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Tennessee Department of Health

The Tennessee Department of Health issued a “public health advisory” last week about “electronic nicotine delivery systems, ENDS, including electronic cigarettes, e-cigs, e-cigars, e-pipes, e-hookahs, personal vaporizers and similar emissions-producing devices.”

The 13-point warning covers plenty of ground, and contains the all the usual concerns, along with the expected number of “mays” and “mights.” Nicotine can be toxic, they say. Flavors may be attractive to children. Vapor can contain “formaldehyde, propylene glycol, acetaldehyde, acrolein and tobacco-specific nitrosamines.” Apparently, they get the wording for their public health advisories from Google searches.

Big deal, you’re probably saying. We see hilariously bad warnings from public health agencies all the time. Normally, we pay about as much attention as the actual public does (none). Why is this one different? Well, the Tennessee DOH has come up with an exciting new concern — one that showed creativity rarely seen in an office full of people who probably consult a manual before thinking.

They could contain strychnine too. They might contain anthrax, for that matter.

“Persons should not use ENDS devices offered to them by friends or acquaintances to prevent the spread of illness,” they say. And “more importantly, ENDS can be delivery systems for incapacitating agents such as gamma butyrolactone, GBL, more commonly known as the date rape drug.”

Date rape! Winner, champion, best of show, blue ribbon!

That’s a worry even Tom Frieden has missed. And no wonder, because there has never, ever been a report of any such thing happening. Could it happen? Yes, and that gum or soda or ice cream a stranger hands you could contain the very same things.

Hey, they could contain strychnine too. They might contain anthrax, for that matter. And let’s not forget radioactive polonium while we’re at it. The point is, if someone wants to dose you with anything, there are a million ways. These are the Reefer Madness-level scare tactics the anti-vaping zealots think they need to make an impact on public opinion at this point.

They know that Americans have been vaping now for a decade, and none of the frightening outcomes they’ve warned about has come to pass. They’re getting desperate.


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