YouTube vs Vape!
YouTube is removing videos relating to vaping products, it has been reported.
E-cigarette reviewers claim content has been ripped from the video-hosting platform while others report channels are being deleted with little chance to appeal.
Posts that mention the controversial vape brand JUUL, currently being investigated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because of its alleged appeal to teenagers, appear to be the most targeted.
Experts claim the move by YouTube comes after a state-backed push against e-cigarette advertising in America, particularly in regard to flavoured e-juice which are used in vaporizers and pressure groups claim are tempting young people into vaping.
In the past few months anti-vaping hysteria has spread across America fuelled by the single-issue pressure groups like the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, which has in turn seen the FDA forced to take action.
The regulator is now pressurizing online platforms to stamp out “advertising to children” even though JUUL strongly denies doing so and there is no evidence to suggest it ever marketed directly to young people.
YouTube however has started to issue “strikes” to any channel it thinks is promoting vape products.
In one case a vaping-related video was given a strike for “violent content” - its creator appealed against this, but was over-ruled without any explanation.
Despite the anti-vaping hysteria, there is also a growing consensus that vaping does reduce the harms associated with smoking - which the FDA itself has acknowledged.
It said in a statement last year in regards to smoking that it was “committed to encouraging innovations that have the potential to make a notable public-health difference” and went on to admit e-cigarettes clearly had benefits in the public’s health battle against tobacco.