Why using the term “ENDS” for e-cigarettes is unwise and unethical

by Carl V Phillips

I have previously pointed out that the use of the term “ENDS” (electronic nicotine delivery system) as a substitute for “e-cigarette” is a mistake for THR supporters and an unethical act for scholars.  Most recently I did so in the exchange about the new Nutt paper mentioned here.  But the questions that ensue when I state this make it apparent that I need to write down a more complete exposition of the point.  It is apparently very far from obvious to many readers (which I have to say, I find a bit dismaying; on the other hand, the fact that it is not obvious is one of the reasons it is so insidious).

I am not sure who coined the term “ENDS” (if anyone knows, please speak up [*]), but it gained traction in publications by anti-tobacco and anti-THR activists. But it was then naively adopted by scholars and even pro-THR commentators. An important observation to make, before getting to the ethical points, is that the term serves no purpose.  Sometimes science and other scholarly discourse creates a term to describe a worldly thing that is useful to discuss but is not labeled in common language.  If, for example, there was value in doing a scientific analysis of drinks whose alcohol content was between 10% and 25% ABV, it would be useful to create a term like “medium alcohol drinks”.  Of course, it would be inappropriate to choose that particular term because of the unfortunate acronym, but some term would be useful for effective communication.

[*UPDATE: via Twitter from Jake Jacobsen @Jake2001: “termed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)”  12/2010.”  That seems to refer to this U.N. document, which other correspondents also believe was the coining.]

“ENDS” does not serve that purpose.  It just means “e-cigarette”.  It is easy to see the possible value in creating a category that includes all nicotine inhaler devices, whether electronic or not, to be able to discuss the common properties of e-cigarettes, Nicorette inhalers, Voke, and other near-future innovations.  But “electronic nicotine delivery device” is even more tied to the word “electronic” than is “e-cigarette”.  (Aside: there is a good chance that “e-cigarette” will become the collective term for all consumer-friendly nicotine inhaler devices, whether electronic or not.  That is just the way that language tends to work, and the original meaning of the “e” will not matter.)  Even worse, if you unpack “ENDS” as a technical description, you realize that it applies to, say, a hypothetical motion-sensor-activated dispenser for nicotine dermal gel, or for that matter, to a cigarette vending machine.

Thus, there is no defense to be found in the claim that this term is useful.  The issue would be more complicated if there were.  Moreover, it turns out that the term is actually less technically accurate than the culturally-accepted term, “e-cigarette”.

So why is the term used and what makes it unethical to use in scientific papers and similar forums?

The story starts with the cultural anthropology (not necessarily called that) of the European imperial age, where the researchers treated their subjects as subhuman objects of study.  The subjects’ self-knowledge was ignored and the analyses, such as they were, began with various derogatory assumptions that overrode any evidence.  (Sound familiar?)  While not the worst aspect of it, part of this was refusing to use the culture’s own vocabulary for itself or its behaviors and artifacts — after all, serious rich white scholars would not want to take cues from those disgusting primitive people.  Instead, the imperialists made up terms which, even when not overtly derogatory in themselves, became code words for the disdain that they contained.

Of course, such practices are largely absent — and more-or-less forbidden — in modern social science.  Some might argue that the pendulum has swung too far, and that social sciences are too deferential to the peoples being studied and cultural relativism interferes with good analysis.  But whatever one’s position on that point, there is little disagreement that imperialist imposition of vocabulary on cultures that are foreign to (and considered inferior by) those in the ivory towers is denigrating, inappropriate, and unethical.

