Why Does The CDC Hate Vaping?
There is little denying that smoking related illnesses are a massive drain on healthcare resources. In fact, smoking is the number one preventable killer in the United States according to studies reviewed in a new National Research Council and Institute of Medicine report. Yet despite all this the Center for Disease Control is arguably the biggest opponent of safer nicotine delivery devices and has consistently demonstrated its hate of the vaping revolution.
There are really two key arguments the CDC uses to persecute vapers. The first is that e-cigarettes do not help people quit and the second that they encourage tobacco use. Each of these arguments is fundamentally flawed.
The CDC refuses to admit the vital role that e-cigarettes have played in helping smokers quit. It may only be anecdotal but millions of ex-smokers cannot all be wrong. According to figures from the CDC itself 47% of smokers have tried an e-cigarette and of all the people that quit in 2015, 55% used e-cigarettes.
Although these statistics come from the CDC, they are never used during e-cigarette dialogue. Quitting smoking with e-cigarettes is not guaranteed of course but, the numbers speak for themselves. Smoking is going to kill millions of Americans in the next years, just as it has in years passed. If a safer alternative to tobacco exists, with a host of evidence from international experts backing claims that e-cigarettes can help smokers to quit and should be recommended as a cessation aid, why is the CDC throwing its resources at narratives to the contrary?
Two years ago CDC director Tom Frieden gave an interview to the LA Times, in which he said “I’ve treated so many adults who are desperate — desperate — to get off tobacco. They all started as kids. I see the industry getting another generation of our kids addicted. To me, as a physician, when 1.78 million of our high school kids have tried an e-cigarette and a lot of them are using them regularly … that’s like watching someone harm hundreds of thousands of children.”
His narrow-minded viewpoint seems to have shaped policy decisions regarding e-cigarettes, despite the fact that his ridiculous tobacco use argument is almost unfounded. Yes, there have been studies looking into the use of e-cigarettes by teenagers. However, you can hardly call any of these studies conclusive, no matter if they show a teenage predisposition to e-cigarettes or not.
The CDC’s own report, Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students
is contrary to everything it argues for. Published in 2015, it shows that between 2011 and 2014, the number of teenagers smoking actually decreased. In the same timeframe, the use of e-cigarettes rose but this coincided with the period e-cigarettes crossed into the mainstream. What’s more, if e-cigarettes are making young people smoke why has the number of them using tobacco products stayed constant?
A British Medical Journal study casts further doubt on the position the CDC has adopted. Analyzing surveys of students in Wales, researchers concluded, “e-cigarettes are unlikely to make a major direct contribution to adolescent nicotine addiction.” Just like with American teens, e-cigarettes were more popular than smoking among Welsh students. Only 1.5% of those surveyed reported using e-cigarettes once a month and almost all regular vapers were also smokers – suggesting that while experimentation with e-cigarettes is common, only teens who already smoke regularly use e-cigarettes.
The CDC war on vaping is certainly working. Harvard University published the results of a survey recently which delved into America’s understanding of e-cigs and vaping. It found that 44% of US citizens believe that e-cigarettes were just as bad if not worse than smoking. And 47% believe that e-cigarettes do not help smokers quit. Whether the misinformation spread about e-cigarettes is stopping smokers switching we do not know, but it could well be especially when you compare the CDC attitude with the UK’s position that e-cigarettes should be recommended by doctors to aid those who want to quit smoking kick the habit.
The way the CDC is approaching e-cigarettes is highly reminiscent of the history of smoking. Their statements remind us of the lies big tobacco companies peddled in the 1960s. The only difference is that the CDC is a government body. If we can expect a fair analysis of the risks and benefits of e-cigarettes it should come from the CDC. After all, it does exist to prevent and control diseases.
Tags: Vaping, E-cigarette Truth, CDC, FDA, Regulations, Health Advice.
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