Another day and another article that focuses on ecigs, ecig juice, or the liquid nicotine that is in inside of it. People can’t seem to get enough news about electronic cigarettes, at least that’s the way it seems. We wonder if the media stopped reporting so much on ecigs, would people have withdrawal like smokers have nicotine withdrawal? Are so many people out there really craving every bit of information on e-cigarettes or is there another reason why ecigs are constantly in the news?
Everyone knows the media needs interesting stories to attract viewers, get ratings, and sell advertising. While it may not have seemed that way a few years ago, reports on electronic cigarettes seem to score big. At the crux of it is the seemingly never ending controversy surround e-cig juice, and more specifically liquid nicotine. If you want to get people to watch or listen, tease them with something scary. Something that they may think is harmless, but is actually very dangerous for them even though they don’t know it.
This is how local TV seems to treat their viewers every night. We all know the format, don’t we? We see a commercial that teases with something like “tonight at 8 o’clock, we look at the dust mites that hide under your bed. Are they just annoying little insects or can their trails leave you with the deadly dirty underwear disease?” Okay, so we made that part up, but couldn’t you imagine your local broadcast saying something just as ridiculous? Of course you could, because scary headlines lure in the viewers and e-cigarettes are just perfect for that.
So while for smokers nicotine withdrawal seems like a frightening obstacle in and of itself, the news media will create a story that insists liquid nicotine is even scarier.
We know this isn’t the case and that most vapers understand the crucial role liquid nicotine plays in our ecig juice, but the wider audience isn’t quite as informed. Often people will buy into things hook, line and sinker. It isn’t that they can’t think on their own, it’s just easier to have someone else do the research and come to what seems to be rock-solid conclusions.
That makes it easy to bring in those viewers who are looking for easily digestible news stories that could impact their lives.
But that is where we hear nicotine maligned as the source of everything bad with smoking. It just isn’t the case, as anyone who does some research knows the burning of tobacco along with those thousands of chemicals in cigarettes is what causes the damage. Trying to make the switch away from traditional tobacco cigarettes and not having an alternative like ecigs is very difficult thing.
Linda Bauld is a professor of Health Policy at the University of Stirling, and she has been following the growth of e-cigarettes closely. “Nicotine withdrawal is a very unpleasant process,” and ecigs are “about 60% more effective than going cold turkey or buying nicotine replacement therapy over the counter,” says Bauld.
Yet nobody is leading the news broadcast with that part of the story, because it just isn’t as likely to get viewers. So every day we see a new headline and most of them are negative. “If it bleeds, it leads,” goes the old news television adage. That’s the type of loop e-cigarette news stories seem to be in. On the one hand, the media can’t ignore this billion-dollar industry that is growing massively, but it also doesn’t want to seem to give these products any credit for what they can do. It’s a problem that can be somewhat remedied by exposing smokers to e-cigarette ads, but even those are being restricted or complained about.
All of this leaves us in a situation where we’ll expect to see news stories about ecigarettes almost daily, but most of them will end up being negative. It makes it harder to explain to our smoker friends why they may want to try ecigs, because they will have already had a negative impression of the devices. The one solace we do have is that the truth is on our side. If you are able to talk to just one person each day and change their mind about electronic cigarettes by giving them the truth, you will make an impact. We can all make that impact, each and every day. Because while e-cigarettes may not stay out of the news anytime soon, our honest belief in these devices will always shine through more than some reporter reading from a teleprompter. Let’s make sure the word gets out and the ecigarette revolution keeps on growing.