name Parents Against Vaping e-cigarettes Inc
state alpha
url archive:201908:
class parents
category astroturf
funding ~$600.000
association CTFK
bloomberg ties networked
motivation elbow culture
mantra "Look away! I thought the chat owas OFF"
science aversion 🟫🟫🟧🟧🟧
public discourse πŸŸ₯πŸŸ₯πŸŸ₯πŸŸ₯🟧
exag. teen use score πŸŸ₯πŸŸ₯πŸŸ₯πŸŸ₯πŸŸ₯

PAVe was touring local and federal hearings after Bloomberg/CTFK set up the US teen vaping framedemic. They might not have initially, but got funneled parts of the 160M anti-vaping sponsorship (BP β†’ Union β†’ CTFK β†’ PAVe). They're largely comprised of middle class / suburban soccer moms, so disrespectful/misbehaving kids are plausibly world-shattering. (Note: the organization certainly also contains parents who are genuinely alarmed by addiction fears. Mostly due to the parallel media/scare campaigns.)

Their arguments are copycat CTFK talking points. But they're much more effective at playing the Think of the children! card. They might easily be mistaken for a puritanical movement, given the prohibitionist agenda. The presentation is always centered on emotional pandering however. Or straight up crocodile teariness to obfuscate the amorality of their plea (sacrifice current smokers for exaggerated teen addiction claims; nvm. driving lower income teens back to smoking).

argumentation scheme

  • Vaping kills: EVALI. (Stringently parroted the CDC "data-driven" argument, played clueless on misleading self-reports. "But 20% said they used only e-cigarettes with nicotine".)
  • Statistics schmantistics: "27% addicted teens"
    • obfuscating one-time from 1.8% daily use
    • Endless recitation of numbers was a common theme in early appearances.
    • Just never accurately describing what they represented. (-- Or I just might have tuned out at some point.)
  • brain-damage (mice kids / nicotine)
  • flavour-fallacy:
    • Teen use ascribed to flavour names mostly.
    • Kid-friendly logic of kid-friendly flavours.
    • Hence bans!
  • gateway-hypothesis β†’ albeit not as insistive, IIRC?
  • Ergo-harmful
  • Don't help smokers quit.
    • And even if, they don't use / want to use sweet flavours.
    • "We're not prohibitionists", we graciously want to leave tobacco-ish flavours. (AKA: they don't deserve it / should be good enough for them filthy ex-smokers)
  • Direct-to-kid marketing/absence of regulation. (Meredith was almost on to something there. Only misattributed/hyperboled it solely on Juul; rather than PuffBars & Co.)
  • The usual tobacco-industry muddling. (Even though there were ample reasons to call out even the small vape manufacturers and their attention-whory packaging. β†’ Which kinda reinforces the misattribution tasking here.)
  • Parent letter waving. (One of the few things that seemed honest. But of course never anonymized+published.)
  • And mentioning nicotine limits as an aside.
    • (Yep, totally forgot that they even brought it up).
    • It seems to serve mostly as hedge argument for "nicotine addiction" to this day. Not many indicators that this is a serious policy desire.

Interestingly there's some clinginess to fairly absurd claims, mostly as hedge arguments though. But they clearly undermined the plausibility of the more convincing/emotional concerns.

⚠ From memory. Not looked it up again. It's nothing outstanding really.
β†’ If anyone wants to fill the gaps?, edit away..

still lying on EVALI (2021-11)

Now this I found interesting. DrsTV: The E-Cigarette Loophole: Synthetic Tobacco where DMS angered Meredith after "kids are too smart for this". She again claimed not every of the EVALI cases was down to THC vapes, because the "CDC said it wasn't conclusive" (and citing new parent letters). Apart from the rant trigger, this might be both habitual and partly statistics superstition.

origin story

Meredith relayed that her interest was sparked by a Juul "representative" tricking her sons` school into giving free classroom ad time.
Now this can easily be attributed to simple reasoning / the usual exaggeration pattern. And what more plausibly triggered panic was indeed the son already "juuling" at the time.

naming things is hard (programming trope)

But the organization title might well contain a few freudian slips.

⚠ speculative

  • Notably the scope omission in that it's not "Parents against teens vaping e-cigs".
    • Not sure here. On the one hand, it feels like a specificity gap.
    • OTOH the backronym was quite packed already.
  • But also the expliciting of "e-cigarettes", rather than just being against vaping in general.
  • "Parents" might be incidental, but still qualifies as appeal to authority.
  • The typographic design "PAVe" also feels uncommon for unplanned coalitions.
  • (Come to think of it, "pave" might also be a blatant coordinator in-joke about paving the way to prohibition.)
  • Fairly prevalent references about being a "grassroots" membership. (A common trope for masquerading astroturf efforts.)
  • Overtly badge-style logo is overt.
  • Donation button, despite the mega donor. (appeal for help, is that a thing?)

public discourse / website

  • Newsletters only.
  • No discussions, just PR and statements at hearings. (NDA?)
  • Inverviews are mostly op-eds.
  • Website started out on, then became a parked Wix site till June 2019, but was fairly crafted when reappearing on squarespace (much SEO).
    • No members forum etc. (Though might be Facebook-centric. Kinda the target demographic.)
    • Auxiliary campaigns (environmental pandering)
    • Extremely well-structured website otherwise.
    • The FAQ is straight CTFK/TI talk again.
    • Website itself matches up with CTFKs inflationary spree of auxiliary/topical sites.
  • episode 1 claim was that website was launched in 2018. (Also, neat slip of tongue with "we have a national grassroots…" there.)
  • And no, they're really registered as an Inc. (But might also just be an American thing.)

Context references

⚠ Caveat: most of the lengthier write ups originated in rightwing-ish(?) think tanks


Ticks all the red flags. (Looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and was payed by the mother duck). It's still fairly plausible that PAVe started as scared mom group (very real and perceived dangers). It was also clearly co-opted around July 2019.

But say what you want about Americans. At least they get involved in politics. If not for financial reasons, then for lies.

Although I would generally attribute this to US elbow culture. Symptomatic interests aside, at its core it's selective public health and disdain for a lesser group.

  • Changed science-aversion to 🟫 brownie points. Might all easily be explained by indoctrination.


  • meredith.png [download] added by mario on 2021-09-07 11:46:23. [details]