No amount of southern charm or moustachioed charisma could help Dr Phil win back vapers after he slammed the smoking alternative in a recent episode of his show.
Beloved TV personality and trusted public figure Dr Phil has joined the chorus of ‘science deniers’ crying out over e-cigarettes.
The pseudo-shrink dedicated a recent episode of his self-titled talk show to the smoking alternative, broadcasting emotional warnings about an alarming ‘youth vaping crisis’.
He said teens everywhere were getting hooked on the reduced risk product, citing data that ‘2.55 million middle and high school students had vaped in the past 30 days’.
The charismatic TV host added that children ‘as young as 12’ were being enticed by fun and fruity fl avours and that his audience would be ‘shocked’ by what was really inside e-cigarettes.
Dr Phil’s distressing claims were met with dropped jaws and a scattering of horrified gasps from his small studio audience… …but not everyone was as convinced by his stark message and ‘eloquent southern drawl’.
Leading US industry lobbyist group, the American Vapor Manufacturers, said Dr Phil’s televised attack on vaping was a ‘mishmash of half-truths and outright lies’.
It suggested the ‘self-help grifter’ left out crucial facts and data when talking about the number of young American vapers, even going as far as to fact-check the ‘trainwreck’ video in a detailed Twitter thread.
The group revealed the ‘2.55 million’ statistic came from the CDC’s 2022 National Youth Tobacco Use Survey…and that some important context had suspiciously been left out.
It highlighted that the figure included teens who have only vaped once, that less than three percent of them vape daily and that the ‘vast majority’ don’t even use nicotine.
The AVM commented:
“Everybody opposes teen vaping; it’s illegal, unethical and our industry has measures in place to prevent youth sales.
“These are working since teen vaping has plummeted over the last two years…but something tells us these numbers would have hindered Dr Phil’s pearl-clutching.”
To reinforce the panic-inducing image of a child-appealing industry, the episode centred around a young 12-year-old boy who takes e-cigarettes from his mother.
The concerned parent tried to explain she started smoking at around her son’s age and used the cessation tool to ease off of cigarettes.
But her story was met with disgust from Dr Phil, who loudly exclaimed ‘are you kidding me?’ and responded with an insensitive string of ‘blah, blah, blahs’.
Appalled, the AVM commented:
“The positive aspect of the story that Dr Phil ignored is that Connor’s mum apparently quit a decades-long cigarette habit via vaping.
“Did this win her any sympathy… ‘Thank you for protecting your health for your children’s sake’, maybe?”
The vocal harm reduction organisation continued:
“Of course not. All she got was a finger-wagging lecture for vaping.”
Later, the episode turned its focus to a 16-yearold girl who claimed vaping had made her cough up blood and suggested e-cigarettes can cause popcorn lung.
However, as the AVM rightly pointed out, there have been no confirmed cases of popcorn lung in vapers…a fact supported by leading independent group Cancer Research UK.
What was perhaps most alarming about the on-air vape bashing were the comments made by guest expert and pulmonologist Dr Cedric ‘Jamie’ Rutland.
As an official spokesperson for the American Lung Association, Rutland claimed it can take just one draw on a vape to cause lung damage.
He highlighted that black market products can contain a cocktail of unsavoury chemicals, but failed to mention that there’s no evidence of a death or serious injury caused by legal nicotine vaping.
Shockingly, Dr Rutland went onto speculate that, while he can’t say ‘vaping causes cancer right now’, he won’t be ‘surprised’ when that article comes out a decade from now.
The AVM said such a declaration was ‘irresponsible’ and asked why he decided to tell Dr Phil’s audience this, instead of the fact that vaping is 95 percent less harmful than smoking.
“This is pure fabrication that is driving adults back to cigarettes…the only study ever linking vaping to cancer in humans was recently retracted.
“Instead of unethically speculating about what we might know in 10 years, why didn’t you tell Dr Phil’s millions of viewers what we know today?”
The group suggested that the ‘disaster of an episode’ could have been saved if only Dr Phil had invited experts like Clive Bates or Charles A. Gardner onto the show.
Or perhaps, if he’d spoken to ‘any of the exsmokers who say vaping saved their lives’… and in all honesty, with an international community of 82 million, they’re not hard to come by.
The AVM ended it’s dismantling of Dr Phil’s ‘Flavour Chasing: The Teen Vaping Crisis’ with a simple question.
“How many smokers who could benefit from vaping will see this episode?
“And how many would have been inspired to quit cigarettes had they been given accurate information…we’ll never know.”
In the weeks after this episode aired, it was announced that the Dr Phil show would be coming to an end after more than two decades as the host wants to ‘pursue other projects’.
No amount of southern charm or moustachioed charisma could help Dr Phil…
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