Over the years the vaping community has had a plethora of enemies, the industries freedoms are being knocked out by one agency after another, but does anyone know what the greatest single threat to vaping is? Some people believe it’s the FDA, others believe it’s the Tobacco corporations, while a great many more believe that Public Enemy Number One is the Pharmaceutical Industry.
The greatest enemy of the vaping industry belongs to none of these entities directly, but has been used time and again by each and every one to put the industry on its knee’s. Every day, especially since the FDA regulations were unleashed, I see her working hard to destroy an industry by doing absolutely nothing, but allowing nature to take its course. Her name is Mis(s)-Information, and since day one of the battle to allow vapor products to remain freely on the market, she has been used to destroy hope.
Since the early days, rigged reports from dishonest scientists have plagued the vaping industry. As they release studies that were performed poorly, the vaping industry was forced to show exactly how the methodology behind the data was flawed, but the beauty of misinformation is no matter how hard you push back against it, as soon as it’s in the Ether, there are people who will believe it. For every piece of misinformation that has been brought out, counter claims have been made and proven, but unless someone cares about the truth they aren’t going to search it out. All of the enemies listed above take full advantage of misinformation to poison the public’s perception… and why wouldn’t they. Fear is a great tool to use in any battle.
Riding on the backs of those hack scientists are the journalists using headlines that instill fear and attract readers. While some organisations are now starting to tell the truth, they have spent years spreading the lies with little thought for fact checking beyond the press release. While they are not devoid of blame we can’t blame them for falling into the trap as it’s human nature to follow what we believe are trusted sources and swallow what ever they tell us. Misinformation spreads like wild-fire, it’s why it is such a powerful tool, and by the time it’s been repeated by 5 people it becomes unquestioned truth.
How Do We Fight Misinformation?
Fact checking is a pain in the rear. As a journalist I spend hours everyday talking to advocates, trade association sources, scientists, lawyers and politicians making sure that the information I put out is accurate, because I know how dangerous misinformation is. Wars have been lost due to bad intelligence, but for most people looking for fast answers, it has become the norm. A quick rule of thumb is to get the same answer from 3 trusted sources with one of them being the original teller of the story before taking it any further as a way to keep little Miss Information at bay, taking the word of your cousins ex-wife’s girlfriend’s friend who is a family lawyer is no way to find answers. Business owners seem to be taking answers from anyone who will give them as a way to comply with the FDA regulations right now, and they are doing a great job of spreading misinformation. Then we have the consumers, which are running around in despair at the same news. Use the tools at your advantage as members of trade associations and consumer organisations, these guys are the experts who are fighting to keep the industry alive.
Get the facts and use them, become part of the solution, and don’t do Miss Information’s job for her.