Statistics in vaping article sound more dire than necessary (Letters) –

I have issues with the June 17 article: “Officials: Vaping is ruining student athletes,” page A1. How is vaping responsible for interfering with school athletic programs? Aren’t the athletes responsible for violating the rules? In my day, kids caught smoking were given a detention. Today, stiff penalties imposed by athletic association rules remove players from games, not vape devices.

The article’s statistics sound more dire than necessary. One states, “41% of high schoolers reported ever using e-cigarettes.” It sounds alarming, but “ever using,” includes anyone who’s tried a single puff from an e-cigarette. Kids may try vaping and discover they don’t like it and never do it again, but the article doesn’t mention that. Another shocker is the amount of nicotine in a vape pod is reported to be as much as an entire pack of cigarettes. Perhaps, but it’s not a one-for-one exchange, one vape pod takes the place of many cigarettes.

My favorite is the fuss made over 8,000 vape flavors as if it’s a ‘Big Tobacco’ conspiracy to lure kids. Isn’t variety the spice of life? Can’t adults enjoy flavors? Let’s consider only vanilla flavored ice cream. There must be thousands of brands. Protected by patent laws, Hood vanilla is necessarily different from Breyers, Friendly’s and Turkey Hill, not to mention the other brands who also produce a vanilla flavor. Oddly enough, we don’t hear conspiracy theories involving ‘Big Dairy,’ do we?

Denis G. Bessette, West Springfield

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