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Is vaping actually a medical breakthrough?

If you’re a teen, or even a tween, not to mention over the hill in  your 20s, you will know that vaping is cool; in fact way cool dude. The King of the Hill in this neck of the cottonfields is Juul, the maker of the market-leading e-cigarette.

Of course, it was too good to last. The spoilsports in the FDA not to mention States legal eagles are concerned about how attractive these doodads are to kids. So natch they want to ban them. Their particular peeve is the tangy flavors in the vaping liquid, which include Virginia tobacco, cool mint, fruit medley, creme brulee,  mango and cool cucumber. Mmm, count me in too!

Oh by the bye, it’s estimated that around 20% of high school students are now using e-cigs. Year on year that’s a 75% growth rate. I figure its worth checking this all out coz of the incredible attractiveness of vaping. I mean can we oldies get in on the act without frying our fading brains?

Of course, the Feds have their own reasons to stamp all this out. First vaping is a way of getting a nicotine fix without dying of lung cancer. So good and bad right? But nicotine changes young brains permanently, in what looks to be a bad way. So bad. There are nasty chemicals in the liquid used in the e-cigs, which appears like they can damage your lung, with the so-called popcorn lung. Another bad. There may be other health issues. It’s too early to know, just like it was when traditional cigarettes first emerged.

Oh, finally the other issue with vaping is that it’s unbelievably popular, and it wasn’t sanctioned by us adults. So, someone deserves to be punished right? The audacity of doing all this without the express approval of Big Brother. Especially without us even knowing about it! Isn’t technology supposed to let us know all about this before anyone does something? Where’s Facebook when you really need it!

So, what could there be about vaping that makes it good or even great? Avoiding lung cancer but getting popcorn lung instead doesn’t cut it. Yep there are some other things though. It relaxes you for one thing and relieves stress. It makes you more sociable and more willing to hang out with other cool dudes like (hopefully) yourself. And, yes, not to deprecate it, it helps you lose weight. So maybe a small step for mankind against obesity. Well…

Maybe none of that is convincing to you. So how about this?

What if we forget for the moment about nicotine and its effects on young, malleable brains. Instead turn our attention to the device itself rather than the nicotine it is delivering oh so pleasurably. There you go, drug delivery. Voila?

What if someone wanted to invent a drug delivery device that got your drugs to you immediately, in precise doses with the immediate or the delayed effect you needed to impact whatever condition you were using it for? And what if, instead of being a chore, like taking a pill, it was unbelievably pleasurable? Say it had these incredible flavors that made you look forward to taking (in this case vaping) your medicine? Wouldn’t that be a breakthrough?

Well, been there done that. As in vaping marijuana, That’s a medicine right?

Here are some of the many other things you can vape:

  • Vodka
  • Catnip
  • Mountain Dew
  • Honey
  • Thyme
  • Green Tea
  • Butter

Get the idea?

Vaping isn’t just for nicotine, it’s for anything you can transmute into a liquid which can be used as a delivery vehicle for things that are good for you. Like lifesaving drugs.

How about certain drugs for diabetes or hypertension? What if some of them work better by being vaped? And what if you could add honey, ginseng or some other pleasurable flavor to the mix to make it not only palatable but pleasurable at the same time?

Could we use it socially like kids do when they vape together? How about parties where people vape their hypertension, or other medicines and drugs? Transform a solitary and slightly distasteful activity into one that is pleasurable, sociable and useful all at the same time? Why shouldn’t taking your meds be just as much fun as vaping, gossiping and socializing? Should not we be trying to make the ingestion of medicines into a socially constructive activity anyhow?

We have all these incredibly advanced medicines that do amazing and incomprehensible things to us, sometimes actually good. But who thinks about the social and personal emotional contact in which we ingest (or worse) these meds. Shouldn’t some of our best medical minds be thinking about these issues too? After all every day humans are taking billions of pills and other meds in which, the actual delivery process is at best an afterthought.

And why wouldn’t we take data from anywhere to improve this process. Is vaping beneath our notice because it deals with the distasteful issue of smoking? Can’t we admit that, even if it wasn’t their intent, the vapor-makers have chanced upon a new and wonderful invention that might have breakthrough medical and social effects that none of us every thought about?

Can’t we divorce our dislike of the moral side of the business to apply the idea to other potential lifesaving uses? And can’t we come to admit that those millions of kids are undertaking a massive natural experiment that has the potential to change human medicine in an unanticipated safe-effect that is amazingly serendipitous? Like penicillin but maybe even better?

Let the FDA have its fun with the vapor-makers and the kids. But if it wants to get some real street-cred at the same time as it is promoting its bureaucratic message of clamping down all things innovative, we can see that, after all, it does have at least one innovative bone in its collective besuited body.

Let the FDA, not to mention all G-wo/men everywhere show that it can think outside the box instead of its usually reflexive reaction of stamping out anything new, exciting and transformational.

Let the FDA and its fellow-travelers be as innovative as the kids that started this revolution!












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