‘Reefer Madness’ & e-cigs: ER Doc says vaping can lead to a life of crime

In 1936, an American film named Reefer Madness hit the theaters depicting an ominous and now widely disputed series of events that can occur when high school students experiment with marijuana.  Largely regarded today as a cult classic, the film shows kids getting high who then go on to commit crimes from hit and run accidents, manslaughter, attempted rape, and even suicide.

Fast forward to the current day, and we have an emergency room medical doctor by the name of Dr. Sudip Bose making startlingly similar claims surrounding teen vaping and e-cig use.  The ER Doc says teen vaping can easily lead to future smoking addiction, drug abuse, disease, and even a tendency to turn to a life of juvenile delinquency.  If Dr. Bose is to be believed, then teens who vape are very likely to turn into chain-smoking, drug-addled, popcorn-lunged criminals who are a danger to the American Public.

Nicotine Madness

The self-proclaimed Health Advocate, Motivational Speaker, and Veteran Advocate took to the Huffington Post last week to plead his case before inciting a backlash of negativity from many within the vaping community.  While the ER doctor makes clear that e-cigs and vaping technology lack the tar and tobacco found in conventional combustible cigarettes, he begins his blustering report by implying that the nicotine found in e-liquids if far more concentrated and, therefore, far more deadly than tobacco cigarettes.

“While a new ‘vaper’ isn’t exposed to the other substances of tar and tobacco such as are found in a normal cigarette, he or she is getting concentrated and more potent doses of nicotine. That’s not good.”
“We know that when inhaled, diacetyl causes a type of bronchitis known as “popcorn lung” — a scarring of the tiny air sacs in the lungs resulting in the thickening and narrowing of the airways."
"The act of ‘vaping’ is often thought of as a safer alternative to smoking, but that’s not necessarily the case."

The Bose statements regarding nicotine addiction are in direct contrast to those previously made by the Doctor-to-the-Stars Dr. Drew Pinsky who has openly stated on many occasions that nicotine consumption should never be confused with smoking addiction.  In a November 1 broadcast of The Adam Carolla Show, Dr. Drew made the following statement.

“There’s nothing wrong with the nicotine, which is what you’re addicted to.  It’s the tobacco that causes all the F-ing damage.  So, you’ve got to get off the tobacco.  You can sure stay on the nicotine.  Find a nicotine replacement. Use a vape. Whatever, and then try to taper down from there….but if you can’t, stay with…anything but tobacco.”


E-liquids that ‘boggle the imagination’

Following in the dramatic and often over-the-top tone of the Reefer Madness movie, Dr. Bose’s article also goes on to accuse the vaping industry of manufacturing and marketing e-juice flavors that “boggle the imagination.”  He claims that many e-liquids are specifically designed to attract teenagers to vaping while also warning that teens who vape are far more likely to “steal things” and “commit robberies.”

“These teenagers — and even younger children — are getting addicted early, which could lead to smoking, and e-cigs can easily become a gateway to trying and developing an addiction to more serious drugs. Addiction correlates to crime. People need to feed their habit, they break into homes to steal things to resell, they commit robberies on the streets, all to get money to feed their addiction.”

Dr. Michael Siegel, professor at the Boston University School of Public Health, issued a blistering analysis of Dr. Bose’s HuffPo rant within days.

“I'm sure this physician is well-intended and is just trying to protect kids from potential risks; however, I don't think we need to lie to kids or greatly exaggerate the risks. Not only is it inappropriate to lie to and mislead youth, but this strategy has been shown many times over not to work.”

Dr. Bose may not be alone in his opinions on the dangers of e-cigs, but there is no documented evidence linking vaping to a future life of crime, let alone smoking addiction, drug addiction, or any of the other many claims put forth in his article.   Is the vaping community falling victim to a 1930’s mob mentality depicted in the film Reefer Madness where e-cigs are substituted for weed?

Thankfully, the vaping community has several leading medical professionals like Dr. Drew Pinsky and Dr. Michael Siegel coming to our defense and disputing such claims that e-cigs are an evil temptation designed to lure American youth into a life of sin and debauchery.


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