I’ll only mention this link in passing: it’s a nice summary of what the author refers to as a craze that should never have happened. Recommended reading:

This vape craze should never have been allowed to happen

I have to agree – our current problems with vaping, particularly among youth, are largely of our own making.

Nevertheless, as drug problems go, our experience with vaping is far from unique. In many ways it replicates its predecessors– prescription painkillers, cigarette smoking, alcoholic beverages – in the sense of involving legal substances that were heavily promoted by corporate interests for their own financial  gain. Advertising was their promotional tool of choice. And yes, it appears they not only realized early on what they were up to could harm their customers,  they seem to have accepted that, and perhaps even reveled In it.

Advertising is vulnerable to abuse. Rules are few and easy to circumvent. Take cigarette smoking, the manufactured sort. Early ads feature sports heroes such as Jonny Weismuller, the Olympic swim champion who went on to play Tarzan in the movies. He was paid to pretend that smoking actually improved his athletic performance.  A physician character was a regular feature in ads for certain brands that claimed to be less irritating to the throat (I seriously doubt there was any scientific evidence behind that). The whole notion of medical professionals advocating smoking seems preposterous today, but it wasn’t then. Whole lot of white coats and stethoscopes in those early promos.

Just the other day I happened across a full TV spot for a buprenorphine med promoted as a treatment for opioid addiction. I did not hear any mention in the ad of the fact that the medication itself is an opioid. I’m sure there’s a readymade rationale for advertising the drug on television, but on the other hand, hey guys– that’s an opioid. It has an abuse potential.

There are some controls involved– this particular opioid must be administered by a healthcare professional, and isn’t available in the retail pharmacies– but I imagine it’ll find its way onto the black market anyway, at some point. After all, there’s  already a thriving demand in correctional institutions for bupe in its other forms.

If there are buyers , there’ll be sellers. Be cautious with any opioid, fellas, even ones you consider safe.

I shouldn’t have to say that, should I? Not at this late date.

But apparently I do.