Warning: The Greatest Threat to Vaping – Disinformation
Published on June 28, 2023
During this week’s Next Generation Nicotine Delivery USA 2023 conference, VTA’s Executive Director presented a stark warning to industry leaders about a new orchestrated anti-vaping campaign.
The Next Generation Nicotine Delivery USA 2023 brought together 150+ executives from the industry for two days of insight, discussion and debate in Miami, Florida. VTA’s participation at the event included a keynote presentation and panel discussions led by VTA Executive Director Tony Abboud.
Abboud’s presentation highlighted the misinformation surrounding EVALI that was used to malign nicotine vaping in the past and then revealed a highly-funded ongoing disinformation campaign that is being orchestrated to create a false narrative linking “Chinese-manufactured” flavored disposable nicotine vaping products with fentanyl without substantiation. The presentation also revealed how FDA officials, unlike in 2019, appear to be feeding the false narrative with their public statements.
The presentation drew stark parallels between how certain players used the illicit THC cartridge EVALI crisis of 2019 to attack flavored nicotine vaping, and how the scant cases of illicit THC cartridges being found to contain fentanyl are now being wrongfully amplified and tied to flavored nicotine disposable vaping products. VTA Executive Director Tony Abboud starkly warned that the industry is facing a manufactured crisis – EVALI II – the repurcussions of which will be worse than EVALI. He also warned that the misleading campaign alleging the mass importation of fentanyl-tainted Chinese disposable vapes will threaten the entire nicotine vaping industry, will taint all device types as they are all made in China, will force fear-driven regulatory overreactions that will have nothing to do with the real issue, and will confuse and frighten consumers back to smoking cigarettes.
VTA called on all companies to coalesce, as it did in 2019, around a VTA strategy to answer this false narrative, reminding the audience of the success it had in responding to the ill-considered 2019 flavor ban response to EVALI.