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The FDA divides nicotine products into two categories: medical (ex. NRT) and recreational (ex. cigarettes). NRT development has focused on eliminating nicotine dependency. Limiting the pleasure afforded by NRT products is intended to reduce their abuse liability.

But e-cigarettes are designed to be enjoyed. Since nicotine is not a primary cause of smoking-related illness, pro-vaping narratives treat e-cigarettes as both pleasurable and beneficial (whether for nicotine maintenance or cessation). Instead of limiting pleasure in the pursuit of health, pleasure and health are presented as mutually reinforcing.

When vapers came across excerpts from our study proposal online, our use of conventional public health language suggested to them that we would reject their narratives.

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