The e-cigarette is not a value-free object that can be studied without reference to society.  It is an important cultural artifact — indeed, it is virtually an icon among a large subculture.  Thus, it needs to be treated with proper respect.  To impose an ivory tower name on it is a conscious and aggressive act of denying an oppressed culture the right to their own vocabulary.  For comparison, imagine if researchers studying hip hop music started referring to it as “amelodic beat-based acoustics”.  This would clearly be considered unacceptable (and the vaguely insulting and conceptually misleading acronym adds to this, as it does with “ENDS” — unlike cigarettes, ENDS do not end people to a serious extent).  Of course, it might not be that no one would ever read the journal papers about amelodic beat-based acoustics, and so it would not matter much, but this is obviously not the case in the world of tobacco politics.

Aside: If researchers decided they shared some vapers’ dislike of having the letters “c-i-g-a-r-e-t-t-e” in the name of the category, they could adopt one of the secondary accepted term for the devices like “PVs”.  Similarly the researchers in the analogy could refer to “rap music”.  Any of those vocabulary choices has its advantages and disadvantages when interpreted closely and parsed against exactly what it means in common language (and thus in any analysis where the exact details of the artifact matter, they should be specified in the paper, whatever term is used).  There is a lot to be said for using the dominant term.  But the point is that imposing an ivory tower name that ostentatiously refuses to use any of the culture’s accepted vocabulary is denigrating.

Moreover, the historical context in this case need not be limited to the behaviors of imperial times and the ethical standards that evolved as a response.  The same faction of anti-tobacco and anti-THR activists who popularized “ENDS” intentionally referred to smokeless tobacco as “spit tobacco”, including in scientific papers (and a few still do, though the efforts of Brad Rodu and others have done a lot to put an end to this insult).  Thus there is clear recent evidence of vocabulary choices like “ENDS” being used to intentionally denigrate the people who the (ostensible) scientists were studying.

Obviously there is no way to stop the unethical anti-tobacco/nicotine extremists from disdaining the people they are studying and making that disdain clear. But those who are not choosing to express this disdain should avoid getting tricked into complicity by using the term, and scholars should avoid it for that reason and as a matter of professional ethics.  Words matter in issues like this, which is why oppressed groups with semi-organized advocates (black people, LGBT people) have repeatedly changed the accepted terminology for themselves and their cultural artifacts.  It is an attempt to stay ahead of the codeword “-isms” of coined denigrating terms that creep into the common vocabulary and make the very act of discussing the groups a subtle insult.  Make no mistake, “ENDS” is exactly such a term.

Of course, one of the responses to denigrating terms is to adopt the insulting term to take away its power, as was done with “queer” and many other such terms.  But there is no reason to fall back to that difficult response, which may be required when a term becomes too widely used.  “ENDS” is not all that common and it is still possible to object to it and, obviously, refuse to use it.

For people in the vaping community, using this term is to be complicit in allowing others (others who look down upon you) to define you.  For those of you doing scholarship, publishing journals, etc., allowing “ENDS” or “spit tobacco” into your vocabulary is like writing “queer” in 1975 or “wog” in 1900, differing only in that it is a sneakier way of trying to assert superiority.

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42 responses to “Why using the term “ENDS” for e-cigarettes is unwise and unethical

  1. Ok. Points well taken. Personal Nicotine Vaporizer (PNV) it is then.

    • Carl V Phillips

      Well, I was obviously not going into the wisdom of different terms used within the cultural community. “Nicotine vaporizers” would be a perfectly good and neutral collective term for the category I describe that includes both e-cigarettes and non-electric devices. The “personal” in there is kind of pointless. I know that I suggested that scientists could use “PV”, and if they did it would avoid the ethical problem I cite. On the other hand, I think it would be a bad idea. It would seem to be an example of going too far to be culturally sensitive, to the harmful point of “going native”, as it were. An outsider using the term “personal vaporizer” or some variation on that (give that the “personal” is gratuitous) would basically be trying to ape a small minority of “cool kids” in the culture who avoid the common vocabulary. Using such a term, rather than the term that is used 99.9% of the time (on the products from the time they came to market, in the mass media, in conversations other than a small insider population), seems like a bad practice, though not unethical in the senses discussed in the post.

