(CITY JOURNAL) -- After analyzing fluid from the lungs of patients in the recent vaping-disease epidemic, the Centers for Disease Control reported last week that every victim had traces of an additive used in marijuana vaping but never used in nicotine vaping. That should not come as a surprise, because there was never any evidence or suggestion that nicotine e-cigarettes such as Juul makes had caused any harm to their users. But the CDC had pretended otherwise in August, warning people not to use any kind of e-cigarette.
The CDC’s warning, amplified by alarmist media coverage, confused the public about the risk of vaping THC—the active chemical in marijuana—while discouraging smokers from switching to a safer source of nicotine. A national survey in September found that 58 percent of American adults mistakenly believed that the new epidemic was related to e-cigarettes like Juul, and that only 22 percent believed e-cigarettes were healthier than tobacco cigarettes. In reality, researchers have so far failed to find any long-term harm from nicotine vaping, and British public-health authorities have declared e-cigarettes at least 95 percent safer than tobacco cigarettes.