 24 years took less than 1 week to finish 1 nonnicotine ๐ŸŸจ So much survey, so little ml/day conversion abilities.
reported first trying non-nicotine e-cigarettes at a younger age (mean [SD], 15.0 [5.1] years) compared with nicotine e-cigarettes, ๐ŸŸฉ Section particular hard to parse, due to pathological phrasing. Hints at gadget appeal.
what the industry refers to as vitamin vaping,9,10 ๐ŸŸช US industry only
substantial co-use ๐ŸŸฉ PAVe/22ndC should be so pleased about the absence of that fiendish nicotine, shouldn't they?
most-used flavor types among all participants in the past 30 days were sweet, dessert, or candy; fruit; caffeine; alcohol; flower; and mint or menthol flavors. ๐ŸŸง So all the beststellers were present? Shock me.
nearly all brands of nonnicotine e-cigarettes resemble disposable-type devices. ๐ŸŸง The surprise is still shocking.
There may be risks in using [โ€ฆ] and additive risk to those co-using ๐ŸŸช Maybe maybe an argument
one website recommends breathing into the mouth and gently out through the nose).45 It remains unknown whether users of these devices are using these products as intended ๐ŸŸซ Or whether researches interpret the liability aversion comm. correctly.
cannot be legally marketed as dietary supplements. ๐ŸŸฉ Actually delves into common-sense regulation aspects after all.
appear to be targeting adolescents and young adults ๐ŸŸช Researchers may be targetting the simpleminded with the robotic allegation rhetoric. (Though haven't looked either if e.g. CBD vape scam promoted as hair loss snake oil.)
can be expected to increase dramatically, ๐ŸŸจ You know what they say about bad prophets? They be planning a new muppet campaign, I reckon.
FDA should enforce against nonnicotine e-cigarettes that are making unsubstantiated dietary or other unauthorized health claims and [โ€ฆ] ๐ŸŸฆ Unclear if that's the worry, or if it's just about suppressing "quit smoking" allusions and accidentally reducing teen appeal through purpose disclosure.


Authors did overlook pubpeer references and obvious red flags for:

  • Pisinger 2014
  • Glantz 2018
  • Kuntic 2020
  • Peyton 2015
  • WHO 2022
  • Miech 2021


So, this noninteresting e-cigarette survey comes with a few caveats. The overall slant and purpose is clear. Its implications of peer use, gimmick appeal, accessibility, lackluster class regulations + advertisment exploits might be lost on the PAVe moms. As would be the repercussions on diversion effects due to their agenda.

But otherwise, I'm just gonna score this on being nonintelligible drivel; Half-truth should do.