      Of course, if someone in the community chooses to use a heterodox term, that is completely different than the points discussed here. Hopefully anyone doing it is aware that it is an affectation (which does not mean it is bad, of course — just a conscious decision to do something very different from what others are doing) and it is not going to change what term is generally accepted and used. In particular, it is using a vocabulary choice designed to call attention to itself, typically to build an implicit statement of “this is not a cigarette!” into every use of the noun phrase. Of course, if someone is using such a term with the intention of expressing disdain for the plebeian masses who use the common term (that “cool kids” motivation), then it does start to have some problems in common with the issue I was discussing.

  2. Personal Vaporisers

  3. Excellent insight and analysis Carl!

    Somewhere in my files I have an early antismoking discussion about using the term secondhand smoke as the preferential term for what I prefer to call “secondary smoke.” The term secondhand smoke was consciously promoted in order to emphasize the idea that it was an unwanted product being thrown away by the user as a waste product and then other “innocent and unwilling” people were forced to use it after it had already been used.

    Just as in your examples, it was inaccurate, coined with derogatory intent by an external group with power and prestige, and initially resented by those who it was aimed at (smokers). Unfortunately the main alternative term in the 70s/80s was “Environmental Tobacco Smoke” (which was far more accurate scientifically and far more neutral viscerally) BUT… since it was used by Big Tobacco, it got labeled as a “bad” term by the prevailing power group (the Antismokers) and their power was so overwhelming that the usage became pretty much universal.

    For any of your readers who are unfamiliar with it, I’d strongly recommend a visit to DiPierri’s “Rampant Antismoking Mentality” page where the conscious development of such social engineering techniques is explored in some depth on the page itself and explored in REAL depth in his downloadable 600 page (and VERY scholarly!) book: “Rampant Antismoking Signifies Grave
    Danger: Materialism Out of Control” The site is: http://www.rampant-antismoking.com/ and the entire book can be downloaded for FREE!

    As noted: I *strongly* recommend checking it out if you are not familiar with it. It’s an extraordinary piece of work.

    – MJM

    • Carl V Phillips

      Thanks for that, Michael. “Second-hand smoke” is another example I sometimes use when explaining this. I should have included it in this analysis, so please consider this an amendment. It is another good example of the same people engaging in intentionally denigrating behavior with word choice. It is not so blatant as “spit tobacco”, and perhaps because of that caught on nearly universally (I am among those who insist on using the more accurate ETS if at all possible). The best that defenders of smoking can do with that one now is the “queer” defense — just use it, and by pretending that it is not denigrating make it not denigrating.

      I wish I had time to reread 600 page treatises anymore. Sigh.

  4. Bill Godshall

    As I recall, the first time I saw the term ENDS was when Ruth Malone, the editor of Tobacco Control, wrote something indicating that the journal (i.e. she) would only publish articles that referred e-cigs as ENDS.

    • Carl V Phillips

      Ah, mandatory imperial denigration. Even better.

      See the update. Several readers agreed that the coining can be blamed on the anti-THR zealots at WHO.

  5. LTA – (Lit Tobacco Alternative) could be a cover all term for pretty much all products in the THR market.

  6. Ummm, my house has had non-personal vaporizers for years. There is a need to differentiate. Vaporizers can be hot or cold, but they hold about 2 gallons of water and plug into wall current.

    • Carl V Phillips

      I trust that they were not nicotine vaporizers (otherwise some ANTZ are going to want to come study your house to try to prove the existence of third-hand-somethingorother. Once you have that adjective in there, you have pretty much ruled out space humidifiers.

      This exchange does bring to mind another point about the communication advantages of “e-cigarette” over “ENDS”. If you go with a term (unethical or not) that explicitly includes “nicotine” then you are excluding zero-nic versions or refills. Perhaps that is what you want to do, but that can be remedied with a phrase like “some e-cigarettes or refills do not contain nicotine, and are not being considered here” whereas if you are trying to be inclusive it is rather more surreal to say “the nicotine vaporizers analyzed here do not always contain nicotine”.

