Some government officials and companies are tackling vaping-related health issues by banning e-cigarettes but actor Tommy Chong thinks people should just smoke weed instead.
Obviously that alternative could only be supported in places where recreational cannabis is legal but at least it’s some sort of answer to the health concerns currently sweeping the US.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there have been over 500 reported cases of lung injury and eight deaths linked to vaping in the US.
In response to the health issues, New York State announced a ban on the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes while the Trump administration has revealed plans to do the same. Walmart has also taken a stand against vaping as the company has decided to stop selling the devices.
However, cannabis rights activist Tommy, known for his Cheech and Chong comedy albums, doesn’t feel the bans are necessary.
The 81-year-old spoke about the matter to TMZ at the Daytime Beauty Awards in Los Angeles recently, where he expressed his beliefs a ban wouldn’t be effective when it comes to curbing the use of vaping devices.
He equated the ban of e-cigarettes to the war on drugs and said bans only serve to make things worse, adding once drugs and vapes are forced to the black market they become easier to buy.
A lot of the people who are vaping, they’re chronic. They just keep smoking, smoking, smoking, smoking. You put anything with oxygen in your lungs for a long period of time, you’re going to have problems.
So that’s one thing about weed, you take a couple of hits [and] you’re good to go.
Tommy went on to question the rationale for a vaping ban, saying he didn’t see the issue as a public health crisis but as a ‘publicity crisis’. He pointed out talks of bans have come about after eight deaths while guns, responsible for hundreds of deaths, are still on the market.
The 81-year-old added:
It’s all publicity.
Investigators are still trying to figure out what is causing the large number of vaping-related illnesses. The US Centers for Disease Control said all of the cases involve patients with a history of vaping or e-cigarette product use.
Most patients reported using THC, the chemical in marijuana, while some have used both nicotine and THC and others say they only vaped nicotine.
While some consider the ban on e-cigarettes to be a step in the right direction, others have argued vaping is a healthier alternative to smoking.
Tommy undercut both arguments by describing weed as the ‘healthiest thing’ when compared to e-cigarettes.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.