Rehab for Vapers: Absurdity Meets Reality

    Ever get the feeling you’re about to be cheated?


    Are you a psychologist or social worker? Are you looking for an exciting new business opportunity in the addiction treatment field? Have we got an idea for you!

    Consider the growing field of vape addiction rehab therapy! Having tackled and apparently solved the opioid, meth, cocaine and alcohol epidemics, some enterprising counselors are moving on to a more frightening addiction problem — namely the use of nicotine and vaping products.

    According to the experts at, “For the same reasons cigarettes are addictive, so are vapes and e-cig products.” Why is this a danger to users? Well, aside from the debilitating shame and self-hatred the helpless nic addict must feel, “vapes, especially those that have been modified or ‘hacked’, may be more dangerous than tobacco.”

    Show me a vaper who needs rehab and I’ll show you someone ready to give their bank account number to a Nigerian prince.

    More dangerous! Yup, the renowned staff at this, um, website is very concerned about “addicts” who use products “hacked” to increase nicotine intake, because “contained within the aerosolized e-liquid are agents that, when heated, generate a release of formaldehyde at significantly higher levels than that contained in a tobacco cigarette.”

    That’s a sideways reference to the famous Portland State University letter to the New England Journal of Medicine. The study referenced in the letter sounded the alarm about formaldehyde risks in e-cigarettes. But the authors’ experiment involved heating outdated CE-4 clearomizers to unrealistic levels and using an automated machine to “vape” them.

    Hey, burn off all the liquid with what is essentially a continuous dry hit at high voltage and, yeah, you’ll be sucking some formaldehyde — if you don’t retch and vomit first.

    This addiction group is like the psychology version of ambulance chasing lawyers. Instead of promoting reasons to sue someone, they’re hoping to hype vaping risks enough that some suckers will worry about their “vaping addiction.” I mean, show me a vaper who needs rehab and I’ll show you someone ready to give their bank account number to a Nigerian prince.

    Wait, stroke? Cancer?! I don’t think you get to just make up science, do you?

    They run through all the usual “adverse health effects,” and add some really scary ones for good measure:

    • Cardiovascular complications
    • High blood pressure
    • Irregular heartbeats
    • Respiratory side effects
    • Lung inflammation
    • Increased risk of respiratory infection
    • Decreased immunity
    • Gastrointestinal upset
    • Headache
    • Dizziness and fainting
    • Agitation
    • Insomnia
    • Stroke
    • Cancers of the respiratory tract and blood
    • Vapes, A “Gateway Drug”

    Wait, stroke? Cancer?! I don’t think you get to just make up science, do you? They note that formaldehyde is “linked to blood cancer,” but forget to mention that properly used vapes don’t produce any more formaldehyde than you already naturally exhale with each breath. I guess explaining that would throw a monkey wrench in the whole scam, right?

    “Treatment options for vape and other drug and alcohol addiction is available,” they write. I guess their grammar is about as reliable as their science. “Don’t let the addiction take away another day, contact us and begin a new and rewarding life in recovery.”

    Thanks, but I just got this big bottle of blueberry e-liquid. Also I hope to never meet anyone who thinks scaring uninformed and vulnerable people into paying for unnecessary “treatment” is a noble way to make a living.

    Jim McDonald
    Smokers created vaping without any help from the tobacco industry or anti-smoking crusaders, and vapers have the right to keep innovating to help themselves. My goal is to provide clear, honest information about the challenges vaping faces from lawmakers, regulators, and brokers of disinformation. I recently joined the CASAA board, but my opinions aren’t necessarily CASAA’s, and vice versa. You can find me on Twitter @whycherrywhy