  7. Not sure on dates, but I’ve seen the term ENDS used in a number of early(ish) patent specifications. I’ll see if I can dig some out to get a timeline.

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  9. Maybe we’ve entered into a newer, sometimes more subtle imperial age.

    Thanks for a thought provoking post.

  10. More points well taken! PLV and PLNV it is then. Portable Liquid Vaporizer, and Portable Liquid Nicotine Vaporizer. :-)
    Although memorable shorthand names and acronyms are mostly population dictated, many are not and even more insidious are the ones that as pointed out here, have a deeper agenda in origin.

    I freely admit that MY agenda for using something other than e-cigarette is purely technical, but also with the aim of redirecting thought to the subject at the core of most discussion. Nicotine. And not the plant that it is most predominant in, but it’s recreational use. Why? Mainly because of the legal implications any words have once they are codified. Especially when many laws and regulations seem to lack clear statements of intent, and that determining the original intent is a foundation of judicial decision (whenever the crutch of precedent isn’t available).

  11. This probably isn’t the venue for cultural-community sourced pedantry (or perhaps it’s exactly the right venue), but my belief is that the only valid term for the various devices is “vaping products” (VPs). The community-neologized gerund “vaping” has long described the use of VPs which, counterintuitively don’t actually produce a vapor (it’s an aerosol). A “Personal Vaporizer” would be expected to perform the action described (i.e. vaporization), and it’s fair to say that the marijuana community has been using actual PVs for considerable longer than VPs have been in existence. “Vaping products” as a term, therefore, is both sourced from and thus acceptable to the community and, through a sort of recursive logic, accurately describes the products. I doubt it’ll catch on with the community because it doesn’t quite have the resonance of PVs, but it’d be a nice compromise were our academic friends to use it. On a final note (can’t remember if Carl touched on this in his post), ENDS is an inaccurate term for the cateogory anyway, since VPs are frequently used without nicotine.

    • Carl V Phillips

      Well, it seems that the question of the preferred cultural word for e-cigarettes is like flypaper, so it is hard to come anywhere close to it (which this obviously was) without causing it to be discussed. So I will reiterate the key on-topic point …it is not entirely clear which of the cultural terms researchers should use, and their choice of anything other than the dominant one could be a bit awkward, but any such problem would not be the unethical act that using “ENDS” is… and then run with the tangent:

      I agree that the the most solid cultural term is the verb “vape” and its various forms. Thus there is something to be said for reverse-engineering a term for the collection of devices from this. But I will stick with “e-cigarette” — and would argue it is the acceptable choice for outsider scholars to use — until/unless there is an evolution in the natural language or there are non-electric products in the category that create confusion over that “e”. However, I object to “VP”, given my initials — it is enough of a pain already to search my file archive for my curriculum vitae (which I finally had sense enough to stop abbreviating in file names).

      Also, I don’t think “some e-cigarettes do not contain nicotine” is the fatal problem with ENDS as a practical term. Someone might want to discuss nicotine-containing e-cigarettes exclusive of zero-nic ones (in which case, I would suggest the term “nicotine-containing e-cigarettes”). I still think what contributes most to making it stupid (a separate point from it being unethical) is that the unpacked term includes cigarette vending machines.

      • Yes, apologies again for deviating from the topic. I should have thanked you for raising the point in the first instance, and I wholeheartedly agree. The ENDS terminology was useful to me, however, as admission of chauvinism by those who use it. Up until that point I had hoped, naively, that some form of real dialog might be established with those groups.

        I really don’t like the term e-cigarette (ironicly, given my website’s name), and I do think it’s done some damage, but I share your assessment that it’s much more appropriate for academics and policy makers to use (some do, of course). I take your point about the accuracy of ENDS with respect to the specifics of what it’s being used to describe; clearly, most of those who use it are, or claim to be, principally concerned about nicotine.

