Infamous Nazi Germany propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels once said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Unfortunately, almost 80 years later, Goebbels’ maxim is alive and well in the United States.

Over the last few weeks, the political class (with assistance from the mainstream media) has peddled a flat-out, reprehensible lie about the recent wave of hospitalizations supposedly due to vaping.

Their “story” is completely false. Politicians and their media allies know it’s false; however, they keep pushing the Big Lie.

First, a bit of history (and truth) to dispel the Big Lie. In 2007, vaping products, also known as e-cigarettes, made their American debut. Since then, millions of Americans have used vaping as a much safer alternative (95 percent less harmful) to combustible, tobacco cigarettes. Furthermore, for 12 years, millions of Americans have used vaping products with no major adverse effects (to be fair, studies on the long-term effects of vaping are lacking).

In recent months, thousands of Americans have chosen to insert illegal, black-market substances into their so-called vape pens. Indeed, a vast majority of the recent medical cases related to vaping are actually due to people vaping THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

I repeat: The 800 or so documented cases of “vaping related hospitalizations” are overwhelmingly due to people violating the law and choosing to vape illicit substances, namely THC. These people have admitted to doing so.

A similar phenomenon has been occurring for decades with syringes. All too often, people fill syringes with dangerous, illegal drugs. Many times, this results in severe harm and/or death. Yet, there is no mass campaign perpetuated by mindless politicians to ban syringes, at least not yet.

Slimy politicians and their fake news cronies are, however, weaving quite a different narrative about vaping. Consider this recent bulletin from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, state and local health departments, and other clinical and public health partners are investigating a multistate outbreak of lung injury associated with e-cigarette product use, or vaping.”

Shame on the CDC for putting out an official document that is so misleading as to make people believe that ordinary, legal vaping is causing the lung injury outbreak. These experts know better.

Politicians, on the other hand, are more prone to foolish and outlandish statements. Heck, it is practically part of their job description. Case in point: According to Illinois state Rep. Deb Conroy, vaping has “become a health crisis. … People are dying.”

Unfortunately, this is just one example of the Big Lie in action. Scores of politicians are telling the same tall tale about vaping. In other words, deceitful politicians are lying to the American public about the hazards of ordinary, legal vaping.

It is beyond the scope of this op-ed to ascertain the motivations behind the Big Lie. No doubt, money and politics are front and center. Whatever is behind the Big Lie, it is despicable for politicians and their media lap dogs to lie about a topic with such huge health consequences.

Once again, the incessant calls for vaping-related bans, taxes and other punitive measures based on a Big Lie are nothing but pitiful political rhetoric.

I once heard a great joke about politicians: How do you know when a politician is lying?

Answer: When his or her lips move.

Sadly, this joke is far too true when it comes to politicians mouthing off about the so-called vaping epidemic. It is about time we poke a big hole and take all the hot air out of their Big Lie.