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Byron Shire
July 20, 2024

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Vape Culture

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If it smells like the sweet rounded ass of a My Little Pony then it can’t be bad? Right?

Tobacco companies are in your home and in your school. They are quite possibly in your kid’s school bag. They have their sights set on your children; your precious kids are their future. They need to groom your babies into addiction so that their shareholders can continue to suck in their grubby toxic profits. The lips of the tobacco industry are on the soft fleshy cheeks of your babies and they are sucking hard. They are vaping the life out of your kids.

A recent study that surveyed 700 14–17 year olds in NSW found that teenagers are readily accessing and using illegal, flavoured, disposable vaping products that contain nicotine. A shocking 32 per cent had tried at least a few puffs. Most hadn’t bought the vape they used, 80 per cent had got it from a friend. Most of them had bought it from a friend who in turn who had bought it online, or from a servo, or a tobacconist, or convenience store. Most of the kids are using disposable vapes that don’t require refilling and can be activated by inhaling on the mouthpiece. A disposable vape can cost as little as $5 online and can contain thousands of puffs. And it’s just as addictive as regular smoking. It just smells different.

The flavours are clearly designed with kids in mind. Peaches and Pineapple, Apple Pie, Berry Blast, Blackcurrant Candy – they sound like bubblegum flavours. Oh, that’s a flavour too. If it smells like the sweet rounded ass of a My Little Pony then it can’t be bad? Right? And it’s harmless because there’s no nicotine, right? 

Wrong. Disposable vapes often contain nicotine, even those that claim to be nicotine free. But nicotine addiction is only part of the problem. Vapes are not water. The main ingredient in vapes is propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine or glycerol. Vapes can contain the same harmful chemicals found in cleaning products, nail polish remover, weed killer and bug spray. But they smell like lollies.

Vaping risks include: asthma, lung scarring, organ damage, second hand (passive) exposure, and explosion. Yep, explosions. Don’t worry too much, it’s uncommon, but the kids that it has happened to have ended up with burns to their face, thighs, groin and in their eyes, and some lost teeth. Only one kid injured the radial nerve that runs through the arm. But it’s okay, the burning flesh was tinged with Lemonade Fizz.

Vaping is clearly harmful. You’re not sucking ginger tea through a knob of turmeric. It’s a battery-operated device that creates an aerosol to simulate smoking. It looks like water vapour but contains nicotine, flavouring and more than 30 other chemicals. The aerosol is inhaled into the lungs and the nicotine and chemicals cross over to the bloodstream. It’s supposedly not as bad as smoking. But that’s like comparing snorting asbestos with injecting uranium tailings. Snorting asbestos is not quite as harmful. So it’s safe, right?

Big Tobacco has a serious hard on for vaping. They were under threat. It’s hard to sustain an industry that kills its most dedicated consumers (they have a loyalty program – it’s called ‘Frequent Diers’). Years of research showing the devastating effects of tobacco smoke – a carcinogenic poison – have really screwed with sales. Long gone are the heady days when health practitioners declared smoking ‘good for you’. Thank god for generational trauma and subsequent addiction. How else could they retain their iron grip on the capitalist lung?

The long-range health effects of vaping won’t be known for at least 20 years. That’s plenty long enough for Big T to convert your kids into addicted customers. Did you know, if kids vape they are three times more likely to become smokers?

We need strong and immediate policy action. 

Stop the vape.


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5 COMMENTS

  1. Where I live, I have adults who believe the vaping products they are buying from the local store contains nicotine. I have proven, that they do not (read the label. well..duh) Many vapes are ‘nicotine flavoured’ yet contain no nicotine. The belief that they do, is rampant, and its possible some illegally sourced ones might, yet is unlikely. The fearmongering is directed at the wrong poisons in these vapes. 2-chlorophenol used in Disinfectants, pesticides, Nasties called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which have been linked to lung, bladder and gastrointestinal cancers. PAH’s have no safe level of exposure. The faint possibility that there ‘could’ be real and actual nicotine in vapes is a diversion perpetuated by vape manufacturers. Because the HUGE majority of vapes that do not contain nicotine, still have those other nasties, which are actually MUCH worse.

  2. Nicotine isn’t very addictive, it’s actually the other chemicals they ‘treat’ the tobacco with that makes it like crack. Most of you just volunteered to have propylene glycol injected into your veins multiple times. Both asbestos and uranium tailings can be completely harmless, or deadly, depending what state they are in. Today’s Gen4 Ponies are feminist propaganda non-sense. You are confusing them with the sweet Gen1 ponies from the 80s. The original concept of ‘vaping’ was fine. The cheap Chinese made vaps and liquids are the problem. They have made it deadly.

    Gone are the days the kids would feel each other up after smoking a joint with Zeppelin in the background. Underage degenerate sex and drugs are acceptable now. If you want to live dangerously, smoke a cigarette while talking about how there are only two sexes and longing to find someone you can marry. Wait until they start wearing suits and dresses like the mods did. Then you guys will really get triggered.

  3. Take the first paragraph and replace “tobacco companies” with “pharma companies” and you may just get an inkling of how obnoxiously hypocritical you have been.

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