Episode 6: Vape and/or Die

In the sixth episode of The Latest, we examine the emerging vaping emergency and potential ban on e-cigarette flavors like nacho cheese. Public policy analyst and former George W. Bush White House staff member Tim Doescher joins the program to discuss O.J. Simpson’s 9/11 tribute in this week’s O.J. Simpson Twitter Update.

The Latest with Greg Ott
The Latest with Greg Ott
Episode 6: Vape and/or Die


Those voices are addressing the emerging emergency posed by vaping, an act linked to a mysterious lung disease responsible for the deaths of a half a dozen people, more than 450 cases of lung problems nationwide, and a serious uptick in the number of different things you smell in the backseat of a rideshare.

The Centers for Disease Control have yet to connect the illness to any specific device: e-cigarettes and vaoprisers come in a variety of innovaive shapes and sizes; some have the appearance of a traditional cigarette, while others take the form of a large, industrial tool, presumably to resemble its user.

These health problems haven’t been linked to any specific substance, either, which seems like an appropriate challenge for the current administration to tackle, which seems to have a knack for causing problems and lacking substance. 

As such, the government is seeking to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, which can be blended into tasty vapors such as nacho cheese, beer, and Red Bull, to mimic what breathalyzers register at DUI checkpoints near football games. If you put all three of those flavors together, you become a Supreme Court Justice.

Some believe this ban would be extreme, citing e-cigarettes as a preferred method of waning people off of smoking cigarettes, in the same way that drinking Diet Mountain Dew is a healthier alternative to filling up your glass with regular piss. 

But a ban seems to miss the 10,000 pound elephant in the room that’s dying of emphysema: tobacco, which isn’t found in nicotine-based or marijuana-based vapes, but is responsible for the deaths of more than 480,000 people a year. It’s upsetting that this vape illness has killed six people, but Matthew Broderick takes out nearly just as many people when he goes on an Irish vacation.

Tobacco kills more people than AIDS, alcohol, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders,  suicides, and Tide Pods — but you can still get menthol cigarettes. I believe they’re complimentary when you pick up your chips at the casino. 

I’m not trying to make light of the people affected by vaping, but it seems pretty disingenuous to make this seem like a public health crisis. 

For one, if the administration truly didn’t want people to buy e-cigarettes, they could just call them soybeans and leave them to rot in fields throughout North Dakota. 

But the real shame is that they seem to get a lot less worked up over peoples bodies being pumped full of lead than they do about air that tastes like Cinnamon Toast Crunch.