Cannabis-savvy comedian Tommy Chong has a word of advice for experts grappling with the modern vaping crisis: Encourage teens to smoke their weed instead.
“That’s the healthiest thing,” he told TMZ at the Daytime Beauty Awards in Los Angeles on Friday, adding that banning e-cigarettes and vaping products altogether will only cause the issue to grow. “You can’t stop it. When it goes underground, it goes crazy,” he said.
Watch the full interview below:
As of September 17, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has tallied up 530 cases of lung injury directly correlated to vaping in 38 states and one U.S. territory. Seven deaths have been confirmed in six states.
And on Wednesday, JUUL’s CEO Kevin Burns stepped down, causing the e-cigarette giant to cease advertisements as the crisis continues to escalate — though the CDC says “most patients” reported a history of using e-cigarette products containing THC.
But Chong seems to think of smoking weed as a consumption method that’s less likely to become habit-forming for people than vaping. It’s hard to disagree: it’s much more convenient to pull a vape pen out of your pocket and press a button than it is to grind up your flower and pack a bowl.
Even the TMZ interviewer speaking with Chong explained how the ease of vaping makes users “want to do it more, because it’s easier to take in.”
People also turned to vaping because it was widely viewed as a healthier alternative to smoking. That’s actually not true. According to the American Heart Assocation, e-cig vapor can include diacetyl — a chemical linked to lung disease — as well as other cancer-causing chemicals and heavy metals like nickel, tin and lead.
Chong argues picking up a joint, instead, is simply better for the user in the long run. It might even be better for the Earth.
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