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San Francisco, CA – When confronted with concerns over inappropriate marketing tactics during a congressional hearing this week, representatives from Happy Baby Labs, Inc., the manufacturer of the popular Paci-Vape line of vaping products, vigorously denied targeting infants.

“At no point in the history of this company have we ever attempted to entice infants into using one of our sugar infused, pacifier vaping products,” Happy Baby Labs, Inc. founder Jewel Snively explained. “It isn’t our fault that they are naturally curious and ignore the prominent warning labels stating that our pacifiers are not for babies.”

The Paci-Vape e-cigarette brand is extremely popular among infant vapers, with a market share of nearly 90%. Only Druul and blu binky have managed to carve out a small corner of the market. Druul in particular managed to capitalize off of its prominent role in the popular Netflix Original series, The Boss Baby: Money Never Sleeps.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez challenged Snively, raising concerns that Paci-Vape’s choice of spokesperson gives the impression that babies are being marketed to despite their claims to the contrary. “It’s a baby. Your spokesperson is an actual baby, in a diaper, and the baby is vaping. Are you telling me that this does not indicate a desire for infants to use your product?” Ocasio-Cortez also grilled Snively on the possible side effects in such young children.

Also present at the hearing was Happy Baby Labs, Inc. medical consultant and board certified vapologist Mort Fishman, MD, who claimed that the health effects in human infants are probably minimal. “It’s such a small amount of nicotine, and only a handful of other ingredients. Tiny really when compared to what is found in products we market to older children. But in answer to your extremely important question, oh my God, how did that bear get in here!” Fishman and Snively were nowhere to be found when Ocasio-Cortez and the other members of the committee looked back at the witness table.

Pay attention to the truth behind the curtain

E-cigarette makers undeniably marketed their products to children, helping to make vaping trendy, and their use is now rampant. Roughly 1 out of every 4 older teens are vaping at least occasionally, and numbers are also increasing in middle schools. As a hospitalist, I have personally seen a remarkable increase in the number of children admitted to the hospital who vape. It is not uncommon for them to be nicotine addicted and to require medical assistance with withdrawal symptoms while hospitalized.

Most of these vaping children and young adults that I take care of in the hospital are admitted for unrelated conditions. That being said, I have also seen a rise in the number of patients who admit to using vaping products for the inhalation of marijuana. These illicit and counterfeit vape cartridges, the most prominent being “Dank Vapes“, are the likely culprit for an increasing number of cases of severe acute lung disease in 2019. I’ve had the unfortunate displeasure of caring for one of these cases, which nearly resulted in the patient’s death.

In addition to concerns over these acute cases of severe pulmonary injury, we have absolutely no idea what the long-term effects on the lungs may be. Vaping, in all of its forms, is a massive uncontrolled experiment involving the human population. There may be some benefit to those adults attempting to reduce their use of cigarettes, but the unexpected consequences are piling up.

A recent BMJ study helped to illustrate the sad fact that manufacturer damage control efforts are too little too late because the youth themselves are now providing their own unintentional marketing. To my knowledge, however, no company has promoted infant vaping, which would be incredibly irresponsible. It’s a good thing that this post is satire…for now.

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving, if you are into that sort of thing. See you in two weeks. Oh, here is another one along the same lines. Enjoy!

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Posted by Clay Jones

Clay Jones, M.D. is a pediatrician and a regular contributor to the Science-Based Medicine blog. He primarily cares for healthy newborns and hospitalized children, and devotes his full time to educating pediatric residents and medical students. Dr. Jones first became aware of and interested in the incursion of pseudoscience into his chosen profession while completing his pediatric residency at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital a decade ago. He has since focused his efforts on teaching the application of critical thinking and scientific skepticism to the practice of pediatric medicine. Dr. Jones has no conflicts of interest to disclose and no ties to the pharmaceutical industry. He can be found on Twitter as @SBMPediatrics and is the co-host of The Prism Podcast with fellow SBM contributor Grant Ritchey. The comments expressed by Dr. Jones are his own and do not represent the views or opinions of Newton-Wellesley Hospital or its administration.