        You also make a very good point about the non-electronic products likely to hit the market in the future. I’ve been thinking about this for some time, and it will be interesting to see whether the cultural community accepts these into the cannon of “vaping products”, or whether they’re treated differently (as are other harm-reduced tobacco products, in the main). In other words, is it those specific characteristics of vaping products which determine their inclusion in the category (a moot point currently, since they’re the only products in the category), or will the general feature of inhalation be key? Further, to what degree will their inclusion/exclusion play out as a function of a dynamic between the characteristics of the products, the marketing/distribution of the products (these are going to be very corporate, in stark contrast to vaping products), and thought leadership by people in the vaping community.

        I’d be interested to hear your views on how people such as myself, who run social netowork platforms, might best deal with these products. We’ve always been very focussed on the e-cigarette category from a realpolitik perspective – realising that there is a huge amount of political bagage associated with other forms of THR (and marijuana harm reduction), and that this may hinder the category by association. I’m sure that irritates you no end. Frankly, it irritates me and I’d like to see the vaping community at large better informed about other forms of THR (again, many already are). The real biggie, for us, will likely be the heat-not-burn category; by default, it won’t qualify as a vaping product (it’s a straight-up tobacco product), but if it’s good, and it is harm-reduced, I want it to succeed.

        And spare us the moaning about your initials. At least yours aren’t “OK” ;)

        • Carl V Phillips

          OK fair enough, OK. (Though I do not recall using “OK” as the key word in file names, despite how common it is in conversation, unlike “CV” now or what would happen with “VP” if it were there accepted term for e-cigarette.)

          It irritates me that the category that is the basis for us believing that e-cigarettes are low risk, and that is probably lower risk than e-cigarettes are, is typically ignored and/or denigrated (and, at the very least, is completely misunderstood) by most of the vaping chattering community? Whatever gave you that impression?

          I would suggest that someone in your position declare that all consumer-friendly nicotine vaporizer products are on-topic. That is, to some extent you can decide to be part of making sure the category of THR products and their supporters do not get further divided (an clear goal of the ANTZ) by explicitly expanding the coverage of ECF. Of course, I don’t think you could do much to stop the very likely cultural grouping of all those products together if you pushed the other way, but better to keep things moving in the sensible direction.

          (To further the tangent: The new techs will presumably produce fewer unwanted chemicals than atomizer/PG devices. For that matter, the higher quality-controlled current-tech ecigs from the same big manufacturers offer that compared to mods. We are fairly sure that the difference in health impacts across these (and compared to smokeless tobacco, NRT, and abstinence) are pretty trivial, so it is a matter of rational individual tradeoffs. But it will come as a shock to many who socially network about this without any idea of where to find solid information (if they ever learn it) to learn that the nicotine vaporizers being sold by the companies they and the ANTZ call “big tobacco” are cleaner, and thus presumably slightly lower risk, than their favorites.)

          HnB is interesting. I would urge you to sweep that into your coverage also, for the same reasons. If they are not going to be discussed by the same networks that cover vapers, it is unlikely they will be discussed in an organized way by anyone other than those who want to lie about them. Yes, it is further departure from the origin and name. It will be even more so for CASAA, given that the effluent from them is arguably “S”, but if they prove to be an appealing low-risk alternative, it would be a mistake to exclude them. As you say, the vaping community, while having some widespread knowledge failings among those who never find their way to authoritative sources, does understand THR better than any other large group (the snus aficionados do to, of course, but their social networks are not so prominent), so better that the discussion expand from that base rather than get created elsewhere (or perhaps not).

        • jredheadgirl

          “The real biggie, for us, will likely be the heat-not-burn category; by default, it won’t qualify as a vaping product (it’s a straight-up tobacco product)..”

