Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Truth Initiative Tells Depressed Teens “Just Quit Vaping” and More! – Tobacco Harm Reduction News

Truth Initiative’s new “Depression Stick” campaign crosses a dangerous line. A UK perspective on the US obsession with youth vaping. National Call to Action to stop nicotine tax continues. Vaping advocate Amanda Wheeler speaks at GTNF 2021. Senator Durbin and Congressman Krishnamoorthi continue lying about vaping. Commentaries by Steve Forbes and Jacob Sullum and more!

Scroll to the bottom of this post for a link to the audio/video versions of this post!

CALL TO ACTION // National Nicotine Tax

A proposed federal tax on far safer alternatives to smoking will disproportionately impact the very communities who need more support not more stigma and financial burden. Harm Reduction should not be discouraged! Take Action!

casaa lgbt infographic smoking vaping

TAKE ACTION: Stop an Excessive Federal Tax on Safer Nicotine Products

PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY // Public Health Behaving Badly

Truth Initiative tells teens that their depression, anxiety and stress wasn’t the real problem. They were just “duped” into trying nicotine vaping and it’s nicotine “withdrawal” that’s the real problem. A dangerous lie that only worsens mental health stigma. #BlamingTheVictim

READ MORE: Truth Initiative Creates Fake Vape Company to Promote Fake “Depression Stick”

PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY // Exposing Anti-Vaping Propaganda

What Senator Durbin did here is use deceptive percentages because they fit his anti-vaping agenda.

20% of high school youth = 3 million

4.5% of adults = 10.9 million

Over 3 times as many adults use vapor products than high school youth—and that FACT is saving lives!

PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY // Exposing Anti-Vaping Lies

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi admits–in a letter-to-the-editor about an article written by Jacon Sullum (see below)–that his legislation is based on lies and exaggerations, such as “no evidence” they help people quit smoking and implying 20% of HS youth are “addicted.” Finally, he says “adults can do what they want,” without a shred of irony or compassion.

For a list of studies disproving his claim that there’s “no evidence” click here.

For more in depth analysis of the claim that 20%  of high school students are “using this highly addictive product” (implying 20% are “addicted”) click here

READ MORE: Don’t Kid Yourself: e-cigarettes pose a huge threat to millions

Commentary // Jacob Sullum, reason

Although the FDA acknowledges the harm-reducing potential of ENDS, in practice it is giving that benefit short shrift. Other policy makers, meanwhile, are proceeding as if the lives of smokers count for nothing.” 

READ MORE: Bureaucrats and Politicians Seem Determined to Cripple a Lifesaving Alternative to Smoking


COMMENTARY // Steve Forbes

The FDA’s application process has been “immensely complex and expensive–a favorite bureaucratic technique to kill a product with a thousand cuts.”

Commentary // Martin Cullip, Filter Magazine

“…looking across the Pond, Brits see a panic-stricken and oppressive environment for vape shops and vapers. Americans are bombarded with media telling them that there is an “epidemic” of youth vaping in their country. This conviction appears so entrenched that the Food and Drug Administration is currently in the process of regulating just about every flavored vaping product out of existence on the basis of “protecting kids.”


In truth, evidence shows that frequent youth use is about as rare in the US as it is in the UK. Yet it seems to serve the anti-vaping organizations’ agenda to prolong the myth—while engaging in bizarre efforts to terrify kids that frequently end up backfiring.”

READ MORE: The US Obsession With Youth Vaping Looks Odd From Across the Atlantic


In yet another response letter-to-the-editor to Jacob Sullum’s article (see above) a reader wrote: “The best harm-reducing alternative to smoking, of course, is simply not smoking.”

Quitting is not a harm-reducing “alternative,” and telling people to “simply quit” is just another version of “quit or die.”

Harm reduction is for people who don’t want to quit OR die.

READ MORE: Sorry, Mr. Sullum, but there are better ways to quit smoking than turning to e-cigarettes

ADVOCACY // Amanda Wheeler

After successfully switching to vaping, Amanda Wheeler helped thousands of others do the same. She has been a tireless advocate for both consumer access to harm reduction products and other small business owners trying to navigate PMTA. Watch her inspiring speech at the 2021 Global Tobacco & Nicotine Forum.

READ MORE:  What is the GTNF?

TAKE ACTION // CASAA State Facebook Groups

Have you joined your CASAA State Facebook group yet? Check it out now! Click the link below, click on your state on the map, then click the “Join Now” button to go to your state’s group page. It’s as easy as that to stay updated on local happenings, meet local advocates and never miss a Call to Action in your state!

Don’t forget to also follow our official Facebook page at


CASAA MEDIA // Podcast

Catch up on past tobacco harm reduction news with Alex and Logan on the CASAA podcasts on SoundCloud every Monday and now live on YouTube and Facebook every Saturday at 3:30 PM.