All panics begin with a rational fear that quickly turns dangerously irrational.
A threat is identified. The danger posed by the threat is amplified by speculation. Worst case scenarios are obsessed about, and action is demanded. Discussion of unseen consequences are discouraged. Skepticism of the threat is met with suspicion or anger.
The current panic over a spate of lung illnesses attributed to vaping usage checks all these boxes.
As of early October, 1,299 lung injuries and 28 deaths have been attributed at least in part to vaping or e-cigarette usage, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In response, city and state governments have issued sweeping bans on sales of everything from flavored vapes to any form of e-cigarettes.