          That’s an interesting assessment, for as we have learned from the medical marijuana community, vaping is the heating of plant material. Hence, heating (aka vaporizing) tobacco is vaping. It is what it is and any alternate description of what it actually is would be based on nothing more than deliberate prejudice.

  12. Even the term “delivery” could be said to be loaded. That it is the device that puts nicotine into the body of the person. An IV drip will deliver fluids into the body of a patient unless the patient or other person does something to stop it..

    The term “System” could be said to be loaded. A system is often a protocol or set of procedures that have been designed to be followed so that a person has less need to make decisions or take personal responsibility.

    I think NV would be a better acronym. For nicotine vapourizer. Because that’s what the fucking thing does.

    • Carl V Phillips

      NV works as a good generic sciencey term, and is close enough to Oliver’s “vape” point that I see no ethical problem. Also, it does not include my initials.

      I agree with your point about “delivery”. I had not thought that through, though it is probably part of what I objected to at a gut level. You are quite right — that is a loaded term that implies both helplessness and medicalization. I will add that to my list of objections to “ENDS”.

      I am not quite so sure about “system”. I agree it is the wrong word (they normal word in their phrase would be “device”, I would think). Indeed, the more I think about it, the more absurd it gets on that count: The system that delivers nicotine is the manufacturing and distribution system. I am not sure it is inherently derisive, though. It is a pretty neutral word. But its bad fit points to the active reverse-engineering of a phrase that produces a derisive acronym.

      • OK, CV/VP, I see where you’re coming from now. Fair enough.

        With respect to the lack of “knowledge .. among those who never find their way to authoritative sources: it is a pity, but let me put to you another way of looking at things (which I’m pretty certain you’ve considered).
        We don’t have an accurate grasp of the numbers of people actively engaged in vaping, but let’s call it “a lot”. If vaping plateaus and goes no further, it will have achieved something interesting and intangible, namely, bringing into the minds of many the concept of THR (consciously or non-consciously), and sets the stage for reduced-harm products to reach markets they would not have reached were it not for the vaping phenomenon.

        I totally agree with you with respect to the relative safety of user-controlled products versus manufacturer-controlled products, although I’m at a loss as to how this might be quantified. I wonder, though, if you’d comment on the utility of the user-controlled products and how that plays out in terms of the bigger picture of harm reduction (ie, versus the absolute safety of individual products).

        Regarding HnB and other products – I will do my best within my abilities and reach, and will urge others to do the same. The issue will be with respect to the ownership of these products, both in terms of how vaping thought-leaders feel about the owners (which will be largely TI and Pharma), and also with respect to how vaping opponents have succesfully played the TI involvement card against us ever since Lorrilard’s Blu purchase 2 year’s ago.

        That said, I’m keenly aware that successful minority influence depends on consistency. Excluding THR from vaping is not consistent and ultimately undermines the credibility of our message and empowers those opposed to us.

        • Carl V Phillips

          Re: having achieved something. Yes, I agree. E-cigarettes, even if they are played out in populations with the greatest uptake (something we cannot rule out) have already provided great benefits and are proof-of-concept. I have pointed out the latter on occasion. Even I sometimes play the “they are a miracle” card in political settings, but I think they really represent a pent-up demand for something, and they happened to be the first something to come along that worked outside of a few subpopulations that like smokeless more (or that did not fall victim to anti-ST agitprop).

          Re different products: To a large extent, the best THR product for someone is the low-risk product that they will actually use and stick with. The risk of returning to smoking, or smoking a little bit, dwarfs the apparent differences in risks among low-risk products. Still, if forced to wager, I would guesstimate that the health risks (a somewhat vague concept, of course) are in the order of double for those using mods (i.e., untested devices and liquids) as compared to either ST or highly controlled ecigs. Almost definitely higher, hard to imagine that it is ten times as high — that is about the best we can do.

