PAVE (Parents Against Vaping) is known for its prohibitionist views and constant exaggerations of youth vaping. If you look at their Twitter page, you will see tons of posts and praise to lawmakers for the “takedown of tobacco”, aka prohibition of harm-reduction products that adults use and depend on to stay smoke-free.
And while we all agree that youth should not illegally obtain and use these products, the adults being stripped of their right to vape is never mentioned.
Former smokers that use flavoured vapour products know how crucial these flavours are to their success. And while PAVE members like Erin Mills constantly push the flavour narrative, she does not seem to make the connection when it comes to her personal adult choices.
Erin, in the picture provided here, seems to acknowledge that being an adult gives her the right to enjoy “strawberry wine” but unfortunately cannot seem to make the connection when it comes to vaping. Personally, I have always spoken openly and honestly with my now 17-year-old son, who does not vape and actually tries to explain to friends that are curious about it why it is not meant for them. Scare tactics rarely work. If you take a look at the DARE program from the 80’s you will find that kids are a lot smarter than we give them credit for.
“For many participants of DARE, the program’s failure likely comes as little surprise. Teens were simply too good at catching and dismissing clear exaggerations about the detrimental health effects of relatively harmless drugs like marijuana, and that helped discredit DARE’s overall efforts.”
“Especially with teens, you’ve got to be credible,” says Michael Slater, an anti-drug campaign expert at Ohio State University. “They’ve got great BS thermometers.”
I avoided that risk with vaping by treating my son like an intelligent young man who could understand a few basic facts and draw the right conclusion from them.
The moms at PAVE should try a different approach, one that protects these products for adults and protects youth by educating them with real facts and honest, open conversations.
I think even Erin would agree wiping out the entire legal market for vaping products is as unnecessary as banning strawberry wine.