Will the vaping scare stories stop?
After all the scare stories in the media, finally we have a retraction and apology courtesy of the Daily Mail:
"A Health article on January 27 said some experts believe electronic cigarettes can be more harmful than real ones. In fact we are not aware of any experts who hold this view compared to the risks of cancer, heart disease and lung damage from real cigarettes. We apologise for any contrary suggestion."
So where did the quote come from? I'll leave that question hanging in the air, as only the Daily Mail can answer it, but it opens up a whole new debate on the veracity of media stories surrounding e-cigarettes. Bad news sells newspapers, or more accurately these days, gets clicks on newspaper websites. A headline of "E-cigarettes are wonderful. Every smoker should try them" is hardly going to generate much interest. A scare story about health risks (ignoring the obvious health risks surrounding smoking) are sexier, especially ones about exploding batteries with photographs of people looking like death in a hospital bed with burns around their face and hands.
I sincerely hope that the Daily Mail has learnt its lesson - just as I hope other newspapers like The Sun will, too. The Sun and Mail are the country's two biggest selling newspapers. Millions of people choose to get their daily diet of news from them. More fact, less harum-scarum, wouldn't go a miss.
Will they stop? Speaking about Stanley Baldwin, Sir Winston Churchill is attributed as saying, "Occasionally he stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened." I have a feeling the same can be said for the tabloid press's coverage of vaping.