          Re HnB: Not much chance of pharma being in that space. But, yes, it will almost certainly be dominated by traditional tobacco companies — perhaps just one of them.

  13. And NV is only better than nicotine vapourizer because once a writer or lecturer has used the words “nicotine vapourizer” he can thereafter use the term NV to save space and time.

  14. I prefer the less erudite ‘e-cig’. Leave the ‘arette’ off and you have a different word with different connotations.
    Too simple, I suppose ……

  15. @jredheadgirl – I don’t necessarily disagree, but vaping has come to “mean” the use of e-cigarette and related products. I’m not aware that marijuana users described vaporization of marijuana as “vaping” or self-identified as “vapers” in any significant numbers. Totally willing to be corrected on this.

    My point was, simply, that “vaping” as associated with e-cigarettes is not actually a process of vaporization, but a process of “aerosolization”. Accordingly, it’s an interesting neologism that corrupts a scientific term to describe something that is similar in appearance, but not the same as the root source.

    On the other hand, vaping (if that’s what it is – honestly, I’m pretty sure it was always described as vaporizing) marijuana or tobacco is a process of vaporization.

    When I said that HnB is a straight-up tobacco product, I don’t think that was controversial? More controversial is the opinion that “vaping products” are tobacco products, surely?

  16. I’d love to know whether the term was painstakingly thought out as a subtle piece of propaganda or whether it came quickly and easily to a nasty minded person.

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  20. I don’t have a big objection to ENDS although I agree it is not quite accurate.
    I do have a big objection to the use of” Electronic cigarettes” on the grounds that such a label automatically puts them in a category that may be completely irrelevant to their effects but may make them subject to laws applying to cigarettes which are properly restrictive eg sales to minors

    • Carl V Phillips

      The technical inaccuracy of “ENDS” is a very minor point, which mainly serves to point out that there is no refuge from the criticisms to be found in saying “it is technically more useful.” This is not about someone in your position feeling an objection — it is people from your world that are imposing the demeaning term on others, after all. But your statement implies that you must disagree with one or more of the foundational points of my argument (basically: it is unethical for scholars to impose demeaning terms on a studied discriminated-against population; this term is such a demeaning term; tobacco product users are worthy of ethical consideration). I would like to hear the basis for your disagreement.

      As for the established terminology: If you spend a bit of time talking to the people (the ones who research and regulation is supposed to be helping), you will learn that half of all newbies to vaping are just *sure* that changing the name would change the political association. Ok, not half, though it sometimes seems like that — but it might be 5%, and that is still a lot. To the extent that we have the energy to repeat ourselves (though we now can just point them here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1z4YW8Rhqew4F5s8-nnexBFZp9UPeXhhyq4_w0em-0lI/pub ), we try to explain that regulators can do whatever they want, regardless of the common language for something. I would venture to say that there has never been a regulation that was any different due to the name (restrictions do not spontaneously bubble up from random lawmakers who heard the name, they result from an orchestrated — and largely taxpayer funded — campaign by special interest extremists). Meanwhile, “e-cigarette” has clear advantages in attracting switchers. You can call a small toy a “car”, which does not make it subject to automotive engineering or registration regulations, nor excuse it from toy regulations. It does, however, communicate useful information about its niche in the world.

  21. My personal observations are that among the general population, the word “cigarette” is every bit as maligned and derogatory as any other colloquialism. This is especially true among those born after the 1980’s. Tobacco denormalization, as well intentioned as it was and is alleged, is hugely effective. It is also socially alarming and insidious. I’d much prefer positioning the term ENDS as meaning “ends burning tobacco” rather than to try to reposition “cigarette” any day. Regardless of it’s social acceptance, I’ll never be fully on board with “e-cigarette” because I’ll never again accept the social stigma that I was ashamed to criticize when I was a smoker. Most certainly not when what I do is NOT the same. I’m way too old to tolerate deceit and inaccuracy any longer, and I WON’T. full stop.

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