I am infuriated.
We have all heard the warnings about mass media manipulating interviews to fit their agenda. I now have first hand experience at seeing this playing out. The misinformation given by our media is creating panic in the vaping industry, and I am mad.
A middle aged man from Amarillo Texas named Ben Camerillo was one of the unfortunate individuals in the United States to develop life threatening lung issues after vaping THC pods. Ben has suffered from PTSD as the result of being a war veteran. He was trying to avoid pharmaceutical drugs to prevent and reduce his PTSD, and had been using THC vape pods for about a year before his medical emergency happened. Being from Texas where marijuana is still illegal, Ben had to travel outside of his state to purchase these THC pods. He states that he has never purchased anything ‘from the street’ and bought all of his marijuana products from government approved dispensaries.
Ben was approached by Amarillo News Channel 7 and asked to do an interview about his experience.
The news outlet edited out any discussion Ben had about THC cartridges, Ben’s PTSD, how long Ben had been using the THC pens, and manipulated the story to sound like Ben was using nicotine vape products. Between the edited video interview with Ben the news outlet flashed pictures of people vaping e-liquid, and pictures of e-liquid bottles on the screen in order to suggest that this was what they were discussing; in essence connecting a false relationship between Ben’s sickness and nicotine vaping products. Amarillon News Channel 7’s editors went as far as to edit Ben’s statement “I knew it was from vaping THC” to “I knew it was from vaping.” Below are examples of actual images used in the news report:
Ben wants to make it very clear that he has never used a nicotine e-cigarette or nicotine vape product in his life, and has never smoked cigarettes. He exclusively used THC marijuana vape pods to treat his PTSD. “I did not attack the e-juice industry, I’ve never vaped it in my life, I do not even have a problem with it. I bought all my products from dispensaries, I thought there were safe. I’ve never vaped e-juice in my life. From the second I went in, I told them – All I vape is THC because of my PTSD. I do not vape anything else,” states Mr Camerillo.
Ben used many brands of THC pods such as Benskie Live Resin Cartridges, Half Graham Cookies Cartridges, Heavy Hitters Cartridges, and TKO Cartridges.
In the edited report, Lamyiah Harvel from ABC 7 added the statement that Ben was using “vaping flavored products” which is a lie. She also states “cases like these have lead the government to consider banning all flavored products.” This is an ignorant and incorrect statement. Flavours in nicotine e-liquid have nothing to do with Ben’s illness which is 100% related to THC pods. Lamyiah Harvel also interviewed Mark Sigler M.D. who states that there has been zero confirmed cases of illness from nicotine vaping. If there are no confirmed cases of illnesses from nicotine vaping, why is Ben’s case of vaping THC pods leading the government to consider banning nicotine vape flavours? The story just doesn’t add up.
Lamyiah ends this outrageous news story with the statement “The risk outweighs the benefit, if you are vaping, you need to stop.” When you cover up the culprit of the sickness (THC Pods), inject unrelated images of nicotine products in your news story, and then suggest that all vaping products are dangerous it is the definition of media manipulation.
Ben also explains the picture he previously posted on Instagram holding an anti-vaping sign, “I was in ICU, they were pumping me full of meds, I think I’m dying, so I’m constantly under my panic attack. My daughter showed me a picture that she said they want to know if they will join this group of them to sign on with them. I told my daughter, go ahead sweetheart, if you want to make the sign I”ll take the picture. They (the media) made it seemed that I attacked the vaping industry and I got so many death threats.”
Ben discusses vaping with nicotine e-liquid, “I understand too how vaping has probably saved lives and extended lives. I know people that have quit smoking and they only vape and they are healthier then they used to be. When I told her (the reporter) I vaped THC products for PDSD, as soon as that part aired they showed e-juice, they showed e-juice, and vape mods. And I never said a word about that!”
You watch the originally aired report HERE. Also, an interview with Ben discussing the misinformation with Dave from DashVapes HERE. Lastly, you can view a video with Chris from 806 Vapes who was also part of the skewed Channel 7 news interview HERE.
This is just a single example of this situation happening all across the world with agenda seeking, fear mongering, and politically charged news reporters and media companies editing interviews and stories to fit their agendas. This is a fair warning to not take headlines and even news stories at face value. Do your own research and find the truth. Do not trust our media.
By vilifying the entire vaping industry our government is not giving warnings to the actual culprits; THC Vape Pods. These pods should be avoided until the studies are competed by the CDC and various other health agencies, and our health agencies need to state this clearly.
We at Canada Vapes all wish the best for Ben and a speedy recovery.